Image by thenorthbaybay from Pixabay – Pixabay License

All living creatures have a right to live, be treated humanely and respected. In my heart, I believe that humanity needs to broaden its concept of other life forms and put more emphasis on building an inclusive world. We were never meant to construct our human world so selfishly, and trample on the lives of other beings.

One of my stories, written in my first book, Mystical Animals of Ancient Oak, is about a family of groundhogs that took over our yard. It was the sping of 1997 when an anxious groundhog mother foraged for things in our meadow and scrambled into her tunnels. We were delighted when several curious baby groundhogs emerged from their protective tunnels and began their mischevious explorations of our yard. The years at Ancient Oak brought me a deeper appreciation of the inspiration that all living creatures bring us.

On a breezy, sunny morning in August of 2022 I was driving out of my cul de sac in Culpeper, Virginia and I turned onto a side street heading towards the railroad tracks. A car drove towards me and thought I saw something blow across the road. After the car passed I was agonized to see that what was struggling in the road was a groundhog that had just been hit by a car. I could see no reason this motorist couldn’t have stopped, being that this side street had sparse traffic and there was no weather or anything obstructing vision.

Desperately stuggling to get out of the road, the dying groundhog gasped for breath. His body was in death throws and I knew that any rescue attempt would probably cause him more pain. On many occassions I have pulled over to rescue turtles, birds and other creatures that were hit ont he road. But the extent of the groundhog’s injuries left him taking his last breath. I felt such despair knowing that the driver could have easily slowed down to avoid this animal.

Sadlly this type of scene plays out whereever there are automobiles and roads. I know that a driver committed to safety for humans as well as animals can make a major impact in lessening these fatalities on the road. The first thing is that people need to stop thinking of animals as expendable road kill. Every animal values their life as much as we do as humans. That one groundhog was on his important mission that day simply trying to navigate his way on a Culpeper, Virginia side street.

Over the last decades as development has increased, with more cars on the road the level of agression in people has skyrocketed. We need to all slow down and make safety and compassion a priority over every man for himself type of driving.

I hope everyone reading this blog post will find it in their heart to remember that our cars and roads are treading on areas that were once forest and animal habitat. This blog post honors the life of a groundhog that was simply trying to navigate his way on a residential street in Culpeper, Virginia and lost his sacred life. Let’s remember as we hurry through our day to slow down and yield to other species as they embark on their day’s journey.

Compassionate Voices For Nature

Stop Killing Deer!

This evening I read on line that Fairfax County Virginia is starting a bow hunting season on deer. As anyone who has read my blog or Face Book posts knows, I am totally against these managed hunts of deer. Bow hunting is profoundly cruel and often results in prolonged suffering as deer don’t usually die quickly and they bleed to death. The counties around Virginia and Maryland have severely over developed the land and have left no continuous habitat for deer and other wildlife. People have been selfishly taught that deer are in the wrong and that they need to be killed in mass. When in fact, humans have taken control of too much land and natural resources leaving wildlife out of the plan. When we speed around in our cars and don’t think of the needs of wildlife – there are bound to be accidents. I want to encourage people and communities to stop what I call the war on wildlife and show some empathy for the severe mess we have caused deer and other animals. Our local governments try and deal with deer by mass killing and this is giving people the idea that deer are to be feared and hated. I always appreciated the deer and found their presence an important part of the eco-system and my community. That is why I wrote my book Mystical Animals of Ancient Oak.

Tragic death of young anti-poaching guard

This is taken from information on the Internet in September 2016-
He Died Protecting Gorillas

ICCN Virunga Ranger Jules Kombi Kambale was killed in action on Thursday, 1 September, in a militant attack at Gatovu. The ranger team was tracking gorillas, which have been the increased focus of militants in the area. He and his ranger team were tracking gorillas which were being protected from poachers.
He left behind his wife who is five months pregnant.

I include this tragic news on my blog this evening to remember those that we may never meet or hear about, but they are out in the world protecting people or animals. In this case, we have a young man who gave his life in service to protecting gorillas and other wildlife in Rawanda.

When I think about the way we have bull dozed our way over our native wildlife habitat and then kill them to build our homes – I feel such anger and sorrow. Let’s treat all animals like they are worth protecting.

While many of us have comfortable homes – we forget we are living, working and driving on what was once the sacred ground of other species.

So tonight let’s honor ICCN Virunga Ranger Jules Kombi Kambale – who most of us would never have heard of without social media such as Facebook which is circulating memorials to him in honor of his service to wildife protection. He died young and died in service to our imperiled African Wildlife.

Take Responsibility When Driving

Part Two of Avoiding Hitting Wildife

In my continuing discussion of the importance of compassionate and safe driving ,we are going to look at “taking responsibility” when driving. I continue to be shocked and dismayed at the flagrant abuse of cell phone, texting and general distractions that people have when driving. Just today a good friend of mine posted on her Facebook Page that she had almost been hit yesterday by a man driving a pick up truck and speeding through a red light. She was almost broadsided by him and was saved by seeing him at the last minute.

Focusing and avoiding distractions is the best way to keep your eyes on the road and avoid hitting wildlife. On a drive up Route 29 in Madison County Virginia yesterday, I was horrified to see many deer hit on the side of the road. Who knows how long they laid there dying on the hot summer pavement. One deer had a piece of metal, maybe a car side view mirror jarred right into his skull.

The spiritual message that I get is that we need to have accountability when we hit animals or people. This idea that we can hit and run other sentient beings is sick and making for no ethics in driving. Where did we ever get this idea that if we hit an animal, we can just keep going and be so apathetic?

I think the issue of animal deaths on the roads is one of the most under estimated issues in our personal ethics of driving. Just slowing down and taking the time to focus and intend to avoid hitting animals is a highly effective way of reducing animal and of course human fatalities on the road.



My New Book – Mystical Animals of Ancient Oak is Now Available On Amazon.com

My new book Mystical animals of Ancient Oak is now available on Kindle and Paperback on Amazon.com.

https://www.amazon.com/Mystical-Animals-Ancient-Cynthia-Fain-ebook/dp/B018BJKK7O/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1468726726&sr=8-1#navbarDeer in back meadow at Ancient Oak