Copyright Jim Willis 2001
(from a book of collected essays in progress)
"My animals have taught me to not see breeding,
pedigrees, colors, physical or personality oddities. They expect to be
accepted for who they are and 'improvement' can only be accomplished
through love and encouragement.
They don't assume or anticipate. They have no sense of
elapsed time and they live for the moment. They respond to kindness and
they immediately recognize a loving spirit. They react to how they are
treated and always respond appropriately. They don't judge and they
Their communication is natural and direct, without
subterfuge or cunning, and every movement has meaning. They notice
everything and live by their senses. They don't rely on other's opinions
and they do nothing for the sake of appearances.
They respect their elders and would die for their young.
They maintain a hierarchy for survival, not for prestige or arrogance.
They are good to themselves. They own nothing, accumulate nothing, and
are rich in their simplicity. Their needs are pure sustenance, and their
love and loyalty are without restraint.
They do nothing to damage the Earth or threaten our
As an imperfect human who respects their perfection, and
that of all animals, I can only wonder if 'dominion over the Earth' was
granted to the wrong species. And I consider it the supreme human
arrogance to suggest that animals do not have souls. How can we flawed
humans claim to be the only species created 'in His image,' when by
their very nature they are surely closer to the Creator than we are?"
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