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A Publication of
Catholic Concern for Animals


Selections From The Ark Number 217 - Spring 2011


What is special about Catholic Concern for Animals? Why are we not like most other animal charities? The reason is that they tend to focus on the objects of human cruelty: the victims the suffering, distressed or neglected animals themselves. We have a different focus. We look towards the subjects the human beings, the souls who one day must face their Creator and account for their treatment of all living creatures.

Nature, we know, can give animals a tough deal early mortality, pain and suffering. But even there, human beings often have the power and resources to try to alleviate that suffering. However, it is where human beings are in control over the lives and quality of lives of animals that concerns us greatly. We believe that the Creator has invested us with an awesome responsibility for the rest of creation, and for all living beings who share our planet. We have such power, and such potential for good and ill.

Moreover we have divine teaching and personal models of behaviour revealed to us to enable us to make the choices that help to conform us to the image of God. All should lead us to become gentler, kinder, more compassionate people peace-makers, humble, poor in spirit.

Connections and links
That does not square with human cruelty towards other creatures, or with our neglect of their well-being, or with methods which prevent their flourishing. So we consider it our Christian duty to direct our efforts to people of faith. Many of our fellow parishioners have never thought about the implications of their consumer or dietary choices, or know about the conditions in which many millions of animals are kept in factory farms and laboratories. Many have never made the connection between these considerations and their faith, or realise what is expected of them by the Creator of all. Campaigners for the unborn child often miss the link between the culture of violence and death for weak, innocent, vulnerable animals and that which treats the unborn similarly as commodities.

It takes a massive and radical change of gear from considering animals as resources for our use, instruments for our profit or pleasure, to seeing them, as St Francis did, as our brothers and sisters, because they and we have the same Creator -Father. But it is the task of making that gear change a reality world-wide that we exist. If we can influence the one and a half billion Catholics in the world today or even a proportion of them to move closer to treating animals with the respect they deserve as beloved creatures of God, we will have succeeded. Please God we still may.

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Number 217 - Spring 2011

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