Jailbird Freedom

So I’m doing laps in the indoor pool.


And out of the corner of my eye, I see this bird swoop in overhead.


But it’s not outside, it’s inside the building enclosure. 


The bird dived in through an open door.


Now it was stuck inside. 


It perched itself on a shelf overlooking the outdoors.


But it was stuck behind the glass walls.


The lifeguard tried to swoop it out with the sticks, brushes, and nets for cleaning the pool.


But this bird wasn’t going anywhere. 


I asked if it was injured or sick.


He said that the bird was scared, which made sense. 


Over and over again, the lifeguard tried to coax the bird out.


Finally, it took flight and headed straight into another glass pane–BONG–and fell down–SPLAT–onto another ledge. 


The lifeguard and I looked at each other — asking whether the bird was still alive or not.


I suggested he call for help, and the advice he was given was just to leave it alone and that eventually, it would find its way out. 


It was time for me to go, but I am still thinking about that trapped bird.


If you love something, you have to let it free.


Everyone and everything should be free (unless they’ve abused that freedom).


Free to come and go, free to express themselves, free to choose, free to act.


Sometimes, when you’re free you run into trouble or into a glass pane.


You need to find your way out and home again to freedom. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Chocolate Turkey Delight

So this is the kind of dessert turkey that will sweeten your Thanksgiving dinner.


Gobs and gobs of white, milk, and dark chocolate.


And they actually shaped it all like a turkey.


Sort of cute, but also sort of sugary disgusting, no?


Generally, I’m not a huge fan of eating turkey either.


Maybe when they boil it in oil, and it’s cooked through and through, it actually comes out juicy and not so bad.


But give me a nice piece of beef, and I’ll be your pal forever!


A colleague who was a veterinarian and worked inspecting meat plants overseas told me some things about the cleanliness though that made my skin crawl.


“The cleanliness outside of the U.S. is WAY DIFFERENT than here!”–and not in a good way.


Even in places that do maintain clean facilities and healthy animals, the way that “they make the sausage” sounded so unappetizing.


It made me think of all those PETA and other commercials that show the chickens and other caged birds in those crowded and filthy (and diseased) conditions…even aside from the cruelty, it’s enough to make you cringe.


He said they mash the meat until it’s like just a pink paste that gets shot into the tubes for hot dogs and things like that.


“It looks disgusting!”


Also, they put parts of the animal in that are basically leftover meats from the head and other parts of the animal that did NOT sound desirable at all. 


I’m thinking to myself…FROM THE HEAD.


Uh, no more hot dogs for me, thank you.


I think that I’ll stick with a nice steak or burger or something KOSHER and palatable.


You can have your turkey and your sausage and eat it, but not me! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Locked Inside Your Own Body

Decaying Body.jpeg

So being imprisoned in torturously tight spaces and uncomfortable positions is…physically, mentally, and emotionally harrowing. 


Of course, the criminal justice system centers around incarceration (and less so rehabilitation) and for most of history–from chains, cages, and dungeons–the most vile despots have placed people’s bodies in desperate restraints. 


But I have learned that people can be not only physically incarcerated and shackled, but they can also literally be imprisoned within their own bodies. 


My own dear mother suffered terribly with Parkinson’s Disease and I watched helplessly and in horror as the degenerative rigidity, contortion, and incredibly horrendous pain made her suffer so. No amount of pain medication could ease her unbelievable suffering…only death itself.


In another instance, a colleague’s spouse got sick with ALS and as this horrible disease ran it’s course, the person could not move, eat, speak, and eventually even breath on their own.  Their mind worked fine, but it was imprisoned within a body that continuously closed in on itself and could no longer function. 


In both these cases, the body itself was the prison of the mind and soul–no bars, no barbed wire, and no high walls necessary. 


Another case, I read and watched about his week, was of a husband and father who suddenly became a quadriplegic.  Kevin Breen was a healthy and active 44-year old, when suddenly he came down with a case of strep throat that traveled to his stomach and almost ended up killing him. He survived, but had to have his hands and feet amputated. Can you imagine the absolute horror of this?


There are so many good things that can happen in life, but also so many, G-d forbid, misfortunes–it is frightening to think about let alone confront. 


Locked up or imprisoned within our own failing bodies, leave mankind looking out into the darkest and deepest of the abyss, and that is when we need G-d’s ultimate mercy and to answer us more than ever.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who Are The Real Animals

Elephant.jpeg

So if you want to know who are the real animals in this world…


It’s people!


If you can stomach it, watch this graphic video of elephant taming


The elephant is caged, chained, poked, prodded, beaten, spiked in all the sensitive areas. 


It is tortured and left with festering sores and then made to do sickening slave labor. 


While animals generally kill for food, people abuse, torture and kill for profit and maniacal enjoyment. 


Sometimes, we wonder why G-d punishes the world. 


But look at how the world behaves. 


Is there no heart or soul in some people? 


G-d forgive us for our sins and evil inclinations, and have mercy, and make your people better than this, much better. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)