written by Raulla S. Mitchell
“A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘the universe.” Our task must be to widen our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Everyday we have the opportunity to celebrate the true gifts of family and friends. This holiday season, while expressing our heartfelt gratitude to our loved ones seated around our table, let’s remember to extend our genuine gratitude and love to the family of all living beings who occupy our planet, and to nature herself to whom we are inextricably connected.
Organizations, such as the Best Animal Sanctuary, ASPCA, PETA, the Animal Humane Society, Minnesota-based Howling for Wolves, and Heifer International are just a few of the wonderful organizations which help to connect animals and people, empowering individuals, families and communities to provide for their own needs and livelihoods.
Consider sharing gifts which help the lives of people and other living creatures with whom we share this planet. When we share our blessings and gifts, it is with an expression of genuine grace and beauty that we honor the spirit which bestowed these blessings and gifts upon us.
Take extra care to keep your beloved pets safe this holiday season. If it’s too cold for you outside, it’s probably too cold for your pets too. Even if they love the outdoors, make sure they don’t stay out too long or fall asleep in the snow. Ensure that they hydrate regularly and have extra food available to them, especially if you take them on long walks or a fun-filled workout at the dog park. Just like you, their winter appetites might increase as they burn more calories exercising outdoors.
If you plan to travel up north, please consider boarding your pets. Wolves are hungry too, and in northern Minnesota, they’ve been known to take domesticated dogs and cats. While I respect all creatures, and remain firmly dedicated to animal rights, including my love of wolves and ongoing support against state government reinstatement of the legalized hunting of wolves (wolves mate for life, and the livelihood and survival of the pack depends upon each family member), above all, I love my pets, and will do whatever is best for them. I know you will do the same.
Let’s make this a happy holiday season full of heart for our families, our furry friends and family members, and the wild creatures who deserve our respect and their freedom to live as nature intended.
A camera should be the only apparatus used to shoot a wild animal, and honor their beauty as a living thing.
If you have never looked at Jim Brandenburg’s Nature 365, you’re truly missing something. I promise, once you experience their exquisite beauty, you’ll want to indulge in a minute or two every morning. The videography and natural sounds of animals in nature are pure poetry that will touch your soul.