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Comments by Ruth Eisenbud - 15 Feb 2010

In Reference to: To Love Completely or Not to Love

Dear Frank and Mary,

Then I hope you can fine a way to be more specific. Love is a very general concept and you use it across many areas of life. With regard to animals, it must mean that they are entitled to the compassion of full 'personhood', their lives are not worth less than human lives, man may not use animals for any reason to benefit himself...Perhaps you can phrase it by saying this is what God intends when he tells you to love the animals...this is what loving them means...But is very important to be specific. Many meat eaters claim to love animals, because loving animals is not clearly defined...

Speaking in vague generalities and stating that we should love animals because that it what God intends leads to too many convenient misunderstandings...

Perhaps you can open with the question of whether it is possible to harm and kill someone you love, and since God loves the animals he does not intend for us to harm or kill them...

In addition perhaps you could quote from the 'groan of travail' prayer so beautifully stated by St Basil, as he is a Christian Saint.

Please let me know if you feel it is appropriate to use the language of personhood to describe animals within the Christian context...

Perhaps you can learn from my experience with the Jain religion. What I like about their teachings in general and with regard to animals is that they clearly define their terms. There can be no doubt about what it means to respect the life of an animal...

These are just a few thoughts, but if we do not begin to define love to mean no-harm then there is little hope of changing the view towards animals.

I know this is radical, but the situation for animals is horrific and must be addressed clearly and unambiguously if they are ever to achieve the help they so desperately need.