Saving the Animals.

Drawing by Yishkah.

We should love animals because we too are animals.  Living on Land for Wildlife has provided me with some important lessons about nature and the creatures that inhabit it. Animals might share our landscape, sometimes courtesy of fashion or, hopefully in loving kindness, but wild animals are entitled to their own domain and it is gradually being taken away from them.    We are losing a precious part of our worldly existence, the pleasure of seeing animals in their own environment.     In removing animal habitat, we change the landscape and invite plagues and feral species and we turn passive animals into dangerous predatory creatures.  Some years ago, I lived up in the forested mountains of a small town called Warburton.  It is a picturesque town, which is today a mecca for tourists. When I lived there it was a timber town and the ancient forests of mountain ash, streams and water falls were being decimated by the forestry industry.  One could say, okay, we need timber, our cities were built on forest timber, but this harvesting of timber that I speak of, was being shredded for woodchip and exported abroad. So much timber was taken that it sat on the docks for weeks before there were enough vessels to transport it.  Harvesting the timber in gluttonous amounts was not the only problem, it was being harvested from a water catchment area, which provided the fresh water for the City of Melbourne.  Battles over this harvesting ensued for years and they are still ongoing. Watching the logging trucks steaming through the town was difficult enough, but when the forest coup was cleared what was left in debris was set alight and burned to ashes.  This was the most painful experience of all because every small animal emerged out of its burrow frightened and confused and one had to stand helpless and watch as these creatures tried to find an escape from the smoke and flames.  There were snakes, wombats, possums, birds and more, often burned alive.   We love our pets, we fight to save them, but how much do we love and fight to save our wildlife?  It takes a mass population to hold influence over the multinational industries that destroy our lands.  Those who do protest are up against some of the most powerful corporations in the world. We are called the “greenies”, we march in protest, campaign outside public buildings, climb tall bridges to hang protest banners and the rest. We are beaten up, spat upon, kicked, hit and abused, but still we protest. I got too old to protest.  I have been protesting since the 1960s. Now I just pray and thank G-d for giving me my own small plot of land so I can have a sanctuary for some of the wildlife.  I feel truly blessed and not a day goes by when I do not feel as though I am in my own piece of Paradise and those animals, often thought to be dangerous, live with me in harmony on my land.