• To submit a guest commentary, or contact
    Mike Schwager directly, e-mail:moschwager@aol.com
  • Recommended Books

    "Click on image of book to purchase on Amazon.com"
  • Animals

    “The Emotional Lives of Animals” by Marc Bekoff

    “Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation in America” by Nathan Winograd

    “Guardians of Being: Spiritual Teachings From Our Dogs and Cats” by Eckhart Tolle and Patrick O’Donnell

    “Angel Dogs: Divine Messengers of Love” by Allen and Linda Anderson

  • Business

    “The Evolution of an Entrepreneur: Featuring My 50 Best Tips for Surviving and Thriving in Business” by Jack Nadel

    “The BEST In Us: People, Profit and the Remaking of Modern Leadership” by Cleve W. Stevens

  • Creativity

    "The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity" by Julia Cameron
  • Diet / Food

    “Diet For A New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth” by John Robbins
  • Inspiration

    "The Art of Waging Peace" by Paul Chappell

    “Agape Love: A Tradition Found In Eight World Religions” by Sir John Templeton

    “The Measure of a Man” by Martin Luther King Jr.

    “The Global Heart Awakens: Humanity’s Rite of Passage from the Love of Power to the Power of Love” by Anodea Judith

    "The Magic of Believing" by Claude M. Bristol

    "The Vision of Emerson" by Richard Geldard

    “Love Poems” by Pablo Neruda

    "Long Walk To Freedom" - The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

    "Mandela's Way: Lessons on Life, Love and Courage" - by Richard Stengel

    "Conversations with Myself" - by Nelson Mandela and Forward by Barack Obama

    "Mandela: The Authorized Portrait" - by Mac Maharaj, Ahmad Kathrada, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Forward by Bill Clinton

  • Motivation

    “Why Do I Keep Doing That? Breaking The Negative Patterns In Your Life” by Dennis Wholey

    "The Portable Therapist" by Susanna McMahon, Ph.D.

    "Creating Money: Keys to Abundance" by Sanaya Roman & Duana Packer

    "Becoming A Life Change Artist" by Fred Mandell and Kathleen Jordan

  • Science

    “Creative Evolution: A Physicist's Resolution Between Darwinism and Intelligent Design” by Dr. Amit Goswami

    “Awakening Earth” by Duane Elgin

    “The Phenomenon of Man” by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

  • Spirituality

    “Kabbalah for Beginners” by Rav Michael Laitman

    “Care of the Soul” by Thomas Moore

    “Dark Nights of the Soul” by Thomas Moore

    “I And Thou” by Martin Buber

    “The Books of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life” by Deepak Chopra

    “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra

    "The Good Heart" by His Holiness The Dalai Lama

    "Anatomy of the Spirit" by Carolyne Myss, Ph.D.

    "The Healing Secrets of the Ages" by Catherine Ponder

    "The Taoist Inner View of the Universe and The Immortal Realm" by Taoist Master NI, HUA-CHING

    "The Art of Spiritual Healing" by Joel Goldsmith

Will Tuttle’s “World Peace Diet” on Enrichment Hour

On THE ENRICHMENT HOUR on  Sunday, November 16, my guest for the full hour was Dr. Will Tuttle, a visionary educator, who has spoken widely throughout North America and worldwide. A vegan since 1980, Will is the author of the #1 Amazon best-selling book The World Peace Diet and is a recipient of the Courage of Conscience Award and the Empty Cages Award. He is the editor of the newly-released book, Circles of Compassion: Connecting Issues of Justice.

Dr. Tuttle discussed the main ideas in his best-selling book, The World Peace Diet, which has been called one of the most important books of the 21st century. It provides the foundation of a new society based on the truth of the interconnectedness of all life. Dr. Tuttle will make explicit the invisible connections between our culture, our food, and the source of our broad range of problems—and the way to a positive transformation in our individual and collective lives. Anyone wishing to understand the big picture of our culture and why we have the unyielding dilemmas we face, and how we can solve them, will be fascinated by these provocative, challenging, and ultimately inspiring ideas.

To listen to interview at WSRadio archives, go to:  http://wsradio.com/111614-world-peace-diet-truth-interconnectedness-life

Websites:  http://worldpeacediet.orghttp://worldpeacediet.com,www.circleofcompassion.org, and http://willtuttle.com

Walking Down A Tree-Lined Lane with Pope Francis

[As published in Huffington Post]:

by Mike Schwager

Your Holiness — and I say that in deference to the exalted position you hold among millions of Catholics around the world — I am upset with your utterance that reinforces the sanctity of marriage and children in juxtaposition to the diminution of animals as pets.

Understand — I am not upset with you as a standard bearer for the Church’s position on the sanctity of holy family. What displeases me, and disappoints me, is a devaluing of love for our unconditionally loving animal friends. Do you not realize the impact of your words upon so many people on planet Earth?

This is particularly ironic, your Holiness, since you bear the name of one who was in communion with the pure hearts of animals — and who animals befriended because they sensed his own pure heart.

As we walk down this tree-lined path together, Francis, can you feel the trees reaching out to us with their love? What’s that you say? “Yes, Michael, I can.”

I’m happy for that, Francis, for it shows me you are in tune with the vibration of nature’s creation, and that says to me that you have reverence and feeling for all life, which includes human life but does not exclude the other beings who emanate out of God’s pure Love. Neither you nor your Church have stood up for the animals. Don’t you think it’s time?

Do you know the unconditional lovingness of a dog, your Holiness, or a cat, or a horse, or a dolphin?

Do you know the tragedy of a system in America and most other countries around the world that disposes of these creatures in shelters dedicated to killing, rather than adopting? If you’ve experienced their innate lovingness, and intelligence, and great hearts — can you not stand up for them too?

Do you not know how they contribute to the loving wholesomeness of human homes — whether the occupants are married with children, or not? Have you not seen how they heal the hearts of the lonely in nursing homes and among the sick in hospitals? Are you not aware of their bravery and heroism in standing with our soldiers on the fields of war?

They are truly, your Holiness, God’s gifts to humanity and the world. They are of inestimable value in the beauty of their own inherent beingness and right to life — and in the quality of life of humans, who so often suffer with such great complexity of mind. The companionship of these loving souls makes a huge difference in the life of humans. Your namesake, St. Francis, knew this.

And can your heart extend further, your Holiness, to speaking out against the suffering of the farm animals? The huge suffering of the little lambs, and calves, and cows and pigs. And the unspeakable pain the chickens endure, stuffed in cages for life until their execution. Why must we eat them? Why must we torture them until they are slain? When the Bible spoke of our dominion over the animals, surely it isn’t speaking of cruelty towards animals, but responsibility and stewardship. And implicit in stewardship is love and caring. Isn’t that so Francis?

And in the world of entertainment, can you not speak out against the pain of the great whales, who are confined into spaces that cause them terrible emotional and psychological suffering — all for the sake of the entertainment and pleasure of the humans who come to see them, oblivious of what they are enduring?

Last but not least, your Holiness, please speak out against hunting. How can people such as you who are representative for the sanctity of Life — condone the killing of benign and innocent deer, or of noble and immensely intelligent creatures such as elephants?

Francis –your Holiness – I beseech you, and appeal to you — to become a standard bearer for life! Don’t you think that is what the enlightened being whose name you revere — Jesus — would want you to become? Not just a sacred representative of humans, but of the creatures who walk and share this Earth with us?

Ah — it’s a beautiful day today, is it not Francis? Can’t you feel the great trees on this glorious path we walk energetically embracing us? And do you hear the birds singing their hearts out to us, in celebration of our unity with them and all life? Almost as if the Spirit of God embraces us?

“Yes, I can Michael. Yes I can.”

___________________

Mike Schwager is a speech writer, media coach and publicist (www.mediamavens (dot) com, and www.TVtraining (dot) tv). He is also host of The Enrichment Hour on WSRadio (dot) com, and editor of the spiritual blog, www.EnrichOurWorld (dot) net. E-mail: moschwager@aol.com.

Enrichment Hour To Re-Run Interview with Film-Maker James LaVeck

BACK BY POPULAR REQUEST:

“THE ENRICHMENT HOUR” WILL RE-RUN INTERVIEW WITH AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY FILM MAKER, JAMES LAVECK, THIS EASTER SUNDAY, APRIL 20th FROM 1-2 PM EASTERN (10-11 AM PACIFIC; 11-12 PM MOUNTAIN, 12-1 PM CENTRAL).

The Enrichment Hour airs every Sunday from 1 to 2 PM Eastern, 10 to 11 AM Pacific, and time zones in between at: www.WSRadio.com, click on STUDIO/B Live. It is also archived and can be retrieved on Tuesdays at WSRadio.com – then click on Lifestyles in right column, and scroll down to “The Enrichment Hour with Mike Schwager”.

James’ website at Tribe of Heart Productions is: www.tribeofheart.org.

James’s mission in his films is to awaken compassion and deepen each individual’s understanding of the interconnectedness of all life. His vision, and the vision of his significant other, Jenny Stein, is to help build a world free of violence and full of beauty.

Tribe of Heart is also a charitable organization that empowers caring people everywhere to become agents of peaceful social change. Its members consist of a global community of people from all walks of life, dedicated to living with kindness and respect for all living beings.

One of the hugely impactful documentary films produced and directed by James are “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home.” With strikingly honest interviews and rare footage demonstrating the emotional lives and intense family bonds of animals most often viewed as living commodities, this groundbreaking documentary shatters stereotypical notions of farmers, farm life, and perhaps most surprisingly, farm animals themselves.

Another award-winning documentary film, The Witness, tells the story of a construction contractor from a tough Brooklyn neighborhood become an impassioned animal advocate. Eddie Lama explains how he feared and avoided animals for most of his life, until the love of a kitten opened his heart, inspiring him to rescue abandoned animals and bring his message of compassion to the streets of New York. With humor and sincerity, Eddie tells the story of his remarkable change in consciousness.

The Witness has been an official selection in 32 film festivals where it has received eight awards for Best Documentary and two for Best of Festival.

Film Documentarian James LaVeck on Enrichment Hour

by Mike Schwager
My special one-hour guest on The Enrichment Hour this Sunday, April 13th is award-winning documentary film producer James LaVeck of Tribe of Heart Productions (www.tribeofheart.org).  Showtime is from 1 to 2 PM Eastern, 10 to 11 AM Pacific, 12 to 1 PM Central, and 11 AM to 12 Noon Mountain.
 
James’s mission in his films is to awaken compassion and deepen each individual’s understanding of the interconnectedness of all life. His vision, and the vision of his significant other, Jenny Stein, is to help build a world free of violence and full of beauty.
 
Tribe of Heart is also a charitable organization that empowers caring people everywhere to become agents of peaceful social change. Its members consist of a global community of people from all walks of life, dedicated to living with kindness and respect for all living beings.
 
One of the hugely impactful documentary films produced and directed by James are “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home.” With strikingly honest interviews and rare footage demonstrating the emotional lives and intense family bonds of animals most often viewed as living commodities, this groundbreaking documentary shatters stereotypical notions of farmers, farm life, and perhaps most surprisingly, farm animals themselves.
Another award-winning documentary film, The Witness, tells the story of a construction contractor from a tough Brooklyn neighborhood become an impassioned animal advocate. Eddie Lama explains how he feared and avoided animals for most of his life, until the love of a kitten opened his heart, inspiring him to rescue abandoned animals and bring his message of compassion to the streets of New York. With humor and sincerity, Eddie tells the story of his remarkable change in consciousness.
 
The Witness has been an official selection in 32 film festivals where it has received eight awards for Best Documentary and two for Best of Festival.
 
The Enrichment Hour airs every Sunday from 1 to 2 PM Eastern, 10 to 11 AM Pacific, and time zones in between at: www.WSRadio.com, click on STUDIO/B Live. It can also be accessed via www.SedonaTalkRadio.com/the-enrichment-hour.
The Enrichment Hour is archived and can be retrieved starting Tuesdays at WSRadio.com – then click on “Lifestyles” in right column, and scroll down to “The Enrichment Hour with Mike Schwager”.  

The Enrichment Hour for Sunday, April 6th

My guests on The Enrichment Hour for Sunday, April 6, from 1-2 PM Eastern (on www.WSRadio.com) are:  in the first half hour, spiritual teacher David Fishman, a leading teacher of A Course In Miracles for over 30 years. He has used its principles of spiritual psychology as a basis for relationship counseling. David is the author of The Open Mind: Loving Your Self; and Into Oneness: Thoughts and Prayers on the Way. David moderates A Course In Miracles meetings on the Internet and maintains a website – One Mind Foundation – and radio station ACIM Radio – at www.OneMindFdn.org. Since 1998 he was the Chair of the Human Rights Commission of Yonkers and also served as Commissioner.  David is co-founder of ONEMIND Foundation, sponsor of ACIM Gather, a worldwide portal for developing trust in our True Self; and Open Minds for ACIM & NTI, a very active page on Facebook and a forum for members to share their insights and blessings. ACIM Gather has become Awakening-Together.org, where David is presently Vice President of the Board of Trustees.
In the second half hour, my guests are Jan Fredericks, founder and president of God’s Creatures Ministry, and her colleague, Board Member Mary Sepede. God’s Creatures Ministry advances compassion and support for all our animal friends, who like us are members of God’s Kingdom. They oppose cruelty to animals, whether the mistreated animals on factory farms, or at animal shelters. They sponsor various programs, including various vet/medical funding programs.  God’s Creatures Ministry website is at: http://www.all-creatures.org/gcm/.

The Enrichment Hour can be heard on Sundays, from 1-2 PM Eastern, live at: www.WSRadio.com, click on STUDIO B/Live. Starting Tuesday, it can be accessed from archives (www.WSRadio.com), click on “Lifestyles” in right column, then scroll down to The Enrichment Hour with Mike Schwager.

“The Enrichment Hour” for Sunday, March 30th on WSRadio.com

Today on THE ENRICHMENT HOUR, on www.WSRadio.com (click on STUDIO B/Live) from 1-2 PM Eastern (10-11 AM Pacific) my guests are:

In the first half hour, HALL OF FAME Entrepreneur JACK NADEL, author of the award-winning “The Evolution of an Entrepreneur: Featuring 50 of My Best Tips for Surviving and Thriving in Business.” Jack and I will discuss the employment and underemployment crisis in America, and the solution that lies in starting one’s own business. Jack now has an offering on his website (www.JackNadel dot com) to secure his eBook and new inspirational streaming video within seconds – a Direct Author-to-Consumer campaign, with information that can empower you to turn your life around.

In the second half hour, animal advocate and motivational speaker JOE DWYER will be with us. Joe, known for rescuing DANIEL THE DOG, who survived a horrific gas chamber attempted execution, has been a change agent for outlawing the gassing of animals in Pennsylvania – and is now working with lobbyist Maurice Aguirre of the DG Group in Washington to create legislation that will outlaw gassing throughout the nation. Daniel’s Facebook page: DanielTheBeagleDwyer. His website:www.DanielTheBeagle.com. Joe’s motivational website:www.JoeDwyerSpeaking.com. Joe is also the author of “Shelby’s Grace” – the story of Shelby the pitbull, who was rescued from abuse as a baitdog, and is now a therapy dog who travels to schools as Joe talks about a burgeoning national problem: bullying. Joe is also a board member with www.ChristianMinistry.org, a dedicated group of Christians who are compassionate towards animals.

Father Frank Mann on Discovering Compassion for Animals

Father Frank Mann, a Roman Catholic priest in Queens, New York City, talks about reverence for animal life and his discovery of animals’ intelligence and feelings, and that they are deserving of kindness and compassion.  Through this discovery, Father Mann has come closer to understanding his mission in life:  that through kindness to animals, humans can gain a depth of soul enabling them to be kinder to ALL life – and building a kinder world.

The priest is, on a personal level, trying to keep his beloved cat Newman alive. Newman, who was the first animal to open the Father’s heart about the preciousness of animal life, has chronic medical problems and needs regular veterinary care. Father has a webpage where donations can be made to meet his beloved Newman’s medical expenses: www.GoFundMe.com/7kvers

As a priest, Father has taken a vow of poverty, and therefore your donation will help him keep his beloved pet alive.  He does so much for others.  Perhaps you will consider a donation to  Father Frank.  Thank you!

New Biz Empowerment & A Priest Loves Animals

My first guest in the first half hour of “The Enrichment Hour” tomorrow, Sunday, March 23rd (1:00 to 1:30 PM Eastern, 10 to 10:30 AM Pacific) is Hall of Fame entrepreneur, Jack Nadel, author of the award-winning book The Evolution of an Entrepreneur: Featuring 50 of My Best Tips for Surviving and Thriving in Business, and creator of the inspirational new video, How To Succeed In Business. Jack and I will talk about his ultimate crash course for entrepreneurs, making both eBook and video available for a low price ($5.99) in a direct author-to-consumer offering – for instant reading and viewing on all computers and mobile devices.
 
Jack urges Americans to reboot to new business creation and self-empowerment. His mission is to make his insights available at an affordable price for millions of Americans whose income falls short of their expenses.He strongly maintains that entrepreneurship is an important key for economic turnaround, and will provide relief to the Middle Class, long-term unemployed, underemployed, veterans, Millennials and new college graduates.
 
                                                                 ————-
My guest in the second half hour of “The Enrichment Hour” (1:30 to 2 PM Eastern, 10:30 to 11 AM Pacific) is Father Frank Mann, a Roman Catholic priest from Queens, New York. He has served as a parish priest and as the Catholic chaplain at Brooklyn College, and is presently a feature writer for The Tablet, a major Catholic newspaper in New York. Father Mann also works for DeSales Media, for which he creates and organizes educational forums on topics ranging from human rights issues to spiritually influential individuals. He is the recipient of a 2010 Catholic Press Award for his article on the significance of pet therapy in hospitals and nursing homes.
  
Father Mann had a major internal transformation in his view of animals, including farm animals, while driving on the Long Island Expressway and spotting a billboard, which had been created by Mercy for Animals. It was a picture of a dog, a little puppy, and a piglet, and it said, “Why love one, but eat the other?” The impact of this billboard sign was huge for Father Mann. He had to turn off the expressway to reach a service road, where he turned off the ignition and contemplated the meaning of the sign. As he sat in his car, he felt completely emotionally overwhelmed by what he had seen, and cried.
 
It was shortly after this, and after research on the intelligence and kindness of pigs, and how they were severely treated and slaughtered, as nothing more than meat for the table, that he became a vegan and a powerful advocate of compassion for animals – all animals – as the expression of God’s love for His Creation.
 
Father Mann stands out as a voice too often missing in the official utterances of the Church, or most other religious institutions. But he points to the compassion of great Church figures like Saint Francis of Assissi as role models that need great emphasis. Father is featured in a You-Tube produced by www.TribeofHeart.org: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ekOPyXGs3Q
 
The priest is also, on a personal level, trying to keep his beloved cat Newman alive. Newman, who was the first animal to open the Father’s heart about the preciousness of animal life, has chronic medical problems and needs regular veterinary care. Father has a webpage where donations can be made to meet his beloved Newman’s medical expenses: www.GoFundMe.com/7kvers. Your help will be so very much appreciated! Priests are on a vow of poverty and consequently this makes keeping Newman regularly treated, so very challenging. Thank you for considering a donation to the Father and to his beloved Newman!
 
The Enrichment Hour can be heard live on www.WSRadio.com – click on STUDIO B/Live. After Tuesday, it can be found archived by going to right column, click on “Lifestyles” and scrolling down to “The Enrichment Hour with Mike Schwager”.

Rabbi Yonassan Gershom on Reverence for ALL Life

The Pig Farmer: A Story of Transformation

By John Robbins

[EnrichOurWorld editor’s note:  John Robbins, author of the international bestseller DIET FOR A NEW AMERICA, FOOD REVOLUTION, THE AWAKENED HEART, RECLAIMING OUR HEALTH and other books, is a powerful spokesperson in the world for a sane, ethical and sustainable future.  This story, which depicts the unbearably cruel treatment of pigs in a slaughterhouse, ends in a note of hope and transformation.  Those of you who read this, and who eat pork products – please understand this treatment occurs every day across our country, 24/7, 365 days a year.  If  you are touched by this story, you may consider refraining from buying and eating pork – and beyond that, consider a change of lifestyle, to vegetarianism or veganism.  Of course, it’s up to you. Please open your heart.]

One day in Iowa I met a particular gentleman—and I use that term, gentleman, frankly, only because I am trying to be polite, for that is certainly not how I saw him at the time. He owned and ran what he called a “pork production facility.” I, on the other hand, would have called it a pig Auschwitz.

The conditions were brutal. The pigs were confined in cages that were barely larger than their own bodies, with the cages stacked on top of each other in tiers, three high. The sides and the bottoms of the cages were steel slats, so that excrement from the animals in the upper and middle tiers dropped through the slats on to the animals below.

The aforementioned owner of this nightmare weighed, I am sure, at least 240 pounds, but what was even more impressive about his appearance was that he seemed to be made out of concrete. His movements had all the fluidity and grace of a brick wall.

What made him even less appealing was that his language seemed to consist mainly of grunts, many of which sounded alike to me, and none of which were particularly pleasant to hear. Seeing how rigid he was and sensing the overall quality of his presence, I—rather brilliantly, I thought—concluded that his difficulties had not arisen merely because he hadn’t had time, that particular morning, to finish his entire daily yoga routine.

But I wasn’t about to divulge my opinions of him or his operation, for I was undercover, visiting slaughterhouses and feedlots to learn what I could about modern meat production. There were no bumper stickers on my car, and my clothes and hairstyle were carefully chosen to give no indication that I might have philosophical leanings other than those that were common in the area. I told the farmer matter of factly that I was a researcher writing about animal agriculture, and asked if he’d mind speaking with me for a few minutes so that I might have the benefit of his knowledge. In response, he grunted a few words that I could not decipher, but that I gathered meant I could ask him questions and he would show me around. (more…)

Animal Advocate Gary Yourefsky in Eloquent Plea for Kindness to Animals

[EnrichOurWorld editor’s note:  This remarkable YouTube features animal activist Gary Yourevsky, in an eloquent plea for kindness to animals, and an end to meat eating.  Gary is a Vegan.  The presentation begins with an animation which seems at first a fun cartoon – though one quickly realizes it is a very serious message depicting man’s inhumanity to animals.  Gary then proceeds to present his case – and one is struck with his powerful oration.  Gary speaks to groups all over the world – and this appearance is from Jerusalem.  Though he appears in casual clothing, Gary Yourevsky is considered by many one of the greatest living speakers of all time.  His message is worth your consideration – and EnrichOurWorld embraces his message of kindness to animals, an important indicator of our kindness to ALL life – including our kindness to our fellow humans.]

 

 

 

DOLPHINS GRANTED PERSONHOOD BY GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

By Mike Adams, Editor, Natural News 

[EnrichOurWorld Editor’s note:  I believe this is an important story, not only because it speaks to the high intelligence of dolphins, but because it calls for a respect and appreciation for this “other” species that has heretofore been reserved for humans.  But beyond this, it raises our awareness that “consciousness” and “intelligence” is a universal phenomenon here on Earth (and likely elsewhere or everywhere within the Universe) and is inherent in varying capacities within all Life.  And the consequence of this extraordinary information?  It raises our own awareness and consciousness…and connectedness.]

Dolphins have been granted “non-human personhood” status by the government of India, making India the first nation in the world to recognize the unique intelligence and self-awareness of the cetacean order (a class of aquatic mammals).

The decision was announced by India’s Minister of the Environment and Forests which also outlawed captive dolphin shows. The ministry added that dolphins “should have their own specific rights.”

Dolphins are extremely intelligent mammals with a highly-developed social structure. Recent research shows that dolphins call each other by name and can remember the unique name whistles from old “friends” heard just one time 20 years ago.

Dolphins choose their own unique name — a series of complex whistles — before they reach one year of age. From that point forward, all the other dolphins in their social group call them by that unique name.

Dolphins use highly-complex grammatical communications

Previous research has shown that dolphins have human-like self awareness and engage in highly complex communications with other dolphins using grammatical sentence structure. Yes, dolphins have their own complete language, much like humans. (more…)

HONORING ALL LIFE THROUGH A REVOLUTION OF THE HEART

By Mike Schwager

[Editor’s note:  a version of this article was also published in The Huffington Post].

EnrichOurWorld is a blog dedicated to Life and the sanctity of Life.  While it’s my desire to keep the news and commentaries here positive and hopeful, sometimes one needs to address violations of Life which if unaddressed, signal a tacit endorsement of the abuse and cruelty inflicted upon living beings.  And history teaches us time and time again that silence condones horrific actions.

The chemical genocide committed against Syrian children is one recent example; and it was utterly necessary to expose this atrocity, condemn it and take the violators to task.  It’s unclear whether the latter has yet occurred.

The holocausts in the 20th Century against Jews, Cambodians and Rwandans – in the millions – were exposed, but too little too late.  The world did not reel against such catastrophic actions in time to save lives. Those stains will never be stamped out of history – and if there is such a thing as redemption to such acts, it is in ensuring that they NEVER occur again!  But that requires the need to keep our sensitivities and antennas high; and our Hearts wide open.

And as we approach the one year anniversary of the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre of innocent children, we have made little progress in protecting our schools from this kind of tragedy; and we have made virtually no progress in the modification of our gun laws and gun screening procedures.  This can and must change, if willing hearts, irrespective of their side of the gun issue, move to act.   Congress – and in particular the Republican majority in the House (who have children and grandchildren too) must be courageous and support our children!

It is not only human life that must be protected and safeguarded from cruelty and abuse.  It is animal life – indeed, it is Life across the board.

When do we as humans get that ALL life is sacred?  All life is intelligent.  All life is feeling. All sentient lives are members of the Family of Life – all beings are intricate vital parts of the Web of Life.  All Life is a manifestation of Creation. All Life is ONE.

Today, two photos circulated on Facebook that brought tears and sadness to my eyes.  The first was a picture of a tender little baby doe lying alongside the body of her just hunted-down mother.  The second was of a wealthy family posing in front of a dead elephant they had just shot on safari in Africa.  They were laughing and smiling behind their “trophy”. 

These images are true.  They are evidences of the capacity of people to treat animals with contempt and cruelty – and what is worse, having fun in the process.  Both images speak to the cruelty of hunting for fun.  An abomination in the extreme.

Then there are images that few of us want to see.  One is a photo I recently saw of little lambs, marked on their bodies for slaughter, desperately trying to climb over a fence separating them from their mothers, who in turn are clamoring to reunite with their babies, with futility.

And there is the image of a little calf, walking live over churning blades cutting off its hooves, prior to execution.  As gruesome an image as I’ve ever seen.  Or the image of a pig, its side pierced and in utter agony, lying on its belly, trying vainly to stand up, and crying bitterly as it gets carried away to slaughter on a conveyor belt.

When I go to supermarket, and see the outcomes of these violations of Life, wrapped in  packages in the meat section, I wonder how many of the consumers of those animals comprehend the pain and agony those animals endured to wind up on their dining room tables?

How many of those consumers understand the PAIN they are ingesting into THEIR systems?  And how many of us get the relationship between that pain and the pain we as humans have the capacity to inflict on the world – towards other humans and towards animals?

And it’s not just farm animals, as cruel and tragic as are their fates.  There are also the shelter animals, the wonderful unconditionally loving and intelligent dogs and cats who add so much meaning to our lives in so many homes.  Millions of them – many of them healthy and adoptable – are killed each year in the so-called shelters across America.  Murdered may be a better word.  This is a tragedy of epic proportions.  So many of these wonderful creatures’ lives can be saved, with better leadership committed to no-kill, and more creative and intense marketing communications reaching the communities in which they’re sheltered.

Yet another tragedy we inflict upon animals is the trapping of the great “killer” whales and dolphins – highly intelligent beings – brought against their wills to places like Sea World – for the entertainment of humans – and confined into small spaces that suppress their natural energies and need for freedom of movement, causing them great psychological suffering and harm.  This has to stop!

There needs to be a Revolution in this country and around the world.  A Revolution of the Heart, bursting out of our own awareness and consciousness, that reveals to us the preciousness of life – ALL life – human and animal. That invokes the Love that does reside within our Hearts and emanates from our Creator. 

Without this sensitivity and love, our future is bleak.  But with a heightened commitment to the love of Life, there is hope for humanity and the world.  There is redemption. 

LET’S SAVE OUR BEST FRIENDS

By Mike Schwager

I once rescued a little dog I named Harry, an older yorkie, from a county animal shelter here in South Florida. Harry was blind in one eye, and had a cataract in his other eye. He had kennel cough, and pneumonia. I could not bare to see him squeezed into a small cage. My heart just lept out for him. So I brought him home — home with Chickie, my chihuahua/pug mix who I rescued from that same shelter several years earlier; and two rescued cats, Crystal and Mitzvah.

I immediately took Harry to the vet where he received a shot and some meds better than the questionable meds he was receiving at animal control. When I brought him home, Harry revealed a very great intelligence and in spite of how sick he was, he immediately began to snoop around the house, curious about everything. But more, he sensed he was in a home, and he showed his perkiness and happiness to be “home”. (more…)

On Guardians of Being

A Celebration of the Gift of Our Companion Animals

By Patrick McDonnell

 “Everything natural, every flower or tree, and every animal have important lessons to teach us…”  – Eckhart Tolle

Guardians of Being (words by Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now and A New Earth and art by Patrick McDonnell, creator of MUTTS) celebrates the reason we love our companion animals.  It illuminates for us their divine purpose.  While we are lost in our thoughts and busyness of everyday life, they have become our guardians of being.  They can bring us into the present moment and reconnect us to the one source of all life.   guardiansofbeing

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