|Pippin, looking somewhat pensive.|
|Pippin in morning sunshine.|
Pippin was reported to have lived his whole life in a small hutch with a wire floor located in a backyard. As a result (we think) his right rear paw is not fully functional and he holds it out to the side somewhat stiffly when he hops or walks. Wire is not a natural or acceptable flooring for a bunny, a human, a chicken or...any living being that I can think of. When you consider anything but temporary and brief use of "wire flooring", associate that lengthy usage with perpetual low-grade torture and systematic abuse.
One of the perks of encountering rescued animals is getting to know them. (One of the pains of encountering rescue animals is hearing their stories.) When Pippin first came he was sort of shy but after a few days of having regular outside time along with lots of attention he began to move into being the easy going, laid-back sort of bunny that may be his core self.
We try to get him as much outside time as possible and recently he has taken to always finding a patch of dirt and stretching himself out and staying stretched out on the dirt for most of his outside time.
|Pippin napping in small indentation in the dirt.|
|Pippin in the 'red dirt'.|
Watching Pippin, watching the lion is a horrifying reminder of the casual and not so casual cruelty we inflict on our fellow living beings. This planet belongs to them too. They have come into being by the same processes and dynamics that brought human animals into being.
They have just as much right to this planet as we do, yet we confine them, manipulate their breeding and reproduction, deprive them of their birthright...this planet...the earth, the sky, the wind, the rain, the plants, the rocks...all of it is theirs too. They are children of Earth just as we are yet we behave as if they are simply here for our pleasure, our whim, our use.
When I think of this, when I see the joy of that lion, when I see Pippin laying in contentment on his planet I am almost paralyzed with horror and shame at how my fellow humans act. Could we be this way, act this way toward others without there being some terribly important element missing in our make up? Could we act this way if we weren't terribly damaged somehow? I have to not dwell on this too much lest my head explode. It is all too much to comprehend, to take in, to wrap my mind and feelings around. Even if I think of it a little it makes it hard for me to look at other people, hard to talk to them...especially if they aren't living as a vegan. It is very difficult.
We've structured our culture, most cultures, to where dishing out cruelty and suffering is the default position. If you go with the flow, if you act "normal"...then you are inflicting deprivation, cruelty, suffering, pain and death on billions and billions of living beings.
Just think of it, to be normal is to be monstrous...to be kind or uncruel...is to be "different" or "weird" or "radical". To refuse to use, exploit or harm other living beings makes you "strange".
There is a major derangement impacting this planet and all the living beings on it, and I do not think it is centered anywhere but in our own species.
Pippin is very polite when he is carried from his inside enclosure or anywhere, he rides along looking interestedly at the sights (which look peculiar I imagine, to a bunny used to being at ground level all the time) and calmly puts up with the giant clumsy humans. He has slowly come to accept petting and stroking and always gives polite and enthusiastic teeth purring when he gets a cheek massage. Pippin accepts, endures and maybe even forgives.
I have a much more difficult time with accepting and forgiving...so Pippin the zenmaster still has much to teach me.