Religion & Animals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1993:

The General Association of Davidian
Seventh Day Adventists, a 500-member vege-
tarian sect active in New York, California, and
South Carolina, wish to make known that they
have nothing whatever to do with the Branch
Davidians, who have been involved in an armed
standoff with police and the FBI since February
28 at their compound near Waco, Texas.

“Any priest working alone should
seriously consider getting a pet,” says the Rev.
James Roche, parish priest for the Church of the
Holy Eucharist in Tabernacle, New Jersey.
Roche himself, recently profiled by The New
York Times, keeps two cats, who help him han-
dle the stress and loneliness of celibacy. “I have
found that it’s very therapeutic to have another
presence in the house,” he told the Times.
The 600,000 members of the desert-
dwelling Bishnoi sect have led the fight to save
wildlife in India for more than 400 years. A
reform branch of Hinduism, the vegetarian
Bishnois forbid killing wild animals and cutting
live trees. About 250 years ago, 300 Bishnois
were axed to death as they hugged trees to keep
them from being chopped down––but the action
saved the forest, when the king who had ordered
the logging intervened. The Great Indian Desert,
where most of the Bishnois live, is known to
have the most biodiversity of any part of India.
Forty-one British Anglican bishops
signed a statement of opposition to fur-wearing in
February, issued to coincide with publication of
a new book, Cruelty and Christian Conscience.
We’ll try to get further details for our May issue.
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