REFLECTIONS FROM THREE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS
Their Behavior Impacts Ours
The Love of Pigs - Marcia Schloss
Four years ago an encounter with four grown pigs and one little piglet changed my life. I was picking up my
20 year old daughter from The Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY after her month stay as an intern there. She asked if I wanted a tour of the rescued farm animals and animal lover that I am I said "yes please". The tour was wonderful and I met curious goats and majestic cows, adorable sheep, and all sorts of chickens and ducks but the most captivating and delightful animal was an adorable pink piglet named Kim Gordon. Kim Gordon played with us in the grass under a tree much like a puppy might, if that puppy loved to jump and frolic and rout with her nose in the grass. When she could control her exuberance and hold still long enough, she seemed to enjoy our pats. Next, my daughter suggested we feed the pigs the peanut butter sandwiches she had made. I was hesitant. Inside the barn, in a small room clustered together, were four quite large and quite strong appearing full grown pigs. She and I entered the room and each took a piece of a sandwich and held it out to one pig after another. I was amazed at how gracefully they maneuvered their massive frames around the two of us to gently take the pieces of sandwich from our fingers. Standing in the middle of this group of humble, clean and lovable animals I knew I could never eat pulled pork or a piece of bacon again. Thanks to that day and those pigs I became vegan and that has been the very best decision. Now, the way I travel through my life is more closely aligned with my love of animals.
Birds and Dogs - Hal Estry
Last evening as I was mowing the large lawn in back of the house I was visited again by the Purple Martins. First one, then two, then several until there were approximately a dozen swooping back and forth across the field. They have learned that when they hear the sound of the mower, or perhaps, the look of the tractor, I don't know which, there will be lots for them to eat, as my mowing stirs up lots of insects. Once I saw a rather larger bug flying across the field when its trajectory was intercepted by that of a Purple Martin-POOF no more bug!! They continue for a few minutes after I stop, then, perhaps realizing that the party is over, they leave. They have been doing this for the last 20+ years. I suspect that the elders teach the young ones, either directly, or by their actions, that the mower means food and so pass the information down from generation to generation. It is a joy to see them swooping about while I am mowing. They will often come within three feet of the tractor before pulling up. They never come closer, probably due to their excellent Sonar.
The smart little dog:
When our daughter lived with us, many years ago, she brought with her a Toy Collie Mix, a shelter dog. Nicky was a very smart little dog, and a good vegetarian as well. For example, when you were cutting up food for dinner, if you dropped a piece of carrot or celery, don't bother bending over to pick it up-she was on it. My story though, is about the black raspberry bush. We had a large bush of the rather large, tame, black raspberries and when we went to pick them, Nicky would, of course, come along. Whether we fed her some, or whether she simply observed us and became interested I don't remember, but soon she was picking her own. Since her 'hands' didn't work for the job she had learned to curl her lips around the berry to avoid being pricked in the mouth by the sharp spine next to the berry. After that we left the ones down near the ground for her.
Cat Friendship - Larry Kelland
A close friend of mine, Sharon, had a cat named Gal (Galabriel) who took a liking to me. She was rather gray, and striped - actually the wild type coloring. Whenever I visited, she would come over to me to be petted, actually insisting on being petted. Sharon told me Gal was only that friendly to me and not everybody. One time I was talking to Sharon on the phone, and Gal would come right up to the phone - even on the phone she recognized my voice! My friendship with Gal was a close one, for about nine years, when Gal died from kidney problems.