Archive for May, 2009

Protest Wild Mustang Helicopter Round-Ups.
May 19, 2009

Penned sick after capture.

Nevada, Sept., 2006 © Front Range Equine Rescue

Suffering horse after capture.

It’s a guarantee there will be times in life that circumstances out of our control leave us feeling helpless and impotent. There will be situations screaming for change that contain no easy answers. There will be the normal feeling of wanting to turn away, to close our hearts and shut our eyes because bearing witness feels too painful.  Such is the stuff life is made of, oftentimes messy and unfair, brutal, harsh, unforgiving and cold more often than it is comforting, inviting, simple or beautiful.

That’s why it’s important to do what you can, when you can, for those who are truly helpless, voiceless, and discounted — for those whose very lives balance upon the compassion and mercy of very flawed human beings.

One such example is our country’s horses — America’s wild mustangs need you desperately. Their well-being depends upon your willingness to speak out and say enough is enough. Some people don’t know it, but these horses belong to the public — they’re OUR horses. Our voices raised together can decide their fate, and they need us now more than ever.  

 Thank God it’s never too late to change the world.  

I’m sure you can understand how, just like human beings, horses crave open spaces, freedom, life’s small comforts, and the safety of their family and children. Just like we’ve built our own towns and cities, horses live in herds, well-functioning little communities, which have their own politics and systems, being intelligent, social animals, no different than human beings.   

Like us, horses avoid fearful situations, harm coming to their families, stressful living. However, unlike our own otherworldly Gods, WE are the Gods, to horses. We, as Gods, have the power to approve or deny all that is right, necessary and sacred to a wild horse’s existence and survival.

Below is an important alert from the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, concerning round-ups of wild mustangs on the range:

On Wednesday, May 20, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will conduct a public hearing to discuss the use of motorized vehicles or aircraft in the monitoring and management of wild horses and burros on public lands in Nevada.

Please contact BLM to protest the harsh practice of chasing wild horses and burros with helicopters, often over exceedingly long distances. Please also ask that what appear to be no-bid contracts to BLM’s primary round-up contractor, Catoor Livestock Roundup, Inc., totaling about 18 million dollars (our tax dollars!) since 1996, be subject to review.

BLM’s primary concern in round-up operations continues to be efficiency, to the detriment of the horses’ welfare. Instead of helicopters, urge officials to use bait trapping, a much safer and more humane method of capture. BLM has refused to use bait trapping in such instances as the 2007 Jackson Mountain round-up, when 185 horses ended up dying at the holding facility due to stressed immune systems. Demand that limits on distances over which horses may be chased be enforced, and that accountability and penalties be established for round-up contractors who violate humane handling procedures.

The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. in the Great Basin A and B conference rooms at the BLM Nevada State Office located at 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nev. To make oral or written statements to present at the hearing, contact JoLynn Worley at (775) 861-6515.

Written comments can be emailed to: nv_gathers@blm.gov or mailed to: BLM Nevada State Office, Attention: Helicopter Hearing, P.O. Box 12000, Reno, NV 89520 and must be received by Tuesday, May 19 to be considered at the hearing.

For eye-witness accounts of helicopter round-ups, please click here.

The AWHPC Team
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
www.wildhorsepreservation.org
Click here to join our email list and receive the latest updates.

Having been down with the flu, I just received this alert, but it’s not too late. Read this, and then send off your emails. Just one line asking the BLM to cease helicopter round-ups due to the stress, cruelty, injuries and fatalities they pose for wild mustangs would make a difference. Or, feel free to use my email letter below:

Dear BLM,

I’m writing to insist that you cease helicopter round-ups due to the stress and cruelty they pose for wild mustangs. Please use bait trapping, a much safer and more humane method of capture. Please enforce limits on distances over which horses may be chased.

Lastly, I insist upon accountability and that penalties be established for round-up contractors who violate humane handling procedures.

Sincerely,

Your Name Here

You can also sign the petition:

Click here: NO WILD HORSE ROUND-UPS PLEASE! – The Petition Site

What did you do to change the world, today?

Once again, here’s your chance.

Dead foal.

Nevada, Sept., 2006 © Front Range Equine Rescue

Trampled foal after capture.

Just Sheep In Wolves’ Clothing.
May 9, 2009

 “Obstacles are those frightening things we see when we take our eyes off our goals.”

Henry Ford

Being human, it’s all too easy to talk ourselves into and out of things; especially when venturing outside of our comfort zones — you know, those times we’re sure we’re delusional in lieu of inspired, scribblers instead of writers, fooling ourselves instead of honoring our proclivities as we measure success and worth in ways that turn perfectly good dreams into the playthings of children.

When we’re staring into the eyes of our dearest dreams, it’s easy to convince ourselves to give up or to run like hell in the opposite direction, a.k.a., in the direction of the safe and familiar (and adult), whether or not it makes us happy to do so. It’s safer not to put ourselves out there, not to risk failure, not to expose our soul and its multi-colored dreams, not to let ourselves believe we may have what it takes to reach our goals — because falling short could be quite a painful wake-up call, indeed.

What if we don’t make it to our chosen destination? What if Fate and Destiny conjoin in a conspiracy against us with a different outcome in mind?

At least it won’t be because we turned tail and ran. It doesn’t mean we’ll stop writing. And, as long as we keep writing, we make new hope, new possible outcomes, new destinies.

The truth is, there are many, many aspiring writers and only so many books published in a year — approximately 172,000 — and only 1000 of those books sell over 50,000 copies. (Yikes.) Looking at it that way, it sounds sort of bleak …

And yet, it sounds possible. Compared to many other things, such as a singing career (when your singing voice shatters glass), winning 186 million in the state lottery, or owning an elephant AND a zebra, it’s possible. With hard work, sacrifice, doubting moments, inspired moments; with seeing obstacles, if you have to see them, as no more than a shirt and a pair of jeans tossed over a chair; it’s just a shirt and a pair of jeans throwing a respectable shadow, not a midnight marauder waiting to pounce.

Fear is like that; it throws a shadow much larger than the concern, itself. It’s just sheep in wolves’ clothing, life’s well-meaning tests to see if we really, really want something and if we really, really mean it.

It’s the only way to weed out some writers from others as we circle 172,000 musical chairs, poised to spring when the music stops, our sparkly manuscripts hugged to our hearts.

There’s an easy way to lose that chair, and to give up your chances: by seeing those obstacles as wolves in sheep’s clothing, instead. To question yourself endlessly, doubt yourself completely, to turn perfectly good dreams into nightmares. All you’ll do is waste precious time you could be investing in writing, reading and learning craft.

All you’ll do is become your own dream-killer, before fate and destiny have a chance to take over the reins. Thinking about it that way, being an unrequited writer has much more appeal. And, riding the wild dream no matter how it turns out, whether or not it leads to publication, will result in the greatest gift of all: being true to yourself and your dreams, because, as we always hear, it’s the journey, not the destination that counts. It’s also the journey that makes for the BEST writing.

“What comes from the heart, goes to the heart.”

Beethoven

Lucky for us, we can write all about it; we can weave our fear and hope into a poignant pattern that resurrects the dreams of both writers and readers. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream, you know. Who would want it any other way?

” … To feel the width and amusement of human life: not to strain to make a pattern just yet: to be made supple, and to let the juice of usual things, talk, character, seep through me, quietly, involuntarily, before I say Stop and take out my pen.”

 Virginia Woolf

A Writer’s Diary

And so I whisper comforts to myself, as my partial in hard-copy makes its excited way to the big city, New York City, along with my hopes and dreams: at least you continue on the wild ride. At least the journey is exciting and inspired. Don’t forget; don’t forget to value that.

I won’t.

I promise.

The joy of fresh office supplies!