My thoughts on animal cruelty

Did you know a horse can feel a fly land on his back? A tiny little fly can be felt through all of that hair on the back of a horse. Do you know how I know this? Because I have sat and watched horses swat those flies off with their tails. I’ve seen a bug land on a horse’s leg and the horse bend down and nudge it off with his nose.

Did you know that one deer knows when another deer has an injury? I know this because I have watched a deer with an injured eye, groomed by another deer. The baby deer licked the mama deer’s eye repeatedly trying to help her mama.

Did you know that a dog has the ability to see for the blind, alert it’s owner/parent to seizures, comfort an individual at the exact time they are having PTSD triggers, and guide another human being to an injured person? I’ve seen all of these things.

I did not train my dog to be a seizure alert dog. His love and brilliance did. I did not communicate in any way to my dog that I had a biopsy of my leg and could not walk. Yet, before the biopsy he had never laid on my floor next to my bed, and after the biopsy he did not leave my side until it was healed.

Did you know that pigs and rabbits can be taught to use liter boxes?

Did you know that elephants and many other mammals mourn the loss of a family member much like humans do?

If a horse can feel a fly and react, why do humans whip them with whips and dig spurs into their sides?

If a pig is smart enough to use a liter box, why are they raised in cages so small they cannot even stand?

If a rabbit is smart enough to use a liter box, why do humans think it is ok to torture them with chemicals in their eyes for cosmetics and think the rabbit feels no pain?

If my dog was smart enough to know I was having a seizure, why is the University breeding that same kind of dog with a genetic muscle disease, like mine, to test on them? To watch them suffer like I am suffering, but in a cage.

How is it ok to stab an elephant, to make them do tricks for humans to make money when they are capable of the same compassion as a human being?

How is it ok to put a bird with the ability to fly in a prison/cage just so we can have a bird?

How is it ok to put a bear in a tiny enclosure at a zoo so family day will bring in more money when that bear was not put here for a HUMAN TO MAKE MONEY.

Yet our society thinks it is perfectly normal to keep a greyhound in a pen, never allowing his feet to touch anything but a race track and concrete so that humans can gamble with no conscience about the life being harmed to make or lose a buck.

We have laws against human cruelty. We have laws against animal cruelty. But it is up for debate on what and who deems what cruel. Apparently putting poison in a rabbit’s eye is not cruel or against the law. Apparently, breeding an animal with a horrific disease just to test new drugs is not cruel. Obviously, taking an elephant from the wild and forcing him to do tricks at a zoo or circus is applauded by all the fans who watch and padding the pockets of many.

Everyone has their own opinions. When is a human a human. Is it when a cell divides. Is it when a heart beats. Is it ok to freeze and embryo or an egg. Should there be the death penalty. Should there be abortion. We could discuss opinions until the cows come home on politics and social security and the homeless and disability rights and who does and does not like Trump.

I don’t mind different opinions. I listen to different opinions with an open mind. I don’t like suffering or cruelty or intentional cruelty in any way shape or form.

It disheartens me to know that animals suffer because humans dominate them and have the power to make them suffer if they choose. Most often for their own benefit or a profit.

How can a person think that one animal’s life is worth it and one is not. Their Pomeranian who sleeps with them is worth the groomer and 2 walks a day and sleeping in a fluffy bed, yet, another dog can be kept on a concrete pad to run a race and be gambled on.

We fostered a dog who had only known concrete. We had to teach her how to walk on the floor, on the grass. Even with her horrid life before us she still licked our faces and loved us.

A few months ago I learned that dogs were being bred and tested on at UF for muscle diseases. I saw photos of these dogs. I stayed awake night after night thinking about these dogs. Basically, bred for me! But I don’t want a cure if it comes from the suffering of a dog. Suffering that could have been prevented! If suffering can be prevented it should be!

I could say it is because I have PTSD, am sensitive to suffering, have a gentle heart, that I do not want another creature on this earth that is innocent to suffer. But it is not because of my PTSD or my own suffering or even my own heart that I think animal cruelty for human entertainment and profit is wrong. It is with all of my being that I KNOW it is wrong. Just because man has the power to do the wrong thing does not mean he should. The stronger should not use that strength to abuse.

I’ve helped many an animal while I volunteered at the Jungle Friends primate sanctuary, Mill Creek retirement home for horses, and wildlife rehab, but that is not enough. I have bought cruelty free products, but that is not enough. Just because we CAN does not mean we SHOULD. I look at the horses racing on the tracks all hyped up on drugs and being whipped with the crowds cheering and a tear runs down my face. I know that with these race animals, these animal testing facilities, these meat factories, these cosmetic testing, most people just don’t want to know. Some know and don’t care. It is because of the suffering I endured as a child and the lack of justice that makes me wonder when will what SHOULD matter actually matter.

Maybe I will be able to sleep now that I have written this and gotten it off my chest. My neighbor keeps her dogs locked in her hot Florida garage every day. Animal control is called repeatedly but because they have shelter and water and food then it is ok to have them literally baking in that garage. I sat in my garage one afternoon at the same time her dogs were in their garage. I was drenched in sweat and nauseous in 20 minutes. And I think I will end my blog post right there.

Communing with nature

One of the most peaceful things that I do is just BE in nature.

My husband and I went to a state park today and got to literally hang out with a deer family. The baby and mama loved all over each other. Licked each other’s faces. Another mama came along. They didn’t care one bit that I was right there with them. They acknowledged me and looked at me but then went about just being deer. I love being near them and feeling such peace when I am with them. Nature is the ultimate gift to humanity. Not one thought crossed my mind while I was with the deer other than the great appreciation I had for being able to be in their midst.

The only drawback was that I had hoped to get some photographs but I had my zoom lens on the camera and I was right with them so the photos did not quite turn out like I hoped. But life is not about photos. It is about moments. And sometimes we can capture those moments perfectly on a photo and sometimes not. That’s ok. I got to be with the man I love and the animals I love.

SoCS Mosaic for the prompt ic

Earlier I did a photography stream of consciousness but later…I did a written stream of consciousness and here it is…

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Aug. 18/18

What if being “sensitive” meant being normal?

What if everyone who is NOT “sensitive” are actually the abnormal ones?

It was written in my baby book that I was sensitive and emotional. That was written with an undertone of negativity. If one is sensitive they are said to be weak, fragile, different, abnormal, weird, odd, ill.

I will tell you I am incredibly sensitive to everything. I am sensitive to smells. I am sensitive to chemicals. I am sensitive to loud noises. I am also sensitive to senseless suffering, loss, the emotions of others.

I feel deeply. I am broken hearted frequently. Any creature or human being that is agonizing over loss or suffering due to trauma, tears at my heart immensely. It affects me.

I love intensely. I love with all of who I am.

I get intensely angry over injustices.

I am an emotional being so it should not be a surprise that I am sensitive in not just one category but in all avenues of life.

Anyone who has read the bible will know that all throughout are the visionaries, the dreamers. Many books in the bible there is talk of an angel appearing, an angel of the Lord came to them, a vision of horses, etc. No one questions the validity of their dreams and the fact that they LISTENED to their dreams knowing that they were divinely inspired. No one questions that the book of Revelations was a series of prophetic visions. So 2000 or so years ago there is a book of tons of men who had visions put in a holy book yet now 2000 years later no one is special? Take me for example. I am no prophet but I have dreams.

I dream. I always have. I’ve spoken of my dreams to Native American shamans and to Western culture therapists, to holy men, to friends, and to pastors. Each had a different take on my dreams. To one, I was intuitive. To another I was blessed. To another I was a messenger. To another a witch. I compare myself to biblical times because of the absurdity that a woman cannot dream without being labeled. Let us not forget Mary gave birth to the son of God! I’d say she was the most important woman of all times. She was pretty darn special. Yet there is not much focus on her. I wonder who decided to write her out of Jesus’ growing up years. She must have been quite the mother right? She raised a man who obviously was set for grand plans but must have been raised by a gentle loving mother. Ok way off topic there but i’m stream of consciousness writing. This is kind of a mosaIC kind of tale I am telling.

Humanity loves to put individuals in a box with a label. What IF we were not one label that should be deemed by another human being. If you strip away opinions, social media, blanket theories, subjective close minded people, you get to the root. I have roots that run deep and spirituality that reaches to the heavens.

What IF the qualities I possess didn’t make me different. What if my qualities made me pure, enlightened, evolved, open hearted, non-judgmental, capable of love that is all encompassing? What If I gave myself THOSE labels instead of ones others have so generously provided me with my whole life that had a negative tone.

What if I gave my self value. What if I saw myself sensitive in a beautiful way. “She is so sensitive that she can feel what the bird feels, hurt as the fox hurts, love like the mother loves, know what the owl knows.” Sounds a lot better right? What if my sensitivities allow me to be human when most of humanity has become robotic, opinionated, and cold hearted bastards!

It didn’t take words written in my baby book to know I was different. I felt different my entire life. I always thought that was a bad thing. That I did not fit in to this world. That I did not belong in this world. That my sensitivity to other’s pain and my ability to whole heartedly love would give me great suffering on this earth and that that was a bad thing.

Do you know what the other options are? I cold be sensitive or I could be filled with :

Callousness, narcissism, conceitedness, numbness. We have those walking on this earth that have no awareness or even care to of the atrocities that face other humans and animals. They don’t care about clean water, clean air, contaminated soil, pesticide damage. It takes a “red tide” and thousands of dead animals for anyone to take notice. It takes towns of cancer ridden individuals because of contaminated water for anyone to take notice. Still, after they hear of this news, they just go back to autopilot and sip their mimosa and dig their feet in the sand.

Some are not capable of feeling. Some choose not to.

It takes passion and compassion and empathy to be sensitive. Being sensitive comes along with hundreds of other attributes.

I watch the birds fly, I lay on the ground and look up at the leaves in the trees blowing. I marvel at the sunsets and the bumble bees and the dragonflies.

I have the ability to dream dreams that most probably just block out.

Many years ago I had a dream in an ancient Cherokee dialect. I only know this because I woke up and wrote the langue down and had it interpreted by a Cherokee holy man who was pretty astonished that I had written the language that was mostly forgotten. I can’t explain how or why I was able to do this but I can tell you that it is not something that can be questioned. It just is. Every part of who I am just is.

If we allowed ourselves to be who we really are, our true genuine selves, untouched by society and standards set by others, who would we be?

I have allowed myself to be who I am. That person is incredibly sensitive. I love that about myself. I call out all of the sensitives of the world to stand strong in who they are. It is something that no one has been able to take from me.

I now consider someone calling me sensitive as a compliment.

I don’t judge myself.

I hope that everyone else who has had a label twisted around them into a negative barb, shed it!

Other people’s words have no power over you. They are not your judge or jury. Shed all of society and what they consider the norm.

Make who you are the norm. Make your sensitive, special. Make your differences, your strengths. Allow yourself to embrace the real you. If it were not for the dreams in the book of Daniel, the book of Matthew, then prophecies would not have come to be. When Joseph was told that he’d be having a son with Mary, a woman he had not even slept with, what do you think all of his pals said? Do you think they all said “ what a beautiful gift Joseph!” Probably not! But Joseph was special. I am sure he was a sensitive person. Or he would not have been chosen.

I’m referencing the bible because I know it well. How did Siddhartha Become the Buddha? Think he was maybe “sensitive”? He lay under a tree!!!! He meditated. The prophets were kind hearted, special, sensitive. I think we should try to emulate them a little more and little less like say…the Kardashians.

I have PTSD and anxiety. What if that were just…normal. Seems like in this world everyone should have some anxiety! What if I were not seen as someone who needed to have her symptoms “ dealt with “ but more as someone who others feel honored to respect because I am valued for not just parts of me but all of me. What if instead of “oh you know we can’t wear all that perfume around bethany and hug her or she’ll have a reaction UGh what an imposition” people instead were aware of their OWN actions and how THEY were an imposition to ME?

Things should be different. Others should be different. For now, I am considered different. Hundreds, thousands of years ago, I would be considered normal, special even maybe. If I were there with Joseph and Mary I would have held her hand and his too. If I could have met the Buddha I would have wanted to be right under that tree with him and been the first to hear the words he uttered.

I’m just posing this question: what if those of us who are sensitive are the ONLY normal ones?and what if EVERYONE allowed themselves to be sensitive too? What would our world be then?

I choose to shed all the judgment others have of me, my reactions, my emotions, my sensitivities, and focus on my own awareness of myself. I am NOT what other’s think of me, or label me. Until I knew that, I would always be just a victim to the world. I am sensitive. That is normal. My normal. And I love who I am.

SoCS :Magical moments

These were 25 magical moments for me. Moments that are locked into my memory bank that I was fortunate enough to get photographs of. Magical in the way that they made the present moment beautiful. I didn’t think about that past or the future. I wasn’t even thinking about the present state of my body. Magical in that these moments my mind was clear of every single thing but the experience I was having right then and there. Praying that everyone can experience a magical moment today.

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Aug. 18/18

Something to dream about…

This tiny tree frog was waiting on my wheelchair ramp to the front door giving me a nice grin as I set out on my walk. He jumped right up on me ofcourse but thankfully not in the house so I didn’t have to spend an hour chasing him.

Then this gorgeous butterfly landed on the flowers my husband planted, lantana, the love them. I loved how I thought she was the blue butterfly and then closed her wings and the outside completely different from the inside.

Beautiful images I hope to keep on my mind as I go to sleep tonight

Meet Mary-Beth

Mary-Beth has left her nest and is learning how to fly. She is the daughter of my most favorite wren who sings to me every morning from one of her favorite spots..either the water faucet, the flower pot, or the chair I sit in on the deck. I adore her and watching her baby try to fly was precious! We won’t tell her about the patchy bald spots. She is giving it her all out there with mama and papa looking on!

Keep looking to the sky Mary-Beth, you can do it