The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Family Foundation


Letters and Responses



Letter from Marilyn Concerning Cruelty to Animals and Our Mission - 25 May 2004

We need another St. Francis! I will try to get others to look at your cruelty photos. People don't want to deal with it. I dream that one day an 'Animal Planet' type of programming would be offered in Asian countries. I believe it will take extensive exposure to the world of God's creatures, detailing their natures, their glory, and their rights to share this earth, to overcome the mind- set that animals are commodities.

The cruelty of man against beast is mind boggling. Some tales I can never forget. I remember seeing on TV an abused big cat being brought to a sanctuary. It had lived its whole life in a cage. It had never run! And for some reason the saddest thing I ever saw was a news report of a big cat like a jaguar being removed from a drug dealer's home. The cat looked at the camera, its face was skeletal and the eyes were devastatingly haunted. A stark, blank, sad, hopeless, empty scream came from those eyes. I can never erase that image. I look at my pet cats and see the same soul.

When I was in college decades ago we had an assignment to 'pith' a living frog (pierce the rear base of the skull with a long needle, twirl the needle in the brain). Then we were to pin it down and cut it open alive to observe the beating heart. Pithing removes the frogís abilities to react but doesn't kill immediately. The first time, I had the lab master do my frog. When the needle entered, the frog arched back, stiffened its legs and trembled in a horrible shocked spasm. The second time they wanted us to do this, I refused. For a stupid experiment to see if it had worms? Here were 600 students in that pre med course. The lab master sympathized and didnít make me do the project. Later he told me I was the only one to refuse. Years later I read the description of a partial birth abortion by a nurse who assisted. The back arching, spasm, trembling and stiffening of the human baby's arms and legs was exactly what I saw in the pithed frog years ago. How cruel we are.

Bless you for your difficult mission. I think because we are so cruel, the denial is massive. But if I could get one small favor from God right now it would be to stop the dog and cat trade in the Orient. Bless you all in your mission.



Reply by Frank L. Hoffman

Dear Marilyn:

Thank you very much for your letter and compassion.

In a way, each of us can be a modern-day St. Francis by living a life of peace, love, and compassion openly, everywhere we go, before the world around us, so that everyone we meet will have the sense of hearing a prayer and sermon about compassionate living, simply because of who we are and because we were in their presence.

Your comparison of pithing a frog and of a late term aborted baby is very true.

We look forward to hearing from you again.

In the Love of the Lord,


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