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Recently I had a revelation that I want to devote the rest of my life to inspiring people to wake up to the fact that our destructive treatment of animals affects every aspect of our lives in negative ways, and to help them embrace a vegan lifestyle.   I have found the teachings of Will Tuttle in the book World Peace Diet wonderfully explains the values upon which the community will be grounded. Having this solid foundation will help me draw together a group of people dedicated to living a spiritual path that promotes world peace  which I believe will only happen when humans stop hurting animals, especially all the suffering that is the result of using them for eating, wearing and experimentation.

“The World Peace Diet, which became a #1 Amazon best-seller in March, 2010, has been published in 16 languages and offers a compelling and liberating new understanding of our food and our culture. It has been called one of the most important books of the 21st century: the foundation of a new society based on the truth of the interconnectedness of all life. It is the first book to make explicit the invisible connections between our culture, our food, and the source of our broad range of problems—and the way to a positive transformation in our individual and collective lives.”from the website http://www.worldpeacediet.com

We will be an ecumenical community comprised of people  who are completely dedicated to transforming our planet into one where people joyfully wake up and choose to treat animals with the love and respect they deserve.. We will be a think tank using every means possible to come up with practical ideas to spread the message of the World Peace Diet including influencing those influential leaders who are passionate about nonviolence among humans yet still promote violence towards animals because they eat meat or do not promote veganism. We will joyfully, creatively, and tireless live and share our values in ways that effectively and efficiently reach the masses.

We will support animal rights activists such as the folks at Direct Action Everywhere who I have connected with when I lived in Berkeley recently.  We will help Dr. Will Tuttle and the World Peace Diet get the attention of the billions of people on the planet who desperately need his perspective. We will find ways to amplify the message of all people who promote any aspect of veganism and bring unity to the movement so that our voices can be heard.

We will connect with movie stars, political leaders, business leaders, musicians and others with great influence who are vegan and support them in getting their message out effectively. Since I am a follower of Jesus, my special focus will be to reach churches with this message so that Christians can be the light of the world who help bring heaven on earth by setting an example of truly loving all creatures.

I am profoundly grateful to Will Tuttle, author of the World Peace Diet, the folks at Direct Action Everywhere in Berkeley, especially Paul Darwin Picklesimer and the late Michael Smith,  and my best friend, Barbara Hulley for their inspiration and example to help me finally realize the importance of freeing all animals from their lives of torture and abuse.

Wellspring Ecovillage is at the moment just a dream held by me, Patricia Mikkelson, and  grounded in nine acres of land which is a part of Wellspring Community which is located in Living Springs Community

People are expressing interest. I think the reason that my dream never came together was because I was not conscious of the driving force behind my desire to have a community where we could use our love and intelligence to transform the world in a profound way. I needed to attract people with the same values, and even though I have been vegetarian for 45 years, and vegan for 2 years, I still was not completely devoted to the cause of world peace through animal liberation.

When I was 21, in 1975, I first heard the term “intentional community” and from that day on I dreamed of living in an intentional community. You can learn about my history with intentional communities in a blog post here.

I’ve also been looking for my “niche” ever since I decided to travel. I was 18 when I had the revelation that I needed to get out of the  cultural indoctrination I was experiencing in college, and 19 when I left on a 13 month trip that helped me see that the only way I could be happy was to serve using my gifts. I have been looking for a cause ever since then.

I would keep thinking that I would find a cause including sustainability, electing good politicians, being an environmental activist, promoting unschooling and attachment parenting, teaching nonviolent communication, and helping people live more simply. But finally, after 44 years of searching I have found my niche, my cause. It is helping people wake up the devastation that our cruel treatment of animal causes–pyschologically, physically, environmentally, and spiritually.

Even though I have been a vegetarian for 43 years, and a vegan for two, I still didn’t make the connection that Dr. Will Tuttle makes in his book, World Peace Diet. I was still enmeshed in the culture, brainwashed to think that if I just abstained from eating animal products, I was doing my part. Meeting my friend Barbara, who has the wonderful website http://www.ecofaction.org, and who is one the most compassionate and loving person I have ever met, helped me to see how I had become numb to the plight of animals. When I heard about her long history of having a deep connection with nature and animals, my love for nature and animals was awakened more fully. This is the power of example and of sharing stories.

Then I met Paul and 4 other people involved with Direct Action Everywhere at at a Kingian Nonviolence workshop.  When I spoke to them during lunch and found out they all lived cooperatively with other animal rights activists, I was intrigued. I attended two of their meetups at their new Animal Rights Center, and I was hooked.  I am convinced that I have finally found my tribe and my niche. Wow! That’s a lot of blessings!

For the past 41 years, I have consistently been doing at least one of the following:

  • Living in a communities
  • Studying about intentional communities
  • Visiting communities
  • Dreaming about and yearning to live in–a healthy intentional community

I have never given up on my dream of living in an intentional community after four decades, even after countless failed attempts and disappointments. I understand now that I am not alone, and that even leaders in community living have found disappointments and tragedy in finding the best intentional community. But I think I failed because I was not focused enough about the purpose of the community.

I used to think that I should not be too specific about the purpose of my community. But now I am feeling hopeful that by being very focused on one cause, that wonderful people will be drawn to come here.  You see, when people allow themselves to be vulnerable enough to empathize with the plight of animals, this often translates into them having empathy with humans. Also, activists tend to feel so passionate about their cause that they are willing to work through challenging relational issues because they see a bigger picture. Finally, by having a common diet, this alleviates so many challenges, and promotes our health on all levels.

I love what the Direct Action Everywhere folks are doing here in Berkeley. They are becoming like a mecca for animal liberation activists, and drawing the best and brightest folks here to live and work together creatively to help one city which has historically been the center of  powerful social change movements to be meat free and animal friendly.

I wanted to stay  in Berkeley to live in community, deepen relationships with my tribe, pour myself into the wonderful variety of activities that are going on here,  learn more about living in a close-knit community and see how I can contribute.  But now, with my former husband moving towards being a vegan, and willingness to help with the building aspects of the community. Whatever happens, I am so glad that I met these folks and there is an in person connection that is profound.

We can reach out to the areas nearer us, and also provide a retreat and training setting. We can live close to the earth, experimenting with things like re-wilding, and become even more attuned to the natural world. I hope my kids and two former husbands will want to be involved. Cliff, another former husband, has been a vegetarian, practically vegan for the past 53 years, and is passionate about raising awareness about treating all of life with love and compassion.

If you would like to explore possibilities of of working together to create Wellspring Ecovillage, look below to get to know me, my values, and my goals: (my animal liberation goals are not very prominent since this has been a recent revelation, Aug. 15, 2016)

Read my personal blog, professional organizing blog, and my past vision and thoughts on community at this blog.

Check out my current project that is taking on a life of its own with people wanting me to facilitate and train people how to do Community: Connect! events: http://www.communityconnectevent.wordpress.com

Check out my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/patricia.mikkelson.hughe

In 1991, Robert Gilman set out a definition of an ecovillage that became standard. Gilman defined an ecovillage as a:

human-scale full-featured settlement in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world in a way that is supportive of healthy human development, and can be successfully continued into the indefinite future.”[2]

In recent years, Gilman has stated that he would also add the criterion that an ecovillage must have multiple centres of initiative.[3]

Kosha Joubert, President of the Global Ecovillage Network, more recently has defined an Ecovillage as an intentional or traditional community consciously designed by its inhabitants, in which people consciously value what they have and integrate this with innovative technologies to make their lives more sustainable, and the whole process is owned by the people living there. The aim is to regenerate social and natural environments. In this view, achieving sustainability is not enough; it is vital also to regenerate the social and environmental fabric of life, and across all four dimensions of sustainability: social, environmental, economic and cultural.[4]