For The Love Of Animals And The Planet
This is a guest blog post by TreeSister, Shelley Ostroff (PhD), who is a writer, artist, leadership consultant and activist for a holistic, ecologically based approach to global governance.
In October 2013, I encountered TreeSisters for the first time. The integrity of the mission and message was impeccable, the vision passionate, pragmatic and rooted in sacred relationship with the planet. TreeSisters vibrated with a promise of hope led by uncompromising feminine wisdom. I knew I wanted to be part of their wider support community.
Exactly two years later I reached out to a vibrant and thriving TreeSisters with a call for support on behalf of the animals and the planet. After a warm deeply purposeful dialogue, I was invited to write this blog to share information about an urgent petition I had initiated within the context of the larger work I do. Thank you TreeSisters! What a privilege to be able to connect now in service of our animal and tree family.
Recently, I discovered that animal agriculture is actually a key if not the primary cause of climate change but is not sufficiently on the mainstream policy agenda. The documentary Cowspiracy shows the vastness of the devastation the industry causes and how this well-kept secret is kept under wraps by those with vested interests.
Aside from the horrific suffering the animal agriculture business causes to billions of animals on a daily basis, it is a leading cause of deforestation, species extinction, water pollution, water scarcity, ocean dead zones and greenhouse gas emissions. With the ravages of the climate knocking on each of our doorsteps, people are finally beginning to take notice of the destruction we are causing, but few have information about the atrocities of the animal agribusiness or its impact on the planet and on our own humanity. In less than one month, global leaders will be meeting to determine the fate of our planet. I felt I had to do something, and initiated an AVAAZ petition, and Climate Petition Partnership to ensure that the issue of Animal Agriculture is honestly and comprehensively addressed at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference.
My hope and prayer is that the petition will spread awareness and that exposure to the information about animal agriculture will contribute to triggering the wisdom and compassion necessary to shift our way of being in the world.
The petition emerged within the context of my own evolving activism and was inspired in particular by two powerful events that guide me today. My path took me through a childhood in apartheid Johannesburg (South Africa) and adulthood in Jerusalem (Israel) and thus set the foundation for an arduous journey of unraveling the lies and illusions of the patriarchal mindset of separateness, domination and privilege. I had to plough through the dense and constricted prisms of these cultures with their painful histories and have spent my adult life struggling to discover maps for individual and collective healing of the consequences of these stories.
At some point the illusion of separateness and superiority cracked and I began to go down the rabbit hole, learning about the planet as an interconnected, holographic living system. I searched and researched academically, experientially, energetically and shamanically across disciplines and cultures to learn about the interdependent experience of reality that was so fundamentally different to everything I had been conditioned to believe in. In my training and work as a therapist and leadership consultant, I participated in and led workshops on the different continents, exposing myself to diverse settings and experiences.
And then it all seemed to come together in a new way. In December 2012, I had a vision where I was called to visit the White Lions of the Timbivati area in South Africa, described in Linda Tucker’s book “The Mystery of the White Lions.” I followed the vision, and the meeting with these extraordinary creatures clarified my path forward.
At Tsau, the protected territory that Linda Tucker and the Global White Lion Protection Trust has established to re-wild the White Lions and Lionesses, I encountered a vibration of the most exquisite sacred relationship between humans and animals. For the first time, I had a compass, beyond the primarily human realms that had until then been my focus. Little did I know the immense devotion this majestic compass would catalyze.
The visit to Tsau was followed by a second pivotal moment on December 25th 2013 when in deep meditation, I received a text, now published as a book A Testament of Now. The book echoes ancient sacred texts and shares a prophetic healing vision describing the shift of consciousness occurring at this time.
My work has since been dedicated to contributing to a new form of Eco-governance that puts the planet and all its inhabitants first.
The last two years have been spent co-creating Ubuntu 4 Animals and Itsois: Together in Creation, as portals for sharing the wisdom and insights inspired by and dedicated to the majestic vibration of the White Lions and Lionesses of Tsau. The portals are a work in progress with a mix of creative media that blend the mystical with the pragmatic, the visual arts with the written word in order to support the articulation of a new and healing path forward for people and planet that TreeSisters and other Rainbow Warriors are leading across the globe.
Please join me on behalf of the forests and the animals by signing the COP21 petition AVAAZ petition and visit my website www.itsois.org for more information. May we all come together in the circle of life on behalf of all life.
Shelley Ostroff (PhD) is a writer, artist, leadership consultant and activist for a holistic, ecologically based approach to global governance.
Join the TreeSisters community
We are a social impact initiative exploring the role that women can play in rebalancing humanity's relationship with nature and trees. We inspire feminine leadership, behaviour change and crowd-fund tropical reforestation. To give monthly and become a treesister, please visit: treesisters.org/home/join