My Non-Traditional Essay For Final Exam For One Of My Classes

My Non-Traditional Essay For Final Exam For One Of My Classes

K’Ema My Friend

I wrote this story for one of my final exam essay at my university. The story is really free-flowing as I imagined myself as the subjects of the story having conversations and just wrote whatever came out in my mind. As I recall, it took around 20 minutes to write this essay (*essay was given couple of weeks ago prior to exam but I did mine at the literal last minute) from scratch at the very last minute—procrastination to the max. Therefore, the story might be not eloquently written but please understand. Prior to reading, just a quick term and notice reminder in regards to the story: *K'ema: Means 'friend' in Pueblo Indians tongue. Pueblo Indians are considered as one of the oldest Original People of America.

*Original Person is a spirit. I never mention that the Christian Man saw the Original Person. Christian Man thinks this is a revelation from God, regardless of other miracles, for the Christian Man anything miraculous constitutes as revelation from God. It is hard to totally change an individual's viewpoint but practice may be changed.

K’ema My Friend

Instead of going the traditional route, I wanted to explore the spiritual elements of animals from a hypothetical story. The story is about a Christian Man who has cared for animals in a compassionate version of a pastoralistic ethic but ironically, also had hunted animals such as deer for food during extreme times such as winter when food was scarce. And at the same time the story is about the Original Person (*my expression of Native American individual) who has existed harmoniously with nature for centuries (after all this is a story). Both the Christian Man and the Original Person discuss about the importance of seeing animals from a spiritual standpoint. The discussions are not planned, but it goes freely as it goes.

K'ema, it is a fine day isn't it no? Why do you look so sad? The Original Person sits next to the Christian Man who is sulking on a piece of tree trunk in the wilderness. An inexplicable ponderance visited my mind. It was just a normal day. I hunt animals as a true man making a choice in order to feed his family. But then, it was not normal action corresponded with a degree of guilt. I killed this doe just now. I not did it for the sake of guilty pleasure, but for my family. But I saw its cub, it is crying over there seeking for its mother. The Christian Man with a said sigh explains his conundrum to the Original Person. Then the Original Person looks away into the distance as if he is communicating with the doe's spirit. K'ema, what's done is done. It is how the sentience of Our Mother (talking about Mother Nature here) dictates our actions. It is the will of the relationship of Our Mother. We give and take. They accept their fate but at the same time, they allow us for them (reference to animals) to become a part of us. And in this manner, we respect them and we call them, not them anymore, but our brothers. She (referring to the doe) has allowed you to take her life for the sake of feeding your family K'ema. And now it is your turn to acknowledge her beautiful action that embodies her spirit.

The Christian Man listens to the Original Person carefully then he asks an inquiry. But it is not a degree of science or the natural law of Man to acknowledge that animals have spirits or to see animals from a spiritual standpoint. Animals don't have spirits do they? K'ema, it is not a matter of whether animals do have spirits or that animals should be considered from a spiritual standpoint. It is a matter of oneself. Let me ask you, why did you feel this enormous sadness when you killed this precious doe? Is it because of your moral conscience and conscious? Or is it because of your God? Or is it that it became clear to you that the doe was no longer just a product of your selfish needs, but is has more to it—its lives, its moments, its cub, desperation, joy, the realization of its imminent fate, and all in all its acceptance of such final dilemma—its choice? What creature will accept its fate if there not a glimpse of hope in beyond? And then these sentience build up a rapport ad mist the activity of life and death—when you play god—the rapport of a connection between you and the doe and that to realize that like both equal beings, without realizing, you acknowledge the comparable degree of depth in each existence and from there you realize its (the doe's) spirituality.

I am not sure if I am following you correctly. The Christian Man is talking to the Original Person while looking at the doe's cub that stopped crying and seemed to have accepted its mother's absence—again, its choice to move on. Well, I am a Christian. I believe in God. The one God alone. The Benevolent One. The Merciful. And I believe in the truth of the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ Our Lord. Yes, there are testaments in the Genesis that God commands us to take care of the creatures of this world. I understand this and practice Christian Stewardship in my pastoralistic ethic. I treat my animals right. And I heed the Word of God and therefore, do not mistreat other animals that are not under my care such as the doe right now. I give the animal a clean shot so to take away any possible prolong sufferings.

The Original Person listens to the Christian Man and he, in a tone of serenity, begins to speak again. K'ema, if what you say is true to your heart. Then shouldn't you embody the way of your God and extend grace and mercy [if indeed your God is truly Graceful and Merciful], towards the animals of this land, sea, and air. If you truly consider the animals as a creation of God, although you may not see fit the animal soul—shouldn't you at least acknowledge animals with certain degree of personhood as God personally created the animals Himself; and if what you believe is the truth that “in the beginning there was Word” (Genesis 1:1) and that Word was God? So hence a degree of personality of God has been in presence during the creation of all animals. So thence the animals may be no longer a consideration to the extent of a species but as more of an animal persons? And then in consideration of the animal person, wouldn't it be beneficial for you as a Christian man to consider animals in a degree of spirituality that hence may develop and/or acknowledge a degree of respect one gets in connection to a spiritual being? IF you are or consider yourself as a true Christian that follows the way of your God and whom tries to treat animals in a correct way through yours Christian Stewardship, then isn't it much natural to view and treat animals with respect and with a degree of spiritual reverence? Simply, won't there be compassion involved?

The Christian Man was met with silence. And in the midst of silence, one could hear the beautiful voice of nature on how God intended. Since this is a short story, the Christian Man pondered upon what the Original Person had said and he decided that the Original Person had a valid point in regards to how the animals should be viewed. The Christian Man understood that it wasn't about the belief in which the Original Person was talking about, but it was the way of the practice, the attitude, and perspective. So he knew what the Original Person meant when he said that everything “depends on oneself.” By the time, his ponderance was over and his curiosity got him to look at the Original Person—the Christian Man couldn't see the Original Person in sight. But as he looked towards the doe's cub—it seemed as if it was looking at the Christian Man with eyes of forgiveness and acceptance. As if it was led by something, perhaps an Animal Master, the doe's cub goes into the forest and disappears among the greenness of Mother Nature's bosom. The Christian Man at his spot, prays for the doe that he had killed for his family. And he takes the doe's meat back to his abode.

The doe is prepared and served as dinner for his family. The Christian Man prays before dinner with the whole family at the dinner table. “Our Holy Father. Please forgive our sins [by this, in his heart he has included the act of killing the doe]. And let this precious gift of God [by this, he was also referring to the prepared doe] let it not go to waste but be accepted as the extension of our daily lives. Father, blessed us all [and by this, he secretly blessed the doe and its surviving cub as well].”

In Your name I pray. Amen.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.

The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.

2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.

3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.

4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).

5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.

6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.

7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.

8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.

9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.

10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.

11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.

12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.

13. Goblin Shark

This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.

14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.

15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.

16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.

17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.

18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.

19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.

And finally....

20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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5 Ways We Can Help Protect Marine Life That Will Make You Say 'Shell-Yeah'

It is serious!


Marine mammals such as dolphins, whales, and seals have captured the hearts of millions of people all over the world. But if we're not careful about how we treat their environment, they may not be around for much longer.

Here are some ways you can help protect our marine life friends!

1. Be beach-friendly. 

Whether you are at the beach to surf, swim, or just relax, always clean up after yourself. Explore and appreciate the ocean without interfering with wildlife or removing rocks or coral. If you really want to make a difference, start patrolling the beach area, and help pick up any trash you see lying around. Maybe even see if you can gather a group of people who will do it with you!

Also, don't take wild fish or hermit crabs away from their homes! They're not likely to live very long if they're taken away from their natural habitat. Also, never release any aquarium fish into the ocean or other bodies of water- a practice that can be very harmful to them.

2. Use fewer plastic products. 

Plastic can end up as ocean debris, which contributes to habitat destruction and entangles and kills tens of thousands of marine animals each year.

Many marine animals (such as sea turtles) mistake plastic waste for a viable food source, sometimes causing blockages in their digestive system. Though the declining sea turtle populations in oceans are due to a variety of reasons, plastic pollution plays a significant role. They eat things like jellyfish and are very likely to mistake a plastic straw for a jellyfish snack.

Also, don't ever release balloons- just pop them and throw them out. If you release them, they are a danger to marine wildlife who can accidentally swallow them because they mistook them for food.

3. Limit activities that can alter an animal's environment. 

Worldwide, dolphins face a variety of impacts that threaten their very existence- most of which are impacts of human activities. In recent history, the Yangtze river dolphin was declared extinct due to its river habitat being obstructed by the building of dams and the invasion of boat traffic.

When you are in the animals' natural habitat, be careful not to leave behind or do anything that could cause serious harm to their environment. Clean up after yourselves, and don't leave behind fishing wires, hooks, trash, or anything else.

4. Advocate for oil spill clean-up. 

Going along with the above statement, oil spills can be caused not only by equipment breaking down but also by people making mistakes or just being careless. Oil spills into rivers, oceans, and bays are often caused by accidents involving tankers, pipelines, storage facilities, drilling rigs, refineries, and barges.

Most oils float, so the animals most affected sea otters and sea birds that are found on the sea surface or on shorelines if the oil comes ashore. During most oil spills, seabirds are harmed and killed in greater numbers than any other kinds of creatures. If heavy oils get into the feathers of birds, they may die of hypothermia for losing their ability to keep themselves warm. This same effect is observed with sea otters. Sea otters can easily be harmed by oil since their ability to stay warm depends on their fur remaining clean. When oil remains on the beach for a while, other creatures, such as snails, clams, and terrestrial animals may suffer too.

Many light oils, such as gasoline and diesel, are considered to be toxic. They can kill animals or plants and they are also dangerous to humans who breathe their fumes or get it on their skin.

Go online to learn more about oil spills, and what you can do to help!

5. Lesson your carbon footprint. 

Because of ocean acidification, global warming has been a hot topic in the ocean world. When acidity of the ocean increases, it can cause devastating impacts on marine life, including plankton, corals, shellfish, and the animals that eat them.

The vast majority of the air we breathe comes from the oceans. That's why we say "if the oceans die, we die."

Marine mammals like the vaquita dolphin (only 30 left in existence due to illegal fishing in the Gulf of California) are not much different than humans. They know when they are in trouble, and they get scared.

Start researching online today to see how you can help!

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