After our first interview with Gorilla Eucalipto, we continue our exploration of the fascinating world of animal communication with Lemming Cactus.

At Damanhur, what is the spiritual approach with animals in the community?

At Damanhur, we dedicate a moment for contacting the vital essence of the animal to enter into a kind of resonance with them, and to offer the animal an evolutionary experience with us, so they can be touched by the frequency of our spiritual condition. Humans, animals, plants, all living beings, we are all part of the same spiritual ecosystem.
We also believe in the importance of providing dignified conditions for animals, offering them adequate spaces to live and move around in, and we prefer giving them organic foods. 

Lemming - 3What is your experience of animal communication? 

Animals have their own unique identity and are quite conscious in their communication with each other, and also with us. I have taken care of herds of cows in the past, and I still remember the names of the individual cows. I see animals as an integral part of the world, my personal one and everyone else’s.

I currently help to take care of the chickens that we have in our chicken coop in the nucleo community Porta della Luna. I believe there are about 110 different sounds that the rooster uses to communicate with the chickens, and I have begun to recognize and identify some of them, up to eight for now. There are warning sounds which are made when, for example, a buzzard is coming near, and then the chickens disappear. Some sounds are for alerting that there are humans nearby. When I go to visit and feed them, they recognize me and I notice they make a particular sound, which is unique!

What else have you noticed about life in the chicken coop?

Chickens are not intelligent but they are instinctive, for instance, they have specific places that they go when they want to lay eggs. They have a good memory of spaces in this way. They also have a strong hierarchy within their “social” structure. There is a sense of security with the presence of the rooster. If he sings, then everything is okay.

How do you select the animals to be sacrificed?

There are some chickens whom we would never sacrifice. For example there are some dominant chickens who are leaders and reference points for the whole group, and we tend to leave them alone. There was one we were particularly affectionate with, who we called the “Suocera” (mother-in-law). She laid an egg a day for four or five years. When she was older and wasn’t well, we made a kind of bed for her with some hay in a box. She sat down in it to rest, and she died the day after.
There are other chickens who are not dominant, who are older and don’t have a particular role in the group anymore, and these are the ones that might be sacrificed.
It’s never an easy choice or action. Though we feel that taking the life of an animal with this kind of respect and awareness, having a ritual practice around it and understanding that the animal is part of a larger ecosystem, one that gives and takes life, this gives a possibility of following an evolutionary path. All living beings including plants have this kind of free will, on the same level. We are also sensitive to the trees in the woods, cutting just the dry wood and thinning the density of the trees to provide the best conditions for them. Never just clear cutting without awareness.