September 17, 2015
No More Pity Parties for Me
By Suzana Megles
As we go through life, we will meet an assortment of people. Some will inspire. Some will disgust you. I think I have captured some of them in this post, and not surprisingly, the ones who inspire do not waste time indulging in pity parties.
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.
TORO JUBILO FIESTA (Setting fire to the horns of live bulls)
I recently signed a petition which asked that the "Toro Jubilo Fiesta" and other fiestas that inflict terrible cruelty upon bulls in Spain be stopped. PACMA (Anti- Bullfighting Party) has three times hand delivered this petition to the Medinacelli-Soria Junta in Spain in October 2009, 2010, and 2011. They also promised to send the same petition in October 2012; sadly, these petitions were all being ignored by the Junta and the people of Spain- principally in the Soria province where this cruelty is being perpetrated on innocent bulls.
Here is what happens to the unfortunate bull: "Before being released, the bull is forcibly tied down, balls of flammable material are attached to his horns which are lighted, and can burn the horns, body and eyes, causing terrible suffering. Several times the running bull may try to kill himself against walls, due to his terrible pain." This cruelty occurs annually at the end of the second week of November."
Just horrible. I can't understand how a people can find pleasure in viewing a bull suffering. I cannot understand how anyone would be proud in considering this cruelty a part of one's heritage- causing unspeakable pain and suffering to an innocent bull. I cannot understand why the Catholic hierarchy does not forbid this "festival" because in my view -- this cruelty may well constitute a sin. Or does the Catholic Church not consider torturing an animal a sin? I hope that Pope Francis will learn of this cruelty and stop it. Other popes it seems were unable to stop bull fights. How can they ignore the ban of a pope in this regard?
Yes, I realize if I take a good look at my crosses and tribulations, they are nothing in comparison to so much suffering to people and animals worldwide. Please God help them all.
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 past 30 years and I thank God every day that I am. I am most disturbed at how little the Catholic Church and Christian churches generally give to concern re animal suffering in their ministry. I wrote to 350 bishops in 2001 and only 10-13 responded. I feel that the very least they can do is to instruct that the priests give one sermon a year on compassion to animals. I am still waiting for that sermon. I also belong to Catholic Concern for Animals - founded in England in 1929. (They are on the internet) I recently sent a sample copy of their bi-monthly publication called the ARK to the 8 Catholic bishops of Ohio. Only ONE kindly responded. Somehow we have to reach the Christian teaching magisterium. There is next to nothing re animal concerns and compassion for them. They basically believe that animals are the lesser of God's creation and that gives us the right to do anything we want to them. Way wrong. We need to change their mindsets. The animals are God's first and He expects us to treat them compassionately.