Monday, February 22, 2010

What the Fox Taught Me

I just saw a fox in my yard! I had just sat down at my desk to write and there it was: a beautiful reddish-brown fox with a thick winter coat. Fortunately, it didn't see me and I watched as it trotted across the snow into the forest.

It's always thrilling to see a wild animal (as long as it's not after you). Usually, I see these wild creatures while hiking in a wilderness area, as when I recently saw a herd of elk in New Mexico. Seeing wild creatures in your own front yard is a reminder that we share the earth with these creatures.

In the creation story in Genesis humans are given "dominion" over the creatures of the earth. Adam is portrayed as naming these creatures, symbolizing our power over them. Yet, dominion is not domination. Rather, dominion is care-taking.

Animals deserve our care and respect, even those we consume. They are part of God's creation, just as we are. Seeing animals reminds us that we are not the only sentient beings on this earth and that we have a God-given responsibility to make sure they are not exploited. Wild animals are part of the amazing diversity, beauty and sacredness of nature.

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