(to the slain animalís spirit)

Life is a circle. At first, we do not exist in this world. Then we are born, grow, and thus live. Then after a while, when we must relinquish our existence in this world, the circle is complete. Some circles are very small, others much larger. We do not much control where the circle starts or ends. But within this circle, we are players whose performance is a balance of conscious and unconscious choices; influences from that which is imprinted within our species and that which is imposed from without..
As such, I have not chosen to be predator any more than you have chosen to be prey. The circle of life demands that there be both. I accept that as predator, I have the awesome responsibility of being swift and sure, for carelessness may cause you suffering, and that I cannot bear. Yet, because I am sometimes less than I can be, I will cause suffering. May I be thus judged by the sincerity of my intentions, and the purity of my heart, and when it is deserved, may I be forgiven.
I celebrate the way you lived, I wish I could live my life as well. Your courage and love of life was not a minor thing. Therefore, it is now with both sorrow and reverence that I now thank you Mr. <animal species>, for giving your life, and I honor your life by pledging that through your death will come sustenance for renewed life.
Now that your spirit has been set free, it can go where it will. However, if you think I am worthy, perhaps you will honor me by allowing your spirit come into my heart where it can live within me and be my counsel. And when life comes full circle for me, may both of our spirits be set free in a better placeó
  where the "lion can lay with the lamb",

and we will feel sorrow and fear no more.



jdg 1999

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