Abortion and Animals Rights: The Connection
By Jean-Marc - 26 Apr 2013
Here is the good order of the discussion on this subject that I had on another list ... and I write Jean-Marc (eole66) instead of Jean-Marc or eole66 : it is me and I don't know why this alternation ... I hope this is more clear now ... ;-) to understand, read also the beginning, before all comments ... "A planet united for the culture of life: the untold story of World Youth Day"
The phrase a "Culture of Life" is an admission of defeat, a groveling among men of good will who have given up the main fight, and now see no other option than to join hands with those of good will to salvage whatever can be salvaged, but without any means to even hold-on to whatever good is left.
Rather, "seek ye first THE KINGDOM OF GOD, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
A "Culture of Life" is very much a secularist dead-end, a philosophy substituted in place of the revealed religion that offers both salvation == and which has also developed a historical culture that makes it possible to actually build a society of life. Maybe those 2 million kids in a country of 40 million should have done something to return Spain to its situation before the Vatican virtually forced a separation of Church and state.
I am confused. Do enlighten me. Why is the phrase a “Culture of Life” an admission of defeat, a groveling among men of good will, according to you? And how has the Vatican forced a separation of Church and state? and on which people/ nation has the Vatican done this?
Alfred, the Vatican (after the Council) deliberately de-Catholicized Spain, threatening excommunication and deliberately appointing interim bishops whose goal was openly stated as removing the legal structures uniting Church and state.
So, now the chickens have come home to roost, and the only ammunition available that hasn't been deliberately discarded is an enfeebled "culture of life".
A web search such as "church state Spain Vatican" is a starting point if you wish to learn more.
ggroebner, I will do a study of what you have suggested.
Meanwhile, I ask you this: Even presuming that the hierarchies of the Church erred, should we not try to rebuild even now? Should we dwell on the wrong (if there was wrong) and lose time in pointing out the less than perfect strength of the "culture of life" as compared to the correct way of "seeking first the kingdom of God" (which I fully agree with) or should we try to build up on the concept of the "culture of life" which is what is available to us as accepted by millions (of youth in the case of the WYD) and strengthen it so that it comes close to and even merges with the seeking first of the kingdom of heaven?
I say this because events like the WYD may be God's way of charting out a path for us to come back to Him, through the youth, and if we waste time in recriminations, we may not gain the full potential of this - another of His gifts to us, given in mercy, to bring us back to Him.
Besides, there are always wolves lurking at the door, waiting to take advantage of small differences that exist in people of goodwill. Let us not give them an inch.
"A planet united for the culture of life" : no, read this book :
"vegetarians and vegans in America today", Karen and Michael Iacobbo, Praeger publishers
I am a christian vegetarian and I don't understand a culture of life without animals because they are too living beeings. Albert Schweitzer speak "a little" about this : reverence for life ... this is the true "culture of life".
Alfred, please read Jean-Marc's post. It sheds much light on how this talk of a "culture of life" is a dead-end. Hoping that youth will "chart out a path" is another dead-end.
You know very well that when the Church and Catholics speak about the culture of life, it is not that vegetarian/ non-vegetarian stuff. We're talking about the culture of life (welcoming life from the very moment of conception till life is taken from us by God) vs the culture of death (abortions/ euthanizations/ etc). That is what WYD is about and what the Catholic Church is about.
If you thought the Catholic Church was promoting vegetarianism, and your comments were in relation to that idea, I would suggest that you have missed the idea of what the "culture of life" is that the Church is promoting, by more than a mile. I would then also say that in that case, you must really have no grudge against the Church, because it is promoting true Catholic teachings and not some fad (which now appears to be what you were upset about).
Great! So then we can work together in promoting the true culture of life along with our brothers and sisters in the Faith.
Maybe youth cannot chart out a path. But God is there to guide them. And if you and I and thousands of others pray for that favour, He will never refuse our prayer, I'm sure. So let's do it! Let's pray for our youth that God may guide them and that they may be open to His guidance.
According to you, who should decide how life is to be used, whether human or animal or plant or microscopic life? Should it be us humans or should it be the Author and Creator of life?
What did He say about animals being killed? Didn't He require the Israelites to eat the flesh of the lamb that was slaughtered at the Passover? Didn't Peter see a vision where there were animals and a Voice said to him "Arise, Peter, kill and eat"? Didn't the Lord serve fish (along with bread) as breakfast to the Apostles when they came from the boat (after His resurrection)? Do fish not have life? Do plants not have life?
In my opinion, when we take it upon ourselves to decide that we won't eat meat because that involves taking life, we end up in a maze from which extrication is not easy. Why is killing plant life acceptable and not killing animals? Is it because one can see and hear the animal's cries of pain as it is being killed and that does not happen with plants? And what about the microscopic life forms such as microbes, bacteria etc? Why is it acceptable to kill them and not kill animals? Is it because they have no nervous systems and cannot feel pain that it is acceptable to destroy them? Then, what are we really bothered about when an animal dies? the destruction of life per se? or its' impact on us when the living (animal) dies because of the pain that it exhibits and touches our hearts? So are we promoting plant consumption out of respect for life or because we are squeamish?
In any case, this "culture of life" is not the same "culture of life that the Catholic Church is promoting. This is a secular concept.
Alfred, I'm not sure that this banter is doing anyone any good -- maybe it is for someone reading -- but this "culture of life" as you state it is a completely naturalistic substitute instead of our proper goal -- supernatural life in God. It is a lowest-common denominator, the natural law. Obviously, that is not a bad thing, but it simply cannot compete on its own in a world with preternatural forces involved (and governmental barriers instituted against both the natural and supernatural order). If the aim is to just fix some of the societal problems on the natural level, it will be a case of almost constant loss and retreat. The aim must be higher, if there is to be any realistic hope of even the natural law to be able to hold firm. This is not necessarily the case on a philosophical level, but reason falls by the wayside in everyday situations. Many Americans don't like to hear it, but it is necessary that -- at least in some small area -- we work for a specifically Catholic state. The Vatican, in their disastrous treatment of Spain, has given a pretty good example of how things are not supposed to work.
It is a little difficult to me to débate on this subject because I am french and not very easy with english language, but there are many answers. The book I mention give many testimonies; example :
p 25, Linda Anne Bessette, a social worker :
"My basic belief is that we have a throwaway society. In addition, I feel it has become too prevalent in American society. A little bit of power, I always say ... is a dangerous thing. We as human beings must let go of the need to exert power to feel good, and allow only God... whatever we conceive it to be, to determine when a life will end, whether it be an animal, unborn baby, prisoner, or living person needing machin to sustain life... I will continue to practice respect for all living things throughout my days and try to help those in most need, and it is my hope that I will have made a small impact on all living creatures and society as a whole."
To tell you the truth, I don't really understand what you are trying to say.
The topic of this discussion (as started by ggroebner) was about how the "culture of life" is a poor substitute for absolute belief in God. You entered with a perspective of culture of life being something to do with eating meat or going vegetarian and ggroebner pointed me to what you had to say as being something that supported his/her viewpoint. Then I expressed my view that the culture of life which the Church was firmly behind related to human life - promoting life from conception to death. But now you have come back to me with some quote from a social worker.
But what is the point you are trying to make? I do not understand. Pardon me.
Perhaps I have misunderstood what you are trying to say. I gathered that you were against promoting the concept of "culture of life" because it was a poor substitute for absolute belief in God. I see though that you have some issue with the Vatican. Am not able to get a sense of where that is leading. Your comments about them appear in more than one post. So I shall take a back seat and try to follow where your opinion leads by reading more of your posts - perhaps in response to other posts or even otherwise. But I wouldn't call the posts that I wrote or that you wrote as "banter".
Banter, as opposed to what? Aren't these discussion boards for discussion ?
Jean-Marc (eole66) @Alfred
For me, but I am not alone, "culture of life" is not a poor substitute for absolute belief in God, it is part of it. Please, read "message of his holiness pope Benedict XVI for the celebration of the world day of peace (1.1.2011) : if you want create peace, protect creation." This link :
There are many wars in the world and we don't protect creation : the two things are maybe closely connected....
What does "being a Christian vegetarian" and "not accepting a culture of life without animals because they are too living beings" have to do with "absolute belief in God"?
Besides, do you think that "not accepting a culture of life without animals" has something to do with the "culture of life" that the Catholic Church and the Pope promote?
Jean-Marc (eole66) @Alfred
Pope Benedict XVI said "protect creation" and he explain that this have to do with "absolute belief in God". So "not accepting a culture of life without animals has to do with the "culture of life" that the Catholic Church and the Pope promote, for me and other christian vegetarians and vegans. Why ? Again, please read this testimony in the same book I quote above; I hope you understand what I mean :
"Full of cow flesh from one fast lunch at T-Bell [Taco Bell], I was bouncing through the mountainous stretches of Highway 81 west of Charlottesville [Virginia]. On the steep incline, I went to pass a slow-moving truck; it was actually a large pickup, towing a trailer. Inside the trailer were five cows (though there was really only room for four). They all had their necks bent at near 90-degree angles to fit into the cramped space. One was craning my way, and as I made eye contact with her, I realized she was terrified, in addition to crowded. As the truck bounced over the road, she struggled to keep her feet under her, and her eyes were wide with drawn-out fear and discomfort. All I could think at that moment was that they were taking this poor gal, and her friends, off to the Taco Bell factory, to replace the tacos I had eaten earlier that day. And, at that moment, I called an end to the carnivorous madness. 1 had looked into the eyes of the folks I had been eating, and I couldn't have them killed for my lunch any more."
There is very numerous testimonies like this in this book. Where is the love for Creation if we are full of callousness to this ? Are we true christian with Christ love if we are insensitive ?
Nobody wants cows or any animals to suffer. They should have shot and froze them before shipping. They shoot horses don't they?
Jean-Marc (eole66) @ruralrite
Nobody really ? Read this please :
Meat industry is like an engine and it need fuel. When you buy some meat you buy fuel for this engine : it need you.
"... "One day, my husband asked me to go to the abattoir (the local slaughterhouse) to fetch some food for the dogs. I could do anything for those dogs, but I didn't know what I was getting myself into.To buy the meat, I had to observe a lot of awfull things. I could hardly stay; it was nerve-wracking to hear the cows bleating in their fear. They knew where they were going. They sensed it as surely as anything. I could hear them in their death throes as well, screaming and squealing... I've never regretted my choice in diet, and have enjoyed much better health because of it.
Sometimes it is necessary to see to feel and understand ... like for the human unborn. Th culture of life if it does not respect animals cannot be absolutely logical, consistent with itself : wen you " shot and froze ", it is just not live, but death. Reverence for life as told by Albert Schweitzer is certainly a very consistent idea.
This "reverence for life" that you are talking about is only a revulsion of seeing an animal die. This is what is clearly coming across from the examples that you are giving. One lady looked into the eyes of the cow that was being shipped to be slaughtered for food, and so seeing the pain in the cow's eyes she stopped eating meat. Where is the reverence for life here? All that can be seen is that the lady does not want "to see" an animal in pain. What about an insect, say a scorpion who also has life. Does this lady have enough "reverence for life" to avoid killing it if she finds it in her house? No, I don't think so.
Jean-Marc, try and understand one thing. Only the author of life can decide what life should be taken and what life preserved. As I mentioned in one of my initial posts, in the Old Testament were not the Israelites commanded to eat the flesh of the lamb that they slaughtered at the Passover? In the New Testament did not the apostles eat fish with the Lord? Are you going to say that they were wrong in eating the flesh of once living beings because they killed life in the process? Then what about vegetarianism? Are you not killing plant life to eat vegetables? Even if you stop eating vegetables because you want to avoid "taking life", every step you take, your feet will be squashing and killing many microbes and micro-organisms that you cannot see. Do you feel we should stand still to avoid taking life? Or stop breathing because in every breath there are micro-organisms who are going to die in your lungs? This is where man-made reasoning takes us.
Therefore if you want to be a solid, straight forward, tough Catholic, stick to Catholic teachings ONLY and don't mix them with any other theories even those of Albert Schweitzer, Linda Ann Bessette or others.
Jean-Marc (eole66) @Alfred
Can you say "culture of life" is "only" a revulsion of seeing a unborn baby die ? Why this "only" to minimize an ethical matter ?
Is my sensitiveness and the vegetarian one no important ? Sensitivenes is gift of God and you must consider it.
You speak about Old Testament; I read also this :
And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith Jehovah.
He that killeth an ox is as he that slayeth a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as he that breaketh a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, [as he that offereth] swine's blood; he that burneth frankincense, as he that blesseth an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations:
Ear St Francis of Assisis “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.” The pope don't think it's a crazy but a holly man. And Dalaï Lama, with his sensitivity for all living beings, Pope neither think he is a crazy man ...
Jean-Marc (eole66) @Alfred
I don't understand why you say "This “reverence for life” that you are talking about is only a revulsion of seeing an animal die." Otherwise I can say also "your" "reverence for life is "only" a revulsion of seeing an unborn die" ... The key words in both cases are "empathy", "compassion" and how for instance the church see Francis of Assisi ? Not a crank, but a saint : he said : "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." and : "“Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission—to be of service to them wherever they require it" Please, see also : http://www.nansealove.com/Quotes.html
You speak about Old Testament; there is in it :
Isaiah 65:25 - The wolf and the lamb will take their food together, and the lion will make a meal of grass like the ox: but dust will be the snake's food. There will be no cause of pain or destruction in all my holy mountain, says the Lord.
Daniel 1:14 - 17 "So he gave ear to them in this thing and put them to the test for ten days. And at the end of ten days their faces seemed fairer and they were fatter in flesh than all the young men who had their food from the king's table. So the keeper regularly took away their meat and the wine which was to have been their drink, and gave them grain. Now as for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and made them expert in all book-learning and wisdom: and Daniel was wise in all visions and dreams."
Maybe I am not a "solid, straight forward, tough Catholic" but I love animals, God will surely forgive me ...
"Only by means of reverence for life can we establish a spiritual and humane relationship with both people and all living creatures within our reach. Only in this fashion can we avoid harming others, and, within the limits of our capacity, go to their aid whenever they need us"
Albert Schweitzer, Peace Nobel prize 1952