Saturday, January 30, 2010

Just A Little Mouse

There are mice in the house, and one rat (aaiiii), as is wont to happen in old farmhouses. I put out a covered trap baited with peanut butter and never caught a mouse. Then randomly, yesterday I looked over and there was a mouse, dead in the trap. I gave it to the snake, who thanked me.

Now, I am not mourning the loss of this mouse's life. However it does remind me of when I worked at a pet store, we would sell mice as pets. And we'd keep some mice in the back as breeding mice, and I would have to clean their cages, so I got used to handling mice (and pet rats too) quite frequently. However, I'm not sure why, but some of these mice developed tumors. The tumored ones would often be sold as snake food. We had one mouse that was obviously dying of a bunch of huge tumors. It lay on its back and thrashed around, and one of the employees came in the back and gave it a pitying look but did nothing. What could she do? It was dying. But I didn't want to see it suffer, so i took it out of the cage and put the edge of the cage over its neck and smashed its little head. It was very easy, like crushing dried cereal. I wondered how it could be so easy to break a body and end a life, and how fortunate it was that I could do it so easily, otherwise the mouse would still be suffering.

I left the pet shop that day feeling the weight of that tiny mouse's life on my hands... but also knowing that I ended its pain in the only way I knew how to. It may have been just a mouse, but it was the first animal I had intentionally killed to save it from suffering. Besides, who's to say a mouse's life is any less valuable than yours, or mine. A life is a life, whether it belongs to a king, a child, a cat, or a mouse. It's not wrong to kill, but it's a good thing to let killing take its toll on you when it is necessary, otherwise you might learn to disregard life.

This mouse I killed in a trap yesterday was necessary too... I can't let my home be overrun with rodents, especially not with a baby crawling around on the floor. but i can't fool myself... a mouse isn't just a mouse. Every life deserves a measure of respect, and every animal killed by man deserves to have a memory in the minds of man.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wolf Moon

Tonight is the Wolf Moon... the full moon when the moon is closest to the earth. If you get a chance, go outside and observe its splendor. :) The moon is moving slowly away from the earth, so cherish its nearness while you are able.

Today we started re-introducing a kid to her mama. 2 days ago, when she was born, she lay cold and lifeless in the freezing temperature, her mom neglecting to clean her off. She was brought into the house and I gave her a warm bath, frantically rubbed her for 2 hours, and sucked out the mucus from her lungs with a nasal aspirator so that she could take her first breaths. Each moment seemed like an eternity, and I dared not hope she would survive the next 5 minutes. However, she kept improving, little by little, and after that first night, I breathed a sigh of relief and dared to let myself hope that she would make it. For the past 2 days, my husband and I have been feeding her her mother's milk from a bottle and keeping her in the living room beside a space heater. We didn't know if she would survive her first night, but now she is well enough that we moved her to the barn and are working on getting her reaquainted with her mama. It's a work in progress, but we have hope that she will become a goat again.

Also, around 3 hours ago, another little doe kid was born to a first time mom. They are bonding well so far although I have to go back down to the barn tonight and make sure the mama is letting her kid drink.

More than January 1st, this day feels like the new year for me. It's a day I feel strongly connected with the natural world, the seasons, the moon, and life. It's a day where a tiny new life entered the world, and also a day where another tiny new life was given a second chance to connect with who she is.

Yesterday, my (human) son said his first word, "hello!" and started to crawl.

I feel surrounded by babies, ready and eager to embrace their new world. Their enthusiasm has given me new eyes as well. I guess I'm a month late, but Happy New Year! :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"My Sister's Farmhouse"

Just letting you know, this link has been added in the sidebar because I find it very honest and open and it touched me. I know how this woman feels, having been in the same situation before.

She doesn't allow comments, so you can't tell her how wonderful she is or how much you hate her, etc... I only wish that I could tell her how her blog made me smile. So, Author Of This New Blog I Found, if you are somewhere out in cyberspace reading this little note, I agree with your decision and I absolutely love your parable. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Free Will

Ah, my old friend, The Free Will Debate. This is a particularly nostalgic debate, because it was the stone that shattered my belief in Christianity. And now (the blog) All Considering is bringing it up again and causing me to ramble upon its familiar paths.
Background: I was raised in a faith based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. (a Lutheran denomination) And I became an enterprising young thinker and stumbled across the debate of Free Will that had so haunted Martin Luther. Only, instead of coming to his conclusion, (that God chooses who goes to Heaven, and man chooses who goes to Hell)... yes, that was his conclusion... I came to a different one. And that was that: Martin Luther was rationalizing his faith, basically copping out of answering that question, there is no evidence in the Bible itself (if one takes a literalist interpretation) to support the idea that man has free will.
So I began a year of my life where I believed (as the Bible literally teaches), that God chooses the destinies of man. I became angry at God, disillusioned, and surly. I did not want to go to Heaven, because I felt that if God causes some people to go to Hell he was not worth worshiping. Well, after that realization, I became disillusioned in the whole Bible and began a life filled with much less inner turmoil, abandoning the belief that the Bible is really all that great a book to base my life upon.

And now I come back to The Free Will Debate, but I realize that the options are not as clear-cut or limited as when I debated with myself as a Christian. And the debate seems vastly less important. After all, there is now (in my perspective) more to life than Heaven and Hell, there is a vast array of options and possibilities.

First of all, the terms have become substantially more vague. Who, or what, is the determining force behind predestination, if it exists? How can we prove that there is free will without knowing every detailed factor in each choice? How do we even define a choice? Some people do not see alternatives even though they are there. (For example, they think that leaving a relationship is their only solution to a specific problem.) In their own mind, they do not have a choice, even though externally they do. So not only do we have internal and external choices, but we have a million different "causes" for our actions. Society, genetics, God, karma, destiny, etc.
I do believe in free will, but obviously there are a lot of factors to be taken into account. Sometimes they come into conflict. Like, if society says I need to be a stick-thin girl, but my genetics gave me big bones and a healthy appetite. Which is more important? We base our decisions on what is important to us, which may or may not be determined at least in part by external factors. The fact remains that there is always a choice- the question is, how do human beings make choices? Some reason out the pros and cons, some go by impulse, some follow the advice and influence of others, some follow their own whims. Why do humans make choices in such different ways? What makes humans fundamentally different (or similar) to each other? What creates a person?
The question of free will is extremely hard to answer because anytime you try to delve into deep discussion about it, you end up stumped by impossible-to-answer questions like the previously mentioned ones.

So I'm interested in your opinions. Do you find The Free Will Debate to be an important one? An impossible one? Do you know all the answers? Please share. :)