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Nothing More is Needed - on caring for our animals (and ourselves)

Incidentals

Disease, movement, rabbit holes, kinship, selfishness, strife, omissions, communication, parasites, small things, balance.

Copyright © 2011 Christine M. King. All rights reserved.

Parasites

i
Why parasites?

Parasites are life feeding on itself.
Just as herbivores eat plants,
Carnivores eat animals,
Omnivores eat everyone,
And everyone is eventually eaten.

So, around and around we go.
No matter where you begin,
The cycle completes itself.

ii
Parasites have a place and a purpose.
Their place is on or in another.

Does that make us parasites of the earth?

Just as “weeds” are plants that are growing
Where we don’t want them or that
We haven’t found a use for,
“Parasite” is our label for those who are living
Where we don’t want them or that
We haven’t found a use for.

But life is far more interesting than that!

And as we are beginning to discover,
Parasites do indeed have a purpose.
Probably several.

What if “parasites” are
Symbionts in disguise, and simply
Out of place or out of balance?

Symbiosis: together we all flourish.
Apart, we all struggle.

iii
How do “parasites” help us flourish?
They show us where we are weak,
And in so doing, they stimulate us
To become strong
Or to bow out and start over.
Which is another way of becoming strong.

They show us where we are ineffective,
And in so doing, make us more effective.
They can even help calm our self-destructive
Hypervigilance by redirecting our attention
Back to what’s most important:
balance.

They share our resources,
And we share theirs, which include
A breathtaking resilience and adaptability.
Life itself, irrepressible and everlasting
In one form or another. Cohabiting. Coexisting.
Peacefully? That all depends on us.

Thus, they speak of balance.
Its lack, our need, for balance.
They help bring us back into balance,
Both with our own “parasites” and with
Our own unwitting parasitism.

So, “parasites”: Symbionts out of place
Or out of balance with the whole.
No matter the species.

iv
“Oh, but don’t parasites cause disease?
Shouldn’t we therefore do something about them?”

Certainly. But what?
Parasitism is the symptom, not the disease.

What if, rather than nuking all the parasites,
We feed the host, nourish and
Strengthen the host, and thereby
Restore a healthy balance between
The host and its symbionts.

My dog is terribly sensitive to fleas.
Do I kill them?
Yes, regrettably I do.
And every time I ask myself:
Is that short-term gain worth the long-term loss?

At what cost do we destroy parasites
Without first understanding
Their place and their purpose?

Mightn’t there be a better way?

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