Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010: once in a blue moon

Once in a blue moon, we come across an opportunity to participate in a point in history that's so special, it changes who we are as individuals and as a culture. We are so very grateful to have connected with so many animals lovers in recent months as we walk into a brand new era together. Author and anthropologist Mary Elizabeth Thurston signals this new era in her musings, below. Wishing Happy New Year to all our friends and the creatures they hold dear.

The Path to a New Ethic

"History tells us that the welfare of the individual - humane or canine - is irrevocably tied to the welfare of the community. Now we have studies showing that children who care for dogs are more likely to mature into emotionally healthier adults, and that canine companionship prolongs the length and quality of life. Capable of remarkable love, the dog gives us what we crave most - a sense of belonging.

Throughout our shared history with dogs, it has been the spark of love between one person and one pet that became the catalyst for social change. That this canine "ephiphany" is now happening with increasing frequency points to a revolution in our concept of ourselves - our growing acceptance that we are part of the community of animals, not above or separate from it. With overpopulation, urbanization and habitat destruction threatening our personal links to the natural world, the role of the dog in bringing us to this new awareness cannot be trivialized.

Pet keeping is now one of the Western values being exported to cultures where animals have traditionally been viewed as consumable resources. With only the affluent in these countries able to afford keeping dogs for pleasure, pets again are becoming emblems of prestige, just as they were in nineteenth-century Europe. So we might ask, as the far reaches of the globe are transformed by a second wave of industrialization, whether the human-dog relationship in these developing nations will follow the same evolutionary pattern. Will the camera again document a canine pilgrimage from slave to soulmate as these societies grapple with concepts of self-determination and a compassionate ethic that embraces us all?" - Mary Elizabeth Thurston


Ken Foster said...

Wow. I'm stealing this!

Happy New Year!

Donna said...

Every smart dog knows how to steal. lol

Have a great night and don't forget to go out for a walk and look at that moon!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! Happy New Year! And if you hadn't seen the video yet - - Just one Dog - a wonderful Christmas Eve for an unsuspecting pit bull in Los Angeles at a high kill shelter. You'll need a tissue. The power of one can make a difference - and I am so appreciative and grateful to you and all the animal rescuers out there.

The Vegan Cookbook Review said...

Happy New year Bad Rap - thank you for all!!!!!!

Scout and Freyja said...


Here's to another year of friendship and smiles and holding up each other through the trials. Over the past year you have brought us many giggles, some laughter and always a feeling that the world is a better place because you are in it.

Anonymous said...

Where is that beautiful beach?

leigha said...

beautiful. happy new year bad rap and to all the pitties out there still waiting to be rescued. hold on babies, help is on the way.

Anonymous said...

I spent my New Year's Eve in the company of my beloved old pit bull by choice, party hats and all; I couldn't think of anyone I'd rather smooch at midnight!

I do see wonderful wave of changing attitudes building on the horizon. I hope I live long enough to see that wave turn into a world-wide tsunami that will wash away many of our mistakes. By saving our relationships with animals, we will save the humans as well. Lead on, doggies!

Here's to a beautiful 2010 for everyone and everything! :)

Anonymous said...

Ah, thanks for posting this commentary that expresses what so many of us know in our souls - the critical importance of our canine friends and that by championing those canines who are most tormented and brutalized that we are indeed fighting those parts in humankind not yet civilized in ourselves.

Happy New Year Bad Rap, thank you so much for blazing the trail!!

Lynn in N. Cal

DilonsMom said...

Happy New Year! I'm new to the blog. I'm the proud mom of a little 2yr old pittie (and his 2 brothers) and wish I was closer to CA (I'm in WI). I just watched the video of the rescued pittie having his surprise excellent Christmas. Made me cry. :-)
Thanks for this post - what a wonderful thought. And - thank you for what you do.
Sharon in WI.

Donna said...

Welcome DilonsMom. WI needs more love for the pit bulls. We're glad to know you're out there.