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Editor’s Corner Essay: Pain, Hope, and Healing Working at Healing For a number of years, I have been part of a weekly circle engaging in prayer for healing, an activity that has made me more sensitive to suffering caused by injury, illness, and other trauma to humans and animals, and strengthened my sympathetic joy when I hear that someone has been healed. More recently, having undergone knee replacement surgery myself early in July (my first and I hope last hospital stay), I have had even stronger motivation--accompanied by both impatience and gratitude--to reflect on the healing process. Underlying both the work of the gifted spiritual healer, such as Martin de Porres (See Martin ), that of the allopathic M.D in our culture, and other kinds of healing practitioners in between, one finds a natural process akin to germination and growth. Ideally, the healer removes obstacles, physical and psychological, so that the wound knits itself together again; the disease recedes and vanishes. Scholars and scientists can learn much about how the various healing practices work, including even the energy work of spiritual healers. But there will always remain an element of mystery about healing itself: it is the sine qua non, the irreducible. Human healers and practitioners cannot engineer it, only cooperate with it. For a long time people in our culture have tended to drop the whole responsibility for healing into the hands of the establishment MD. Too many people are stressed, sleep-deprived, and overweight, stepping from their office desks to their cars to the sofas in front of their TVs, filling up on refined foods and heavy animal products as though there’s no tomorrow, occasionally checking the news to see if a cure has been found for cancer and heart disease and diabetes. When one of the diseases turns up in their own bodies, they act as though the physicians’ pills and procedures will take care of it as they continue their deadly regimen--all the while knowing that official solutions often fail. Readers of the Peaceable Table know better than to take such a passive stance. We know we are not secure from all physical ills, but we also know we need to take responsibility for our health, safeguarding it especially by a diet of whole plant foods, by exercise, by choosing to live a loving and meaningful life, and by prayer and/or meditation. In my own case of knee surgery, a large proportion of responsibility falls on the so-called “patient.” The operation may be said to provide the potential for a functioning knee; it is up to the recipient to activate the knee by laborious retraining both of the foot and knee via daily exercises, some of them painful. (Ordinarily, however, a responsible approach to one’s own health, especially as regards plant-based eating, is for the most part not painful or depriving, as many omnivores believe, but full of unexpected joys and rewards.) Working at Compassion Extending compassion toward the victims of the animal foods industries is so central to dining at the Peaceable Table that some of us get uncomfortable with the idea of needing to receive compassion as well. Yet there is a time and place when it is important to be able to do so. Having compassion on oneself is important to being able to extend it to others; the person who hates him- or herself is often likely to fail to see the suffering and the caring of others. For example, at a conference I once met a dedicated animal activist--call her Marlene--who impressed me greatly, and whom I wanted to have as a friend. After the conference, I hopefully began an e-mail relationship. But I soon found out that Marlene’s acknowledged hatred of and alienation from her own body, which she visibly abused, apparently affected other aspects of her life as well. Before long I had become one of the many would-be friends who, as she had complained earlier, always let her down, so that there was nothing left for her but her work for the animals. But there was a good reason why she lost her friends. A subtly-expressed resentment of me because I had love in my life, a resentment which often appeared in her letters--”poor me, lucky you”--was effectively pushing me away, as it evidently had other would-be friends. Yet there is a fine line between compassion for oneself , which is life-giving, and self-pity, which looks somewhat like it but in fact drains away life and love. “I’ve done everything right, or almost everything; I’ve been vegan, eating lots of veggies and fruit, with no calcium-draining meat in my diet for years and years; I’ve exercised and meditated almost every day. I’m not supposed to get osteoporosis! It’s not fair. Look at those lucky hikers walking past, probably giving nary a thought to the wonderful fact that they have two good knees. Why do I have to go through so much pain to walk again? Why does this knee take so long to heal? It’s not fair.” Needless to say, this kind of sufferer is not much fun to have around. Paradoxically, if self-pity goes on long enough and becomes a fixed habit, its effects may resemble those of Marlene’s disastrous lack of compassion for herself. Meaningfulness and Hope As I see it, there are (at least) two potential ways that one can quiet the querulous complaints of Self-Pity. One is by an exercise of imagination in seeking real, positive answers from Providence--or the Universe-- to the Why question. Why does my life story include this painful experience? How might I grow spiritually from it? To back up in search of a wider perspective: Why did God--Providence, the Universe--have me born to those two parents on that date, with the good and bad things in my childhood that built me up or undermined me? (And/or: what did I have in mind when I chose to incarnate through those parents at that time?) Why has this catastrophe come into my life? How might such experiences have been meant to make my soul stronger and bigger? How might they be turned into gifts of love to myself, to other people, to animals? We can’t count on finding the answer to these questions, but imagining what the answers might be is helpful in stopping Self-Pity in its whining course. As Viktor Frankl, a survivor of the Nazi death camps and creator of the school of Logotherapy, said in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, the prisoners who survived the horrors, the contagious diseases, and the daily assaults small and great of life in the concentration camps, tended to be those who found a meaning for their suffering, thus keeping alive a form of hope. One day when, terribly cold and hungry, and forced to do meaningless work such as breaking rocks, all of which made him feel like a very low form of life, he suddenly had a mental image of himself standing on a platform in a well-heated auditorium, giving a lecture to an absorbed audience on the psychology of concentration camp existence. Immediately his whole situation changed; his present sufferings did not go away, but they became part of the preparation for his imagined future work. (This was in fact his interrupted work, for he had already written a book manuscript on his new theory of psychotherapy, a manuscript which he had had with him when he entered the camps, and which the Nazis had destroyed. He intended to re-write it when released, and occasionally was able to make notes on small scraps of paper.) Frankl could not be assured that this vision would ever be fulfilled, that this “why” was the true one for him; perhaps the Nazis would win the war; perhaps he would die as so many around him were dying (and as his young wife had in fact already died). But the meaning that his imagination formed and shaped was powerful, sharpening his mind and strengthening his endurance and even his immune system, helping him survive to carry it out. The other way (which may overlap with the first) is to keep in conscious touch with the fact of the spiritual world. There are a great many times when we don’t feel that we have much of a spiritual life, and for very strong reasons; being in a lot of physical pain is certainly one of them; another is the terrible psychological pain of bereavement. And it is necessary to acknowledge pain, physical, psychological, and spiritual; in most cases one has to sit with it, accept the fact of it, endure it. But what one does not have to do is let it contract one’s mental world until there is nothing else left but the self and the pain. When I was anticipating giving birth at home, I wrote out various of my favorite poems, including G. M. Hopkins’ “The Wreck of the Deutschland,” Francis Thompson’s “The Hound of Heaven,” and other cherished passages dealing with suffering and renewal. I hoped that having my sister read these to me would help me hold in mind that what I would be going through linked me to the worldwide cycle of pain, death, and renewal. In fact it was enormously helpful; I did not feel isolated by pain and trapped in my body but part of a huge cosmic process. Animals and Hope Can either of these strategies possibly be of use to animals in their sufferings, so many of which are imposed by humans? In the past it was common for even sophisticated scholars to claim that all animal consciousness is locked in an immediate present, with no memory of the past or anticipation of the future; they could have no thought of death as eventually to end their lives. (What looked like memory or planning was merely “instinct.” If this were true, Frankl’s idea of the potential meaningfulness of present suffering toward a hoped-for goal would be necessarily incomprehensible to them. Ethologists and other scientists working closely with animals in respectful ways, for instance Francine Patterson and her colleagues working with gorillas Koko, Michael and Ndume, have in effect demonstrated that the idea that all animals are locked in the present moment is a concept human animals have created and maintained to bolster their own value as “more equal” than other animals. For example, through sign language, Michael was able to share his nightmarish memories of the murder of his mother by poachers when he was a youngster in Africa. Ethologists studying fish have shown cases of their remembering and putting to use positive things they learned. That said, I think it must be acknowledged that it seems very unlikely that the vast numbers of animals whom humans presently put to hellish suffering can find their suffering meaningful, and/or can anticipate possible future healing and wholeness, perhaps after death, as humans can; they probably are indeed locked in the horrible present of their ordeals. However, there are certainly isolated cases in which human-animal telepathic contact that makes an awareness of meaningful suffering possible has evidently been established. In fact, most animal communicators take for granted that they can explain the purpose of a human-imposed ordeal, such as an impending veterinary procedure, to a companion animal, enabling her or him to relax and accept it. Individual guardians have described impressive successes in such a situation. I am thinking particularly of an incident that did not involve an animal communicator; the narrator was a horse’s guardian who had to relocate to another state. Her horse friend had always been panicky at attempts to put him into a trailer, and she was worried that he would suffer physical and psychological harm from the imminent trip. She spent some time in concentrating on conveying to him that this was necessary because they had to move a considerable distance away, but that when they got there he would not only be let out, but would be happy in a large and beautiful new home. He evidently got the message, for he entered the van quietly and made the trip without incident. (Regrettably, I don’t recall the source of this account, but feel confident that the story is reliable.) While we must maintain some critical caution in approaching individual stories of this kind, there are enough of them that we would be foolish to dismiss the possibility they suggest: that human consciousness may have a crucial part in expanding the consciousness of animals, helping them to gain the staying and healing benefits of hope. In “The Animals Are Waiting,” (see Waiting) in an earlier issue of PT, I cited the idea of G.I. Gurdjieff and Katherine Hulme that as a critical mass of human beings open their consciousness to higher spiritual levels--”climb Jacob’s ladder”-- animals will be increasingly released from bondage to predation and violence. This process may be seen as a part of a vision of spiritual evolution. Perhaps this participation by animals in human Hope can become an early part of the process. These ideas are not merely the speculations of esoteric religious groups. Explicit faith-based confirmation, including even the feature of human mediation, may be found in a source that secular-minded animal advocates might find unlikely: the apostle Paul, who assured his readers that “The creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay, and be brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Rom. 8:21) --Gracia Fay Ellwood The lead photo comes from the website Integrative Healing. The photo of St. Raphael, the archangel of healing, comes from the website Dedroidify. Portrait photo is of Katherine Hulme, 1900-1981. The couple in the black-and-white photo are Frankl and his wife, probably a wedding picture. Unset Gems ‘I freed thousands of slaves, and could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.” --Attributed to Harriet Tubman According to her biographer Kate Clifford Larson, Harriet Tubman led a total of about seventy slaves to freedom during her several trips on the Underground Railroad, and more than 700 when she was a scout and guide during the Civil War. But she did not literally free thousands of slaves; if these words are in fact hers, she meant them metaphorically. "Animals do not 'give' their life to us, as the sugar-coated lie would have it. No, we take their lives. They struggle and fight to the last breath, just as we would do if we were in their place."~ John Robbins --Contributed by Lorena Mucke I was told a hundred times as a child that cows “give milk.” Baloney. Muggers think pedestrians “give” cash and jewelry. It’s a strange way to look at giving. --Victoria Moran, Main Street Vegan NewsNotes Tyson’s Blood Profits Fall Tyson Foods, the nation's biggest meat company, reported that its profits fell 61% in the most recent quarter due in large part to lower consumer demand for chicken and beef, and to rising costs of grain. See Blood Profits No Comment “So our animals can’t turn around for the 2.5 years that they are in the stalls producing piglets . . . I don’t know who asked the sow if she wanted to turn around.” See Ask the Sow --National Pork Producers spokesperson “Unsafe at Any Feed” The USDA allows the selling of unsafe meat and blames the consumer if he/she gets sick. Dr. Michael Greger says that so much American meat is contaminated with fecal matter and food pathogens that it is a danger to public health. Patricia Griffin of the Centers for Disease Control says, “Is it reasonable that if a consumer undercooks a hamburger…their three-year-old dies?” See Unsafe --All NewsNotes Contributed by Lorena Mucke Pioneer: Emperor Ashoka, 304 - 232 BCE The emperor Ashoka the Great (304-232 BCE), who reigned in India from 269 to 232 BCE, was surely one of the most remarkable and truly great monarchs in all of history. At first Ashoka pursued the usual regimen of his forebears in the Maurya dynasty, chiefly waging wars of conquest, in his case against the recalcitrant state of Kalinga. Tens of thousands of people were slain or died of subsequent famine by his acts. Subject lands were controlled by a firmly centralized government, maintained as necessary with the help of secret police and terror. But in about 261 BCE, while following his armies into Kalinga, the Emperor had a dramatic change of heart. Seeing with his own eyes the terrible anguish he had imposed on so many innocent people only to subdue and use them to his own glory, he knew he could no longer do this. The sight made him sick and he exclaimed, in a famous monologue: “What have I done? If this is a victory, what is a defeat then? Is this a victory or a defeat? Is this justice or injustice? Is it gallantry or a rout? Is it valor to kill innocent children and women? Do I do it to widen the empire and for prosperity or to destroy the other's kingdom and splendor? One has lost her husband, someone else a father, someone a child, someone an unborn infant. . . Are these marks of victory or defeat?” The repentant victor renounced warfare and embraced the Buddhist Dharma (the Buddha's teaching or “gospel”). A transformed man, he adopted and promoted non-violence toward both humans and animals. He now looked kindly on his subjects, calling them “my children,” and sent out officials to promote these new principles. Ashoka and his extraordinary views are chiefly known from some thirty-two rocks or carved stone pillars (originally there were probably many more) on which he had his edicts and pronouncements inscribed. Although it is thought that most come from his own hand, some are put in the third person. Here are some examples: Dharma is good, but what constitutes Dharma?. . . little evil, much good, kindness, generosity, truthfulness and purity. . . the practice of Dharma consists of having kindness, generosity, truthfulness, purity, gentleness and good increase among the people. Regarding animals, Ashoka gave up the royal hunt, traditional among kings everywhere. He also wrote: Here [in my kitchen] no living beings are to be slaughtered or offered in sacrifice. . . Formerly, hundreds of thousands of animals were killed every day to make curry. But now with the writing of the Dharma edict only three creatures, two peacocks and a deer are killed, and the deer not always. And in time, not even these three creatures will be killed. [The King] made provision for two types of treatment: medical treatment for humans and medical treatment for animals. Wherever medical herbs suitable for humans or animals are not available, I have had them imported and grown. Wherever medical roots or fruits are not available, I have had them imported and grown. Along roads I have had wells dug and trees planted for the benefit of humans and animals. . . To two-footed and four-footed beings, to birds and aquatic animals, I have given various things including the gift of life. . . Twenty-six years after my coronation various animals were declared to be protected. . . Nanny goats, ewes and sows which are with young or giving milk to their young are protected, and so are young ones less than six months old. Cocks are not to be caponized, husks hiding living beings are not to be burnt and forests are not to be burnt either without reason or to kill creatures. One animal is not to be fed to another. But though personally enthusiastic about the then relatively new religion of Buddhism, the Emperor realized that while laws and benevolent state policies can and should reflect the best universal ethics, religion and the inner moral transformation that goes with it is personal and depends on more than legislation alone: This progress among the people through Dhamma [Dharma] has been done by two means, by Dhamma regulations and by persuasion. Of these, Dhamma regulation is of little effect, while persuasion has much more effect. The Dhamma regulations I have given are that various animals must be protected. And I have given many other Dhamma regulations also. But it is by persuasion that progress among the people through Dhamma has had a greater effect in respect of harmlessness to living beings and non-killing of living beings. Ashoka in fact set a standard for religious toleration and mutual edification worthy of contemporary ecumenism: “All religions should reside everywhere, for all of them desire self-control and purity of heart. . . Contact [between religions] is good. One should listen to and respect the doctrines professed by others. [The King] desires that all should be well-learned in the good doctrines of other religions.” This philosopher-king and his now-fortunate people seems to have dwelt in relative peace and happiness until the end of a long reign. Life was not perfect; legislation setting fines for hunting shows that this activity did not entirely cease in the great ruler's realm. But for the ancient world it must have seemed good indeed. Then, however, sadly, after the monarch's death the world returned to the tragic normal: his heirs squabbled among themselves, the realm fragmented, and its ideals were lost. Indeed, Ashoka himself was largely forgotten until two millennia later when his famous pillars and their astounding texts were discovered by British archaeologists associated with another Indian empire. Innumerable empires have risen and fallen over the long history of earth. Many have been no more than ventures of conquest and exploitation. Some imperialists like Alexander the Great (who probably was an inspiration to Ashoka’s grandfather Chandragupta I) and a much-later Empress of India, Queen Victoria, may have believed that--despite the battles, bloodshed, and onerous taxation they imposed--their empires were laying a foundation for ultimate peace, progress, and the bringing together of the best of several cultures. The relationship between these ideals and the reality is subject to debate. Certainly language, commerce, art, and the world of ideas, including nineteenth-century ideas of liberation for certain oppressed groups, were widely disseminated in the wake of those great marches or far-sailing sea voyages, but it is hard to weigh the gains against the enormous harm that was also done. It is clear, however, that no imperial potentate has even approached Ashoka in demonstrating how an empire, if only for a few brief years in the eons-long stream of time, can make peace, tolerance, justice and nonviolence among humans and animals to clearly prevail over their (not entirely defeated) opposites. None have come this near to reviving the golden age--or the Eden--said to repose at the dawn of history for humans and animals alike. --Robert Ellwood The lead picture in this article is an artist’s imaginative conception of Ashoka. The pillar depicted, which has a seated lion atop its capital, is the one at Vaishali; photo from Wikipedia. Did You Miss This One? A Home For Spooky A Home for Spooky. By Gloria Rand, illustrated by Ted Rand. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1998. $15.95 Unpaginated (32 pages). Hardcover. This picture book for children is based on a true story. The main character was changed from a female named Hope to a male named Spooky; the basic narrative, though, remains the same: A starving, very sick dog, barely surviving near a garbage dump, is rescued and adopted by a human family. In reality, the rescue was mostly the doing of Linda Buskirk, a veterinarian's assistant. In the fictionalized story, the rescue is initiated by Annie, evidently ten or twelve years old, the daughter of the family. I imagine that adults hearing or reading the story might react by saying: "That is so hasty, so thoughtless! What about fleas, lice, ticks - or worse yet, rabies?" Such caution is valid, but more important is that fact that perfect love casts out fear (I John 4:18). The family overcame whatever fears of their own they had, and drew Hope/Spooky out of her/his own fear. She/he was very much afraid of humans initially, suggesting a history of cruel abuse. Although no one in the book warns Annie's family about possible insect infestation or rabies, the veterinarian does recommend euthanizing the poor dog. As I said in a previous review: If a human is suffering from malnutrition, the cure is always an improved diet, never a lethal injection! The same guideline should apply to birds and quadrupeds. In fact, the vet in the story is one of three characters who learn important lessons The vet learns that it is better to feed than to euthanize the starving. Annie learns it is better to get her family to help than to keep secrets from them. Spooky learns that not all humans need to feared; some can not only be trusted, but will transform his entire life. The artwork by Ted Rand is beautiful. If the illustrations were removed, the book would be so diminished that it would hardly qualify as a book at all, but the art is by itself worth the price of the book. Some technical information is provided; 'the artist used grease pencil and acrylics on 100 percent rag paper to create the illustrations for this book.' I would have thought, prima facie, that it is hard to believe that such splendid art could have been created using such a lowly medium as grease pencils. But Ted Rand was a great artist. The story is uplifting and inspirational. I recommend this book for readers of all ages. If this book is read by (or to) a very young child, I recommend it be accompanied by appropriate cautions about approaching a stray dog. No such caveats when the story is read by older folk. Recommended for all ages. --Benjamin Urrutia Book Review: Animal Welfare in Islam Al-Hafiz Basheer Ahmad Masri, Animal Welfare in Islam. Markfield, UK: The Islamic Foundation, 1988, rev. ed. 2007. 164 pp. $20.00 softcover. This book is something of a mixed bag, consisting as it does of several essays apparently written or revised at different times, and with different audiences in mind. Nonetheless the small volume serves as an accessible introduction to the topic of Islamic thought on animals and vegetarianism by an author clearly sympathetic to both, and also learned in the Qur'anic sources and intellectual traditions of his faith. Many non-Muslims today rely all too readily on mere stereotypes of this widespread and diverse religion. Animal Welfare in Islam will help us to hear something of Islam's various voices in areas important to many of us, animal welfare and vegetarianism. The titles of the four main chapters give an idea of the book's scope: “Islamic Concern for Animals,” “Vegetarianism vs. Meatarianism,” “Animal Sacrifice,” and “Halāl Meat -- the Bone of Contention.” On the first point, Masri cites the Qur'an to the effect that, “There is not an animal on earth, nor a two-winged flying creature, but they are communities like you” (6:38), and “No change is permissible in God's creation; this is the proper way of life and yet, most people do not even know of this” (30:30). These verses are often taken by ecology-minded commentators to suggest it is particularly heinous to permit an entire species to go extinct, that tribe being one of the communities in which God placed his creatures. But there is more than this: in the Hadith, or sayings traditionally attributed to Muhammad, we find: “Whoever is kind to the creatures of God, is kind to himself,” and “He who takes pity on a sparrow and spares its life, Allah will be merciful on him on the Day of Judgement.” Moreover, many stories are told of the Prophet's great love for his cat Muezza, whom he would allow to sit on his lap while preaching seated in the eastern style, and on one occasion he even cut off a sleeve of his garment rather than disturb the animal companion when he had to get up. The next chapter is “Vegetarianism vs. Meatarianism.” (This new word is not a bad term for the practice of flesh-eating, actually. Despite having studied and enjoyed Latin in college and after, I have become increasingly aware, as was George Orwell, of how much we use Latin-based words, like carnivore or pork (> porcus, L. for pig), as euphemisms for unpleasant realities that somehow hit harder in plain Anglo-Saxon.) Here Masri goes through rather standard arguments for vegetarianism which will probably be familiar to most readers of The Peaceable Table, from health, economic, and ecological concerns. He also reviews briefly the position of major world religions on the subject. On Islam the author makes the observation that Islam nowhere officially requires or encourages meat-eating; this is left to the discretion of individual believers, who could be purely vegetarian without violation of the faith. He adds, however, that vegetarianism was not an original mandate of the religion because a plant-based diet was unavailable as an immediate option for its herding, desert-dwelling first followers. Now, however, it could be, and so could fully implement the Prophet's obvious love for animals. One objection will undoubtedly occur to readers who know anything about Islam: what about the Id al-Adha, the sacrificial slaughter, usually of a goat or sheep, properly performed by all pilgrims to Mecca on the tenth day of the hajj, and also offered in harmony with them by all Muslims throughout the world on the same day? The meat from this sacrifice is not supposed to be sold or eaten by the sacrificer, but given to the poor. On this difficulty Masri endorses the views of scholars who have contended that the key to the meaning of the sacrifice is both devotion and the act of charity toward the poor. He goes so far as to look forward to a day when Muslims will substitute other symbols of piety, and other methods of giving alms, for the violent taking of an animal’s life. The final chapter, on Halāl meat (that is, meat slaughtered in a ritually proper way and from animals considered clean) is rather more conventional, and was perhaps intended as no more than a guide for Muslims living or travelling in non-Muslim countries. It points out that, to be halāl, the animal must be killed in a single stroke as the name of God is invoked over him or her, and the blood drained; swine and scavengers are forbidden as food. However, jurists have conceded that if necessary, meat killed by Christians or Jews may be consumed. One is disappointed that Masri did not use this conundrum as an occasion to urge vegetarianism on his travelling or expatriate co-religionists. I have known Jews who have found that just being vegetarian is simpler than trying all the time to keep kosher, the Judaic parallel to halāl, particularly in situations when one is far from home. This last chapter seems to be on a level different from the first three chapters, which are far more exploratory, even intellectually adventurous. However, the entire book can be recommended as an interesting guide to Islam and Islamic ways of thinking for open-minded persons wishing to learn more about animal welfare issues in Islam. If nothing else, it acquaints us with the way that Islam, like all religions today, is responding to new challenges in various ways, and that there are those within it open to new ideas. If the great faith of the Prophet who himself loved animals were to move massively to the side of the animals, the world and their lot would be immensely better. Under God's grace and compassion, nothing is impossible. --Robert S. Ellwood Recipes Saturday Garden Salad serves 2 - 3 1 large bunch romaine lettuce 1 large bunch green oak leaf lettuce 2 whole beets, cooked and sliced ¼ cup walnut pieces ¼ small red onion, sliced miso salad dressing - recipe follows Wash and spin lettuce. Tear into pieces and place in salad bowl. Top with beets, onion, and walnuts. Toss with miso salad dressing. Serve with fresh baked bread. --Angela Suarez Miso Salad Dressing makes about ½ cup 1 T. mellow white miso ½ cup extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup chianti wine vinegar 2 T. water 1 tsp. agave nectar ½ tsp. Dijon mustard ¼ tsp. sea salt, or to taste ¼ tsp. onion granules Place all ingredients in a jar and whisk. Spoon over salad and toss. Store remaining miso salad dressing in refrigerator. This is a simple and easy to make salad made from vegetables grown in my garden. The miso dressing is easy to make and delicious to have available for many varieties. --Angela Suarez Poetry: James Stephens, 1882-1950 Little Things Little things that run and quail, And die, in silence and despair . . . Little things that fight and fail, And fall, on sea and earth and air . . . All trapped and frightened little things, Mouse and coney, hear our prayer . . . As we forgive wrongs done to us --Lamb and linnet, rat and hare-- Forgive us all our trespasses, Little creatures everywhere! (Slightly altered) --Contributed by Holly Anderson