We at One Earth Conservation have signed onto the Freedom Project, which features these slogans:
None Are Free Until All Are Free
No Cage Is Big Enough
Tu Casa No Es Mi Casa (Your Home is Not My Home)
Freeing ourselves and all life begins with mourning as a necessary action step. We do not mourn to feel better, but with an aim to liberate ourselves and our neighbors.
When we understand that none are free until all are free, we mourn that all are imprisoned, because not every being is free. People and animals are needlessly suffering the world over because their needs are disregarded or minimized by others maximizing or hoarding the use of resources to meet their individual desires. Cages are built out of unequally considering the needs of the many, and then our ideologies slam the doors shut, lock them, and forget that there are key steps to freedom for all.
When we see that no cage is big enough, we mourn because we know that it is not enough to tweak the circumstances of our imprisonment, or make minor changes to our societies. The key to freedom is to do the really big thing, what seems impossible, and what we cannot do alone or in our lifetimes. We must unweave the structures of domination that lock us all into lives that are less than they could be. We mourn at the harm that will not go away, but through the cage wire we see another way, of one day flying free when we open cage doors, use the keys of co-liberation to lock them behind us, and then, to make sure all stay free, dismantle all cages until no vestiges of cruelty remain.
When we are told that tu casa no es mi casa (your home is not my home), we realize that every being is unique with their own needs, and that one version of home forced upon the other is not home at all. We cannot dictate the parameters of freedom for others. They choose, and we affirm that choice. We mourn because we do not know yet how to affirm all life, all species, and all individuals.
The light of freedom begins with mourning as the day begins with morning.
Promise yourself to awake to the light, which means seeing reality for what it is, and which means we must collectively mourn those who have been bound needlessly by our desires.
Pledge to lean into the light and onto cage doors, acting for freedom if not yet realizing it. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
They who bind to themselves a joy
Do the winged life destroy
They who kiss the joy as it flies
Live in eternity's sunrise.
(adapted from William Blake)