TODAY ~ IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA, ONE HUMAN VIOLENTLY KILLED 50 OF HIS OWN SPECIES, AND INJURED MORE THAN 50 OTHERS….
And we as a species have slaughtered unimaginable numbers of our fellow non-human beings on this American continent.
Our Carnivores….Coyotes, Cougars and Wolves….. are trying to teach us something about ourselves.
They are returning to the landscape that was once their homeland…like cougars and wolves, and they are once again expanding their range…like coyotes.
Is our only answer once again….to kill them?
I encourage you to read this newly published book, Heart of A Lion by outstanding author, William Stolzenburg. The Cougar, like Coyote and Wolf, is asking us to look at ourselves in the mirror.
When our violence to them will stop…our violence to our own species will stop…not before!
by Geoffrey Vollers
WHY IS IT THAT WHEN WE NAME AN ANIMAL
WE CARE ABOUT THAT PARICULAR BEING?
Humans gave Cecil his name, and so what happened to him mattered.
Is it that we feel more connected to him?
What about all the other amazing wild beings whom WE have not named?
Is it that we do not feel connected to them?
And what about the resilient and adaptable wild beings who we have decided are not endangered…how do we value them?
They have all been given a name by a power higher than our humanity. KNOW THAT THEY ALL HAVE A NAME!
Each and every Coyote has a name……
TODAY I READ TWO STORIES ABOUT DOGS …
The first was about Dukey, a beloved Labrador who had cancer, and spent the last day of his happy life being showered with love and comfort….and then he was lovingly and respectfully put to rest.
The second was about Pit Bulls and the abuse and suffering and prejudice they experience at the hands of humans. The photo you see here is a young Pit Bull rescued from the cruel fighting rings. Look at the wounds all over her face.
These two stories tell us something of our humanity that should haunt us. All dogs ….all dogs…..are amazing beings that we humans get to share this planet with. Yet we pick and choose those we respect and love and those we allow to be tortured and abused.
I ask you……WHO GAVE THE PITBULL THEIR NAME? YES IT WAS HUMANS…IT TRULY WAS NOT THEIR MAKER. THEIR MAKER HAS ANOTHER NAME FOR THEM. How we treat this one breed of dog is a reflection of ourselves as humans. We demonize them……but who is the demon in the mirror? No other dog is so vilified in the media; no other dog so discriminated against; no other dog so frequently abused; no other dog likely to be killed.
EVERY YEAR IN THIS COUNTRY 1.2 MILLION WONDERFUL DOGS ARE KILLED IN SHELTERS……..800,000 TO 1 MILLION OF THEM ARE PITBULLS.
So……Coyote is a Dog…..a wild American dog…… How do we treat Coyote? Do we carry on the same demonizing of Coyote as we do with our Pit Bulls? Let’s repeat what I wrote about our Pit Bulls….. Coyote….no other wildlife so vilified in the media, no other wildlife so discriminated against, no other wildlife so persecuted, no other wildlife so brutally killed.
ARE WE EVOLVING AS A SPECIES……ASK A PITBULL…ASK A COYOTE WHAT WOULD THEIR ANSWER BE?
Raju being freed of chains
IF YOU HAVE NOT READ ABOUT RAJU’S RESCUE…SEEK IT OUT!
In short, he was poached from his mother when he was just a baby and has spent the last 50 years of his life being abused and tortured and starved. On the 4th of July he was rescued in India and is now in a Sanctuary there. The photo you see here is showing the removal of the chains and metal spikes that cut into his leg.
As I read about Raju’s tragic life, again I observed what humans are capable of in creating immense suffering in other intelligent, feeling life. But at the same time there are humans who use every possible course to end this suffering. It is so evident in this story.
BUT COYOTE’S STORY IS NO DIFFERENT THAN RAJU’S. There is so much violence to both species in the name of TRADITION and “THIS IS JUST HOW THINGS ARE.” Raju in chains and Coyote in leghold traps.
We want to evolve as a species …… and that evolution will express itself in our respect for all life….. and as a society to NOT TOLERATE cruelty to other beings … and that includes our fellow humans.
If Elephants and Coyotes could speak…..What would they want to tell us?
Raju and Rescuer
photo by Jerry Mercier
I was in the forest hiking the other day in one of my favorite spots. Usually I hike around a big loop and my hike is completed. But on this particular day, I decided to turn around and go back the way I came…the hike would be longer that way…and I did not want to leave this wonderful place just as yet.
I found that on the way back, my point of view had changed, and I saw everything that was so familiar to me in a different way. In fact, I almost got myself lost, not noticing the turn I would want to take back.
It made me think ~ How we see the world, depends on where we are standing. And where we are standing is powerfully affected by our beliefs. Our beliefs are powerful, so powerful that we cannot live, or see or experience anything outside our own individual beliefs.
SO CAUTION HERE ~ Be careful not to limit your beliefs, and don’t allow them to dominate your life. Because in doing so, you are not allowing yourself to broaden your beliefs and therefore to see the world and its life from different perspectives.
SO COYOTE GIVES US A CHANCE TO BROADEN OUR BELIEFS and see other life and our relationship to it in a whole new light. Are we open and alive to discover this amazing wild being who lives among us?
The next time you take a hike, turn around and come back the way you came…..look to see how your perspective is different…
photo by Jerry Mercier
COYOTE ~ THE SURVIVOR
This poignant scene by photographer Jerry Mercier opens a window of survival for us humans to look into. Here Coyote is striving to take some minimal nourishment from the frozen leg bone of a deer….the flesh long since gone from it.
In Winter, carnivores starve to death ….and only the strong survive. As we ourselves move through the hardships of Winter, our respect for these amazing carnivores heightens.
And that is why it is so unthinkable that as a society we permit laws that allow their killing and exploitation when Coyotes are on the edge of survival in the Winter.
Farmers and Ranchers who understand survival seek to keep the Coyotes on their farms protected from human exploitation….. As rancher, Dayton Hyde, wrote in his classic book, Don Coyote, “They (Coyotes) had a sanctuary where they could hunt without being shot at and could concentrate not on staying alive, but on taking prey. Thus, throughout the course of a 24 hour period, our Coyotes could spend more time hunting because their diets were not limited to nocturnal species, and their ‘scrounging’ success was higher than that of coyotes suffering persecution.”
What Dayton Hyde understood so well was that human behavior greatly affects Coyote behavior. And if he was to live well with his Coyotes, his Coyotes needed to be treated with respect….and given the opportunity to survive.