A lawyer, a priest, and an animal activist walk into a factory farm……
Knock knock! Who’s there? Laboratory beagle! Laboratory beagle who?……
Didya hear the one about the fox getting electrocuted at the fur farm?……
There ARE no punchlines in animal suffering.
People who care about animals often feel alone in a world of pain. Awareness of how animals suffer in a society built on their exploitation leaves little to laugh about. There’s not a lot we can do to provide instant punchlines, but there’s plenty we can do about the isolation. We can unite our compassionate spirits and voices; we can channel our anger and despair. There’s a role for Other Nations in this effort:
Think of it as a rescue organization… for animal activists!
With unending gratitude to the many compassionate people who already support and staff animal shelters and rescue sanctuaries, who feed hungry animals, who tackle exploitation through education and citizens’ initiative and other legal avenues, a niche remains for a group like Other Nations. As a group, we can educate ourselves and others on the full range of issues; because there’s strength in numbers, we can speak out from a position of empowerment. We can enjoy unity and share joy in our common pursuit. As individuals, we can clarify, each for ourself, what we believe about humanity’s moral obligation to animals (many of us are still finding our way in the philosophical realm). We can eloquently reject flimsy, illogical objections–If you care about animals, you don’t care about people. Together we can create a place and a way to express ourselves to benefit all species who have a rightful place on this Earth.
Other Nations is physically located in Missoula County, west-central Montana. Our compassionate spirit is universal.
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About our name…
Henry Beston was an American naturalist and writer born in 1888. He spent a year on Cape Cod in a small cottage with a view of the North Atlantic, and chronicled this solitary year in his 1928 classic, The Outermost House.
In the autumn, observing great flocks of birds, he marveled at their ability to be feeding individually one moment and fused into a synchronous whole the next. Shorebird constellations, he called them–rising, tilting, coasting as one, wheeling off in a new direction as if determined by group will. He perceived no lead bird or guide, just the mystery of ancient knowledge known only to the birds, the influence of voices we humans shall never hear. Humbled, he called for a wiser concept of animals:
We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.
~Henry Beston, The Outermost House, 1928