LettersLetter from Ruth Eisenbud: In Memory of Shambo: for Bruce - 10 Feb 2010
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Letter from Ruth Eisenbud: In Memory of Shambo: for Bruce - 10 Feb 2010

Background: Bruce was a good-natured pit bull mix, yet in his homeland of Ireland he was condemned to death because of who he was, not because he had had ever harmed anyone. Included in this letter is the story of Shambo, which highlights the different results for animals when they are granted unconditional compassion by the Jain/Hindu tradition of India:

Dear Paula Magill,

Ireland is a Christian nation, and the decision to kill a companionable and decent animal because he does not meet your criterion of a 'proper' breed is a reflection of a failure of the Judeo-Christian tradition to extend complete unconditional compassion to animals.

The problem created by condemning an innocent living being to death, because his life is viewed as less important than a human life is indicative of what is taught in the houses of worship of the Judeo-Christian tradition. This tradition states explicitly that animals may be harmed or indeed killed for human benefit, in a hierachical scheme, designed to favor man, labeled Dominion.

Sentencing Bruce to death, is the symptom of a much greater problem than the killing of one innocent dog. The actual problem includes: the slaughter of billions of animals deemed as 'food' and the billions of animals trapped in scientific establishments where they are subjected to painful, harmful, life ending experiments because they are viewed as expendable to benefit man. These are just two of the most blatant ways that animals are harmed by the 'compassion of convenience' of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

It is my profound hope that you will spare Bruce, and in the future not condemn any other dogs to death for any reason. especially one as spurious as breed type.

Sadly it is too late for Shambo, a beautiful young bull.

Recently the story of Shambo unfolded in Skanda Vale, Whales, where the religious values of the judeo.christian resulted in taking his life, even as Hindu monks, whose religion teaches respect for the lives of all beings, fought valiantly to save Shambo. Shambo will forever be a symbol of the inherent cruelty of a religious model which sanctifies the harming and killing of animals:

Shambo's Story: Recently a young bull named Shambo, living peacefully at a Hindu temple in Skanda Vale Wales, was put to death by the Welsh government officials. Shambo showed no signs of disease, although he tested positive for bovine TB. Hindu monks waged an intelligent, logical, courageous and non-violent campaign to save his life.

The Hindu monks arranged to send him to a goshala (cow sanctuary) near Mumbai, where he could be treated for TB and live out his days in peace. The Welsh government, egged on by a less than benign religious view of animals and angry farmers concerned with the monetary value of their livestock, ordered that Shambo be killed.

The government veterinarians and police broke through a peaceful Hindu ceremony (puja) honoring the sanctity of all life and dragged Shambo off to be killed.

Ahimsa: A religious principle followed by the Jain/Hindu religious tradition. The practice of non-violence and reverence for life. Ahimsa forbids the taking of animal life at any level.

If a more humane view of animals is not incorporated into the Judeo-Christian tradition, I am afraid that there will be many more unjust incidents in the future. Incidentally, in India it is against the law to kill a dog for any reason other than terminal illness or extreme trauma. The Indian Constitution contains a clause that requires citizens to exhibit a 'duty of compassion' to animals, based on a religious foundation that honors all lives...Perhaps this is the mark of a civilized nation.

Ruth Eisenbud

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