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A Publication of
Catholic Concern for Animals


Selections From The Ark Number 209 - Summer 2008


There are not many publications that range across the whole spectrum of animal welfare issues, as well as provide articles of theological and ethical scholarship that underpins a properly Christian response to them. The Ark is proud to be one – and in this issue we cover concerns from animal experimentation to the TV campaign for free-range poultry, and from the observations of a prisoner serving life to recalling the pet-keeping habits of medieval nuns. The contents reflect the readership, and the membership of CCA: we are as varied in our interests, our life-styles, and our achievements. What unites us all is our belief in the right of animals to be treated by us as they were intended to be by God, their Creator and ours; and with the compassion, mercy and forbearance that He shows to us.

Good and bad – but always, hope
We are buoyed up by good news, such as Animals Asia’s recent dramatic rescue of 28 bears from a bear farm in China, and depressed by bad, such as Scotland’s refusal to ban snares, and the threatened culls of badgers and grey squirrels in England. In fact, to be involved in the animal world is to yo-yo from glad to sad, elation to almost despair. The temptation can be to give up, to leave the world of cruelty and ignorance, and pretend it does not exist. But we cannot run away. We know that the human heart can be both generous and loathsome, but still we must hope that, with God’s grace, all tendency to viciousness can be overcome – eventually. We have models of those who persevered – May Bocking, whose long life of service to CCA and to cats we celebrated in a memorial service in April; Vicki Moore, a book of whose life is reviewed in this issue; and all the many whose actions contribute to a better world for animals – Jennifer working in a wildlife hospital, Mary rescuing dogs from Greece, Shirley caring for dogs and cats on a very limited budget. Their accounts all help to strengthen our resolve, while the poetry on these pages helps us to reflect and, at times, rejoice.

If you think that a friend or neighbour, a priest or teacher, may find something in the pages of The Ark to excite his or her interest in the world of animals and their welfare, do write in to the Editor for a further copy, or more. This is the time to be planning for World Animal Day, or Animal Welfare Sunday, and there are new leaflets for you to distribute or display – again, just ask. In the next issue we shall be able to report on two of our challenges, to find both the best teacher of the year, and the prison project which is doing more than any other to encourage wildlife and biodiversity. 

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Number 209 - Summer 2008

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