From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1997:

Brigitte Bardot, 62, renowned as a film
star but working fulltime for more than twice as long
in animal protection, went to trial on December 18
for allegedly inciting ethnic bias by attacking amateur
sheep slaughter by Moslem immigrants to France in
commemoration of Eid al-Adha, the holiday marking
the end of the month in which pilgrimages are made
to Mecca. Chief defense witness is expected to be
Leila El Fourgi, president of the Tunisia SPA.
“Perhaps the spirit of God that breathed
forth life into the Earth was a lower animal,”
Cardinal John O’Connor told the devout in a
November 24 sermon at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, in
New York City, following up on Pope John Paul II’s
October declaration that the theory of evolution is
“more than just a hypothesis.” Both the Pope and the
Cardinal stopped short, however, of suggesting that
animals share with humans the dimensions of a soul.

Irish bat researcher Kate McAney
reports, after 13 years of study, that long-eared bats
and Natterers bats both prefer to live in churches,
where “both species emerge late in the evening, have
a warmup fly within the church, then go out to eat
insects”––but long-earned bats nest almost exclusively
in Roman Catholic churches, while Natterers bats
equally strongly prefer Protestant churches. A noteworthy
exception would seem to be the Natterers bats
of Kylemore Abbey, a Benedictine convent.
However, McAney learned it was built in the 19th
century as part of a wealthy Protestant’s estate. The
two tiny bat species mingle only at a Galway youth
hostel and at Clonmacnois, a pre-Reformation
monastary now in ruins. There is a natural explanation
for the phenomenon: long-eared bats prefer to
nest between the roof slates and rafters of typical
wooden Irish Catholic churches, while Natterers bats
nest in stone walls, more commonly built by
Protestants during the British occupation.
Federal prosecutors contend that five
Jemez and three Navajo arrested on November 21
in New Mexico and Arizona for allegedly poaching
eagles were part of a ring that illegally manufactured
and sold Native American artifacts. The busts came a
month after Virgil Pettibone, 43, and Vilas White
Eagle, 30, each drew nine months in jail and fines
of $5,000 apiece for almost the same offense in
Jackson County, Wisconsin. Another Native
American, Scott Hopinkah, 26, drew a fine of
$4,000. While some Native Americans have held in
court that their religion obliges them to kill threatened
and endangered wildlife to get sacred body parts,
Ho-Chunk tribe members themselves arranged the
Wisconsin arrests. Said Ho-Chunk chair Chloris
Lowe Jr., “So much of our culture, which is rich in
tradition, revolves around the sanctity of an animal’s
life. [Killing wildlife for sale] certainly is not something
that we would condone in any shape or form.”
Native Americans may obtain eagle feathers and
other parts of endangered species for ceremonial use,
free of charge, from a federal repository in Colorado,
stocked with remains seized from poachers, and/or
recovered from the scenes of accidents.
Emus have gained a religious role, of
sorts, in St. Louis and Hollywood, Florida.
Southern Illinois and northeastern Missouri emu
ranchers said in October that they would donate as
many as 200 birds for whom there is little market
demand to the Rev. Larry Rice’s New Life
Evangelistic Center, as free samples and for soup
kitchen use. Under similar circumstances, the Rev.
Michie Proctor in September took 250 emus from
breeders in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma,
intending to export their meat to the poor of several
Caribbean nations. Members of the vegetarian peace
group Food Not Bombs, are now trying to save the
emus by raising vegetables of equal or greater food
value in a garden plot located on the church grounds.
First Look Pictures has purchased film
rights to the saga of Emily the cow, who escaped
from the A. Arena & Sons slaughterhouse in
Hopkinton, Massachusetts, on November 15, 1995,
and remained at large until Christmas Eve, when she
was purchased and captured by Meg and Lewis
Randa of The Peace Abbey, a ecumenical, multicultural
retreat center and school for disabled children
near Sherborn. The Peace Abbey also hosts The
Vegetarian Resource Center.
Among the more exclusive hunting clubs
in Michigan is St. Hubert’s Hunt Camp, owned and
operated since 1958 by Catholic priests. Membership
is restricted to 14, the number of bunks. At the
camp, the Rev. Charles Donajkowski recently told
Bob Gwizdz of Newhouse News Service, the priests
enjoy “a good private time for us where we can enjoy
the fellowship of each other yet have a degree of
anonymity in where we are and what we’re up to.
We pray for deer,” he added. “Not only deer, but
big deer. Just like in any camp, there’s always a little
side wager on who’s going to get the biggest.”
Humane Religion volume 1, #4 discusses
“‘Christian’ attitudes toward hunting. “It is necessary
that people of faith be aware how entrenched the support
of recreational killing is within our churches,”
writes editor J.R. Hyland. “Those of us who understand
the travesty of godliness represented by this
gratuitous violence must be willing to witness to that
truth within our own denominations.” Subscriptions
are $18/6 issues, c/o Viatoris Ministries, 1715
Stickney Pt. Rd., Sarasota, FL 34231.
The American Friends Service
Committee, founded in 1917 to give Quaker conscientious
objectors a venue for alternative service in
lieu of bearing arms, asked Christmas donors this
year to contribute toward providing pigs, chickens,
and related paraphernalia to Third World villages.
Objecting to reports that St. Cuthbert’s
Church in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, was
improperly used to hold a funeral for a capuchin
monkey, the Rev. Stephen Prior said the late October
ceremony, led by curate Judith Atkinson, 25, was a
“thanksgiving service,” did not use the Church of
England funeral service, and “filled a pastoral need,”
in that the monkey was the much-beloved household
pet of parishioners Sam and Shirley Bruce for a quarter-century.
London Times religion correspondent
Ruth Gledhill said “The congregation sang hymns
such as All Things Bright and Beautiful and A l l
Creatures of Our God and King, and listened to
music from Disney’s The Lion King.”

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