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In my last newsletter, there was a photo of me with a white tiger. Some people got upset because of the chain in the picture, what it represents and immediately jumped to conclusions, which hurt my heart deeply. One of my best friends is Charlie Sammut, who runs an animal sanctuary for animals saved from less than ideal situations.They can't be re-released into the wild because they would not know how to survive and they would die. (Would YOU know how to survive in the wild? Do YOU know what plants are edible?) Another reason I wrote the Free Food and Medicine Worldwide Edible Plant Guide. Because we have lost total touch with nature.

Animals have been a love of mine all my life, and I'm not afraid of the big exotic ones either. They are just as loving if you treat them right. They need to be loved, played with and taken for walks, just like dogs, cats and horses, but a normal dog leash isn't strong enough for a tiger, hence the chain. These animals are as loveable and playful as any domestic animal.


Charlie is a true hero. It all started when he was a police officer and rescued a "pet" mountain lion from a drug dealer. This opened his eyes to a whole new world of animals in need of better care. His 51 acre ranch near Salinas California is home to the most amazing collection of beautiful animals from all over the world, and he and his loving assistants personally spend time with each animal every day, giving them as much love as they can. What makes this place special, is they are willing to share this experience with anyone. This is one of the few rare places on earth where you can actually interact with these magnificent creatures and see how amazing nature really is. It touches you on levels so deeply, you will never forget. It is a life changing experience that stays with you for the rest of your life. Most people are obviously not allowed to play with lions and tigers for safety reasons, but they do have a program that allows you to spend the whole day with elephants, monkeys, and adorable cuddly things you've never even heard of, like Malasian Bearcats. If you want, they'll hand you a broom and a bucket of soapy water to wash and scrub an elephant. (the elephants love the attention!)


We have screwed up the world so much, there are many species of animals about to become extinct forever. Despite our best efforts to keep animals free in the wild, poachers, lack of food supply and the modern world is one by one erasing these innocent creatures from existence. If it wasn't for the protective breeding programs of places that care about preserving these gifts from God, we would be losing part of our soul. Unless you actually touch and hold these precious animals in your arms, you will never know what you and the world would be missing. They have so much to teach us.


I am so touched by these animals, I drove to another city to start raising several million dollars to help this sanctuary create quarter acre plots for each animal. It takes lots of money to run a place like this and keep the animals fed. I'm doing what I can to help give back to these ambassadors of life on earth.


In the new book I will be releasing next month, "Instructions for a New Life", I explain why we are here and the importance of letting go so we can reconnect with what really matters in life. The first thing we need to lose is fear, assumptions, judgment and wants. Never assume something simply from what you see in a picture or what people tell you. Find out for yourself. This world is screwing up our perception of reality so much, it's no wonder we are lost, unhappy and unfulfilled. Stop being a self-righteous keyboard vigilante and get outside and start touching animals and eating plants like you are supposed to. Feel the sun on your face and the ground beneath your bare feet. Walk, run, climb and sit quietly on a rock and listen to the quiet whisper of truth. You'll never get it from a TV screen or cell phone. Shut up and really listen. The wind is urging you to move. The birds want you to sing. The insects want you to investigate. The butterflies want you to appreciate beauty. Take your clothes off and discover your true nature. Listen to the truth in your heart. Make love to all life everywhere. Be thankful for the beautiful sunset and the breath of life keeping you alive. You don't need paper and machines and money and "stuff" to stay alive. You need love, peace, understanding, freedom and the willingness to let go of your distracting, negative, paranoid thoughts. You will be given whatever you need wherever you are. The truth is everywhere. Let it work its magic through you.

Start embracing everything, but not holding on to anything.

One of the best ways to reconnect with peace and value, is animals. They are all around us. Patiently waiting for us to finally allow them into our lives, and us into their worlds. Take some time and really see what's out there. Few things in life are more healing and magical than animals.

Charlie's sanctuary is near Monterey California, just south of San Francisco. Want to stay the night? They have African-style bungalows right out of the African savannah, a bed and breakfast experience like no other. You'll hear the strangest animal sounds you've ever heard throughout the night, like the roar of an African lion, the trumpets of the elephants or the scream of a hyena. In the morning, an elephant delivers you breakfast! The website is Tell Charlie Markus sent you. Let the animals touch you like they did me.


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