What People Are Commenting
Heated Reactions on Animals
Emotion that Strikes a Chord
I am responding to your reply to PLC [Compassion for Ducks], whom you label a "covert eco-terrorist".
Although he does so in an emotional way, PLC makes very good points about the abuse of ducks for food. Yes, God gave man dominion over the animals, but he intended it to be a dominion that is humane. The abuses these ducks in close quarters endure, all for the greedy appetite and luxury of man, are inhumane and absurd. I know: I live in the Chicago area and have been watching this drama unfold for the past year.
This is mostly about the rich demanding their rights to eat only the best of foods and delicacies be upheld. It is ridiculous. The rich can still eat their foie gras without the abuses. There would just be a little smaller portion on their plate. Imagine that!
Also, I have to take issue with your perfunctory and strictly rational view of the animal kingdom. Animals have no post mortem life? How do you know? God created the animal world as much for his own glory as for the dominion of man, and I have a hard time, personally, seeing how God's glory would or could be complete in Heaven without animals. I also have a hard time understanding how these sentient beings, which have emotions, logic, and memory, could just be discontinued from existence, into oblivion, after they die. I firmly believe animals are important enough to God that, in His own unseen and mysterious way, and for his own perhaps unknown purposes, He would see fit to perpetuate their lives after earthly death.
I am a devout Catholic. I agree with what the Church teaches. I agree with most of what you say on this site. But I have to say you sometimes go overboard with these verbose treatises on subjects that can be explained and understood much more simply and to the point. And in this matter it is this: you don't have to be an eco-terrorist to see and take to heart the abuses that go on in the livestock industry in our country, abuses all for the sake of maximizing luxury and profit. You just have to be a caring and conscientious individual. (I believe Jesus would say "good steward").
George Will put this - abuse in the livestock industry - all quite clearly, simply, and morally in an article he wrote for Newsweek Magazine about a year ago, here. And he did so without quoting Scripture, the Saints, or Church Tradition. His article just goes to show how common sense is, though rarely seen as such, consistent with a moral and Godly view of the world.
Finally, I agree that PLC could have been more diplomatic in his letter, maybe then his views would have been dealt with by you less harshly. But his emotion strikes a chord with me, and it should with you. This is not a complicated matter, and if more people in and around the livestock industry reacted with the same sensitivity and conviction he expresses, I believe our country would be a better place.
Pets and Diseases
Finally a bit of common sense! I read your pieces on animals. Great! I don't know where we're going with this crazy mania of treating animals like people.
Why don't doctors ever tell us about all the diseases that come from animals? That AIDS originated from intimacy with monkeys, and venereal diseases from intimacy with dogs.
People addicted to this mania are in a contradictory position. They go into panic from fear of catching mad cow disease, the bird flu or get salmonella poisoning even though the chances are remote, and most of what they know about it is from TV reports. On the other hand, they are blind regarding the danger that is near. They let their children kiss cats and dogs. Don't they see that just a moment before, the same cat was cleaning its private parts with its tongue? A little while ago that dog licked the sexual organs of another dog, and now it's licking a child's face. By treating their pets like people they seriously jeopardize the heath of their children. Nonsense!
Keep up the good work.
Remember the great compassion St. Martin de Porres had upon animals who came to his door, mystically, for help. His iconology (or pictorial representation) has always a poor dog, cat, bird & mouse whom he is feeding and (in real life) truly cared for. And, endearingly, he always has a broom, too, for he humbly called himself. "Brother Broom"! One story from his life has him raising a dog from death, whose owner wrongly killed him.
There are other saints, as well, like St. Francis, who had communication with and true compassion on our 'lesser brethren'. I, too, believe in proper order of the emotions & affections but it is not wrong to be fond of a dear companion animal & grieve its loss. Can we doubt that God deigned it so?
Our God gave us rights of stewardship over the animals, yes. But let us be good stewards, honoring Him in all His creation.
Good job on the animals. I really liked it.
A research paper by a veterinarian group I read two or three years ago showed that animals don't love us like we imagine they do. Pets look to us for food and shelter. It said that a dog protects its owner and his property because it's protecting its source of food. Everyone knows the dog will protect a bone if someone approaches. The owner is like a big bone for the dog. If someone tries to hurt the owner, the dog will bite the man, just like it will attack anyone who tries to take its bone from its hiding place.
I think that study is right. Once I left my cat without any food for some days when I had to leave on an urgent trip. When I came back it was gone. Months later, I saw it at a house many blocks away dozing on a high stone wall out of my reach. I called its name; after I insisted two or three times it lazily opened an eye and raised its head to see who was calling. It fixed me with a 'poker face' for a while, then retuned to its sun bath without even recognizing me. I had spent alot of money on that cat and fed it well, except for that week. No love in the picture, only the instinct of self-interest. That's what's normal. No one should expect more from cats.
Also the way to train a dog is based on the same instinct. The instructor uses the stimulus-response sequence to achieve his goal, rewarding the dog for good behavior or punishing it for bad. Go watch a training session for police dogs as I did, and you will understand what I mean, the dog reacts from its own interest, nothing else. There's no love or noble sentiments in the picture, just basic instinct.
It's amazing how foolish people became treating beasts as if they were children. I know a lady who has a dog she treats better than her son. She thinks the dog returns her love. Wrong. It's there for the food and comfort she provides. Period.
It would be good for people - who are so mixed up on everything today - to keep this in mind and stop thinking animals have human feelings.
In Christ Jesus,
Feminization of Society
I really laughed when I read your article on animals. Whew, that's an explosive topic! You can criticize a Pope and people will discuss it calmly. It's a safer subject than telling people they shouldn't love their pets because they're just animals and not going to Heaven. My kudos, TIA, for once again treading where brave men dare not walk'
I grew up on a farm, and my sisters used to take in and 'mother' every stray cat or injured bird. One sister had a pony that she brushed and sang to down at the barn, love songs probably. I remember how that pony used to return her affection: every time he could, he'd gallop under the low branches of the apple tree to knock her off! Eventually, the girls grew out of such sentimentality. It was one of the benefits of living on a farm.
Today it's not just girls and women, but boys and grown men who are sappy, soft and sentimental about animals. I think it's part of the feminization of society - even many men have lost their good sense, or the courage to maintain it in their homes.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not a pet hater. I have always had a dog, still have one for that matter. Animals should help us, offer protection, companionship, and joy. So let's keep them in the right place, not put them onto some altar to adore like gods, or treat them like human beings we should love.
Posted December 6, 2006
The opinions expressed in this section -
What People Are Commenting -
do not necessarily express those of TIA
Topics of Interest
Are Ducks Animals or Divinities?
Compassion for Ducks
Questions on Ecology
What America Eats
Related Works of Interest
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