Am sitting in my mum’s cute maisonette as the headline “Activists Accuse Farm Club of Speciesism” leaps out of the Saturday newspaper cutting through the pulsing vocal throb of love longing and lost from the radio in the lounge and more plaintive human wailing of love loss longing and desire from the radio in the kitchen, “Senorita… I love it when you call me Senorita….” “When your body has had enough of me….” “When you are in Love with a beautiful woman….” “I’m in love with the shape of you”
Today my mum for some reason has them tuned to two different stations and the resulting cacophony has dulled my senses somewhat. Normally they are tuned to the same station and the second minute delay carries my presence on a slightly disjunct gamelan type air shimmer.
Anyways the article seems innocuous enough, and the reporting has a slight snort of the ridiculous in the manner of The Times. A private school wants 12 more Alpacas to add to their existing two that the children use to connect with and pet for 30 minutes a day. And animal activists are in outrage. Apparently.
I find myself automatically starting to google sheep, sheep shearing and wool production and am soon deep in the horrors of animal abuse and genocide. As a long term vegan I avoided all animal products for a couple of decades then the lure of charity shops, a motorbike and the desire for natural fibre dulled my sense of acuity. I love my second hand wool jumper.
The Peta site lists millions of ‘redundant’ sheep from the Australian wool “industry” exported to North Africa and the Middle East yearly. A shearling is the wool and skin of a year old just after slaughter. Animals get gashed or die of cold when sheared. Genetic engineering has created sheep with wrinkled skin yielding more fleece which traps moisture and urine, is a source of infection and discomfort and causes some of them to be eaten alive by maggots attracted to the moisture trapped in the folds. Fly blight thing is common and the barbaric practice of mulesing like wtf.
Cutting large panels of skin off the back of legs and tail areas of lambs so the new skin is scarred and smooth and not wrinkled. And not just Australia. Practices in China, Mongolia and Argentina to name a few also perpetuate large scale suffering torment and painful deaths for these fluffy friendly creatures.
I hear all their cries, deafening in their absence. And not just the millions of sheep. But the cows, the dairy cows, the pigs the chickens, the hens the turkeys, the millions of laboratory animals. All the animals co-opted through force into the mass scale industrial capitalist military pharma complex means of production. And it is not just these animals (and there are too many others I could mention). There are the Earth defenders, indigenous communities of humans, who understand and live through hearing the rich fabric of the earth weave, being targeted and murdered in increasing numbers for trying to prevent forests being felled and land being cleared and dams being built to line the pockets of a few rich individuals from other countries. And my heart weeps.
I hear all these cries deafening in their absence. The lacuna of our societal fabric. A constant yet hidden soundtrack that underpins our everyday lives and silently accompanies all of our daily routines. Absent to our ears that are regularly numbed/desensitised by human chirpings of the psycho emotional pain of love and loss. The unremitting sound of wailing human suffering, colonizing the airwaves, of love desire and lust seems obscene.
And I ask where is the love?
Now I am not writing this to make you feel guilty or shamed. We all do the best we can. That is not my intention. I am writing this because it hits me once again how much the soundwaves/ airwaves are yes there is that word again, colonised by a particular type of commercially produced slightly anodyne human made music, increasingly so on a global scale. In fact how our brains are also colonised. The residual earworms ensuring that even when the radio/ computer/you tube/spotify etc is finished we still have the tracks of love and its laments of loss, desire and lust running in our heads. Drowning out the birds, the leaves of trees, the drizzle of rain, the quiet munch of slugs. A constant human feedback loop of human drama distracting us from suffering we inflict on all beings and exact upon the world by our post-industrial lifestyle needs.
That surely is more speciesist?
Later back at home in London I go to the little hammock at the back of my garden and lie under the plum tree and the city moonlight, filling my ears with the sounds of the trees rustling, the snails and slugs climbing heights up rose bushes and elder trees, a fox or a cat passing through the secret passages in the undergrowth and fences, and yes interspersed with the city sounds of a helicopter or a police siren.
I reflect in the rich non silent silence that our ears are gifts and allow us access to other worlds. They can provide us with a direct line to the heart, and ignite our connection, understanding and compassion to non-human beings that we share this world with. To take time to nourish ourselves with the sounds of nature is time proven medicine. An antidote to the tyranny of visual consumption and assumption. The destruction of the natural world is the work of a human mind-set that has numbed itself to the sounds of others, both their pain and their therapeutic medicinal beauty.
So dear reader, do yourself and the world a favour, tune in, or remember to tune in more! Tune in to it all, invite your ears to become alive, alive to the pain and suffering, and the pleasure and beauty. And start the small steps to rehabilitation from the speciesist mind-set that annihilates all others for its own growth.
And maybe in the same way, there is an analogy to be made about cancer cells as they can be seen to reflect this most human appetite of destroying what is around them for their own means. Mirroring colonizing behaviour and control/exploitation of resources. Cancer cells are notoriously selfish and immature ignoring the greater good for their own needs.
Maybe cancer is just one more message that we as a human race need to tune in and wake up. What we create on the outside also is mirrored on the inside. How can it not be? If this is so then a message of dropping deep and listening to a vibrant song of strong positive unified health for the planet and our bodies is the same – building solidarity, connection and alliances, and decentring, thus making smaller and less relevant the selfish destructive aspect of humanity mirrored in cancer cells.
Before I finish this seemingly lengthy blog I would like to offer you these words as song of hope. Use cells or people, whichever one works for you at this time.
All the cells in my body/people on the planet are listening now to the united call for health. My healthy cells respond to the call, strengthen, form alliances and work together to create radiant unity. My body now hears its song of connection, and more and more cells and units and systems respond to work together and create a vibrant, rich ecosystem of beautiful health, decentring, replacing and finally making redundant the cancer cells/ parasitic capitalist white supremacists in my body/on this earth. Who now just slough off harmlessly, either choosing to collapse and be recycled into healthy cells or be absorbed by my healthy cells/get on board and join in the vibrant eco minded planetary health honouring creation. This is action borne from love and this is happening NOW.
Is anyone hearing it yet?
Love, strength and empowerment for all
PS: Note ….my mum is not normally a Times reader. It is a Saturday freebie from Waitrose!
PPS: Next blog will be back to familiar food musings and tips xxxx
Sheep images :