Winners Chosen

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Last week, I offered my VIPs the chance to win a copy of Buddhism for Meat Eaters. I received so many wonderful answers as to what they hoped to get out of reading the book that I had to choose two lucky winners! Here are some of the heartwarming responses I received. Thank you to everyone who entered. I’m sorry you couldn’t all win but I loved reading every message, thank you!

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Since I have had kids, I’ve been wrestling with the issue of eating meat… They like animals, and they’re interested in the environment, so I’d hope that reading “Buddhism for Meat Eaters” might help me find some strategies to engage them in looking at meat differently. (L)

In a house full of meat loving males I’d love to find my peace. (T)

I struggle mostly because it’s such a black and white decision: I would love to hear your thoughts on meeting in the middle to be far more conscientious as a meat eating family and being at peace with the decisions I make in the supermarket! (S)

I feel it might help our family to live with the newer ideas around food and living sustainably. (L)

I think this sounds like a great read for my daughter… she had been vegetarian but recently stopped and I am sure is wrestling with this decision as many do. (C)

We’re a family of intense animal lovers and I never felt I could adequately answer my kids’ questions about why some animals are members of the family and others are just food! (D)

I too feel guilt over my eating of meat… I’d love to find some comfort in this book, and a way of balancing those feelings. (L)

I look forward to finding out how I can help to make peace with myself. (M)

I’ve always had an issue with feeling ethically hypocritical as I’m such an animal lover and despise any form of animal cruelty. However I can’t get by without my meat. (J)

We all need to have more understanding and kindness in our world. (S)

I’d love to learn tips and tricks to be more mindful about my food choices, how I impact the world with my consumables and to read more of your writings. (S)

I am vegan and for health reasons have tried to become vegetarian but the guilt is something I am struggling with significantly. (L)

I hope to get a sense of internal peace from reading your new book. (J)

I hope to alleviate my guilt and get some inspiration to share with others to make my world a better place. (A)

 

Listen to Buddhism for Meat Eaters, right now.

If you can’t wait for the paperback edition of Buddhism for Meat Eaters, you can listen to it right now through Audible, read by Kate Blakk.

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Publisher’s Summary

For many years Josephine Moon struggled with the question of eating meat, fervently wishing to live as a vegetarian yet requiring meat in her diet. From Josephine’s philosophical, spiritual and physical battle with eating meat came, Buddhism for Meat Eaters – a book for animal lovers, the environmentally and ethically conscious, and generally thoughtful people who eat meat but perhaps aren’t entirely comfortable doing so. 

Open, honest, and utterly without judgement, Buddhism for Meat Eaters encourages listeners to be more mindful about their choices, rather than berating themselves for them, and offers ways for people to live ethically, honestly and guilt-free, whether as a carnivore, vegetarian, or vegan. This highly practical guide also includes workbook-style activities and topics for consideration to guide you in your own journey to making wiser decisions on how you consume, how you live, and how to change the world around you.”

 

If you’re an Audile member, you can pick it up for just $14.95 or 1 credit. If you love audio books but you aren’t a member, I can highly recommend it. I am a huge fan of audio books and look forward to spending my credit each month.

Happy listening!

Grieving the loss of a dog, and how I learned to help myself and others

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There are seriously so many photos I could show you of Daisy, but this one does capture her joyful-seeking nature so well, just hanging about in the sunshine, next to the blooming lavender she so loved to roll in, maybe thinking about the twelve pancakes she just stole from the kitchen bench, her eye probably on a pile of manure she’d like to tuck into next. A clown, through and through.

It’s taken me a long time to write this post. I usually write something whenever we lose an animal, but Daisy’s loss (on February 10) was so overwhelming that I simply couldn’t do it. But this post is not just about Daisy, it’s about dealing with grief for an animal that has been as much, if not more, a part of the family as any human, and it’s about supporting others during times of loss too.

In our society, there is a culture of not valuing animals as much as we value humans. The laws of our country consider them to be ‘property’. There are ‘minimum standards’ of animal care in our legislation but these are, in my opinion, not nearly adequate enough as they don’t even begin to take into consideration an animal’s emotional welfare (boredom, loneliness, despair, fear). Indeed, many people still believe animals don’t even have emotions. It’s little wonder then that we don’t have recognised grief pathways when one of our four-legged loved ones dies.

We have a lot of animals, so we’re always going to lose a lot (something that distresses me every time we do lose one and I realise I will have to endure this pain over and over). But there is also truth in the fact that not every loss is the same, just as not every human loss will impact us in the same way. For me, there has never been an animal that would break me down (and open) as much as Daisy’s loss.

So what do we do?

In the depths of my crippling pain, I found comfort in the book Buddhism for Pet Lovers, by David Michie, largely because it gave me very practical steps on what to DO after the loss of Daisy. In Buddhist philosophy, when any living creature dies, their soul goes to the bardo (the space between lives) for up to seven weeks, and during this time you can influence the future life of your loved one. This is not dissimilar to the Catholic tradition of saying prayers for the deceased. There were specific things I could do: dedicating actions of merit to Daisy’s fortunate rebirth; donating to charitable organisations; saying mantras; meditating; and holding her close mentally and emotionally, continuously sending energy of good fortune.

Out of the blue, my writer friend Kim Wilkins (aka Kimberley Freeman), made a donation to the RSPCA on Daisy’s behalf and when the notification came to me it meant so much to know it wasn’t just me holding this vigil for Daisy. Support often comes from the outer reaches of our circles, I’ve noticed. Of course, my mother was holding great thoughts for Daisy (her granddog) and some friends too. There were several friends who held long conversations (in person or online) with me, who knew the pain and could validate it. These conversations were so necessary, taken with time and care, and never with a hint of hurrying me on. All of them turned up at just the right time and I’m so grateful for their care.

Recently, two of my friends have lost animals and I’ve done the same for them, making donations in their name. I now have an action plan for myself and for my friends in the future. So here it is. This is how I will support my friends when they lose a treasured animal friend.

  • I will make a donation to an animal charity in their name.
  • I will send them a bereavement card, just as I would with the loss of a human.
  • I will light a candle for their animal and I will say a prayer/mantra for them to move through the spiritual realm with ease and find only good fortune on the other side.
  • I will dedicate good works of merit to their animal’s name for the same reasons.
  • I will offer support and I will listen, allowing as much time and space as is needed to grieve.

Perhaps this list may help you too, if you have recently lost a furry friend or you know someone who has. Rituals are the guide maps through the big moments of our life. By embracing some of these, we might be able to start to navigate our way through the long, dark night of the soul after our best friend is gone.

We had Daisy cremated. She currently resides in the back of the wardrobe because on the day her ashes came back I simply couldn’t face them. But I have been building a garden, slowly, and it is nearly ready for her plaque to go out there. Daisy was such a huge fan of lying in the sun in the garden. I’m sure she’d approve.

Looking for opportunities to donate at Christmas? Here are my favourites.

So, speaking of the Christmas Spirit, I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourite charities in case you are looking for some ideas of where to spread your Christmas cheer too. I donate to these charities every time I get a royalty statement too, so thank you for supporting my books because you in turn support these charities. xx

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Kiva

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To see who’s leading the way of amazing things you can do for the world in my list, head on over to the Kiva site. These are TRULY the gifts that keep on giving. Kiva is a phenomenally life changing micro loan site. That means, your money is a loan to an enterprising individual or group and they pay it back to you in tiny amounts at a time. You can literally change people’s lives with a $25 loan that comes back to you and then… here’s the awesome thing… you can send that same $25 on to someone else! It’s incredible. We can change the world with micro loans. I’ve got tiny loans out to people in Cambodia, Senegal, Phillipines, India, Zambi and Peru. I cannot speak highly enough of this charity.

And if you ever want to feel unbelievably inspired and hopeful for the world, listen to anything Jessica Jackley (co-founder of Kiva) has said. She is one of my heroes in life and I’ll be she’ll quickly be one of yours too.

Australian Koala Foundation

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On a sad note… Koalas, our national emblem, our national disgrace.

Did you know it takes fifty (50!) trees to supply food for ONE koala for ONE year?

We are losing our koala trees through deforestation and land clearing and cannot plant them fast enough to save this much-loved, cuddly species from a wipe out. The AKF is very clear: the only way to save koalas is to legislate protection of their habitat.

As their slogan says: No tree, no me.

Twice a year I donate to AKF to buy trees for their tree planting programs, building up crucial tracts of koala networks to save our friends. If it’s too late for the wild populations, then there is always the hope that zoos will have breeding programs to repopulate our land, and if that happens, the trees that AKF are planting right now (on private land, often donated or bequeathed) will be leading the way in providing food for them.

Freedom Hill Sanctuary

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These are our sponsor cows: ‘Teddy’ is on the top and ‘Christina and Batman’ are on the bottom. Teddy is my husband’s cow and the two on the bottom are mine. Cute, aren’t they? We have a real thing for cows. (Actually, we have a real thing for everything, hence why we founded and ran a horse rescue charity for three years and now have a paddock full of horses.) This year, hubby wants to add on a pig. Getting a real live pig is the one thing I have resolutely said we can not under any circumstances get!! I love pigs, don’t get me wrong, and haven’t eaten one for twenty odd years. But everything I’ve read about pigs leads me to expect broken fences, endless ear-splitting squealing and earth destruction! I just don’t think I can cope. So anyway, that’s why sponsoring your favourite animals is a great alternative, and hence why this time next year I’ll probably be showing you a photo of ‘our pig’. 🙂

Book Drive

You’ll likely find a children’s book drive going on somewhere near you. For us, it’s run through our library system in Books 4 Kids here on the Sunshine Coast. Because kids and books just go together, don’t they? And no child should have to be without books, especially at Christmas.

 Oxfam

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“One person in three in the world lives in poverty.”

Wow, right? How lucky we are.

Oxfam’s slogan is: The power of people against poverty. They help people all around the world, including here in Australia, through industry, agriculture and businesses that provide ongoing employment, education and food resources.

And fortunately for all of us, they supply us with great Christmas decorations and gifts for everyone. We do a lot of shopping with Oxfam at this time of year. 🙂

 

So there you go! Please, go forth and be merry! xxx