Anthony Marr’s CARE-7 tour blog #4
It’s been only 10 days since the start of my 40-states-in-7-months Compassion for Animals Road Expedition #7 (CARE-7), and already, Vancouver seems lightyears away. The only difference between CARE-7 and the earlier CARE-tours is that my beloved mother, who passed away in November 2008 at age 89, is no longer trapped in her body in the care home, but is traveling with me and watching over me. Although she was constantly concerned for my safety, she has told me repeatedly that she is proud of me. And though every time I leave on a long journey she would miss me with all her being, she has always given me her blessing. Now, her pride in me and her blessing for me remain, and are here to stay until my own dying day. Excuse me while I go get some Kleenex.
Anyway, after a 13-hour drive from Portland, Oregon, on April 7, we arrived at my dear friend Nan Sea Love’s house in Santa Rosa, California, after midnight. This was well past Nan’s bedtime, but she welcomed us in, made us some food, and stayed up chatting with us till past 2 a.m.
Nan, whom I had the pleasure to meet in the 2007 Animal Rights Conference in Los Angeles, and who billeted me for several days in my CARE-4 tour, is highly respected in MySpace and FaceBook, and a prominent force in the AR movement in the internet realm. Her current passion is to crush “Crush Videos” (see http://www.StopCrush.org), in cooperation with another great activist and dear friend of Anthony Damiano’s and mine – Marla Stormwolf-Patty, who is assisting us with organizing our tour. Crush videos are underground productions of women crushing live kittens and puppies to death by stepping on them with their high-heel shoes, and even men crushing live horses with machinery. The courage require to tackle such a problem is phenomenal. First off, you have to watch the videos. To this day, I have not been able to bring myself to watching one. It is absolutely incredible that to distribute and post and indulge in such hideous products could be legal, and yet, it is. Only to make them is illegal, but then, most of them are made overseas. To be treated as a top friend by Nan is a great honor. She is also an exquisite artist, whose art is not only for art’s own sake, but for her passion in the cause.
As usual, I got up around 07:00, and began working by 07:30. I hooked up my router to Nan’s Mac computer, and did connect, but the connection was “limited”, and practically inoperative. So Nan allowed Anthony D and I to use her own two computers, at some inconvenience to herself.
In the mid-morning, Nan took me to the Slice of Life Cafe where some of her amazing art work was displayed – for a video interview. We did so for a few minutes, but the background noise was too loud and distracting, so we went back to her place and did the rest of the interview there. She will send me the DVD with the raw footage c/o my long time friend Coby Siegenthaler of Northridge, an L.A. suburb, where AD and I will be staying for about 10 days upon our arrival in southern California. I will edit the raw footage into youtube videos whenever I can find the time. Thank you, Nan!
Nan’s other sites:
FINE ART – http://www.SEElove.org
Face book fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Art-of-Nan-Sea-Love/185812790874
ENVIRONMENTAL and NUTRITIONAL EDUCATION: http://www.myspace.com/seeloveverywhere
PET BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT – http://www.yourkindnessmatters.org
Online store http://www.cafepress.com/animalrightsart where 100% of her profits are donated to http://www.romaniaanimalrescue.com which sends veterinarians to Romania to help with spay and neutering strays.
Homeless animals – http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=193073436&blogId=519619673
Watch http://www.suprememasterTV.com interview: “Nan Sea Love and the Art of Compassion”
Activist tips: http://www.youtube.com/seeloveverywhere
Her husband Art is a very fit man who has taken transcontinental bicycle trips in years bygone. He rode across the USA at the age of 50 to raise awareness of animal abuse – 3,500 miles in 59 days (see http://www.Artiebock.com). Now, at age 65 (still younger than me), he is dreaming of another one. Just the next morning, he went for a 40 mile ride. He also has a Yamaha 650 cruiser-type motorcycle, and thought I could beat him with my Ninja “crotch rocket” in a drag race. We never did have the chance to determine the outcome.
The evening of Friday the 9th was a vegan potluck at my dear Friend Vivianne Nantel’s place in Marin County, in which I was the “guest of honor”, where the over 20 guests comprised a judge, a psycho-analyst, a professor, an RN, among others. Amidst all the activities, I managed to squeeze in a 20-minute phone interview hosted by Arnold Levine of KOWS radio based in Occidental, CA. My thanks extend to Vivianne’s husband Michael, an athletic restauranteur who runs up and down hill daily with his two white dogs Snow Flake and Spirit, and has taken up yoga of late.
After a beautiful performance on the keyboard by Vivianne, I gave an hour-long speech titled “Homo Sapiens! SAVE YOUR EARTH” – same title as that of my second book published in 2008.
I first met Vivianne in the 2005 Animal Rights National Conference in Los Angeles, with whom I had the honor of performing the opening ceremony in the 2006 AR conference in Washington DC.
She is another exquisite artist whose work is in a class of its own. Here is her dedication to the victims of 9/11, titled “Hamsa – ascension from the fire into the light”:
She is a profoundly spiritual person whose compassion for all sentient beings knows no bounds. In her own words: “Over the last seven years, Vivianne Nantel (Vivi Devi Atmajyotis) has made a persistent effort to influence and educate her international well re-known spiritual master, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the amazing non-profit organization, Art of Living Foundation, on the current issues on animal rights & environmental issues, by asking him to speak and extend his beautiful spiritual teaching, wisdom and human values such as compassion with action, kindness, reverence, respect, care, nurturing, and love, not only to humans, but to all sentient beings. In her last trip to India to the International center last February, H. H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar personally promised her to finally do his (including the Art Of Living) very best for the animals. This is a phenomenal statement coming from such a highly and extremely influential Holy and enlightened realized master. He also asked Vivi Devi to write and create a proposal in regards to the well-being of the animals on Mother Earth. She will be presenting it to him next week in Los Angeles at the grand inauguration of the Los Angeles Art of Living center. If the content of this proposal achieves its full manifestation over the years, the potential for saving millions of animals, and expanding the collective consciousness of millions of followers, as well as opening their hearts to the animals around the globe, would be enormous and phenomenal!
“In brief, Vivi Devi is proposing an amazing animal sanctuary for all kinds of homeless, sick & injured animals with two intensive care animal hospitals (for large and small animals) to be created at the heart of the Art of living organization at the International Center located in southern Indian near Bangalore. The Sri Sri Compassionate Animal Center (rescue, educate, advocate, and adopt) will also be offering many different programs & creating campaigns promoting non-violence (Ahimsa) and our precious human values to all creatures within the One World family. This center will be beyond just an animal sanctuary. Vivi Devi envisions this international compassionate center for non-violence and human values to all creatures, serving as a great inspiration to millions of children & youth, adult participants, Art of living teachers and ashramites alike within this huge International non-profit educational & humanitarian organization, benefiting billions of animals around the world. His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has over 500 millions of followers, disciples and devotees around the world, including some very influential dignitaries. She has raised already US$4.000 for this project. Sri Sri Compassionate Animal Center will become a great source of beauty, light, joy, happiness, spiritual unfolding and serenity, where each individual will blossom in the practice of the art of Oneness by experiencing the spiritual & healing connection to the animals and Mother Earth. This international Center will become a compassionate oasis of Divine beauty & light for the animals, the human beings, the little children and Mother Earth, dedicated and devoted to the art of Oneness! If you are interested in participating somehow in this wonderful project in the near future, you can contact Vivi Devi directly at BlissfulViviDevi@aol.com. This project will land many amazing opportunities to help the animals at a grand level.”
Vivianne is the embodiment of the earth goddess herself, whom wild deer allow to touch. I have seen with my own eyes how she gives a belly massages to her dear friend Mimi who is expecting a new baby very soon!
If you wish to look deeper into her work, here are a few links:
http://www.VivianneNantel.com (official site for Vivi Devi)
http://www.srisri.org (Official site for H. H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar)
http://www.artofliving.org (Art of Living Organization)
http://www.vvmvp.org (AOL International Center in India)
April 10, Saturday, was a mixed blessing. While driving from Marin County to the Bison Paddock in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park where the Funeral Motorcade for the Black Bears was to assemble and begin, we encountered a heavy rainstorm to which we said a collective “Uh oh.” And true to expectation, the participation was much diminished. On top of the weather, we again proved our bad timing by having scheduled the event for the busiest Saturday this time of year, when, elsewhere, there was the commemoration of Cesar Chavez, plus another green festival somewhere else, which drew away larger numbers of potential fellow mourners.
At the assembly point, Hope Bohanec, of In Defense of Animals headquartered in San Rafael, gave a talk about the Black bear hunting scene in California. What the government wants is to have unlimited Black bear hunting, plus the use of dogs for the nefarious purpose. They even want to put GPS units on their dogs so that they could lead the hunters to the treed bears. How much lower can the application of high tech go?
After Hope, I gave a short speech on hunting in general and on the Global Anti-Hunting Coalition. By then, too late, the weather had dried out, and we moved on with the motorcade. At least, I enjoyed a dry ride on my motorcycle all the way to San Rafael.
At the IDA office, we were met warmly by founder and president Dr. Elliot Katz, whom I call “The Greatest Vet in the World”. We were treated to an array of delicious vegan snacks. Dr. Katz said that he would come and attend my potluck speech in the evening sponsored by the San Francisco Vegetarian Society on Geary Street in SF. While at the IDA office, Hope handed me a check of $990 – the donation to the Global Anti-Hunting Coalition via IDA thus far. It was addressed to my name. To honor my commitment to Anthony D, I asked Hope to change the name from Anthony Marr to Anthony Damiano. Unfortunately, during the switching process, Anthony D left his important “little black book” for new GAHC members behind, and we had to go back to IDA to fetch it, hoping that it was left inside the IDA office and not outside somewhere in the parking lot. Jokingly I said to him, “We can’t afford to have this happen every day.” (See previous blog.) We arrived at the San Francisco Vegetarian Society potluck venue by 7 pm, and was received warmly by host Doxie Mahy, who MCed the event.
The audience size had again been thinned out by the other events around SF, but by speech time, more people had come in from other venues which had run their courses. True to his word, Dr. Katz also did arrive. By popular request, he gave a short and compelling speech.
After Dr. Katz stood well known vegan talkshow host Bob Linden, who Dixie said would have trouble staying within his time allotment. True to form, he did exceed his allotted two minutes by a whole second.
After Bob, Dixie introduced me with my two books in her hands, and I gave my hour-long keynote speech, again without any premeditation. As it happened, I touched upon the role of vegetarians and vegans in saving our children’s future, preventing mass extinction and saving the planet, with special emphasis on global warming, as well as the corruption on all levels of government forced by the powerful oil and hunting lobbies. When I was done, I received as thunderous an applause as a small audience has ever rendered unto me. After the speech, I “passed the helmet” for donations to fund the tour, and counted about $400 in total. Not bad for an hour’s work.
In the middle of the night, I was awakened by the sound of torrential rain, which has not let up, dooming whatever Sacramento motorcade to a non-event. Now it is past 8 pm, and it is still pouring. It is my opportunity to write this long blog, and I took it.
Until next time, happy vicarious traveling!
Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)
http://www.facebook.com (search for “Anthony Marr Heal Our Planet Earth”)