By: Frank L. Hoffman
Retribution for Our Depraved Indifference to the Pain and Suffering of Others
The highly contagious Foot and Mouth Disease (sometimes called Hoof and Mouth Disease) causes blisters to form on the mouths and hooves of cloven hoofed animals such as pigs, sheep, and cattle (bovine), including dairy cows. The present world scare (plague) began in Britain and has spread to Ireland and other parts of Europe.
On 3 March 2001, Deborah M. Jones (Oxford, England), editor of The Ark, wrote us:
"At the moment the UK is paralysed by the dreadful plague of Foot-and-Mouth sickness - which is particularly dreadful, not so much for the animals themselves, apparently, but because the reaction to it is to slaughter every single farm animal for miles around. There is even talk of possibly killing all the wild-life in infected areas. All sporting/racing etc events have been cancelled and the General Election has been postponed. This just shows how dependent we are on agriculture and animal welfare - for if the animals had been well looked after, none of this would have happened! The fear is that it has spread to Europe - and that could mean death on a simply horrendous scale for millions upon millions of innocent creatures. please pray for us on this side of the 'pond' - and hope that the good that may come from it all eventually is a restructuring of agriculture entirely.
In recent years, the animal agriculture industry has been hit with one incident (plague) after another, and we believe it is a plague upon us for our depraved indifference to the pain and suffering of the animals, which can only be stopped by our ceasing to eat animals and their by-products. This is the kind of restructuring of agriculture that is needed to stop this plague. We need to return to the plant based diet that God originally intended for us (Genesis 1:29-30). A plant based diet offers a win-win solution: people win by living in optimum physical, emotional, and spiritual health and "farm" animals win by living out their lives according to their Creator's original plan.
If anyone doubts that modern animal farming is stressful and damaging to one's emotional health, here is what Prince Charles said to reporters concerning this latest farm-related crisis, according to Reuters news service: "It is another desperate blow on top of so many others...There is a lot of real difficulty leading to complications like suicides". Prince Charles, according to Reuters, is the owner of a tenanted farm in southwest England that has been struck by the disease.
To us, there is a striking similarity between these modern plagues and those of ancient Egypt when the ruling Pharaoh, whose heart was hardened, would not listen to God's instructions to let the Israelites go. Those ancient Israelites were in a similar position as the enslaved farm animals of today. In that account found in the Bible, the plagues escalated in intensity, as Pharaoh repeatedly refused to "Let My people go". The more we mistreat the animals, the more we believe these plagues will increase in their frequency.
Something that is obvious, simply by its omission, in every news report that we have read is empathy of any sort for the thousands of innocent animals that are being destroyed. Hearts are so hardened that even a pretense of feeling for the animals is absent. This latest fiasco is an evil driven by the love of money, period.
And while we're talking about the love of money driving this plague, we should consider that Foot and Mouth Disease rarely affects humans and is seldom fatal to animals. What it does do is cause them to lose weight, most likely because it's too painful to eat and get around. The killing of these animals is purely economic, as is the effect of the plague. Furthermore, as Deborah Jones states above, if these animals were properly cared for they would have been inoculated to prevent Foot and Mouth Disease.
Was this also omitted for economic reasons? If so, this plague was brought on by the very people who are suffering the economic loss.
The basic problem remains our indifference to the pain, suffering and death we have brought upon innocent animals. We are shooting ourselves in the foot and most people don't even realize it. And as long as we continue to sanitize this kind of violence in our society, these plagues will continue.