Monthly Archives: November 2019

Animal Rights in Spiritualism 2019 Newsletter



     Spiritual Blessings!


CrowsquirrelYoung Eurasian Badger (Meles meles) isolated on white backround.


Hello All.  

Since the last newsletter, the U.K. has stepped up a notch in its disgraceful culling of our wildlife. Earlier last year, with another member of A.R.I.S. named Chris, I leafleted Chatsworth Estate visitors with a petition which asked the stately home not to take part in the badger cull, should it come to the area. Luckily, although Staffordshire was one of the counties hit, Derbyshire was, officially, spared.

This year, also, protests have taken place on the A6, near Haddon Hall and a lot of support was shown by those drivers who hooted their horns and waved. Shortly after this demonstration, the Government announced that Derbyshire was, once again, not a cull zone. In this county, there is a vaccination programme for badgers which, to all accounts, has been successful and is far less costly than the cull which has seen more than 20,000 of these wonderful creatures killed in 2017.  This has risen and will rise dramatically as it continues.

I recently learned how intelligent, caring and innovative badgers are.  Did you know that as well as building their dens, badgers appear to make latrines and also, tombs to bury their dead? I do think we have a lot to learn from animals, especially wild-life, who create their own way of living. Schoolchildren would benefit by being shown these animals in their roles as community and family members, with capacity for thought and care.  With a recent scientific study stating that bovine tuberculosis was more likely to be passed cattle to cattle, it is important, too, that older children are shown the real reasons behind this disease. As they become aware of the miserable conditions a dairy cow endures, I think we would have a few more vegans growing up.

Badgers are not the only wild-life suffering at the hands of our species.  Natural England’s ruling is to force vets and wild-life sanctuaries to euthanise or keep in captivity for life any injured, sick or orphaned grey squirrel brought to them. This has been postponed, according to national campaign group, Animal Aid.  Readers may remember that wild-life trusts said a cull of these creatures was necessary in order to protect Britain’s native red squirrel whom they said was at risk of extinction because of the grey.

I find it difficult to find these organisations worthy of their titles when they care only for native or rare wild-life. Morally, they should protect all our wild creatures. One such “protection” society had a killing campaign, not only against our much persecuted fox but the lovely, funny crows. The reason for this was to stop the decline of the Eurasian curlew.  Some held the opinion that the threat to the curlew was more to do with land management.

As spiritual people, we love all creatures and their awe-inspiring ways.  The crow is no exception and has a place in spiritual and mystic history and beliefs.  I know from my contact with some A.R.I.S. supporters, that like me, they have had profound experiences with crows, who do, indeed, appear to be the “message bringers”, whether it be that their sudden antics have brought us a moment of clarity, or their heart-felt, haunting call gave us breaking news that lessened the shock of a passing, or foretold us of an event.

As a young woman, I used to see the rooks leave, en masse, from their rookeries in the trees at around ten o’clock each morning and then return at near on to four in the afternoon, almost every day.  I used to joke with my mother that they had been to a committee meeting. Perhaps they had.

Still with birds, I saw a documentary, earlier in the year, about wild-life in India.  Part of the film centred around a village named Khichan in the state of Rajasthan which was home to the Jain community.  As taught within their religion, Jains have the utmost compassion for all creatures, down to the tiniest insect. They are known for sweeping their seats before sitting down and covering their mouths with masks so as not to squash or breathe in any living thing. Every year, when the cranes are due in huge migrating flocks, to take rest in their village, these particular Jains put food out on the surface of the large village square for the birds to eat.

The film showed the spectacular arrival of the cranes as they made beautiful formations in the sky which were breathtaking to watch. However, the most moving aspect of all was that one bird was allowed to land alone and eat heartily before the rest swooped down in the orderly fashion of one wave at a time.  The reason for this was that that particular crane had no foot and would have found it difficult to move and feed in the tight pack of the crowd.  How did so many birds know of its plight and did they all agree beforehand that this would happen, or was it all to do with group soul intuition? Either way, this is yet more evidence that humans are not the only ones who exercise kindness and compassion



Healing List.


healing hands


Sharon Jones,  Carole and Chris, Tony Ortzen, Leisha & Philip Yates, Philip’s mother,  Janet Williams, Denise Bottal’s mum,   Shadow,  Joan Birch, Roger Raynes, Margaret Towler & Kevin, her cat, Vivienne Brocklehurst, Sian Winstanley,  Don Gwillim, Annie, Richard Marshall, Simone Philips, Elaine and David Hall, Mary Ashton,  Pippin, Rita Benson, Gerard Schmidt, Jeannette Bardell, Colleen, Marek, Luke, June Bullas, Therese, Neil, Sue,  Chris, Mandel Rheems,   Mike, Sandy, Catherine and all in need.




Kate poster.


Holistic Animal Therapy Training School ~

Earthall® Animal Healing and Communication Course 2020

Tutor: Kate Berridge ~ Green-vegan since 1975 and creator of the

Pioneering  Earthall® meditation and healing system.

Animal communicator, companion-animal psychologist and

Founder  of the Holistic Animal Therapy Training School, Kate is a Celtic healer and teacher and holds groups and retreats.

A thought-leader, speaker on Earth-spirituality and published writer; Kate has worked for animal rights for 49 years in animal rescue, education and the environment.


The course is rooted in love and respect for all life-forms, and teaches self-care, meditation and practical hands-on training.

A deep connection to Nature is the core ethic and students develop their own innate gifts, with expert guidance.  Everyone welcome.


Level 1 teaches the basics ~

Students are taught to communicate with and give healing to all animals. You can use the skills learned on Level One with your own and friends’ and family’s companion animals.

When you have the opportunity, you can also help other animals, including wild-life, in a voluntary capacity.

You can choose to attend the accredited Introduction Course Level One as a comprehensive one-day Course or to carry on learning.


Keep learning with Levels 2 – 4 ~

After Level 1 there are 3 more practical training days, plus case studies and written assignments about your inner experiences.

The studies record your progress for your self and your tutor. Beautifully illustrated handbooks are given with each level of learning. 1-1 advice and support is given to each student.

Attending all 4 levels leads to your full Earthall® Animal Healing and Communication Practitioner’s Certificate.

See more about Kate’s work, including student feedback on our holisticanimaltherapy facebook page.

Kate E A Berridge Creator of Earthall® meditation and healing system. Traditional Celtic Healer and teacher in 1-2-1, groups and retreats. Thought Leader, guest speaker and published writer. Animal Communicator, Companion Animal Psychologist. Founder of the Holistic Animal Therapy Training School. Telephone: 01507 328689  Office: 0751974 4208       

For more information visit: WEB:


And for animals:






lamb 2 Into the Mouths of Babes.    

Something readers may have witnessed in their towns and cities is a phenomenon known as The Cube. Four people clad in black except for white masks, form the said shape. Films made while undercover, investigating livestock and dairy farms and slaughterhouses are shown to the public on the T.V. screens which each person holds.

It is appalling that some of the farms investigated are not only organic but approved by animal welfare bodies.  Most scenes are horrific and I, like many activists and campaigners, am unable to watch without it staying with me, causing havoc to my health on all levels of my being. However, they are not meant to inform the likes of us but instead, to bring that awareness to passers-by.

I have attended The Cube on a couple of occasions, not in the formation but as one of the team waiting to talk with those who stop and watch for a reasonable length of time.

It could be said that people who watched the films showed their true, inner colours. Some I spoke to at my last attendance cried and were shocked that what they saw went on in this country.  They were keen for information on how to make necessary changes to their diets and I got the feeling some had been bitten by a compassion bug that would change their lives forever.

Others, though, whom, I must say, on that particular day, were mostly farmers, farm hands or closely connected to that community, could stand there and watch without emotion.  When asked if they had been moved to consider becoming vegan, they would emphatically state that they hadn’t and that they had “seen it all” at their workplace, whether with chickens, cattle, pigs or sheep.  These people were “used to it”… and it was soon illustrated as to how they had become so desensitised when I spoke to a father with his little boy.

At these events, children are usually steered away from the television screens towards their parents but this time, the boy’s dad replied that it didn’t matter if his child saw, as he knew where his meat came from. He went on to say that he,  with his son by his side, had shot five pigeons and then skinned and prepared them to be cooked.

At the same time, my friend was talking with the child’s mother who told of an incidence whereby she informed her son that it was lamb they were having for “tea”.  He then asked if it was like one of the tiny sheep they see in the field and upon her reply, he rejected lamb as a food and hadn’t eaten any since.

Who will win his soul in the end? Here is a child with his natural compassion and feelings of right and wrong not yet extinguished. He is also lucky enough to be allowed his own choices but can his consciousness prevail against the unnatural norm which takes place, every day, in his life, amongst those who have already become the walking dead?

Aside from The Cube, a few of us have recently begun protest and awareness campaigns close to the cattle market in the centre of the historic Peak District town of Bakewell. Again, those interested, were shown footage of what really happens inside some of these places. Farmers, whether angry, in denial or open to discussion, stopped to talk with us, as did tourists and locals.

It is worth remembering that the famous Farmer Jay who forewent his substantial payment to sell his cows for slaughter and instead, sent most of them to live out their lives at Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk, is a local of this area. Since then, other farmers have followed suit.  Doesn’t this bring hope that anything can be expected when its time in evolution is fast approaching?

The Vegan Society has information for farmers who wish to transition from animal farming to organic fruit and vegetable growing. One thing we can all do is petition the Government via our M.P.s to facilitate and subsidise these transitions.

The link between the desire to eat meat and dairy and the destruction of the planet is becoming more obvious to most of society through its airing in the media of science based facts. Therefore, maybe it is time to send a postcard, written and designed by supporters, Sian Winstanley and Maya Winstanley- Brown, entitled Saving Planet Earth, to the Ministry of Agriculture.   

The postcard points out that many of our wild-life are in peril due to chemical farming methods and asks for a “return to safe, sustainable methods.”  In addition, it reminds the U.K. Government of the effects of methane and nitrous oxide emissions from the livestock and dairy industries on global warming. If you wish to print the postcards, go to:

The Good News is that thanks to organisations like VIVA ( and Animal Aid   ( plus grass roots animal rights groups, veganism is taking off  in the U.K., seeing supermarkets marketing their new vegan range with products clearly marked “Vegan”.  Meat Free MondaysVeganuary and The Summer Pledge etc., have made it easier for non vegans to make the change and so contributed to this successful outcome. Indeed, in the beautiful Peak District, two fully vegan cafes, Vegan Revelation in Belper and Nooch in Matlock Bath are now serving mouth-watering dishes.


vegan word on wood background and vegetable - food





Photo by Best DSC!

Patrick’s Points 

Cancer is not the problem: never has been: the

problem has always been the lethal tumour-attack treatment.

Each year, in the UK, there are around 163,000 deaths of people diagnosed with cancer: people who, overwhelmingly, opted for the only NHS package available: mammography, high-dose-radiation CT scans, surgical/radiation removal/shrinkage of the tumour, cell-killing drugs .. a highly carcinogenic, immuno-suppressive, multiple-organ destructive regime .. plus The Dept of Health Balanced Diet .. all diametrically-opposed to that which the patient had needed for survival .. with the inevitable result.

Surgery is the oldest part of orthodox cancer treatment: it has its place where there is an imminent threat  from the tumour to life processes : ie., digestive obstruction or for tumour-removal after the immune defences have been restored.

Chemotherapy has its origins in WW II when a ship, carrying canisters of sulphur mustards – chemical warfare – was bombed. Before they died, the sprayed troops and crew developed depleted bone marrow and lymph systems which have cells that naturally divide faster than other cells – as in cancer.  The cancer industry saw the possibility of mustard gas being used in the treatment of cancer: secret trials on breast cancer patients were set up at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Yale Univ.. Before the patients died, the tumours shrank and the drugs were declared to be “a success”. The multi-billion dollar industry was born. In 1902 and 1923, two organisations were set up in the UK to protect the emerging, tumour-centred-assault cancer industry from any and all treatment- threats: these bodies called themselves “cancer research”.  Today, “Cancer Research UK” is collecting £634,000,000 – per year. The total failure – with regard to producing safe, effective treatments – of cancer research has, always, been entirely deliberate.

“A solution to cancer would mean the termination of research programmes, the obsolescence of skills,… triumph over cancer would dry up contributions to self-perpetuating charities… would mortally threaten the present clinical establishment by rendering obsolete the … surgical, radiological and chemotherapeutic treatments in which so much money,  training and equipment is invested.  ‘ and, as for a natural approach’   the new therapy must be disbelieved, denied, discouraged and disallowed at all costs, regardless of actual testing results .. preferably,   * “without any testing at all.”  The Houston/Null Analysis. * “without any testing at all.” .. critical to avoid having to rig a trial , whilst the opposition are watching, closely.

In 1931, The Nobel Prize, Physiology or Medicine, was awarded to Dr. Otto Warburg for his research on cell-respiration, particularly with regard to cancer: the work, effectively , defined The Nature of Cancer .

Cancer:  where, at cellular level .. “the  respiration of oxygen is replaced by the fermentation of glucose … Lack of oxygen and acidosis are two sides of the same coin: where you have one, you have the other. .. All normal cells have an absolute requirement for oxygen, but cancer cells can live without oxygen – a rule without exception. … Deprive a cell 35% of its oxygen for 48 hours and it may become cancerous.”  Warburg: The Metabolism of Tumours .  The sequence is animal protein excess / plant-deficiency – plus the all-invasive synthetic/radioactive deluge .. acidosis .. hypoxia .. first cancer cell , which doubles in number , continually, if the immune defences remain down.

“There is no disease whose prime cause is better known” .. if this was not acknowledged  “ .. millions must die needlessly.”  Warburg.  Now, tens of millions of deaths, due to almost 90 years of cover-up by the medics, the pseudo-researchers, the bureaucrats, the politicians … controlled media.

Starting with Dr. Max Gerson , around the same time , the treatments , based on the Warburg work , have now been involved in a million-plus case-histories , world-wide : the organic plant-diet , to restore alkalinity, is essential.

Dr. Gerson testified to a US Senate committee in July 1946, presenting 10 cases. The Pepper-Neely Anti-Cancer Bill, to allocate $100 million dollars -at 1946 rates- was heading in the direction of The Gerson Therapy. On July 3, 1946, US network ABC anchorman Raymond Swing announced to the nation, that “For the first time in history, a cure for cancer has been found ” . Swing was fired two weeks later, after 30 years with the ABC.  Intense lobbying by the medico/pharma   “research” organisations, aided by two senators who were also doctors, resulted in the Bill being lost by 4 votes .The Bill is still gathering dust in the US Senate Printing Office archives . One estimate puts the annual value of the US cancer industry at $100 billion.

An Oxford Univ. study – on the year 2009, put the annual cancer-cost, all factors considered – to the UK, at £15.8 billion : 2019 projected-figure (O.N.S) 21 billion : £21,000,000,000 + . All of the successful, world-wide cancer centres, with their hundreds of thousands of case histories, are based on the natural re-instatement of the immune-system: to restore health. The critical basis is the raw, organic plant diet, including various nutritional-herbal formulae.  Depending on the damage done to the patient  previously , the clinic-based treatments may, also, involve intravenous procedures, oxygen therapy , multiple – supplements … The approach is wholistic : physical , mental , emotional , spiritual … in varying degrees as is appropriate for the individual . As far as is practical, a synthetic / radiation – free lifestyle is required.

The suppression of safe, effective cancer treatments , coupled with the use of the lethal tumour-attack regime, constitutes history’s greatest crime – by a long way – simply , on the basis of the numbers : millions , billions … dollars, pounds, marks, yen … deaths , maimings, bereavements .




In Loving Memory

Forget me not

Let us take a moment to give thanks for the lives of those, animal and human, who passed to “Spirit” over the last year or so and in particular, one, Marjorie Hewson.

A staunch activist well in to maturity, Marj, as she was known to us, died on the 7th June, 2019, almost blind and following a stroke.  She would have been ninety one this year.

I first met Marj and her husband, John when I joined Sheffield Humane Action in December 1979.   Humane Action was an umbrella organisation for local Animal Aid, Compassion in World Farming, and Hunt Saboteur Association groups. Each week , come snow, rain or blistering heat, we would join the famous Irene Williams  of Compassion in World Farming for a leafleting event , not always in Sheffield but sometimes, as far away as Lincoln.

When we were out with the “sabs”,   Marj, then in her fifties, was such a great asset to the group. On other campaigns, this fearless lady often made the difference between an animal’s life being full of suffering, or peaceful, free and encompassed by love, as she acted to bring liberation to those imprisoned in captivity, especially those in laboratories.

Always passionate, Marj wouldn’t mince her words when opposed by the cruel animal abusers and even in company of close friends there would be many a heated debate on all kinds of subjects.  Being a committed roman catholic, you can imagine the scene when the topic of Spiritualism came up.  Yet, she often related little “happenings” she had experienced, the last being to her daughter, Catherine, a few days before she died, when she disclosed that she had seen John.  I feel sure she will be with him now and she will, also, be fully aware of the truth.  Got the last word, Marj!   




Finding Unity in Diversity


Mandel  Rheems


Dear fellow seeker and pilgrim on the path: maybe you have often wondered, in your seeking, why there is so much diversity in religion, politics, philosophy and also cultural or ethnic diversity on the Earth at this time?  We need to approach this sometimes confusing situation, particularly in the political or religious/spiritual aspect.

Human kind and life on Earth is, at this time, facing great difficulties and conflict, internationally and globally, as it is continuing to abuse, pollute and corrupt in a blind and selfish way; having no true insight as to why natural disasters are so evidently manifesting in a karmic response to man’s inhumanity and selfish desires!

If we can approach these problems with real insight and inner vision, we can see beyond the surface level.  We need to open our minds and hearts to a more spiritual aspect as to why humanity has gone to extreme levels to exploit selfishly, not only its own kind, the human race, but also, towards the world around us!

It is, indeed, very essential to create and channel, from the spiritual dimensions, the infinite numbers of ways we can find to overcome this dire condition that we are all facing at this time!

Now, how does this relate to the heading of this article: Finding Unity in Diversity? Humankind has so much ability and creative potential.  Unfortunately, it has begun to believe that this sacred Earth can become a virtual graveyard because it is willing to create the means for further destruction and international conflict.  This is not how it was ordained to be! For, once, in ancient times, where all beings, seen and unseen, were united as one, this beloved Earth was a virtual playground. This is true, whether one believes in a supreme creator that we were all one with, who was called by many names, or we take the scientific view or model that all life began in a big bang.

For myself and those individuals that guide me from within, there is definitely a greater purpose for existence, for all its variation and diversity, which has divinely come forth from the Supreme Being!  Total respect is needed, also humility and thankfulness for all life in diversity.  We must be humbled and open our hearts and minds to seeking unity with all life around us and to work, diligently, for peace, love and harmony…for the good of all.

Blessings, Mandel, Sananda.                                        “Vision Quest”




cow 3 I was given a vegan cookbook entitled Huglett’s Wood Cookbook. This is much more than pages of illustrated recipes.  Each dish is named after one of the farm animals resident at the above named sanctuary with a corresponding piece on each one’s history.  I found it moving, practical and a precious gift to keep.


fruitAnother author I came across while trying to improve my health was Anthony William, better known as the “Medical Medium”. I have three books of his but the first explains how Anthony came to be given this title.  It began when, as a young child of four, he received a message from the world of “Spirit” regarding the health of a loved one………

Anthony claims that all the information given through his books, Medical Medium, Thyroid Healing, Life Changing Foods and more, has come from these dimensions.  It comes across as obvious to the reader that the healing of the many is at the heart of the message on the pages of these works.

Life Changing Foods points out many fruits, especially wild blueberries, known to us in the U.K. as bilberries, as being at the top of the list. He writes, also, of the importance of the sun for healing. He reveals nutritional secrets and other knowledge regarding disease which has been passed to him by Spirit guidance and he makes the point, time and time again, that celery juice is extremely important in the healing process of most diseases.

Anthony William’s books are published by Hay House.



Readers may have noticed a vegan chocolate business entitled Vegan Town advertised in previous issues of the newsletter. I am excited to announce that its director is now publishing his own bi monthly magazine entitled Ethican which covers a wide scope of ethical topics.

The first issue is out this winter and for more information on how to obtain a copy, please go to:  



elephant reading



Erick Henderson / Northstar Crystals – we offer a wide range of Crystals for Healing, Meditation & Development work. I offer impartial advice from my stall at shows and fairs around the UK and give talks and workshops nationwide, both publicly and to private groups. 

I also offer distance healing for people and animals as well as energy clearing for houses and assistance with related issues.

Telephone Erick on 07990 874699






Supporter Reports.

Readers will remember A.R.I.S supporter, Therese, went to live on a Spanish mountain.  Well, she wasted no time in rescuing desperate animals in need. The latest is a dear little dog.   Here is the account of her rescue, as reported by Therese:

“My friend and I were driving home and saw a small dog cross the main road and go in to a storm drain.  We stopped and left food where she went.  Since then we have, between us, fed her, there, every night at 9pm.  We named her Bella.



We had only seen her a handful of times when, one night, I went there and she came through one of the tunnels. I kept talking to her and lying flat, let her sniff me. I kept stroking her and slipped a collar over her head.  With my other hand I rang my husband and friend for assistance.

Bella is at present in my last empty bedroom with air conditioning on. She has bad mange and lots wrong. Altogether we removed over 70 ticks. The vet said if it was found she was chipped, he would call the police. However, there was no chip. He thinks she was a breeding dog – her bosoms are hanging down so far. He did ultrasound to check she was not pregnant and said she had no milk and hadn’t had pups recently. Thank God! She is old, has a few teeth and a broken toe – an old injury. He put her on antibiotics and five days of steroids.

She is so loving and happy to have a bed and attention.  I will try and find a home, or else it’s the Dogs’ Home for her – our Phoebe hates other dogs. I’ve got Bella in the end wing with access out through the garage, two cats and two dogs in the main house, Kiki cat, who hates cats,  in my bedroom and small meshed outdoor patio which is in the other wing,  five ferals in the end bedroom with big meshed terrace and two birds in the kitchen and pigeon aviary.

After all my illnesses this year, I can’t tell you what it has done for my self esteem! To catch her was a seemingly impossible task and especially when I did it on my own!! Well, I definitely had our helpers from above with me, so, I wasn’t alone!”


Joseph, a Scottish supporter, drew my attention to the piece of news, below and I shared his joy in the realisation that “Yes. It is all happening” when I heard that on December 21st,  2018, “stars” and celebrities, along with input from several animal charities, including The Blue Cross ( and Wild life Aid  Foundation, (  provided an evening of entertainment for Animals in Need which raised more than £640,000



As many readers will know, Tony Ortzen was editor of that wonderful Spiritualist monthly magazine, Two Worlds. Since our last newsletter, it merged with the well-known and loved Psychic News which he now edits.



Here is a story from Tony’s May 2017 Editorial of Two Worlds:

 LET’s part with a heart-warming story which shows true empathy between a penguin and a human.  It concerns a South American Magellanic penguin who swims 5000 miles each year to be reunited with the man who saved his life.

Retired bricklayer and part-time fisherman, Joao Perei de Souza, 71, who lives in an island village just outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, found the tiny penguin covered in oil and close to death, lying on rocks on his local beach in 2011.

Joao cleaned the oil off the penguin’s feathers, fed him a daily diet of fish to build his strength and named him Dindim.

After a week, he tried to release the penguin back into the sea but Dindim would not leave.

“He stayed with me for eleven months and then, just after he changed his coat with new feathers, disappeared.” said Joao.

Just a few months later, Dindim returned. One day, he spotted the fisherman on the beach and followed him home.

Subsequently, Dindim has spent eight months of the year with Joao and is believed to spend the rest of the time breeding off the coast of Argentina and Chile.

It is thought he swims several thousands of miles each year to be reunited with the man who saved his life.

“I love the penguin like it’s my own child,” said Joao, “And believe the penguin loves me. No one else is allowed to touch him.  He pecks them if they do.”

“Dindim lays on my lap, lets me give him showers, allows me to feed him sardines and pick him up.”

“Everyone said he wouldn’t return but he has been coming back to visit me.  Dindim arrives in June and leaves to go home in February.”

“Every year, he becomes more affectionate as he appears even happier to see me.”

Biologist, Joao Paulo Krajewski commented, “I have never seen anything like this before.  I think the penguin believes Joao is part of his family and probably a penguin, as well.”

“When he sees him, he wags his tail like a dog and honks with delight. And, just like that, the world seems a better place again.”

Quite so.  Just like a penguin, we should also waddle off and do all we can to make the world a calmer, kinder, more caring place…


Elissa PN ad-page-001




Sanctuary   bear


I recently paid a visit to the glorious Lake District. No. I wasn’t walking – a bit too cold for me in “them there” hills at this time of year, magical though they seemed, as we drove over them to the picturesque town of Kendal.

There was something of an optical illusion taking place, as one got the sense of being able to reach out and touch the gold-green mountainside, as it draped itself in an embrace of white, wispy mist. What appeared to be a drop of a few feet must have been a hundred. As beautiful as it all was, there came times when I had to sink down in my seat, close my eyes and pray!  Yes. I have a sheer terror of heights.

We arrived at our destination; the vegan fair in aid of Animals Asia Foundation. We had come to hear founder, Jill Robinson’s talk about her Moon bear sanctuaries…after tasting scrummy cakes and buying merchandise, of course.  We arrived too late for a hot meal, as the event was so successful they had sold out by midday.

Jill moved her audience to tears as she told of how the foundation was born and the rescues of so many of these soulful creatures began.  To illustrate this, she showed a photograph of herself holding the extended hand of the very first bear she had had the honour to meet. She named her Hong.

This bear was kept in a small cage and would have bile painfully extracted from her liver, repeatedly. The purpose of this was to produce liver and gall bladder remedies for traditional Asian medicine.

Today, this still goes on.  Wounds are visible on the beautiful, sensitive faces of some of these creatures and their eyes are blinded through self injury, as they batter their foreheads against the bars, in despair. They spend their lives in these circumstances.

That first encounter with Hong changed Jill’s life and for the last twenty years she has dedicated her life to freeing as many bears as possible from this misery.  From being unable to stand up in small cages, they now run, play and love freely, in an environment suited to their natural needs. Their unique personalities have surfaced and they are a joy to all around them.    Healing is brought to their injuries and bile extraction wounds by A.A.F’s veterinary teams and they are loved, as family, by the sanctuary workers.

There are Animals Asia Foundation sanctuaries in China and Vietnam and recently, an agreement was signed by the Foundation and the Vietnamese Government to end bear bile farming by 2022.

Apart from having already rescued 600 bears, Jill’s work with the Chinese and Vietnamese Governments has seen many cats and dogs rescued from the cruel meat trade.  A scheme began years ago with a canine rescue they named “Dr. Dog”.  This little bundle was taken into care homes, bringing a therapy to the patients that had remarkable healing results.  Now, there are more dogs doing this work and people are realising their value as loving companions instead of viewing them as tasty dishes – the inevitable fate of so many of these animals.

I have always thought of dogs as “Gifts from God” and anyone who has had a close relationship with one will agree with me.  They teach us selfless love and make us feel so special.  Their loyalty is second to none and they “know” when we are hurting without witnessing any show of emotion. They have shown grief, remarkable courage, and have, time and again, demonstrated their intelligence while being exploited for the same.

I have not had a relationship with a bear but I will finish with a quote I found on the Get Bear Smart Society web page:

“Bears are beautiful, sentient beings who are extremely large in personality, polite and even empathetic. They also have a keen sense of community and are not as solo and independent as people have suggested they are. They are peaceful, thoughtful, emotionally intelligent animals who truly love their kids. They are trustworthy and that is especially true of a mother and her cubs.  They have a jolly sense of humour, curiosity and compassion.”

Ellie Lamb.  Bear Viewing Guide.



My Foundling



fluffy dog


A small, fluffy bundle crept out of the ditch

Fur, colour of lilies, eyes and nose, black as pitch.

Crying with terror of being alone

Whimpering with fear of the new face- unknown.

What had he done wrong? He was barely alive.

Dumped, as if rubbish,  how could he survive?

Torn from his mother, left to his fate,

With no will from another to show love, only hate.

I picked up the waif, like a soft cuddly toy.

He knew he was safe and we both cried for joy.

I pressed my cheek to him.  He was home – he could tell.

He drenched me with kisses. Oh. That sweet, puppy smell.

If he’d been there much longer… if no love had been shown,

He’d have perished from hunger and that night, it snowed.

The pleasure he’s brought me is too much to be told.

I love him so deeply and his love is gold.

He was so very lucky I found him in time

But what of all the others…and what is their crime?