In Rod We Trust

Happy birthday to Rod Coronado, one of the most dedicated, effective, amazing activists for animals there has ever been!  I attended three days of his 2007 free speech trial, and on the third day, I happened (I swear!) to be sitting a few feet away from him on a bench.  I leaned in and said, “Rod?”  He turned to me and smiled.  “Yeah?”   I held out my hand and he shook it without hesitation.  “I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you’ve done for animals, everything you’ve sacrificed to help them.  You are a hero, and I’m so sorry you’re going through this bullshit.”  He thanked me warmly, totally humble, not an ounce of arrogance or self-aggrandizement in him.  It was truly one of the highlights of my life.

This picture was probably taken in his early 20s, around the time when he went to Iceland with a fellow liberationist and sunk half the Icelandic whaling fleet and caused several million dollars’ worth of damage to their whale processing facility.  Think about that:  his early 20s.  But as he says in Testify!, in Native American culture, the warriors are young people.

“Song For Rod Coronado” by Dana Lyons

Sometimes the world gets crazy
And everything is going wrong
I watch you raise your hand to some injustice
You break the spell with some forbidden song

Then all at once our lives they seem to crumble
And the walls that held our dreams come crashing down
And I look and find you caught inside of cages
As I wander through this sad old prison town

But we’ll go running in the wind
Go swimming in the sea
We’ll set there with our friends and we’ll play guitars
And we’ll sing in harmony

We’ll pray upon the mountain
We’ll climb the tallest tree
Always waiting for the day when they open that door
And you’ll walk free

In a time that’s ruled by fear and alienation
In an era where the living kill the land
You were of the few who had the courage
To free the helpless ones with your own hands

You cut the wire that held the claws of eagles
You taught the lion how to hunt again
So they sent their secret soldiers out to trap you
The man who frees the animals in chains

I hope you know how proud we all are of you
The kids all say that they will do the same
You stood up for the rights of all her creatures
You risked your life to heal another’s pain

Today another warrior is taken
Tonight another wild creature penned
Tomorrow I’ll keep working here to free you
And soon we’ll dance our freedom dance again.


5 thoughts on “In Rod We Trust

  1. Romain Blavier

    Thanks again for giving me a copy of Flaming Arrows. Rod just exudes humility in his writing, very inspiring to read the words of someone who is truly selfless!

    1. TheRewildWest Post author

      You’re very welcome–thank you double for actually reading it!! It breaks my black little murmuring heart when I give people great books and they go unread.

      And yes, Rod is…selfless beyond comprehension. If you want to learn a little more, this LA Times journalist who was/is(?) friends with Rod wrote a book called Operation Bite Back and I reviewed it on my blog. ❤

    1. TheRewildWest Post author

      Same for me! And it’s always the line, “The man who frees the animals in chains.” Thinking about the perfect double entendre, and it just bowls me over.


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