A Publication of
Catholic Concern for Animals
Selections From The Ark
Number 201 - Autumn/Winter 2005
As The Ark goes to press, the media is greatly exercised about bombs, terrorism and murders, in the UK, Iraq, and around the world. As has so often been said, we live in a violent world. What is our little organisation hoping to achieve faced with such a tsunami of heartlessness? What chance have animals when human beings can behave with such little compunction towards their own species?
Nevertheless, we struggle on. For only by re-humanising society can we hope to make life cruelty-free for all with whom and with which we share this planet. When we encourage just one person here or there to reconsider their treatment of one of God’s creatures, or to re-evaluate the place of animals in God’s plan for the world, we are making a difference. Lots of little successes of compassion, little victories of gentleness, small decisions that can change lives – all help to create a better world. All help to build up the Kingdom of God.
The Christian Churches exist to spread the message of God’s love, and to encourage people to respond to that love by committing their own lives to the values of heaven. Our particular task is to remind the Churches, or perhaps to awaken them to the idea, that God’s love – and ours – is not restricted to people alone, but that all creatures, especially all sentient beings, deserve to be treated with respect and consideration. Our difference from other animals lies only in the responsibilities we have been given as moral agents with consciences. Because there is violence in nature does not mean that we are excused our acts of violence towards other people or other species. We can – and must – choose the nonviolent, the compassionate, the gentler approach in all cases.
Many of us worry about the next generation, our young people, and whether they are exposed only to values that will bring them unhappiness. However, most children respond positively to animals they encounter – maybe in empathy with the similarly powerless and vulnerable. There is a wonderfully inspiring account in this issue of what can be done with imagination and initiative – just read the account of the Prize day at Best Friends. With people like Bobbie Anderson, and so many other terrific Ark members, may we have hope in our hearts that what we do does make a difference. Let God be praised.
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