Humane Religion Magazine
September - October 1996 Issue
FROM THE PULPIT
The Revd. F.C. Baker (1889-1961)
To derive pleasure in being cruel is a very debasing matter. It shows a person to be unmindful of the sanctity of life and the meaning of life. There is something very foul and evil in the lives of men and women who delight in destroying helpless life, especially in what is known as “blood sports.”
John Woolman, Quaker leader. (18th century. )
True religion consists in an inward life, wherein the heart doth love and reverence God the Creator and learns to exercise true justice and goodness, not only toward all men but also toward the brute creatures.
Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)
Now what is it that moves our very hearts and sickens us so much at cruelty shown to poor brutes? ...They have done us no harm and they have no power of resistance; it is the cowardice and tyranny of which they are the victims which make their sufferings so especially touching...there is something so very dreadful, so Satanic, in tormenting those who have never harmed us, and who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power.
Gary Kowalski, Unitarian Universalist minister (1991)
The company of the bereaved may be much larger than we imagined...How can we heedlessly take the life of another animal? How can we kill without wondering what agony that creature feels?
Richard of Wyche (Bishop of Chich Ester (1197-1253)
(On seeing an animal about to be killed.) You who are innocent, what have you done worthy of death! #
Rev. Humphry Primatt, D.D. (1734-1778)
What would we think of a stout and strong man who exerted his fury and barbarity on a helpless and innocent baby? Would we not abhor and detest that man as a mean, cowardly and savage wretch?...No less mean, cowardly and savage is it to abuse and torment the innocent animal who can neither help himself nor avenge himself.
Thomas Merton, Trappist Monk (1958)
The mistreatment of animals.. is part of the larger picture of insensitivity to genuine values and indeed to humanity and life itself—a picture which more and more comes to display the ugly lineaments of what can only be called by its right name: barbarism. #