Have you ever gotten up on a Saturday morning and felt like doing absolutely nothing? Well, I must admit - a most unusual feeling for
me, but today is such a Saturday.
I've fed my two upstairs cats, fed the birds, and still have time before
I feed my other cats and bunny in my partially finished basement.
Oh yes, I've had breakfast and don't have to worry about my daily
liturgy until 4 this afternoon. So, what to do to start me going?
What about a start to clearing up my long list of Favorites on the
computer? They have been sitting there - doing next to nothing and
probably using p recious computer space. And so, I began looking to
see what I have saved.
I spied "Chloe's Vegan Recipes," I usually love trying new recipes, but
sadly, my zest for cooking and baking has diminished quite a bit of late. However, I still clicked her site in hopes of enlarging my cooking
repertoire and enjoying a new dish or a baked goodie. My sweet
tooth took me to her Beach cookies and yes, I'm going to try them-
some day, but probably not today. I should really be doing some
The next link -"Checking BBB Approved Charities." I'm glad I saved this one. I can always find out more about the animal charities especially, though finding out about them and being able to support them is two very different things. However, I would like to know how they fared on this site anyway. One I looked up gave no information re their organization. Well, right or wrong, this seems ominous to me, and I doubt I could support or even be interested in a charity which is not forthcoming.
But the one which really grabbed my attention was "Clergy Animal Rights Advocacy!!! (Yes, they really used 3 exclamation points in their title.) As a person who believes that religion should lead us to compassionate treatment of animals, so far I have been sorely disappointed in almost all of the major religions - including my own. However, this 16 page offering listed the animal religious views of the clergymen who wrote their concern for them and even one Jesuit's lack. While very happy for the majority who have written compassionately, I am disappointed that it is obvious that so little
of their thoughts and writings have been incorporated into everyday
While the site acknowledges that there were compassionate writers even in the 18th Century, this site deals primarily with the 19th and 20th century views of caring prelates. I liked their introduction to "Late Nineteeth Century" and it serves as a somewhat summation of why there is a need for Animal Rights thinking;
'THERE ARE A GREAT MANY PEOPLE WHO SEEM TO THINK THAT MAN'S
DUTIES BEGIN AND END WITH MAN; AND THAT IF THEY TELL THE TRUTH HABITUALLY, FOREBEAR FROM INJURING THEIR NEIGHBORS, AND ESCHEW THEFT, DISHONESTY, AND THE LIKE, NOTHING ELSE IS REQUIRED OF THEM BY GOD IN THEIR RELATION TOWARDS OTHER CREATURES. BUT NOT ONLY EVERY HUMAN BEING, BUT EVERY LIVING BEING HAS ITS RIGHTS; AND JUSTICE IN THE HIGHEST FORM SHOULD BE APPLIED TO IT IN ALL OUR ACTIONS. I SAY THAT A LAME OR INFIRM HORSE HAS A RIGHT TO CLAIM THAT IT SHOULD NOT BE WORKED; AND JUST AS ONE MAN SHOULD BE PROTECTED FROM ILL-TREATMENT BY ANOTHER, SO, ON THE SAME PRINCIPLE, OUGHT ALL ANIMALS TO BE PROTECTED FROM ILL-TREATMENT."
I didn't realize I had hit the Caps button when I started to type, but then decided the caps should stay as the thoughts were important enough and generally reflective of the compassionate thinking of many of the clergy here. If everyone would abide by this anonymous writer's thoughts, what a different world this would be for the animals- one I am sure God would approve.
I am proud that a woman -Dr. Anna Kingsford became a leading figure in the Victorian anti-Vivisection movement. Though she died in 1888, The Vegetarian News published some of her views in 1929: "It did not occur to me by any natural process of thought that the innocent and harmless creatures around had the same right to live and enjoy their grant of life even as I had myself. A valued friend and relative clearly and incisively showed me how much Chrisitianity in its accredited teaching seemed to lack consistent professors of a religion which claimed to be one of justice and compassion....."
And right she was in this assertion because the Rev. H.J. Williams -Rector of Kinross and founder of the original Order of the Golden Age wrote in 1898 his abhorence of reading two pages (pp.249,250) written in "Moral Philosophy" by Joseph Rickaby, S.J. (1845-1932). Of them he wrote:
"Certain teachings have gone forth from the 'Society of Jesus,' which for its callousness and bruality I forbear to put on your pages, ............I beg, as a true and loyal Catholic, not only for myself but for other humane Catholics who abhor cruelty to animals and indifference to their sufferings, and have been therefore scandalized by this teaching, to express publicly our entire abhorrence of it, whether it comes from the author of this manual or from any other authority inside or outside of the Church, because it is, to speak mildly as
possible, mean and low and heartless......."
To be fair - there are other compassionate Catholic voices and I was pleased to read Dom Ambrose Agius O.S.B. who wrote this in "Cruelty to Animals, 1958.
".........when man arrogates to himself the capacity to use animals in his service, irrespective of their own natural rights (and this, incidentally, has been a dogma of the Roman Catholic church for long enough and is, in my judgment, basically irreconcilable with Christian teaching) it is to be condemned by the Christian."
"....I believe we shall be on the right track which leads finally to the end of violence and the achievement of a just social order which will leave none of God's creatures out of the Kingdom which it is our Father's good pleasure to give to us."
I enjoyed reading the whole 16 pages on this topic which contained so many wonderful compassionate thoughts of English Protestant and Catholic religious leaders of the 19th and 20th century. I'm disappointed that there were no religious voices from America or the other European countires in this regard. God bless you Englishmen - no matter your gender for leading the way. We need many more still from all religious circles -since it sems to me that so many of us are unable to realize the importance and need to be compassionate towards God's animal creatures.
I'm glad this Saturday started differently. I was able to find inspirational voices for God's animal kingdom and that is always a pleasure for me.