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Life Arts    H4'ed 6/22/13

Animal Suffering is a "Plague" Too

Message Suzana Megles
This week I found an article on a much-read blog which  caught  my attention. It read - "Help Us Figure Out How to Fix
America."  Great, I'm for that.
This writer detailed the "plagues" which dominate our economy  and WAY OF LIFE: poverty, unemployment, mass incarceration,  climate destruction, gun violence, financial corruption, spy  and privacy, and much more.  Sadly in his "much more," he left  out one which for me and many people of compassion belongs right  up there with the rest of the "plagues" and that is ANIMAL  SUFFERING. And I hit the reply button and told him  as much.
Of course, I wonder how much good that did, but I believe that  whenever we can, we should speak up for the animals. Silence  never accomplished much of anything. Ask the Holocaust Jews.
Sadly, it seems that the whole world is bereft of compassion 
because the practice of keeping innocent farm animals in the
CAFOs from hell are found all over - probably in the billions. 
Someone called these farm animal prisons "Treblinkas," and I
think the term is very apt.  Why don't the majority of us ever
give some thought to their suffering?  My poor sister has heard  me sing this same refrain over and over again. God bless her,   but she understands.  
Sadly, the dear lady who precedes me in the chapel of adoration  on each Thursday seems to not even know they exist.  I asked her  to pray that the farm bill would fail because in it was a terrible  amendment which Rep. Steve King of Iowa inserted.  For all practical  purposes, it would take away all the compassionate animal laws  of the past. 
God love her -this very loving lady. She seemed astounded when
I told her about the CAFOs and  wanted to know why they exist. 
Good question- why?  I guess the only answer I could give her 
is that we are basically uncaring and lacking in compassion. 
Anybody have a better explanation?  
Why did not even this well-read blogger not understand because
he failed to add  the suffering of billions of innocent farm animals
to his list of plagues? 
I truly find it hard to try to understand this general lack of
concern here in America as well as elsewhere.  I also cannot figure
out why the religions of the world -especially Catholicism is not
teaching its followers to be compassionate and caring. I  have never
heard a word of this from the mouths of any Catholic leaders or
teachers, though I'm sure some of them are caring and compassionate. 
Obviously, much blame can be laid to t he teaching magisterium of
the church. This is where I hope Pope Francis can make some impact.
Will it be hard? I am sure it will be. Though at least to me -this
man's goodness seemed to come forth at the moment of his acceptance
of being elected the new Pope.
I happily reread again what Cardinal Claudio Hummes whispered to
Cardinal Bergoglio as it became apparent that  he had gotten the
two-thirds votes needed- "Do not forget the poor."
And it was then that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio pointed to
his heart and said he thought of St. Francis of Assisi.  He
reflected, "And this is how the name came to me, in my heart:
Francis of Assisi.  The man of the poor, the man of peace, the
man who loves and cares for CREATION --in this moment when we
don't have a very good relationship with creation, no?" he added.
Yes, indeed this newly elected pope reflected correctly.  We don't
have a very good relationship with creation at this moment in
time. Every day I pray from his prayer card that he will be the
change we so desparately need for all of God's creation - the poor,
the animals, and the environment.  
I was happy to see a picture of a Mother Jones magazine cover at their
site.  It showed a man with a gag and the caption: AG-Gag Laws GAG. 
For the states who passed them - aren't they saying - it's all right
to mistreat our farm animals - just so long as we don't see pictures
of this?  Again, indicative of our little concern for animal suffering. 
A Craigslist advertising "free animal" ads.  People of compassion
NEVER advertise free animals to anyone.  The concern that many of them
will be mistreated is real.  Per Care 2's petition to stop these bad
ads -we are reminded that puppies can be subjected to becoming "live
bait" for dog-fighting and for wolf traps.  There have also been
testimonials where free kittens were fed to pet snakes.  People who
have snakes should feed them freshly killed or frozen fare - but
certainly not live kittens or puppies.  This is absolutely cruel.
How sad -that we almost made wolves extinct at one time with a
concentrated killing spree -often using the cruel poisoning denning
method -killing whole familes at a time.  Then when numbers became
dangerously low, we put them on a threatened species list.  Now they
have been removed from this protection and are once again targets 
for hunters. 
Is this what we call humane management of wolves?  I  have seen heart-
wrenching pictures on Care2 of these poor bloody animals being held
up for all to see and admire -with the man who destroyed them basking
in his "trophy" glory.  
I can understand killing a wolf who is threatening human life - but
to glory in killing them just because we  can is shameful.  If the
wolves have once again begun posing problems for us, it is a clear
proof of our poor mismanagement.  What does a Wildlife Division do 
In my opinion, when the numbers were back to manageable, the use of
contraceptives should have been introduced.  But don't expect them
to think that far ahead.  Or is this too much of a pain to  administer? 
But shouldn't it be part of the job?  Too much money for contraceptives? 
We have money for everything else it seems.  But then why should we spoil
the hunters' fun? 
Of course, I hope I am completely wrong with this type of thinking,
but the answer to my query would be - because they love their life
as we do.  Only serious reasons should lead to their deaths, and
their killing should not be glorified.  This is a death, and death
is sorrowful - whether human or animal.       
On Care2 the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund are petitioning Secretary
Sally Jewel of the Department of the Interior to stop the removal of
the Endangered Species Act protection for nearly all gray wolves
across the United States.  The delisting has caused more than 1,100
wolves to have already been killed in the Northern Rockies since 
Congress took ESA protections away from them in 2011. 
I know being Secretary of the Interior must be a difficult job.  I
don't envy Secretary Jewel, but I will pray that she makes the
right decision in their regard. 
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I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)
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