14 December, 2009

Philip Wollen's list of Do's and Don'ts by Maneka Gandhi - India

Posted on: 14 Dec 2009

Philip Wollen's list of Do's and Don'ts

Everyone in the animal welfare movement knows that the Australian ,Philip Wollen, is not a human being. He is from another planet. They simply do not make humans like him any more. He went from Bangalore to Australia when he was young, taught himself , got a job in a bank, rose to the top, left it, became rich and now donates all his money to animals and orphans and people who need it. He does so on a moment's notice. He doesn't want paperwork , he just needs to trust you and he does that easily. He picks up fights with aggressively anti animal governments and media , he pays for lectures , he supports Greenpeace and goes out on the ships himself to chase off Japanese whalers, he builds sanctuaries in Asia for bears. On top of that , he is tall, handsome, well read, a vegan, speaks his mind, jokes a lot and writes deliciously. He lives in Melbourne with a beautiful wife called Trix and they work to make their money save the world. The name of their trust is Constance Kindness Trust. Obviously he has landed here on a UFO and the technical word for his species is 'angel '.

He wrote to me recently:

' I received a letter from a French woman whom I knew 25 years ago. She now lives in Puttaparthi in India.
Dear Phil,

When the word ahimsa comes up so does your name. I thought that you might like to have Sathya Sai Baba's definition of Ahimsa. - very close to yours in fact.

With Love and Light


What does Ahimsa (non-violence) signify? It is not merely refraining from causing harm to others. It also implies refraining from causing harm to oneself. In the matter of speech, one must examine whether one's words cause pain to others. One must see that one's vision is not tainted with evil intentions or thoughts. Nor should one listen to evil talk either. All these things cause harm to a person. Hence one should see to it that one gives no room for bad vision, bad hearing, bad speech, bad thoughts or bad actions. And how do you determine what is bad? By consulting your conscience. Whenever you act against the dictates of your conscience, bad results will follow.

It got me thinking on a different subject. The following is my garbled list of how we should live (I am including only the very easy ones!)'

Philip's list of Daily Dos and Don'ts.

* Don't eat meat ,eggs or drink milk.
* Eat as much raw food as possible.
* Don't wear clothes made of animals - not even shoes, belts or watchbands.
* Don't consume any product that is made by exploited labour.
* Everything in your wardrobe of clothes that haven't been used in the previous year, give it away (but only if it is in  good condition)
* Eliminate plastic from your life as far as possible... . bags, boxes and credit cards - and some people.
* Avoid negative people like the plague. Anyone who is not adding quality is subtracting quality.
* Turn off every unused electrical appliance at the source.
* Shorten your showers and washing loads.
* Walk, or ride a bike, or use public transport - drive only if absolutely necessary.
* Cut down on the amount of rubbish you send to landfill each week. I have cut down from 150 pounds a week to only 4 pounds - that is one briefcase of rubbish a week.
* Drink water at room temperature - 2 litres a day - in sips.
* Meditate at least one hour a day or at least read for two hours a day
* Walk briskly at least one hour a day. .
* Take your pets for a long walk every day - and talk to them while you do it. And let them stop and sniff as often as they like. A walk is not a race.
* Write at least one letter to the media or a politician every week. It doesn't have to be brickbat - a bouquet is fine too.
* Grow your own vegetable garden or buy organic vegetables.
* Pick up any rubbish you see in the park. It is the right thing to do - and do it in a visible way. It embarrasses the hell of everyone else who soon stop littering.
* Buy a few flat bottom clay trays and leave them under the bushes and trees in the park. Each evening (or morning) when you take your dogs to the park, also take 2 X 2 litre bottles of water and fill up the trays. During the drought ten years ago my local park was baked dry and almost dead. Within 3 months of watering the little trays, the whole place became an ecosystem. Today the park resonates with birdsong, and is full of little animals and insects. It is full of parrots, honey-eaters and even possums.
* Dig in your garden – even if it's a balcony pot garden . Get your hands in the soil. Compost the beds. Plant native flowering shrubs. Buy a bird bath, a bird book and binoculars. Go top your local park or a public place and plant a tree. Plant at least 4 fruit trees for the fruit bats, monkeys and birds.
* Keep the seed of the fruit you eat and put them in pots
* Volunteer your services at any struggling NGO of your choice.
* Play with a dog/cat etc at least once a day. And if possible let them occasionally eat from your hand. Ideal for rewards when they are being good.
* Listen to music.
* Give away money every week - regardless of the amount or the recipient. Try to calculate how much of your income you can give away without drastically affecting your health or happiness. (Not 'lifestyle' - because this means different things to different people - and is mostly rubbish)
* Ask at least one shop-keeper, flight attendant, or restaurant manager/waiter if they stock vegan products (particularly if you know they don't).
* Wear a badge, cap, shirt, or pin which says 'Proud to be Vegetarian' or ' I don't eat dead bodies' or similar.
* De-clutter your house every month. Give away everything you don't need.
* To increase your happiness, do not aim to increase your possessions. Simply decrease your desires. It works - every time. Trust me.

To join the anmal welfare movement contact gandhim@nic.in

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