Soul Experiment Series: Loving Animals equally – Foxes

Our Friend Mr Fox

We realised some time ago that we had a lack of love for some creatures in comparison to others on the property. We value sheep and cattle more highly as they are/were our income, and we feel small creatures need ‘protecting’. We like native animals especially small and ‘cute’ ones and free and wild animals and love birds often above others creatures. We had very different feelings towards ‘pests’ including foxes, ‘feral’ cats, pigs, large mobs of kangaroos, various insects, eagles etc (we love eagles now but when the family first moved to the property they were deemed sheep killers and so were hunted themselves to prevent attack on the sheep.) Really anything that ‘attacked’ us, ‘our’ food, the livestock, or potentially may ‘attack’ us, the livestock or ‘our’ food.

AJ and Mary were talking to us a couple of years ago about how we don’t love all animals equally and encouraged us to look at the reasons why. At the time Foxes were an issue for us, killing lambs and we feared the attack on the livestock. We had had a shooter who whistled up the foxes and then killed them regularly on the place for years. When we decided that we would eat vegan (for a number of reasons) one being that we no longer wanted to intentionally kill animals, we felt that that applied not only to domesticated animals but to all the animals on the place so we also stopped all contract shooting of any kind of animal on the property.
We also decided to do a soul experiment with the foxes – the hypothesis being if we loved them equally would they feel the need to attack other animals on the property? So we began with our intention set to love the foxes as much as we love other animals and work through our fears, beliefs and reasons that we didn’t value them as much as, say the sheep. God has created ALL creatures and loves all her creations so we needed to ask ourselves why we don’t love all creatures equally just like God does?
For a time it seemed like there were more foxes and we were worried they might ‘take over’ but as we went through the process of working out why we favoured other animals and loved foxes less an amazing thing happened. We noticed that foxes didn’t actually prolifically multiply or attack the livestock. And now there seem to be the least amount of foxes there ever has been on the property.
We talked to our guides about the issue also and felt that eventually the foxes would leave, discontinue breeding or they would regulate their breeding and eat less meat or merely meat that had died naturally rather than having to kill to get food. Foxes have a negative reputation in Australia. But we are finding foxes are a beautiful animal, we found out that up to 80% of their diet is actually fruits, berries, insects and small animals if that food source is available (see scat image below), we feel that the fox (and many other animals that are ‘carnivorous’ at this time) would easily make the transition to eat a diet of insects and fruit if an abundance was available.
Due to humans taking away a lot of preferred food sources for various species they are forced to pray on other animals or what is available. We don’t really consider this when we strip away plants and habitat to graze livestock for money or personal gain, we give little thought to any creature other than those that we can ‘get’ something from, until they become a ‘problem’ or a ‘predator’. What we don’t realise is that we are the cause of the problem in the first place (this is exciting if we can own we are the cause, and find out what the emotional cause within us is, as this is what is going to enable us to change. We need to change our soul not just our intellect on these matters. It is all very well to say ‘we love foxes now’ but honestly that doesn’t work, we tried it and it didn’t stop the attacks. What did stop them was our genuine heartfelt change, the soul change, that is what stopped the attacks*.)
Fox scat: This is what foxes eat

The foxes seem to have now regulated in number. Angelo spoke to us about the fact that when we had been shooting the foxes, generally we were killing ‘an old’ fox with an established den, what happened is we disrupted the hierarchy system and in it’s place maybe 3-5 new foxes would move in increasing the population due to the balance being disrupted. Also the foxes felt hated and attacked by us and due to this bred prolifically increasing the population rapidly (see Jesus’ talks on ‘creating loving eco-systems’ for more information on aggressive and passive creature responses this can also be viewed on YouTube, there are 2 parts to the talk). We have now not had contract shooting for maybe five or so years and we feel quite differently about the foxes and there are the least number there have ever been on the property. They are rarely attacking and have not attacked sheep for a few years that we are aware.

The foxes will sit on rocks and watch us drive past now, they don’t always race away or avoid us at all costs, they are still wary at times but often we will pass a little nose sticking out of the grass just watching us go by. There is even one who lives at the top of the drive to our house.

We did see one who had attacked a galah and we feel the bird life gets attacked at times by foxes (and cats) and so we need to now look at our lack of equality of love in this area. We do love birds more and so they are likely to be attacked until we work through the emotions we have about that.

Now, if or when a creature does get attacked we ask ourselves what are the underlying causes within us that created the attack. We pray to be shown the reasons why these things are happening (we often go into self punishment and feel like we have done something wrong) BUT we are beginning to challenge this and be firm and honest with ourselves about what we feel when it happens. Pete and I voice our feelings as soon as it happens (if we can) and often realise that it is what we say in the first moment that is what has created the incident in the first place. Because the animals reflect us we are responsible for what happens to them on the property. Our soul’s are what protect or do not protect all the creatures great and small. Due to the creatures reflecting us it is an instant feedback system exposing errors, injuries and where we need to heal our soul in order to become more loving and grow closer to God.

Every creature has a purpose and God created them all. Animals, insects, micro-organisms etc are not ‘bad’, ‘wicked’, or intentionally attacking, some are merely doing their job, they are merely reflecting the human soul’s condition of love or lack of it and highlighting the areas where we need to heal and become more in harmony with love. Some of the injuries are intergenerational and have been going on for a long time, some are just starting to be exposed.

So in summation: we feel, and have some strong evidence now, that if you love one creature more than another it will either be attacked or attack (depending on it’s nature) until we love all creatures equally. We feel that when we love all creatures equally then each creature will feel loved and will not feel the need to over breed or attack another creature and the whole environment will eventually be in balance and harmony as God intended it to be.

We are excited and look forward to sharing with you more Soul Experiments, the direct relationship between the soul and the world around us (including flora and fauna) and the eternal wonders of God’s universe that we are finding out about and how our love or lack of it directly affects the environment we live in.

* We are now having a similar situation with the pigs and until we work through the errors within our soul and release all the feelings that come up with each pig attack on the things we love and come to a place of equal love for the pigs and all of God’s creations, I highly suspect (actually firmly believe) that things are not going to change. In fact we know it wont. We have said ‘we love the pigs’, and we genuinely do think they are cute, amusing and have a growing fondness for them, but there are some underlying emotions in us, which are readily and rawly exposed when they dig out the dam walls and furrow through trees we have just planted, that clearly indicate to us that we do not love these little dudes equally – yet.

Note: We love watching documentaries on the natural world, especially David Attenborough, and we find it really interesting when ‘new animal behaviour’ is discovered especially attacking behaviours. With what we feel and know in our hearts now (and with some confirmation and enlightenment from Jesus) we can see the direct correlation with the human condition and lack of harmony with love and working against God’s Laws. For example the Kea in NZ has in the last ten years gone from being a herbivore to a carnivore – now attacking small chicks of other birds as a food source. If you look at NZ’s major exports and what they are economically reliant upon it is meat/animals (and tourism mostly). So the Kea is just reflecting by highlighting the emotional error in New Zealander’s (and the rest of the world) of how we feel that killing and relying on the meat industry is okay. 

Or Termites, it is their job to recycle and clean up dead matter, they are not intentionally attacking us or our houses, they are just doing the job God created them perfectly to do. Another issue is often there are not other food sources available. If we built living structures, which I suggest would actually be healthier for us also to live in, then I suspect that they would not get eaten by the waste warriors as much. Unfortunately instead of looking at our soul condition and the lack of love within ourselves and taking responsibility for what we attract into our lives we just exterminate the Termites. Termites are amazing and without them the foodchain faces real dangers. Termites are vital for so many creatures and they are super genuises in architecture as well, we have much to learn from the humble termite and I suggest taking some time to investigate and find out about them before eradicating or exterminating them.

Laneway Regeneration Project 2011

 
This was one of our first swale experiments.
 
We had a huge amount of rain that eroded the laneway* leaving huge holes and cut outs. Some erosion on the property could literally fit a car in it (unfortunately we do not have photos of that section).
 
We decided that we needed to do something that would stop erosion and also regenerate the land at the same time. We decided on swaling the area, planting it out with primary regeneration flora, including wattles, and a variety of native trees and shrubs, mulching and watering the plants and swales we fenced the area off and left it to do what it does.
 
Below are some before and after images:
 
The swales just having been planted out 2011. (Top section of the laneway).
20130206 Photo of laneway regeneration project today
20130206 a swale with some trees doing pretty well so far
erosion after heavy rains 2011 (Bottom section of the
laneway).
 erosion section after heavy rains 2011 (Bottom section)
The area we swaled and planted out, just after planting 2011
(Bottom section of the laneway)
The same section as above December 2012
(Bottom section of the laneway)

 
 
It has been really interesting observing this section of laneway. The trees have grown rapidly and well, there has not been a lot of loss of plants. There are many types of different grasses coming up of their own occurred and they are much taller than on other areas of the property.
 
We also observed some interesting links between plants and the people who planted them. In the top section of the laneway we planted a variety of native shrubs and trees. We noticed that the banksias in the top section were all getting eaten by animals. We couldn’t work it out as banksias are spiky and not the usual tree of choice that animals prefer, (they do not have the softest leaves). We were discussing it and found out that the person who had planted many of the trees had a favourite and those were the banksias. We found it interesting that the ‘favourite’ had been attacked and eaten.
 
We had another experience in a different section of the land where a similar thing happened. Many trees were planted and many of them died. It was interesting to observe that all those people who planted out the sections had the feeling when planting that they had to ‘get a job done’, there feelings were based on outcome and ‘get as much done as possible’ rather than taking time and having a desire to love and give to the trees and the land.

*A laneway is a fenced space like a roadway that links up many of the paddocks on the property and is easy for the stock to walk to and from the woolshed.

Breeding Aviary Project

Some of our smaller friends
This Project is one of Michael’s passions* and began pre ‘Octoberfest’ 2011 and has been a continuing project since. It will be an on-going project that has and will be created in stages.
Stage one consisted of converting a calf house into the aviary. This consisted of knocking out stalls, putting up wire mesh, creating perspex windows, high step up doorways and sealing up any holes that possible rodents or reptiles could enter by. Putting down a sand floor, heating for the winter months, hanging nesting ‘boxes’ and creating water baths/drinking bowls and feeders.

When This was complete some feathered friends moved in. At present there are Star Finches, a Blue Faced Parrot (who will be getting a mate in the next couple of months), Long Tailed Finches, Masked Finches and Zebra Finches. There are expected new arrivals in the coming months.

Inside of calf house during conversion to aviary.
Almost complete inside view.
Outside view holding up window that will lead to first flight zone.
Inside view – nesting bundles, food and water dishes,
heater and sand floor
A wee nest

Stage two consisted of the ‘first flight zone’. The ‘first flight zone’ has had tin dug into trenches to prevent anything from digging under it, and is fitted out with wire mesh to make an enclosure. This eventually will lead out to a greater or free flight zone with the wire mesh cut so the birds can come and go into a greater flight zone and then into the bush land beyond where they can ‘learn’ survival skills from the native non captive finch populations that inhabit the area. At present there is a small family of Red Brow Finches that come and go from bush land behind the flight zones.

first flight zone under construction
Earthworks for the ‘first flight zone’ under construction.
Digging the tin into trenches
Adding wire mesh to ‘first flight zone’ and beginnings of planting out
beginnings of planting out and construction of wire mesh zone.
The plants taking to their new environment and the beginnings of small
bird food abundance.
Same as above, different angle.

The intention is to eventually have a release programme for native and endangered finches (and small birds in particular) that educates the birds to care for themselves in the ‘wild’. We are in the process of planting a lot of spiky, dense native flora to create nesting and habitat for small birds.

We would also like to design and implement in future portable aviaries that can be taken to regeneration sites near food and water, with birds in them where they can create nests and ‘living’ quarters and be safe from predators while they get established. Once ‘educated’ by ‘wild’ finches (- to avoid attack and not be totally dependant and domesticated) the flocks established and flourishing we will remove the portable aviary and begin the process again.
In the mean time we are planting out seeding grasses that small bird and finches like and that attract insects, shrubs, bushes, trees for nesting and food near to permanent water sources to create habitat and as ideal conditions as possible to encourage breeding and support large populations of bird life.
For more information or details feel free to contact us.

* Though we all gain much joy and excitement from it.
Some of the small birds that are in the Breeding Aviary at this time

‘Octoberfest’ – Namoi CMA Project 2011

panorama of part of ‘Octoberfest’ site

 

panorama of part of ‘Octoberfest’ site

 

 

panorama of part of ‘Octoberfest’ site


‘Octoberfest’ was a project that Teams from the The God’s Way of Love Organisation (now disbanded), gave their time and energy too in order to prepare for and plant 10,000* trees.

 
We (the Lytton-Hitchins’ family) had a grant from the Namoi CMA to create a wildlife corridor. 
 
It was a fun filled week of activities consisting mainly of tree planting, building a breeding aviary*, working with draught horses, mediumship, karaoke, singing, dancing and sing-a-longs.
Our objective was to create a wildlife corridor, linking a highway bushland travelling stock route (TSR) with a timbered ridge line some 3km from the TSR. The nature strip follows along two creek lines which already had ample water and some established trees. 
 
Activities of the week:
  • Preparing and planting 10,000 trees in total (we planted 5,000 over Octoberfest)
  • Built swales to improve hydrology (on a large scale with a crawler – already in place)
  • planted bushes, shrubs and trees for bird habitat, insects, bugs and creatures.
  • mulched to help feed and retain water for all the new plants
  • Our intention was to start the rehabilitation process in one planting.
  • Enjoy each others company and have fun
We wanted to give to the land rather than continue taking from it constantly. So we encouraged anyone planting to plant with love or to not plant at all. 
 
‘Octoberfest’ was also an experiment about how our soul, Love, emotions, expectations, demands affect the environment around us (in this case plants). 
 
The objective was to give love to the land in areas that it felt ‘tired’ and had been overly and excessively used for many years. 
Looking up to the swale site (Oct 2011)
Walking to ‘work’ (Oct 2011)
Swales ready for planting (Oct. 2011)
Working on Swale projects (Oct 2011)
Swale Site (Oct 2011)
Pre-made swales ready for planting out (Oct 2011).
Some of the trees to be planted out during the week (Oct 2011).

Another part of the ‘Octoberfest’ 2011 Project was a very ‘tired’ paddock that lacks fertility and has been heavily grazed for many years. Hundreds of years ago this paddock was full of huge trees, a stump and some large holes (scars) are all that is left of it now. We swaled and direct seeded the area with wattle seeds (to regenerate the land and soil).

Some amazing things have happened over a year. The land has begun healing itself with a whole variety of different plants (weeds). Fleabone came up rapidly all over the place in abundance, amongst this was also thistle, dandelions and some very delicate flowers and other plants.

Swales just dug
Swales just dug
volunteers seeding the area
a year on from a distance you can see the colour of the fleabone
healing the area
fleabone beginning to do it’s ‘job’ a few months after seeding
fleabone at the end of it’s cycle
A Year on we have noticed that many trees have died in certain swaled areas. We feel that they received a large amount of emotional projections in the form of expectation and demand upon them during ‘Octoberfest’ 2011 which caused them to die.
This can be seen clearly from swale to swale in that every plant and tree had the same planting conditions, the same amount of minerals, water, mulch etc, yet some trees have flourished and grown 6ft in a year and others are totally dead. The only difference in the planting on each swale was the people, so by process of elimination we feel that it has something to do with us the people.
We also noticed that the loss rate of trees from ‘Octoberfest’ was far higher than some of our ‘commercial’ plantings of the past and we feel that the ‘commercial’ plantings had much less investment from those that did the planting. Those who do ‘commercial’ planting are paid and contracted to plant, they don’t really mind what happens to the plants after they have done their ‘job’ of planting the trees.
We found this observation interesting and have been experimenting with it on smaller scales and other projects. An example is Peter’s asparagus planting and cucumber experiment.
Swales a year on – grass and ‘weed’ cover over them now
Swales a six months on
swales a year on in a very dry season
Swaled area a year on – we are beginning to add
dead matter to the swales to create living fertility systems
in the swales themselves. We feel this should have been
done at the time of the project last year.
Some living system ‘food’ Thanks Bunnings!
Some more food, Thanks Bunnings and Munzies!
A swale a year on with Living Fertility systems added
A flourishing tree six months after planting
some trees doing well in the swales
Swales dug and filled with water soon after
A year on swales grassed up and can hardly be seen
in the paddock they are now supporting.

*See blog post on ‘Breeding Aviary Project’