It struck me recently, in all these years of wondering why people seemed not to understand what I was rambling on about with the environment, that perhaps my musings are not personal enough to understand? Too, “over there” to grasp?
So rather than bombard anyone with feeling bad about what one may not be doing, let’s focus on things we truly love!
I have a wonderful old dog, Violet. In fact she is almost 17 now and she is a hoot of a fluff ball, amusing me and loving me and the family, chillaxing and enthusing in equal measure about simple things that never alter.
I have lived with pets all my life not giving them much thought I guess much as we all do about people in our lives until they are gone. We simply accept and love in the moment Im not one to put too much attention on it but care for her like anyone in my immediate family.
I recently watched a friend have her beloved pet die of a most peculiar cancer at the early age of 5 ( only 35 in dog years) when surely such a vital, enthusiastic creature in her prime would live much longer? So I began to think about what I considered the rather unusual behaviour I was observing in my young women friends as they approached… well lets call it the ‘biological baby bump’ in the career that might get substituted with an adorable fur baby. Now I am not one to make any comment on parenting any more than how one treats their pet in general but ‘crushing’ them with love, in my opinion not theirs, well that is simply between them!
Animals are a sponge for emotions and continue to love without criticism soaking up the daily anxiety we humans might generate with no more thought to their selfless giving to you than a breeze has to a flower it passes by.
But it does affect them, even if there is no self awareness on their part - any more than we are aware of being stressed as it stealthily eats away at our health - the same can happen to them and shorten their life span.
So why is it doing this?
Well, basically, as with all mental health, anxiety in its physical expression is the excessive and continuous release of Adrenaline and Cortisol.
Amazing hormones! Designed to throw us into fight and flight in order to survive, it’s out of the kidneys and pumping though your body, shutting down blood that might have been all busy trying to repair sections of the body, halting digestion, or whatever you may have thought it was doing, so that all the body’s energy goes to the parts needed in the moment to escape the impending danger. But live in that flood of hormones and it literally eats us up!
SO… I know we are all well educated here, dear reader and I am probably not telling you anything you don’t already know but perhaps it s worth sparing a thought to the connection of the care needed in the life cycle of the food we eat and how it was raised as it also experiences protection mechanisms that do something similar if not exactly the same to its immune response.
And that goes for all life on earth. A beneficial microbe will quickly starve to death with out food/energy and water. Yep, even viruses need the bacteria they host on to have whatever food it survives in and even quantum microscopes are beginning to see that a thought can affect a virus in its expression in the petri dish. So all life could be said to be affected by how we treat it and each other with our thoughts (aside: did you know some deadly virus even expand and thrive on ice in our farmed fish, oh I digress), plants are weakened and emptied of nutrients without care and animals that are stressed and pumped with the same disease creating cortisol we get from too long exposure, will start to have cells degrade and diseases ignite. Often our food animals have these but are killed too young for the diseases to be visible the the eye but are manifest on a cellular level you may be eating.
So when a farmer says he uses low stress, it’s because they are on the coal face of animal health. THAT is the survival of their animals and their whole farm and family’s survival. If the animal is unhealthy through stress it causes everyone loss. I know from my pup, that it takes so very little to make her feel stressed and she really only receives love. Imagine how little it takes to stress a bird!
Much as many city people don’t realise it, farmers LOVE their animals but they express it differently. Of course not all farmers are created equal and many of them are under severe financial stress. Some 2 farmers a day suicide in Australia due to the financial threat of having to leave their land and animals as land prices continue to soar beyond the value of what the land can grow which in turn, that sadness can be passed to their animals, the land and the plants. So think a little when you shop and buy food for yourself and your animal and try to see if it is made and grown with love for it is the excessive cortisol that kills us and starts disease. You are trying to eradicate this from your own life in the food you eat and your loved ones diets’ to create healthy longevity.
Watch how your pet responds, it will amaze you. But give it a few weeks of detoxing as it is a bit of a process.
One may have learned to breath, do yoga and calm the mind but our dogs (or cats… though I am not too sure just how much they pay attention to you …but cats are wily like that) just watch you adoringly and soak up your stress without thought.
So give them the best love you can in return and feed them with love in food from a farming family that loved the creatures you feed them!
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