Wednesday, October 8, 2008

For Healthy Change, Vote with Your Dollars

Food Animal Concern Trust (FACT) is dedicated to making farms healthier and more humane places for animals to live through research, advocacy, and education. Founded in 1982 by Robert A. Brown, they rely on firsthand, on-farm research to make science-based recommendations to federal regulatory agencies and as the basis for organizing a broad public response.

I have been a supporter of FACT for many years, there is no reason other than greed and ignorance that farm animals cannot be raised humanely. Indeed, it is in the best interests of our own health that they are, and I have written about this in another article, The Dance of Life.

FACT believes that all farms should be humane and healthy places to raise animals. In support of those aims, and others in the Animal Rights links in my Resources section of my website, I wanted to share their vision from a recent FACT newsletter:

"Scott and Roxanne Bok, FACT supporters since 1995, are a positive example of what is possible. They operate Twin Lakes Farm, a small, humane and sustainable farm in northwest Connecticut that supplies grass fed beef, free range eggs and fresh produce to their restaurant a few miles down the road. The Bok's, with the help of two young, third generation farmers, are giving dozens of cows and chickens a better life. They are also improving environmental health, protecting green space, and contributing to their local economy.

"In this time of industrial-scale, confinement agriculture, Twin Lakes Farm illustrates a healthy and humane way of raising animals. The laying hens roam freely on a grassy meadow and can retreat to an enclosed house during inclement weather. The beef cattle have access to pasture year-round, as well as a state-of-the-art barn that is equipped with a sand floor for cooling and fly control. The barn is also outfitted with a large brush wheel the cows use for scratching. Currently the herd consists of 75 adult cows and 12 calves, all experiencing a happy and social life on the pastures at Twin Lakes. They are curious animals and creatures of habit. The cows can be heard bellowing to each other, perhaps signaling that it is time to go out to graze on the pasture or return to the barn, a routine that happens four to five times per day. It is not uncommon to see the calves playing together with one adult cow watching over the group, and image that reveals and innate awareness and distinct personalities these animals possess."

This is how farm animals should live; laying hens should not be confined to cages so small that they cannot even stand up. Farm animals should not live in such appalling conditions that they must be continually fed antibiotics to keep them healthy, and that are then passed along to us.

So, what can you do? Vote with your dollars, one of the most persuasive arguments in a supply and demand economy such as ours, and support local, organic farmers. As more of us make caring and healthy choices we can change the marketplace and educate others.

Labels can be deceiving, the word organic can be used very loosely, and cage free does not mean free range, so educate yourself by shopping at someplace like PCC Natural Markets. PCC is a certified organic grocery store and co-op, located in Seattle that specializes in natural food, organic produce, and naturally raised meats. They go the extra mile and research every item that they carry. You can find a link to their list of PCC-approved ingredients in my Nutrition Resources section under Human Nutrition.

And make a donation to FACT, so that they can continue to create positive change for farm animals.

Rose De Dan
Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC
Animal and Reiki Art:

Voter Guide for the Environment ELECTION '08

Where Does YOUR Congressman Stand?

In addition to working towards personal solutions, we should all hold our elected officials accountable to offering Americans the policy solutions that will help to protect wildlife for their sake and our children's future. allows you to put the Congressional candidates from your district side by side and compare their answers to some of the most pressing questions for America's conservationists. So before you make your way to the voting booth next month...

Please take a few minutes to find out where your candidates stand on some of the most important issues for the future of wildlife. Visit the CandidAnswers website, where you can join others in asking your candidates for Congress where they stand on pressing environmental issues.

Special Report: The Presidential Candidates on Environmental Issues

Senators John McCain and Barack Obama state their positions on some of the key conservation and environmental issues facing the United States today. In this Special Report, National Wildlife Federation offered both the opportunity to answer the same questions on some key conservation issues, limiting each answer to no more than 200 words. The unedited responses to their questions provide an opportunity for you to learn more about their policies and plans.

And now I'm done being politically correct, and it is time for something different...

Douglas and Benny Catpaign for Animal Rights

Catidates Douglas and Benny are two black cats that have jumped on the catpaign trail in order to highlight animal rights issues in the 2008 Elections. Check out their Official Campaign Hindquarters (no, that is not a typo) for an up-to-date scoop on the latest issues.

82 Year-Old Grandmother Tells It Like It Is

Helen and Margaret have been friends for over 60 years. To celebrate that bond her grandson helped Helen Philpot set up a blog so that they could keep in touch. In response to some comments that Margaret made Helen posted HER take on Sarah Palin and the current political situation. Someone who read it posted a link to her blog in comments on the recent Saturday Night Live Sarah Palin skit, and since then Helen has become a blogging celebrity. Check out her intelligent, feisty, pulls-no-punches perspective, "Sarah Palin is a Bitch...there I've said it." And don't forget to read the reader responses, a fun treat in itself, one commented, "You said it all, and have set the rest of us free. The emperor has no clothes..." And if you want more Helen, she wrote a follow-up blog responding to all the hundreds of comments she received "Yep. I called her a bitch and I am not taking it back." Helen, I hope I am as sharp as you are when I'm 82!

Rose De Dan
Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC
Animal and Reiki Art:

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blessing for the Animals, and One for the Shaman

It has been a whirlwind and a roller coaster last two months! In this month’s newsletter we focus on some of the highlights, as well as a preview of current attractions.

First, thanks to Rhonda Hanley who graciously volunteered her photographic eye, I have a pictorial history of my participation in the Blessing for the Animals Day, which took place on Sunday, September 14, 2008 at Heavenly Spa, a therapeutic canine hydrotherapy spa located in Fall City, Washington. My thanks, also to Georgette Mendez and her two new puppies (so cute), and K.C. Anderson, both of whom were kind enough to assist me at the event.

Group blessings began at 2:00pm, offered by a series of people of various backgrounds, Native American, Sufi, Christian, Peruvian shamanism (yours truly), Reiki, crystals, etc.

There were a fair number of people and dogs who showed up, first for the blessings, and then to meet those of us who had booths set up (I got to reconnect briefly with fellow energyworkers/friends Polly Klein and Vicki Draper. There is one photo where I am working with my boxer-type dog client and his person (I am giving an individual blessing), and behind me Rhonda captured the swirl of energy of many excited dogs and their happy people. I was so focused that I had no idea that so many had arrived until I saw the photo, later! I also vaguely recall seeing someone taking photos while I was working (that was not Rhonda), who later turned out to be a photographer for the local paper. One of those photos, in which I was blessing a very happy mini American Eskimo dog named Q-tip, was published in the Snoqualmie Valley Record.

In addition to the fun She Walks and I had interacting with all the dogs and people, I was deeply moved by how well my dog, Puma, played his role. He was my emotional support and held energetic space while I offered the group shamanic blessing. Then, throughout many individual blessings, he stayed quietly by my side, never once needing my attention, staying in a down position, calming the dog clients, and graciously accepting the attention of friendly children. Not once did he get up to greet another dog. At the end of the day, I thanked Puma thoroughly, and let him off leash to explore the grounds, which he did happily, returning straight to me when I called him back so that we could leave. Bless you, Puma, and bless you, Cesar Milan, for all I have learned about transmitting calm, assertive energy!

So, if you would like to see the full story of the Blessing of the Animals in photos, with explanatory captions, click here. If you were present at the event, and your dog is one that appears in a photo, I apologize for not remembering names. If you contact me and tell me your dog’s name I will be happy to include that information, and if you would like a digital copy of that photo I would be happy to send one as well. To everyone who came and visited, thanks, I had a wonderful time meeting all of you and your animals, and I hope all are doing well!

I, however, had been struggling with sinus problems the whole week prior to the Blessing Day, and it finally caught up with me. The day after the event this shaman was the one who needed a blessing, in the form of the very traditional “Gesundheit!" (perhaps I can get a blessing of another type when Puma and I attend the Blessing for the Animals at the Alki United Church of Christ).

Of course, with clogged sinuses, I now sounded like Donald Duck, just in time for my second internet radio interview, The Wisdom of the Animals and Global Warming. I did my very best to be not only clear in my intent and message, but also voice-wise, and hopefully I succeeded.

The first interview was an amazing success, Liana reported that within the first week afterward there had been 4,000 downloads of it! Of course, she told me this right before we started in on the second interview. I had to put the thought of how many might hear this one right into a closet and slam the door firmly on it so that I did not get more nervous than I already was. That interview and the first, Wisdom of the Animals: Shamanism for Modern Times are available online.

In Ceremony for Healing of Self and the Earth

The despacho ceremonies have been taking an interesting turn, Spirit has been very clear that I am to focus on ceremonies for healing the earth, the animals, and global warming. This focus began with the New Year’s despachos, see New Year’s Revolutions, Part 1, progressed through the fire ceremony for the Woodland Park zoo animals, and continues to evolve in each monthly despacho. Last month Spirit focused on healing the animals affected by mankind’s breaking of our contract with them. This month’s Ayni Despacho Ceremony will focus on personal healing and healing of the waters and ocean dwellers. If you are interested in attending please sign up ASAP as space is limited.

As part of my preparation for the October despacho, last night I traveled up the Duwamish River with representatives of various agencies dedicated to clean-up, and tonight I will be at REI attending a Effects of Climate Change on Puget Sound. In support of the focus on healing the earth I have created another page under Resource Links, Global Warming Resources. I took lots of photos on my trip up the Duwamish, gained more information, both shamanic and factual, and will blog about both experiences soon.

Other features in the October newsletter:

• Will your political candidate help save the environment?
Find out where they stand on environmental issues.

• NEW Peruvian rattles with animal carvings:
Condor, Dolphin Owl, Llama, Hummingbird, Eagle, Serpent, Scorpion, there’s even a monkey and a coatimundi!

• NEW Reiki Pet Bowls for the dog or cat who knows what they want!

• NEW one-of-a kind healing pendulums

• NEW Advanced Shamanic Training: Inca Initiation

And more in the October newsletter:
• Story of the Tortoise Who Went Walkabout
• 2009 Reiki Classes
• Humane choices for farm animals
• NEW Reiki Review and Advanced Training Classes

And finally, Keiko, the darling foster cat who has been with me for over nine months is still looking for her forever home. Do you know where it is?

If you would like to read more musings by Rose De Dan, sign up for our newsletters.

Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC
Animal and Reiki Art: