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Izilwane--Voices for Biodiversity
April 25, 2010

I learned about Izilwane in the summer of 2009 and was immediately struck by the concept of relating to the animal kingdom as a co-habitant rather than as a member of the separate and supposedly superior kingdom of Man (re the medieval the Kingdoms of Plants, Animals, and Man). With a national forest for my front yard, I had frequent and daily opportunities to be in proximity to elk, deer, coyotes, birds, and rodents, and enjoyed the beauty and charm of their wild and non-imposing company. When I adopted a dog that Fall, however, I began to think about my relationship with other animals at a much more personal level. Izilwane was a key element in my growing awareness. The numerous stories that were shared among the staff were both inspiring and informative, and my interest in experiencing my own animal nature more directly as well as expanding my ability to relate to another animal species became a new adventure. At this point, I am most struck by the simple awareness of a clearly evident consciousness that is capable of communicating its non-human self. Without the stories and perspective of Izilwane, it's very likely that my adopted dog would have remained a so-called

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

focus on education and experiential programs.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the willingness of people from very different disciplines and walks of life to pitch in.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach greater numbers of people through mailings and webinars, and perhaps have a "relating" zoo (as opposed to a petting zoo), and perhaps even offer retreats on the order of Zen sesshins in which participants work on a koan such as "What am I?"

Ways to make it better...

there were some participatory programs.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of a full time fund raising staff member,the mental and emotional assumption in society that "man" is not a member of the animal kingdom.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I love the stories and the photos from the field, and I love the contact and communication among the staff and team members.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
General Member of the Public & submitted written piece for online magazine.

Review from Guidestar