Periodic Update January 2010 (80)

In the British Newspaper ‘The Independent’, on Saturday 9th January, two articles appeared.

Gere serves up a haven for vegetarians

This article described how Richard Gere, the Hollywood actor and Buddhism student and supporter, is backing an exiled Tibetans plan to transform the site of Buddha’s enlightenment into a vegetarian zone as part of a peace message. This is related to Buddho-Darwinism which this “Life-class” site introduces in a number of ways. Firstly, a vegetarian life-style is advocated by the page of reasons to be a vegetarian. Secondly, the minor enlightenment or bliss I experienced in Copenhagen in 1977, described in the pages on bliss, took place in the free city of Christiania which is an old Navy base in Copenhagen and in keeping with the philosophy of the original hippie and alternative culture which spawned it, it was and I assume still is largely a vegetarian society.

Those clever animals deserve better treatment from us humans

This is a comment page in the paper by columnist Mary Wakefield. She describes the year of amazing revelations about animal abilities. This includes

  • crows and other corvids - much science has reveled their relatively amazing abilities considering their brain size. I myslef have twice witnessed two Magpies positioning themselves either side of a cat and then flying off when the cat tries to go for one of them. In the case of the family cat when I was a teenager, this was done from fence post tops but our cat was dumb enough to climb up the fence between them, (trying to look innocent of course, then try to stalk one of them along an inch wide fence board. As she neared one the Magpie took off and the other crowed behind her so that she turned round, (a difficult move on the inch wide fence board). as she neared that one it took off by which time the first had landed back on the fence post and crowed again so that she had to try and turn round again. they were playing some kind of game and it begs the question, without getting into anthropomorphism, do the have a sense of humour?
  • dolphins - that some scientists believe are so intelligent they deserve legal status equivalent to humans in terms of protection from harassment and other crimes
  • a dog called Betsy in Austria whom I hope they are going to breed from which can remember 340 words and showed remarkable abilities to retrieve objects from a huge pile in another room when she was shown pictures of small versions of the objects.

Mary Wakefield ends the article with the words “I was struck then, and still am, by the awful thought that if we continue to treat intelligent creatures with casual cruelty on a grand scale, then we won’t have a leg to stand on when super-bright carnivorous aliens land on earth and treat us the same way”. This very much reflects what I have been writing about in this web-site on pages such the one discussing the BBC Television series Dr Who and the US series Star Trek

To anyone reading this:

Welcome to the days the philosophy of Buddho-Darwinism, in a small way, entered the main stream.


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