“Taking a deep sigh, the lion stretches his golden, muscular body in the warm sun. After his first night of freedom, he slowly gazes at the sapphire blue sky above him. Although he is still confused and not himself, he knows he must start to move. He is not familiar with this new land. For years, his days, hours and moments had been decided by others, and he knew every inch of his home. Today, his routine will be his own. The lion can finally flex his instincts as he begins to peruse his new environment.
The majestic lion starts his new journey by marking bushes as he carefully sniffs the ground. He roars. So proud as he gives notice to any invader this is his territory now. Slowing scouting out his new home, he is remembering eating something yesterday that made him sleepy. Suddenly, he smells something that puts fear in his heart. His instincts tell him to run but he sees a familiar face. A face who has fed him since he was young. But he doesn’t recognize the other face that is with him. The lion relaxes and then drops to the ground. He heard the loud, echoing noise that rippled through the silent land but it was the searing, hot pain that shot through his side that made him fall to the ground. The bullet has fatally injured the king of the beasts. He struggles to get up. Crying out with all the energy he can muster, his roar is overshadowed by yet another loud boom. The lion cannot get to his feet. Groaning, his insides are on fire. The shooting pain is too much for him to try to crawl to safety.
As he lay dying, he remembers his youth. He had everything as a cub. He never lacked for food or care. People were always around stroking his soft fur and taking care of him. He loved these people. He trusted them. He had a bond with them and a kinship. Closing his eyes, he hears the familiar voice that he grew up with growing louder as the blades of grass pop with his every approaching step. As the men tower over their “friend,” the lion slowly opens his eyes to see he has been betrayed. His spirit broken, his body destroyed, the lion’s spirit departs as he lets out his final death cry. His destiny has been fulfilled.”
Lions represent large sums of money, whether it be for their heads as trophies or bones for remedies. They are a boom for business and the tourist industry. They feed the greedy and satisfy egos. They fulfill the “thrill seekers.” As a result, lions are no longer considered “sacred” as they were in the past. They have lost their appeal as power animals to guard our spirits or to guide us when we are searching for answers. As the human species continues to actively work towards the extinction of lions, they have had to become creative in their methods which will ensure an illusion of infinite supply ofbig cats. It’s rather easy when one thinks of the lions as property and refers to them as a “what” instead of a “who.”
As breeding farms proliferate to satisfy the demands for this emerging species disaster, what have we forgotten that our ancestors knew about these great spirits? Why have lions always been associated with royalty? Why were the royal priests in Egypt adorned in lion regalia? Why have lions played a dominant role in our ancestor’s lives? Could it be the lions have a message for us at this particular time in our history? Are they here to teach the human species something? If so, we must shift our perspective and know that not only are canned hunts a cruel, heartless blood sport but also a criminal act against humanity. While the illusion the “hunter” pays the breeding farm large sums of money, the real cost is being paid by humanity. The reality is we are paying a high price for our future.
Saturday, March 15th, represents an awakening across the globe as people come together united and determined to speak for the lions and end this unconscious practice. It is an opportunity for us to not only change the course of destiny for the lions but also for ourselves. It is an act of compassion and acknowledgment of who the lions are and give meaning once again to their lives. The Global March For Lions is a rejection of material values at the expense of our own spiritual values. The Global March is a moment in time in which we are beginning to realize a world without the spirit of the lion is doomed to extinction. It is an opportunity for us to be clear about how the lions are intimately connected with our own future.
It is the spirit of the lion that has been our light when the world has been dark. The lion has given us strength and power when we were weak and helpless. It is the boldness of the lion we desperately need to create new ways of living not only among ourselves but with nature and the earth. It is our spirit connection with the lion that has served our ancestors just as it is serving us now. They are assisting us remembering the power and light that lies within us. They are teaching us how to co-exist with nature. They are showing us that what we do to them, we are doing to ourselves. We are strong. We are powerful. We are One with them. If we do not stand up for them and confront our responsibility to them, we too, will be as guilty as the lion farmer who betrayed the consciousness of the lion.
© 2014 Laura Lassiter All Rights Reserved