Beatrix Potter, the famous author of small picture books for children, was born in England in the second half of the nineteenth century. All her books were about animals, many of whom she personally experienced in her life. She cared about the lives of animals, as well as the natural landscape. In her adult life she bought over 4,000 acres in order to protect them from development.
Though she was a woman way ahead of her time, and a woman to be admired, she was also a woman who was a product of her time….I should say, a product of the larger consciousness of her time. How so? If you go back and read all her delightful stories of the bunnies and the mice and the piggies, she portrays them as she has said in her own words as the well-behaved ones.
But…. she wrote one book titled The Tale of Mr. Todd. This story is about a fox and a badger. She introduces this one book by writing “I have made many books about well-behaved people. Now, for a change, I am going to make a story about two disagreeable people.” And it just so happens that these “two disagreeable people” are both carnivores.
The consciousness toward carnivores that we hold within ourselves as a society today has been in in our societal consciousness for a long time.
AND WE JUST KEEP PASSING IT ON FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT.
Until …. we make a shift…a leap…. and re-create our consciousness toward wild carnivores. As long as we see them as the DISAGREEABLE PEOPLE, we will continue to act toward them accordingly.
Historians teach us that we need to look to the PAST for us to understand the PRESENT……
So here are two photos…one from the PAST and one from the PRESENT~
First of all, both photos are taken of very violent people who HATE someone they do not even know. The Klu Klux Klan …our African Americans ; The wolf killers who hate all carnivores
Second…neither of these violent people want to show their faces why????
Third….instruments of their violence proudly displayed~ the Past…the noose, the Present…the gun
Fourth…as an American citizen I find it intolerable that they stand behind our FLAG….THEY ARE THE FURTHEREST THING FROM A PATRIOT…THEY ARE THE VIOLENT EXPRESSION OF HATE IN A WORLD LONGING FOR RESPECT AND PEACE.
It is time…..that Americans cease to tolerate this violence to our wildlife.
What kind of world do you wish to hand down to your children? Speak up to your legislators! Let them hear your voice.
Klu Klux Klan
photo by Janet Kessler
“We shall take your Land…and you will soon disappear.”
This is how the white man that came to the American continent thought and spoke regarding our Native Americans here in Maine ~ the Penobscots, the Paasamaquoddy, the Micmacs and the Maliseets (and Native Americans across this continent).
They did steal their land, but our Native people did not disappear. And here in Maine, our Native Americans lead the way to a rebirth of their people in the last quarter of the 20th century.
And it just so happens that in that last quarter of the 20th century, Coyote expanded their range to Maine and beyond. The white man had said the same of our carnivores, “That we will take away your habitat, and we will kill you, and you will disappear.” Sadly many of our carnivores live on the brink of existence due to this continued behavior of the white man.
But not Coyote! Coyote is a great symbol of the rebirth of our Native people in Maine…..together they have survived and will not disappear. So Coyote is like the New Wolf for our Native people who once lived with wolf here in Maine. In fact, Coyote may be carrying the wolf genetics of the descendants of those who once lived here….picked up on their journey through Canada.
Coyote is a great symbol of REBIRTH of our Native People…… and if we are open…. a rebirth for each one of us……
photo by George Gove
IN 1775 … OUR FOREFATHERS WROTE
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
The central words in declaring their independence from the oppression and violence of the English monarchy were “Our inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”
They based these rights not on any law of any government, but that these rights were bestowed on all men by Nature (or another might say..God) The reality of slavery in the colonies at that time was brought up as well. If all men had these rights, why was slavery allowed. They understood that back in 1775, but not until 1865 were those rights given to the slaves. The evolution of our consciousness to ACT.
Out Native Americans still lack these rights in this country…that was founded on those rights. When will we evolve to that consciousness?
And if all men were given the right to life, liberty, and happiness from their Creator or Nature….. are these rights not also given to all living beings who live on our planet? WHY DO WE SEE THOSE RIGHTS RESERVED ONLY FOR OUR SPECIES?
These Coyote pups……do they not have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? When will we as a species and a nation evolve to include all life in OUR INALIENABLE RIGHTS?
I would like to alert you to a NEW BOOK I have added to our booklist: Biodiversity and Native America edited by Paul Minnis and Wayne Elisens
As our Summer growing season comes close to an end and we are moving closer to September, it is good to take a break and sit down in our fields and be grateful for another year of the earth’s abundance. That is why I thought this book to be a good one to read for this time of year. Let me warn you that it is a scholarly manuscript with a number of contributing authors, but nevertheless quite intriguing to read.
And why would I recommend this book on Coyote’s website? Well, as I have so ofen said, Coyote is about many things! So this book is about how our Native people related to the landscape, how they used the land, how they grew their food, and how they related to the animals. It gives us a broader view of our humanity …how our human species has lived in the New World for the past 12,000 years….how they evolved in their relationship to the land and how they saw themselves in relationship to the land.
Author, Enrique Salmon, writes “Cultural Models” suggest and determine how a culture and individuals from that culture, will interact with the natural world. These models influence culturally shared thought, reactions, actions, and understandings.” So our native peoples had a rich cultural model that greatly affected their actions toward the natural world. So what is our Cultural Model…what way of seeing our world guides us? Does this not heavily influence our behaviors and relationships with other life…and here in Maine…Coyote?
- Wild Bison
I would like to alert you to another excellent book that I just placed on our website’s booklist: Buffalo for the Broken Heart by Dan O’Brien. So why have I recommended this book on Coyote’s website ~ well it has everything to do about Coyote, because Coyote has to do with everything!
An author I read a while back made the comment that every child that comes into this world sees their world as if it had always been there that way…they have known nothing else. And so our generation and a few generations that were before us see our world as the way it should be….we’ve known nothing else. We have NO idea of the amazing, rich, biodiverse land this continent once was…before the Europeans arrived. We have NO idea of the immense damage that was inflicted on the land and the native wildlife. We have NO idea of what it can become again.
As a society we just accept the fact that millions on non-native cows and sheep continue to destroy our land ….you have to make a living some how….or any way you can….right? NO, NOT RIGHT! So this book is about a man who used all his energy and talents to shift from a cattle rancher to ranching wild Bison. It is a very personal story of his Vision to live on the Great Plains in keeping with the true nature of the landscape and respect for all life there. He tells the story of what happened to our 60,000,000 Bison, and the tragedy of it. The Bison evolved with the landscape over hundreds of thousands of years…and then they were gone. Coyote lived alongside the Bison in the Great Plains for hundreds and thousands of years, and felt the thunder of their hooves. Coyote remains!
- Bison being slaughtered
I will have you note that in his book he not only speaks of the Bison but of all the wildlife that live on his ranch, and he speaks of Coyote …with respect…understanding that Coyote has always lived with the Bison and has every right to be there now.And so do the wolves. He sees his role as that of bringing back the land to health and recreating all the life that was once there.
So if we can teach our children to think like this …to RECREATE our American continent to the place it was meant to be by Nature… how rich our lives would be. There would be NO NEED FOR THE SLAUGHTER OF HUNDREDS OF OF OUR NATIVE WILDLIFE EVERY YEAR …..yes that many!
Then as Frank Dobie in his book, The Voice of the Coyote wrote: “When coyote is unhounded by man ~ civilized man filled with the lust to kill and with morbid righteousness against any other animal that kills ~ then Coyote can go about delighting in all the plays along his Broadway.” And along with Coyote’s freedom from persecution heaped on him by the Federal Agency that supports a way of life that is not in keeping with our American continent, our “abused and subsidized landscapes” (Dan O’Brien) will once again flourish.
All these thoughts that I have shared with you regarding our Great Plains absolutely apply to our Maine landscape as well. How do we live on the land, how do we keep domestic animals in a manner that supports a healthy ecosystem here in Maine, how do we share the land with ALL our wildlife … What are we handing down to our children?