Who of us has not engaged in a pity party or two at one time or another? Well, I was guilty of this today until I read about some issues which are really more important than mine. I was reminded of the terrible Syrian refugee crisis which not only impacts on the tired and hungry refugees- but on the nations which are finding it difficult to offer them asylum.
Then later I read again about the terrible dog eating practices in some parts of the Philippines which causes untold suffering to many innocent dog victims. And, of course, this problem exists in other countries like Korea and China as well. I had been also surprised to hear some time ago that some of the people here also engage in cruel horse fighting which certainly shows that there is a lack of compassion here not only for dogs but horses as well.
Lastly, I read about the horrible setting of fire to the horns of bulls in one part of Spain. Why are we so cruel that we find pleasure in the suffering of innocent animals? I am always saddened that the Catholic Church seemingly does nothing to stop this cruelty.
And then we sometimes find people who generally refuse to acknowledge that there is much animal suffering which we cause. Today I was astounded to read Darryl's Facebook post about a supposed educated woman saying that Christ only cares for humans. What idiocy, but more on this later.
Needless to say that my problems have suddenly paled in comparison to the woes I mentioned above. And these few are only some of the many, many world-wide problems which should concern us all if we are truly caring people.
THE SUFFERING OF SYRIAN AND OTHER REFUGEES
There was some good news for the hungry refugees from Syria and other afflicted places. I found it on All-Creatures.Org. Food for Life Global (FFLG) in Ljubljana, Slovenia and its European affiliates are distributing free plant-based (vegan) meals to refugees in over ten European countries. So far they have provided 10,000 meals to assist refugees trying to escape ghastly conditions in their home countries. FFLG is among the organizations and activists coming forward to assist them in finding a safe home and food to sustain them.
Much praise is due to Slovenian human rights activist, Faila Pasic Bisic, who was moved with compassion after listening to the hardships which faced Syrian, Iraqi, and Afghani refugees during a FFLG food distribution event on September 6th in Slovenia. Her message to governments and organizations is simple and succinct --"think, feel, do something for these migrants."
On September 11th, Swedish youth also responded to the plight of the refugees arriving at the Stockholm train station. Here too free meals were distributed outside the station by Food4Peace Sweden, an affiliate of FFL Global. FFL volunteer Kamala Priya noted "There is still hope for humanity when young and old from different religions, cultures, and ethnic groups can come together to help." For more information on this caring group- visit them on the internet.
SOME THOUGHTS RE THE WOMAN WHO CLAIMS GOD ONLY CARES FOR HUMANS
From SARX Christian Animal Welfare- "Might the love which compelled Christ to hang upon the cross actually have cosmic consequences for the whole created order?" After all, did He not call Himself the Lamb of God, the Lion of Judah, and the Shepherd of the sheep?
There are also numerous accounts which show Jesus identifying with the world of animals. In the cave where He was born- sheep and oxen would also find shelter. Jesus could have chosen to be born anywhere but he chose the lowly cave which He shared with the animals. When He started His ministry, He would spend time in the wilderness with the wild beasts.
On Palm Sunday when He rode triumphantly into Jerusalem --it was on a humble donkey. And not least of all, He affirmed to the populace that indeed it was lawful and righteous to do good on the Sabbath by rescuing an animal which has fallen into a pit.
Then the writer at SARX reflects on how Jesus meets all creatures in the flesh. When Jesus took on flesh, He would share many of the creaturely experiences that are common not only to man but to animals across a wide spectrum of species. And these experiences are: pain, hunger, happiness, sorrow, sickness, bereavement, joy. Anyone who has observed animals whether up close and personal or from afar will have observed these traits in them one time or another. When I think of bereavement and sorrow, I recall reading about a baby elephant crying for a very long period of time because his mother had rejected him. I also recognize that all of us who have had a companion animal in our lives have surely recognized these traits which they share with us.
Will any of this change this woman's opinion about Jesus caring for animals? I doubt it. You will always sadly meet people like her, but hopefully, people of her ilk are rare.
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