Choices. We make them every day. Some have become habit, like the way we make our sandwiches with Tofurkey slices instead of something made from the flesh of a feathered friend. Some choices are a little tougher, like the first time we say no to a pair of leather shoes. Still others are painful, but easy because we wouldn’t have it any other way—like choosing to forego trips to town when Savannah could no longer go, and I simply wasn’t willing to leave her alone.

But for all of us, making choices that help create a better world for animals has become a way of life. And no, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Each time we do something that casts a silent vote for compassion, the light in our hearts glows a little brighter, and indeed the world really is changed.

Recently I’ve found myself faced with a choice that’s been difficult to make. After almost sixteen months and thirty-one articles, I find I need to step back from writing this bi-weekly column due to demands of other projects. It’s been an honor to be part of the In Defense of Animals community in this way, and a real pleasure to share ideas with all of you who read the e-newsletter. Working with your behind-the- scenes newsletter staff, Kristie Phelps and Mat Thomas has been a special privilege. Their professionalism and dedication is an inspiration.

Taking a break from writing Beyond Body, Mind, and Spirit in no way means I’ll be taking a break from the work with and for the animals. Indeed, I’ll be using the time to launch some exciting new animal advocacy work, including new book projects, speaking and teaching, and local activism. My first book, Listen to the Silence: Lessons from Trees and Other Masters, which has been out of print for a while, is back in production and will be available around the beginning of May. I’ll be continuing to consult and teach holistic health care for animals, based on the information in my book The Complete Holistic Dog Book: Home Health Care for Our Canine Companions. Most exciting of all, I’m beginning work on a book that offers a new perspective about why we must change the way our society treats animals. That’s an issue I’m wildly passionate about, and I look forward to speaking to a variety of groups about how, as individuals and as a culture, we can see animals for who they really are—and what a difference that makes in their lives and ours.

So, I’ll be busy, and I know you will, too. I’ll drop by again now and then, with new ideas and information to share. As you continue to care for the animals you love, I’d like to offer a few holistic health care resources to help you along the way—see the list below. But when it comes to the more esoteric aspects of your relationship to the non- humans in your life, I know your best teachers and your greatest sources of inspiration are walking and crawling, swimming and flying all around you.

May they continue to bless your life, every hour of every day.