Monday, May 20, 2013

A Dose of Reality, In the Bubble

     I have been in a vegan bubble for over five weeks now with the occasional non-vegan visitor. While a bubble can be a utopia and possibly uneventful, it can also provide learning opportunities.  My bubble experience thus far has been eye opening and a great dose of reality. I have learned more than I could have imagined and found questions, that I may not have the answers to just yet.  And while I came here to gain experience and a comfort level with animal care, so much more of what I have gained has been life lessons. My hope is  that I can remember to live them out often without needing much of a nudge.
     Envisioning my own sanctuary, I hadn't given much consideration to the number of lives that would end in our care, and how I might handle it. I am more in touch with this reality, as it is very much a part of  rescuing and rehabilitating farmed animals. Animal who have been genetically manipulated to be a producing "machine".

   During my first week I experienced the deaths of several animals and since then there have been a few more. Two of which, I had the honor of being with during their last breathes, Pansy and Mars, whom both  ultimately died of heart attacks. Witnessing another being gasping for air shakes you to the core. I have been with humans and animals as they grasped for their last breath... and it is no different. Both want to survive, both keep fighting. I am now more keenly aware of the calling to be present to those that may have died alone, without a name, any kindness, peace or love. And understand that that is a part of "sanctuary" too.
    As many times as we are reminded of life's impermanence, we still tend to get caught in the idea that there will be a tomorrow. I have learned, being here, that each day is different and each day is precious. But haven't we all had experiences that have taught us this lesson? Over and over again.   I noticed myself getting caught up in "working" after a few weeks, once I had more of a routine. I have made a conscious effort these past few weeks, to pay attention. To consciously stop throughout my day and take-in the sounds of pigs anticipating their meal, of the sheep stomping their feet inviting play with one another, of the cows mooing in demand of a treat....... one of us may not be here tomorrow. This is the reality,even in the bubble.