Claim Humane: Reinventing Our Relationship with Animals

“The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites, or women created for men.” – Alice Walker

Cooperating HampstersWhat is Claim Humane? Claim Humane is an engaging conversation in which all voices are heard. It is an opportunity for individuals with strongly opposing views to gather in circle and respectfully engage in a question that must be asked at this time in history: If humans are to reach our potential in conscious evolution (to reach our potential as a compassionate, HUMANe species), can we continue to use animals as utility and resource?

This is a very bold conversation in that it challenges our daily habits and practices. To explore it deeply is to recognize how each of us is (collectively) responsible for the suffering of many species and many individuals within these species (including humans). Through fully engaging in this inquiry and transforming our beliefs, practices and habits we can break free from the paradigms in which we are currently entrenched; paradigms that immobilize us. The beauty in this emerging shift in humanity is that while we are creating a new existence for ourselves we are also creating a new existence for other species. It is impossible to do one without doing the other.

Rainer Maria Rilke has suggested that we “live the question, love the questions.” He asks us to “be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

I love this passage because it gives us permission to be gentle with ourselves as we begin to correct practices that are proving to be far less compassionate than that of which we, as a species, are capable.

When we are gentle with ourselves and remove the judgment we are more likely to shift our ways of being. Living the question, loving the question allows us to see the possibility, the power and the beauty in hospicing-out old practices and paradigms that are no longer aligned with our values while midwifing-in new ones. It gives us the freedom to consider paramount questions and concepts that we might not otherwise consider.

AmyLeo is one of the most mature, clear voices I know for animal rights and a compassionate heart for all creatures. – Kate Meredith, Astronomer, Education Consultant, Lacrosse, WI

How does Claim Humane work?

Claim Humane conversations take place in both private and public settings: homes, churches, schools, conferences and more. Participants gather with the intention of deeply exploring this question and a commitment to hearing opposing views from a new perspective. Transformation can only occur when people are engaged in genuinely-respectful and authentically-inquisitive conversation – looking at all sides with a yearning to learn something about that perspective rather than making it wrong. Once we can fully engage in this conversation, and in this capacity, only then can we understand all the voices.

And only when we understand all the voices, all the wildly varying perspectives, we will be positioned to make lasting transformation in or relationship with animals and one another.

AmyLeo creates a safe environment in which to convene (rather than facilitate) Claim Humane Circles using the The Art Of Convening methodology.  AoC maintains that convening is distinct from facilitating in that “by definition, facilitation is ‘the process of making things easy or easier.’ Convening is the art and science of gathering and holding people for the sake of the best possible outcome”.

We invite you to be part of this conversation, to impact this outcome, by stepping forward as Martin Luther King Jr has requested of us for making social change:  “Cowardice asks the question ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question ‘Is it popular?’ But, conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”  The time has come to take action.

Contact AmyLeo Barankovich to schedule a Claim Humane Circle or for more information.

“If the lion and the lamb are ever to lie down together, perhaps the first step is for humans to refrain from killing, eating and exploiting animals. This may also bring peace amongst ourselves.” AmyLeo Barankovich