Can We Find A Different Way Of Giving ?

When I started planing For this second act of my life, one of the most exciting parts was going to be immersing myself in the causes that were close to my heart and which I have long been passionate about.

The first of my passions is my love for all creatures, great and small, the 'Beasties' as I call them.

My love for beasties began quite young, you see my father kept very large and exotic reptiles that ate very cute and furry rodents. Consequently I became a rat, mouse, bunny,guinea pig, chicken, hamster-napper, and anything else I felt was in danger of becoming a meal for those ravenous beast that he loved. I used  my Barbie clothes to dress my "rodent children" and even made my own designs, they inhabited my doll houses and most were bottle fed because they were usually quite young, for that reason they attended school with me because they needed to be nursed every 40 min. to survive. My over active maternal instincts soon progressed to larger furry creatures.

Because my mother was incapable of being on time to anything, and I was vehemently opposed to being beaten for her transgressions, soon after starting kindergarten I realized that the only way to remedy the situation was to walk to school. This walk  for me became a wonderful walk through an animal kingdom that I'd not known existed. Until then my animal world consisted of very large reptiles and other exotic creatures, both legal, and some not so much; and the small creatures that were to be their sustenance. Here in this world were Dogs and Cats, which I was not allowed to have, and whose sad lonely eyes haunted me so, that I could hardly concentrate in class, and going home became torture, because I felt so badly about those poor babies being locked indoors or behind locked gates all day by themselves, and I was positive that they needed me to rescue them. I devised what I felt was an ingenious plan that would allow me to spend as much time as possible with each individual beastie while still caring for my infant rodents, and my school responsibilities (scheduling is a way of life for me), all this, and I needed to return the babies to their homes before their parents returned, because even at 5 years old I was cognizant of the fact that what I was doing (climbing through doggie doors, unlocking gates and  coaxing beautiful creatures that were not mine) to follow me, first to school but that did not work out to well. The plan was that I could take two a day one to school and then one home. Unfortunately the school administration did not look kindly upon my "Dr. Doolittle" routine and they came dangerously close to discovering what I was carrying in my pockets, leading me to abandon my A.M. schedule and revamp my program eventually settling on a program that allowed me to concentrate in class without the inordinate amount of guilt I had previously dealt with when imagining all those lonely babies locked up all day. I left home early with a very large lunch ( especially since I was a very small girl) this allowed me approximately 10 minutes with each individual before school.

Now your probably wondering how I manged to take home other peoples beasties without anyone being the wiser or the sweet furies becoming meals for the very large ravenous beast that lived in my home. It was difficult, First my mother disliked cats and dogs with a passion, and my father only saw furies as food, so it was imperative that I made sure that they knew these were not my beast, my solution . . .excuse( 1) It followed me home,( 2) It was in the middle of the street, (3) I hid it from view until time to return it before anyone realized that it was missing. Even with all these evasive techniques there were times when nothing worked, and I was caught. Like when I brought home a Great Dane that was the size of a horse, for some reason no one believed that he just somehow slipped out of his gated yard (the fact that he was determined to rip off my pocket that held the treats he loved, may have given me away), or the time I crawled through the doggie door only to be attacked  by a very indignant cat,( I needed stitches, turns out he didn't want to have a play date), and then I suppose  the neighbors must of convened , and decided to keep an eye out for suspicious activities, consequently people began showing up looking for their wayward pets, who by this time had begun to run away from home to come and visit me. Needless to say no one was happy with my nascent criminal behavior ( ingenuity),and it was vividly impressed upon me that it would no longer be tolerated. A few of the less volatile neighbors did allow me to come and visit with their animals once they realized that under no circumstances was I going to be allowed a "normal" pet of my own.

Your probably thinking 'cute story, but what does it have to do with philanthropy?' I'll tell you, because of my life long love of all creatures, when I saw a new volunteer opportunity that involved the volunteers actually living and interacting with the animals (volunteer tourism) I was elated, it was a dream come true, a bucket list event! With volunteer tourism one pays to visit and help care for orphaned, rescued, and abused animals, in far flung wildlife preserves and sanctuaries. You interact with Elephants, Tigers, all manner of Primate etc. Sounds wonderful, I could  not wait to go. And then I started to think.( 1) the cost of the trip alone would exceed $7,000.00 (you may find less expensive accommodations, but I am allergic to extreme discomfort)( 2) the volunteer donation would amount to a minimum of $5,000.00  ( 3) the jet fuel alone would exceed my allowable pollutant output for the next decade. (4) what I was doing would contribute nothing to aid in the elimination for the need of such creative means of fund raising, in fact what I wanted amounted to nothing more than a vanity project. It was no better than if I went to a charity ball or dinner and spent more on the dress and jewels than I donated, or if the organization hosting the fund raiser spent 90 percent of the funds raised on the event itself. Another issue is that these beautiful creatures are hunted and poached for economic reasons where they live, and I can't imagine that hosting a bunch of arrogant foreigners, that after having created the conditions that resulted in the decimation of their culture and environment, were now presenting themselves as great beneficent saviors, with the temerity of  telling them, that they need to find another way to feed their children, pay for medicine etc.,( in Their Country) would endear the native inhabitants to the tourist, (would we put up with that , I think not, we can't stop people from hunting and killing in our own country).

My thought was, what if instead of invading other peoples lands and telling them how to live and think, why not simply make it more economically feasible for them to treasure their wild life and protect it, eliminate the tourism, including safari's,  instead  simply donate with out the need for self aggrandizement or some form of quid pro quo,  the money goes to the indigenous people, without the stress on the land and the people, allowing them to come into harmony with each other, as they were before colonialism . Let them protect their land and eliminate the need to poach for sustenance ( how they can poach their own resources is another issue). My trip alone would finance a village for a long time. Searching my heart I realized that I wanted more for those animals than one bucket list visit from me would ever give them, and that if I truly believed in all that I espoused, then I would need to live up to my own values and beliefs which include "ALTRUISM,"




noun: altruism

  1. the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

    "some may choose to work with vulnerable elderly people out of altruism"

    • Zoology

      behavior of an animal that benefits another at its own expense.


mid 19th century: from French altruisme, from Italian altrui ‘somebody else,’ from Latin alteri huic ‘to this other.’

 true altruism does not look for reward or recognition, I want only to help in the most efficient and  beneficial way possible.

These are only my thoughts, and I admit they are evolving and hope they continue to evolve. My wish is to join with like minded people and create a movement dedicated to actually fixing the problems, rather then catering to the egos of the problem. I believe that we must take responsibility for the grave injustices and extreme misuse of these lands and their inhabitants for centuries, for in acceptance we may begin to heal, in healing we just may begin the mending needed to rejuvenate and resuscitate a world that has been ill treated for far to long.

Please join me, and we will brainstorm together, and with any luck we'll find a new way to be of service.

Algernon's Journey ! 

What Will We Do ?




noun: philanthropy

  1. the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.

    synonyms:benevolence, generosity, humanitarianism, public-spirited, altruism, social conscience, charity, charitableness, brotherly love, fellow feeling, magnanimity, munificence, liberality, largess, openhandedness, bountifulness, beneficence, unselfishness, humanity, kindness, kindheartedness, compassion;

    historical alms giving

    "a family noted for its philanthropy"

    • North American

      a philanthropic institution; a charity.

      plural noun: philanthropies

“You can judge a man's true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.”
― Paul McCartney

Everything we have learned about animals suggests that in terms of experiencing terror, pain, grief, anxiety and stress these sentient beings are relevantly similar to humans.  Bart Gruzalski, 'The Case Against Raising and Killing Animals for Food' in Ethics and Animals, eds. Miller and Williams

I began to realize that I was disobeying my rule of life which says: I will not ask anyone to do for me things that I would refuse to do for myself.  Now, I wouldn't kill any creature--I wouldn't even kill a chicken or a fish--and therefore I stopped immediately eating all flesh.
I have not eaten flesh for many years, not meat or fish or fowl.  I have learned since it is bad for your health, but at that time I just extended my love to include not only all my fellow human beings but also my fellow creatures, and so I stopped hurting them and I stopped eating them. Peace Pilgrim, Peace Pilgrim

Nearly all of us have a deep rooted wish for peace--peace on earth; but we shall never attain the true peace--the peace of love, and not the uneasy equilibrium of fear--until we recognize the place of animals in the scheme of things and treat them accordingly.  Lord Dowding

The  human spirit...has come to believe that compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind. ...there now stands a new ethic -- that of respect for life, whose validity is more and more widely acknowledged.  Albert Schweitzer, quoted in Reverence for Life

The friend of nature is the man who feels himself inwardly united with everything that lives in nature, who shares in the fate of all creatures, helps them when he can in their pain and need, and as far as possible avoids injuring or taking life.  Albert Schweitzer, quoted in Reverence for Life

The hope for the animals of tomorrow is to be found in a human culture which learns to feel beyond itself.  We must learn empathy, we must learn to see into the eyes of an animal and feel that its life has value because it is alive.  Nothing else will do.  Kenneth White

I feel that spiritual progress does demand at some stage that we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants.  Mahatma Gandhi

I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.  Mahatma Gandhi

If [man] is not to stifle human feelings, he must practice kindness toward animals, for he who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men.  We can judge the heart of man by his treatment of animals.  Immanuel Kent

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.  St. Francis of Assisi, quoted in Life by St. Bonaventura

It should not be believed that all beings exist for the sake of the existence of man.  On the contrary, all other beings too have been intended for their own sakes and not for the sake of anything else.  Maimonides (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon)

Kindness to all God's creatures is an absolute rock-bottom necessity if peace and righteousness are to prevail.  Sir Wilfred Grenfell, The Adventure of Life

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to a man.  Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.  The Dalai Lama

Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and untroubled joy.  Do not, therefore, trouble them, do not torture them, do not deprive them of their joy, do not go against God's intent.  Fyodor Mikhail Dostoyevski

Man by violating his own feelings becomes cruel. And how deeply seated in the human heart is the injunction not to take life.  Leo Tolstoy

My life is full of meaning to me.  The life around me must be full of significance to itself.  If I am to expect others to respect my life, then I must respect the other life I see.  Albert Schweitzer

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution.  Until we stop harming all living beings, we are still savages.  Thomas A. Edison

Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough.  We have a higher mission -- to be of service to them wherever they require it.  St. Francis of Assisi

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.  Mahatma Gandhi

The missing link between animals and a truly humane mankind is man himself, who does not yet see himself as a part of the world, claiming it instead for himself.  Dr. Michael W. Fox, One Earth, One Mind

The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? Jeremy Bentham

The squirrel you kill in jest, dies in earnest.  Henry David Thoreau

The thinking person must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo.  When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another... Albert Schweitzer

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.  George Bernard Shaw, The Devil's Disciple


The point to be grasped from the saintly tradition is that to love animals is not sentimentality (as we know it) but true spirituality.  Of course there can be vain, self-seeking loving, but to go (sometimes literally) out of our way to help animals, to expend effort to secure their protection and to feel with them their suffering and to be moved by it--these are surely signs of spiritual greatness.  Reverend Dr. Andrew Linzey, Christianity and the Rights of Animals

We stopped eating meat many years ago. During the course of a Sunday lunch we happened to look out of the kitchen window at our young lambs playing happily in the fields. Glancing down at our plates, we suddenly realised we were eating the leg of an animal who had until recently been playing in a field herself. We looked at each other and said: "Wait a minute, we love these sheep-they're such gentle creatures. So why are we eating them?" It was the last time we ever did.   Paul and Linda McCartney

With every passing year we discover more evidence to support Darwin's revolutionary hypothesis that the cognitive and emotional lives of animals differ only by degree, from the fishes to the birds to the monkeys to humans.  Roger Fouts, Ph.D., Next of Kin: What Chimpanzees Have Taught Me About Who We Are

I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals.  Henry David Thoreau, Walden

It is the fate of every truth to be an object of ridicule when it is first acclaimed. ...But the time is coming when people will be amazed that the human race existed so long before it recognized that thoughtless injury to life is incompatible with real ethics.  Albert

“In what terms should we think of these beings, nonhuman yet possessing so very many human-like characteristics? How should we treat them? Surely we should treat them with the same consideration and kindness as we show to other humans; and as we recognize human rights, so too should we recognize the rights of the great apes? Yes.”
― Jane Goodall
For the Love of Animals
A good deed done to an animal is as meritorious as a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad as an act of cruelty to a human being.  Mohammed

By ethical conduct toward all creatures, we enter into a spiritual relationship with the universe.  Albert Schweitzer, The Teaching of Reverence for Life

Harm no other beings.  They are just your brothers and sisters.  Buddha

He is closest to God who harms no living creature.  Bhagavad Gita

Human nature will find itself only when it fully realizes that to be human it has to cease to be beastly or brutal.  Mahatma Gandhi

I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights.  That is the way of a whole human being.  Abraham Lincoln

I cannot but have reverence for all that is called life.  I cannot avoid compassion for everything that is called life.  That is the beginning and foundation of morality.  Albert Schweitzer, quoted in Reverence for Life

What is religion? Compassion for all things which have life. Hinduism, Mahabharata

Whosoever saves a single life is as if he had saved the whole world; whosoever destroys a single life is as if he had destroyed the whole world.  The Talmud

[I believe] that animals have a worth in and of themselves, and that they are not inferior to human beings but rather just different from us, and that they really don't exist for us nor do they belong to should not be a question of how they should be treated within the context of their usefulness, or perceived usefulness, to us, but rather whether we have a right to use them at all.     Ingrid Newkirk, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Behold, my brothers, the spring has come;
The earth has received the embraces of the sun
And we shall soon see the results of that love!

Every seed is awakened and so has all animal life.
It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being And we therefore yield to our neighbors,
Even our animal neighbors,
The same right as ourselves, to inhabit this land. Sitting Bull


Animals are my friends-and I don't eat my friends.  George Bernard Shaw


There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to beasts as well as man, it is all a sham.  Anna Sewell, Black Beauty


Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.  AlbertSchweitzer


Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is--whether its victim is human or animal--we cannot expect things to be much better in this world.  Rachel Carson


We must never permit the voice of humanity within us to be silenced.  It is man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him truly a man.  Albert Schweitzer, quoted in Reverence for Life


We will never know how unique we really are until we begin to act as humanely as we are able.  Catherine Roberts

Mother Nature needs our help to insure all lives, not just human lives, are valued and cherished as loving, caring, feeling, sensitive beings that are as deserving of life and freedom from terror, with the ability to love and care for their children in peace and harmony with Mother Nature as any of us are . . .


Please note, the rather disgruntled look on his face. Honestly I've never had a man this upset about finding me in his bed. Does little for a girls ego, if you know what I mean . . . ?

And yes it is his bed. Do you think I've spoiled him ? Perhaps I haven't left him wanting more . . . just expecting all . . . and appreciating none . . .  an Allegory perhaps ?

I'll Stand By You - David Garrett
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