A Publication of
Catholic Concern for Animals
Selections From The Ark Number 200 - Summer 2005
Animal welfare has a long road to travel. There is so much that needs to be done before we can safely say that we human beings are not the cause of the suffering of other living sentient beings on our planet. There is much in nature that brings suffering enough for which wild creature ever dies a peaceful, painless death? But where we have responsibility over others, we have a duty of care for them and one granted us by the Creator of us all. Therefore, there is to be much rolling up of sleeves and getting on with the job of preventing cruelty and thoughtlessness towards the animals in our charge.
The task is clear in many cases over armchair hunting and unnecessary tail docking, or clubbing seals and eating dogs. No problem. We know that letters and lobbying, awareness-raising and demonstrations all help to influence the outcome of legislation and can influence public actions. As Christians we know too that prayer, alone or with others, is a powerful weapon in our struggle to help to bring about Gods kingdom.
But what happens when human actions cause the destruction of habitats and the food supply of millions of largely unseen creatures tiny wild insects, mammals and birds that depend on the intricate web of nature? Their lack of flourishing is our fault, and the solutions have to be ours, however enormous the scale. For the creatures suffer when roads and airports and housing developments are built, when the air is full of pollution, when the temperature rises and causes changes in the timing of the growth of vegetation. But now we are straying into the area of environmental care, of ecological concerns.
Can there, in fact, be a separation between concern for the environment and concern for animals? We think not. That is why, in this issue a special anniversary issue we include two articles that specifically address the relationship between animals and the environment and social development which is sometimes seen as opposing these two concerns, but in reality is also linked with them.
Debt to the past
While we rejoice in reporting the growth of CCA in the USA and elsewhere, we should pause at this point to acknowledge our enormous debt to all those stalwarts of the society who have worked for and guided the society throughout the years. Without the dedication and inspiration of Mrs Dixon Davies, the first Hon. Secretary, and of Mrs May Bocking, the most recent and longest-serving Hon. Secretary, we would most probably not exist. Honours must also be bestowed on my editorial predecessors, particularly the indomitable Dom Ambrose Agius OSM who brought out no fewer than 123 issues of The Ark, followed by Fr Kevin Daley with 35. May they, and all who have written for or contributed to the last 200 issues of this journal be commended to Almighty God.
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