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On Religion & Animals

Esmé Wynne-Tyson, 1898-1972 The Philosophy of Compassion
...ecclesiastical teaching has kept humanity from evolving to a more harmless species. By entirely ignoring the necessity for compassion, and quoting certain discreditable utterances ascribed to Jehovah in the Old Testament, it has been possible to argue that flesh-eating is morally right and according to the will of God.

Mithras We have only to imagine Jesus of Nazareth slaughtering a bull or a fellow creature to understand the immense, impassable gulf existing between Mithraism and true Christianity, and the folly and peril of ignoring that guilt and trying to reconcile the irreconcilable.

St. Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226 quoted in Life by St. Bonaventura
If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.

Cardinal John Henry Newman, 1801-1890 Cruelty to animals is as if humans did not love God…there is something so dreadful, so Satanic, in tormenting those who have never harmed us, and who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power.”  

The Holy Bible Ecclesiastes 3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts ... yea, they have all one breath, so that man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. Isaiah 11:6-9 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them ... They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

Mother Cecilia, 1890- from an interview
In the shelter we recognize that animals have the same right to live as humans and that “thou shalt not kill” applies to all sentient creation. We realize that animals are truly a part of God’s creation even as we are and that they share the same life. We believe that all life comes from God and is therefore sacred, and that in killing life one kills a part of God. We do not believe that an animal has a human soul; perhaps it is wrong to say that an animal has a soul at all. Or a man, for that matter. Perhaps it would be correct to say animals and men are souls, souls embodied.

Rt. Rev. John Chanler White, D.D. (Late Episcopal Bishop of Springfield, Illinois)
'As a Bishop of the Church of God, I am ashamed to say that the Church as an organization has never made any official pronouncement on the subject of the care and treatment of animals that I am able to find. I am more and more amazed as I have studied the matter to find that the Church has almost completely ignored the animal kingdom... It is time, fully time, that all Christian people awake to the necessity of taking an active part in the fight against what I dare to call the Crime of Animal Cruelty. Everyone who loves God and animals should help bear the burden of the fight against this insidious evil.'

Ecclesiastes 3:10 'For that which befalleth the sons of men, befalleth the beasts, even one thing befalleth them: As the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath, so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast.'

The Holy Bible (Isaiah 66:3) 'He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.'

Fo-Pen-Hing-Tsihking The practice of religion involves as a first principle, a loving compassionate heart for all creatures.

Thomas Paine, 1737-1809 The Age of Reason
The moral duty of man consists in imitating the moral goodness and beneficence of God manifested in the creation toward all His creatures. Everything of persecution and revenge between man and man, and everything of cruelty to animals, is a violation of moral duty.

Swami Chidananda, 1916- The Vegetarian Way
Compassion is divine. Cruelty is unspiritual. The human body, which is the moving temple of the Living God enshrined, is not meant to be made into the fleshy graveyard of slaughtered animals, creatures who are the dumb, harmless and innocent brethren of mankind, mutely trusting man, their “superior” keeper.

The Koran, 6th and 7th century There is no beast on earth, nor fowl that flieth, but the same are a people like unto you, and to God they shall return.

Pedro di Lorenzo 'Torturing animals in any form in the name of Christ, the Virgin and the Saints, in these pagan practices, it simply means to step on and spit at, the work of God.'

Vatican City: 'Pope John Paul said that 'the future of humanity and planet earth are in danger because of a lack of respect for animals and the environment. It is necessary and urgent that following the example of the poor man [St. Francis] one decides to abandon inconsiderate forms of domination, capture and custody with respect to all creatures.'' (Associated Press)

Anna Sewell, 1820-1878 Black Beauty There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to other animals as well as humans, it is all a sham.

Walt Whitman, 1819-1892 I swear that I think now that every living thing without exception has an eternal soul. I swear that I think there is nothing but immortality.

Vern Dollase A man’s religion is a failure if it has not taught him kindness.]

Parkes Cadman (1864-1936) 'We have abolished human bondage because it cursed those who imposed it. It is now our bounden duty to oppose cruelty to those creatures of our common Father which share with man the mystery of life.' (The Clergy Speak for Animals)

John Muir, 1838-1914 The Story of My Boyhood
Thus godlike sympathy grows and thrives and spreads far beyond the teachings of churches and schools, where too often the mean, blinding, loveless doctrine is taught that animals have neither mind nor soul, have no rights that we are bound to respect, and were made only for man, to be petted, spoiled, slaughtered, or enslaved.

Pierre Lori I have seen with an infinite sad disquietude the souls of animals appear in the depths of their eyes suddenly, as sad as a human soul; and search for my soul with tenderness, supplication and terror—and I have felt a deeper pity for the souls of animals than I have for those of my brothers, because they were without speech and incapable of coming forth from their semi-night.

Charles Darwin, 1809-1882 It is an intolerable thought that these creatures, with all their capacity for devotion, affection, loyalty, and suffering should suffer total annihilation at death.

Eugene Bertram Willard Yes, we who love God believe that our animals survive the grave. The poor and sorrowing and suffering victims of man’s cruelties are entitled to an eternal recompense in the Great Beyond. And god in His mercy will see to it that they get justice at long last!

Thomas A. Kempis, 1379-1471 The Imitation of Christ And if thy heart be straight with God, then every creature shall be to thee a mirror of life and a book of holy doctrine, for there is no creature so little or so vile, but that sheweth and representeth the goodness of God.

Brother John 'Recorded history shows the relationship between human and animal has been very one-sided! Man's exploitation/treatment of animals stands out as one of the darkest stains on his reputation. Is the purpose of life for the indulgence of selfish desires? Or a medium for soul growth? If we behave brutally or selfishly, then we are brutes and selfish. No religious label or outward facade alters this truth. Can we believe in and preach life after death, and yet be party to murdering millions of innocent animals via the blood-drenched abattoir, vivisection, fur trade, 'games', entertainment, 'sports'???'

Lewis Abbott There is more real religion in the man or woman who feeds a hungry animal than in the miser who builds a church and prays in it. *******

President Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865 Complete Works
I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.

Rev. George Laughton
The practice of kindness toward helpless creatures is a sign of development to the higher reaches of intelligence and sympathy. For, mark you, in every place there are those who are giving of their time and thought and to the work of protecting from cruelty and needless suffering the beasts of the field and streets. And you will invariably find that these people are among the most progressive and sympathetic and intelligent of a city’s populace. They are the leaders of every good work. These are the people who make the earth ... more like what God intended it should be.

June 26, 2015 Finally! Pope Francis Believes Compassion for Animals Can Help the Environment

Brute Ethics – In-Depth Animal Ethics; moral behaviour & rights


'Animals live by ethics! Albert Schweitzer on "Altruism"

(1) A flock of wild geese had settled to rest on a pond. One of the flock is captured by a gardener who had clipped its wings. When the geese started to resume their flight, this one tried frantically, but vainly, to lift itself into the air. The others, observing its struggles, flew about in obvious efforts to encourage it, but no use. The entire flock then settled back on the pond and waited, even though the urge to go on was strong, for several days, until the damaged feathers grew sufficiently to permit the goose to fly.

(2) A friend who owned a small cafe and used to throw crumbs for the sparrows, noticed that one was injured and had difficulty getting about. But he was interested to discover that the other sparrows would leave the crumbs which lay nearest their crippled comrade so that he could get his share, undisturbed.'

'When so much mistreatment of animals continues, when the cries of thirsty beasts from our railway cars die out unheard, when so much brutality prevails in our slaughterhouses, when animals meet a painful death in our kitchens, when animals suffer incredibly from merciless men and are turned over to the cruel play of children, WE ALL BEAR THE GUILT FOR IT. We are afraid of shocking people if we let it be noticed how much we are moved by the suffering man brings to animals. We think that others may have become more 'rational' than we, and may accept as customary and as a matter of course the things we have gotten excited about. Once in a while, however, a word suddenly slips out which shows that even they have not yet become reconciled to this suffering. Now they come very close to us though they were formerly strangers. The masks with which we were deceiving each other fall off. Now we learn from each other that no one is able to escape the grip of the cruelty that flourishes ceaselessly around us.'

Justice for animals is the social movement of our times and we must all participate to make it a reality. It’s long overdue. Carmina Gooch

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