RELIGION & ANIMALS
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1997:
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-Life
Committee on November 11 called for a return to meatless Fridays as a
token of opposition to abortion, human euthanasia, war, violence,
drugs, and other “attacks on human life and human dignity.” Perhaps
not noticing that three of the four ranking Catholics quoted in
Associated Press coverage spoke for eating fish instead, which causes at
least as much animal suffering, In Defense of Animals president Elliot
Katz on November 14 endorsed the proposal. Katz is Jewish.
The men of some Orthodox Jewish sects mark Yom
Kippur, the Day of Atonement, by swinging live chickens over
their heads. Reported Melissa McCord of Associated Press from Israel
on Yom Kippur 1997, “Many Jews, including those belonging to other
streams of Orthodoxy, reject the practice. Rabbis have ruled that cash
or even credit cards may be used in the atonement ritual,” which ends in
either the chicken or the money being given to the poor.
Connie Tjarks, facilities and program administrator for
the Sisters of St. Francis in Dubuque, Iowa, recently reiterated the
December 1996 request of the order that the city authorize a bow hunt to
kill the 35-45 deer residing on the 120-acre convent grounds.
Members of the Fund for Animals on November 2 protesed
outside the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit, whose priests are
apparently among the 14 ecclesiastics who share ownership of the St.
Hubert’s Hunt Camp at Alpena, Michigan. There, one hunter/priest
told media, “We pray for deer. Not only deer, but big deer.”
The Coalition of the Environment and Jewish Life,
Christian Environmental Coalition, Jewish Council for Public
Affairs, American Baptist Churches USA, Presbyterian Church,
and United Methodist Church on October 22 endorsed HR 2351, the
Endangered Species Recovery Act introduced by George Miller (DCalifornia),
and jointly opposed S 1180, an ESA rewrite supported by
both wise-use Republicans and the Bill Clinton administration.
Robin Gattis, pastor of the East Valley Foursquare
Church in Orangevale, California, on November 10 told Sacramento
Bee staff writer Art Campos that he would rethink “teen night” live
cricket-spitting contests and games of “Bambi baseball” in which players
used frozen legs of deer and cattle to hit the animals’ tongues. Told
of the activities by his son Mike, 16, Dan Peters of Rocklin complained
to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department––only to learn that an
off-duty sheriff’s deputy was apparently among the chaperones. The
events were held occasionally for as long as 10 years.
A British court on October 13 banned the Reverend Alison
Brown, 42, of the River of Life Ministry in Newton Abbot, Devon,
from keeping dogs for at least two years, because instead of getting veterinary
care after her German shepherd puppy was hit by a car, she and
two parishioners prayed over the dog, told a neighbor to leave because
he wasn’t Christian, and told a Royal SPCA investigator that his fingers
were “instruments of the devil.” The RSPCA seized the dog, fixed her
broken leg with a pin, and placed her in a new home.