left arrow
Utah Phillips
right arrow

Utah Phillips story teller, International Workers of the World.
What We Can Learn From Geese.
Fact 1: As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift draft for the bird following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds a greater flying range than if one bird flew alone.
Lesson 1: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get were they're going quicker and more easily because they are traveling on the strength of one another.
Fact 2: Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.
Lesson 2: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stay in formation and be willing to accept help when we need it and give help when it is needed.
Fact 3: When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies in the point position.
Lesson 3: Geese instinctively share the task of leadership and do not resent the leader.
Fact 4: The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Lesson 4: We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging and not something else.
Fact 5: When a goose gets sick, is wounded or is shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to earth to help and protect it. They stay with their disabled companion until it is able to fly again or dies. They then launch out on their own or with another formation or catch up with the flock and take their place in the formation.
Next time you see geese heading south for the winter, flying along in the V formation, contemplate this; all we have to do to attract those who are not participating is to demonstrate to the world that we have as much sense as a goose. That's seems like enough price to pay to win the lost and to help one another.


"The theologian and humanitarian in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech said, "Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to humankind." Dr. Albert Schweizer
"You can judge a society by the way it treats its animals." Gandhi
"Vegetarianism's the taproot of humanitarianism." Tolstoy


The Witness
The redemption of a macho from the streets of Brooklyn whose heroes are tough guys, and who has known violence himself; Eddie Lama who's brought up to have disdain for animals, no pets, they were dirty unsanitary. A concrete and aluminum contractor; an unlikely savior for animals has his life turned up side down when his aversion to animals begins to thaw when he reluctantly agrees to cat sit for a friend only hoping to get a date out of her. He bonded with the pussycat, and then there was Moo Moo ending his two packs of cigarette a day addiction (25 year addiction) fearing the second hand smoke may harm his kitty. Bagel, an ill runt; lamentable with paws hurt; puss, limping and only 7 pounds was discovered when Lama's stepped on a bagel, and the cat took it into the bushes to eat it.This rescue led to vegetarianism when he was squeezing Bagels leg, reminding him of a chicken leg. When his research lead him to undercover films of animals being trapped and killed he found it no different between them and cats he so loved. His love for his companion animals opened his hardened heart to other animals. “I couldn't see my companion, this beautiful little creature, be gassed, clubbed, stepped on and have her skin ripped off her back for somebody's earmuffs.” Images of a pig cowering in a corner.Other animals gassed, clubbed, stepped on having their fur ripped of their bodies.In cages walking in circles over and over again in a frenzy- driven crazy. The cold, bad feed, then end of the line, anal electricution, those not knocked out are skinned alive, and your coat is almost done. Others trapped for days of suffering and terror then to the kill when a human steps on its chest, crushing the lungs, can't damage the pelt. 41 million animals killed for fur a year. He rescued animals at construction sites, houses them and cares for them at his business, he also put huge images of trapped animals,coatless carcasses dripping blood on his fleet of vans; he converted a van with a movie screen showing animals being slaughtered. Animals who have had their paws trapped and frantically twisting, twirling, turning, and winding every which way, wreathing, gnawing away at their limbs to make an escape. He takes the van out during the holidays and through a speaker asks people to not buy fur. In the film the music of Sarah McLachian , In the Arms of the Angel, accompanies the images of the carnage; the responses from the crowds are shock, every color, every age, every class, the images if seen stops the person. The violence is disarming, the horror cause jaw dropping, anguish, and tears being wiped away as they see the true price of fur; the horror of seeing animal slaughtered for our vanity, greed and fashion.                                                        www.tribeofheart.org               607 275 0806