Living Things Policy
We will treat living things, such as animals and plants, with respect by attempting not to impinge upon their natural environment as much as possible, within the context of our daily lives and the creation of our community homes. We will not tolerate abuse or neglect of animals in our community, whether they are cared for by individuals or the community, or are wild creatures.
The community will consider the lives of other beings in balance with our need to learn. For learning purposes we will choose as often as possible to observe our fellow creatures in their natural environments, rather than removing them to our own. We will try to learn, and teach our children to learn, by observing without interfering. We will creatively seek to find low-impact ways of learning about other creatures.
At times the community may wish to take an animal into our stewardship for some purpose, for example learning or agriculture. We will treat the choice to keep any community animal as a serious decision, requiring thought, planning and a community decision. Once we have chosen to steward animals, we will consider the needs and happiness of the creature in our care as much as our own. We will treat our fellow beings as an end in themselves, rather than as a tool or means to an end. We will work for humane ways to slaughter those animals we choose to use for our sustenance.
We will strive to provide an environment and life for the creatures we care for that is close to those natural to them. We will work to ensure that the animal will be free to engage in the behaviors natural to it, and interact with the environment it is born to expect. Whenever feasible we will allow the creature free will by not confining it or otherwise using force to control its actions. We will find ways to allow free choice even if they prove inconvenient to us. If we choose to confine a creature, we will endeavor to understand and to match the natural range of the creature. We will provide a space sufficient to assure ourselves that the creature will not feel excessively restricted, as well as we can ascertain.
We will encourage each other to treat the animals we care for privately in ways that respect their natural needs for food, shelter, space and freedom within the confines of living together with them. We will take responsibility for their actions, as they beset our human ways of living. For example, we will take responsibility for ensuring that the pets are not a danger or nuisance to other members of the community.