I think as we age we find that our personal bucket wishes shrink
considerbly in size. while those for the world continue to balloon.
Yes, I am one of the very lucky ones whose bucket wishes are no
longer about me with the exception of one. I hope that this year
I will finally be able to part with so many old animal right magazines,
Vegetarian Times, Reader's Digests, and Guideposts which I have kept
hoping to find someone who would want them. No luck so far.
As for my books on animals generally, I hope that my library has a
special section for them, because in my opinion, they do deserve a
special place in our libraries. A friend in Alabama asked her library
to devote an animal welfare section for books of this nature. I
have to check back with her to see if they abided by her wish.
This year my bucket wishes are for the welfare of suffering people,
animals, and concern for the environment. Wow! These concerns will
need to be adopted by millions of other people like me in order for
them to have a positive outcome. But s ince t hey are unselfish,
perhaps compassionate changes will be made this year and in the years
to come if many of us will show concern for them.
RE ANIMALS: Some good news on the animal front though there is so
much that is not. Until we dismantle the CAFOs from hell, we can
never claim to be kind and compassionate to our farm animals who
deserve so much better from us. How can we sleep at night knowing
that our animals are imprisoned in cages, crates, and stifling
factory farm enclosures? I will never understand anyone who can.
So, naturally my biggest bucket wish is for us is to DISTMANTLE
THE CAFOS and make a return to smaller farms.
I take a great deal of comfort from recently learning about the
NONHUMAN RIGHTS PROJECT. Popular Science has listed their animal
concerns #7 on their 15 most important topics for 2013. Finally,
will their efforts bring some real hope that animals generally
will be treated with more compassion, concern, and justice?
This organization founded in 2007 by attorney Steven M. Wise
includes dozens of smart, committed, and hard-working people from
many backgrounds "who have come together for one clear purpose; to
BREAK THROUGH THE LEGAL WALL that separates humans from non humans,
thereby gaining legal "personhood" for nonhuman animals beginning
with some of the most intelligent animals on earth, like chimpanzees,
elephants, and dolphins."
I can only hope and pray that their efforts will be blest and bear
fruit. Its only purpose is justice for the animals who we have
exploited for far too long.
NhRP notes that these complex individuals share many of our deep
emotions. They also live in complicated societies, use sophisticated
communication, are able to transmit their culture, and mourn the loss
of their loved ones. BUT despite these traits, they are still considered
only PROPERTY. Any thinking, compassionate person would have to agree
with their worthy premise that this must change.
THE NEW 2013 CONGRESS. Hopefully, this Congress will be an improvement
over the last "do nothing" Congress of 2012. However, with the same
House Speaker in place, one has to wonder if things will ever change.
We are saddened that he never brought to the floor in 2012 an act which
would protect our horses from cruel slaughter. Called the Horse
Protection Act, it would prevent our horses from being slaughtered for
the tables of Europe. Even as I write this, I believe our horses are
being transported to Canada or Mexico where they are cruelly slaughtered-
especially in Mexico.
We pray that 2013 will see the introduction and passage of the Horse
Slaughter Protection Act, and that finally no more of our horses
will meet a cruel death to satisfy the horse meat lust of European
SEXUAL EXPLOITATION: Not only are women often exploited in Muslim
countries - but even more disheartening is the sexual exploitation of
children. How prevalent this is, I am not sure, but one account I
recently read made me sick. You may have read it too -about a 11 year-
old Yemeni girl who was forcibly married to a fat, much older man.
She was even able to describe her horror when he forcibly penetrated
her. He was suppose to withhold sex acts with her until she was older,
but obviously could not control his sex urges. Anybody with an ounce of
compassion will feel her pain on reading this horror experienced by
such a young, innocent child. But there was a happy ending.
This spunky little girl somehow learned that she might be able to get
a divorce! I immediately thought this was an impossiblity, but with
the help of a Yemini woman lawyer, she got it! Truly a miracle for her
and one that people of compassion all over will applaud wholeheartedly.
But how many more are there like her in these Muslim countries? How
can they be helped too? Obviously, culture changes need to be made.
WORK EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN: I think most of us are terribly saddened
to learn that children are still being exploited to work in factories
for long hours - performing repititive tedious tasks for small wages.
Shame on anyone who exploits them this way and sadly, I believe a lot
of the blame often starts with American corporations who want to make
their products cheaply overseas while charging often exoribant prices
for them here in America.
WOMEN- SECOND CLASS CITIZENS: A still prevalent concern is the enslavement
and shabby treatment of women particularly in the Third World and some
Muslim countries. I find it so hard to believe that even today in these
countries some of them aren't alowed to drive automobiles. Some of them
are forced to wear burkas which cover their faces. Some of them have never
had a chance to be educated. Some of them caught in adultery are stoned to
death while the male goes unpunished. Truly a mind-boggling mistreatment
of their women.
And how can one forget the young Afghan girl who had the temerity to
say that she believed that all females should be educated. A shot to
her head was the punishment for her audacity in speaking which should
already be a universal truth. I am truly heart-broken for any female
children and women who live in these harsh circumstances. Please God,
POVERTY IN THE THIRD WORLD: There are still too many countries where hunger
and poverty is still very real. Some people and their children go to bed
hungry while we in America throw away still usuable food from our tables
and grocery stores. Some feel that sending farm animals to these countries
will make a dent in their food needs. But I and others don't feel that
this is a wise decision. We would not be doing them any favors by making
them dependent on animal flesh to assauge their hunger.
If these countries become addicted to meat as the richer countries of the
West, we will soon be witnessing ENVIRONMENTAL devastation throughout
the world. The earth cannot sustain a world-wide meat-eating populace. Too
much water and grain would be expended for this purpose. Let us instead
provide them with agricultural practices which will nourish and sustain them
well for their lifetime. We in the "rich" countries of the world should
also cut back on eating meat for the same environmental reasons.
Well, my wish bucket list is extensive. Nothing new in it, and I think
that we are all basically aware of the many problems which beset us and
the world. It is only now left for us to work on these problems as best
we can. Then certainly 2013 will be a better year for people, animals,
and the environment.