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God Knows Animals Matter Preparing Churches and Communities to be Compassionate Stewards of Animals.

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Presentation on theme: "God Knows Animals Matter Preparing Churches and Communities to be Compassionate Stewards of Animals."— Presentation transcript:

1 God Knows Animals Matter Preparing Churches and Communities to be Compassionate Stewards of Animals

2 God’s Will “Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done, On Earth As It Is In Heaven.” -Mathew 6:10

3 In The Beginning Genesis 1:26 Then God said: “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.” “dominion” – “yorade” which means to come down to; to have communion with and a compassion for.

4 Souls of Animals They were created with the same soul (nefesh chayah) as humans Nefesh Chayah (living soul) Genesis 1:21, 24; 2:7 & 19

5 God’s Intended Diet For Us Genesis 1:29-31a God also said: “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food.” And so it happened. Good looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.

6 Genesis 2:15, 19 The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it....the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name....but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.

7 Animals Belong to God... All things wre created through him and for him.... And in him all things hold together. -Colossians 1:16b-17

8 Genesis 9:2 “Dread fear of you shall come upon all the animals of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon all the creatures that move about on the ground and all the fishes of the sea into your power they are delivered.”

9 Catholic Concern for Animals Man makes moral choices through free will. Animals are innocent, or amoral. As moral agents and endowed with reason, we have responsibilities towards the whole of creation including those weaker and more vulnerable than we are.

10 Catholic Concern for Animals As made “in the image of God” we ought to act in a Christ-like way – loving, compassionate, humble, slef-sacrificing, etc. The anthropocentric (putting anthropos = man, in the center) view of the world needs to be increasingly challenged.

11 Catholic Concern for Animals Utilitarianism (the greatest happiness, or good, for the greatest number) is to be avoided, as that can justify the use of some (esp. animals) for the many (e.g. people). Better to hold to the principle of “evil can never be justified for good to come of it”, or “the ends do not justify the means” – especially if the evil is done to animals for the good for someone else. (CCA is totally opposed to all use of animals for experiments on the principle that our species should not make use of other species just for our benefit.)

12 Pope John Paul II, 1980 Said that “Animals possess a soul and that men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren” and “solicitous care, not only towards men, but also towards animals and nature in general.”

13 Animals in Heaven? Elijah went up into heaven with horses of fire. -2 Kings 2:11 And now I saw heaven open, and a white horse appear; its rider was called Trustworthy and True...Behind him,... Rode the armies of heaven on white horses. -Rev 19:11-14

14 Isaiah 11:6 The wolf will live with the lamb, The leopard will lie down with the goat, The calf and the lion and the yearling together; And a little child will lead them.

15 O.T. Humane Laws Ex. 23:4-5 Free an enemy’s donkey who has fallen beneath his burden. Ex. 23:10-11 Every seventh year, fields must be left fallow to provide food for the poor and for wildlife. Ex. 23:12 Day of rest for the animals on the Sabbath Deut. 25:4 Instructions not to muzzle an ox while he is threshing.

16 Animals and Their Rights Rene’ Descartes (1600’s) likened the crying of animals as “broken machinery”. Three centuries later we find that they suffer, have emotions and that they are conscious beings. No different today. If domestic animal cruelty laws applied to farm and animal labs, many would be in jail for breaking the law. All animals have God given rights to live free from pain and stress, but profit is more important in society.

17 What About Hunting? The four hunters in the Bible are considered to be adversaries to God: Ishmael, Nimrod, Esau, and the rider of the white horse. (considered to be a prototype of the anti-Christ in Rev. 6:2)

18 Shepherds vs Hunters In the Bible: -Shepherds are righteous (and leaders) -Hunters are God’s adversaries

19 Compassion The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all His works. -Psalm 145.9 “Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to humankind. Not until we extend the circle of compassion to include all living things shall we ourselves know peace.” -Rev. Dr. Albert Schweitzer

20 Servant Species “...Cruelty is not only a denial of the animal’s nature but a betrayal of our own. If we are defined by reason and morality, then reason and morality must define our choices, even where animals are concerned.” -“Dominion”, by Matthew Scully

21 Proverbs 12:10 The just man takes care of his beast but the heart of the wicked is merciless.

22 Gifts Animals Give Us They help us heal emotionally, mentally, spiritually and pshysically They give us unconditional love. They help us forget about ourselves and help us develop love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, and self- control. They reduce depression, lower blood pressure and anxiety and boost our immune system.

23 Animals Teach Us “But now ask the beasts to teach you, and the birds of the air to tell you; or the reptiles on earth to instruct you, and the fish of the sea to inform you.” -Job 12:7-10

24 Proverbs 6:6 Go to the ant, O sluggard, study her ways and learn wisdom; For though she has no chief, no commander or ruler, she procures her food in the summer, stores up her provisions in the harvest. - NAB

25 Some Famous Animals In the Bible Balaam and his donkey (who saved his life). The Lord opened the mouth of the donkey who asked why he was beaten 3 times. An angel told Balaam that he would have died, but the donkey would have lived if they continued. -Numbers 22 Nathan’s story about the man who had a pet lamb to show David his sin. -2 Samuel 12 The dogs who licked the poor man’s sores. -Luke 16:21

26 Some Famous Animals in the Bible The quail God gave the Israelites because they wanted meat. Resulted in a plague because of their greediness. -Numbers 11

27 Amos 6:3-4 Thinking to defer the evil day, you are hastening the reign of violence. Lying on ivory beds and sprawling on their divans, they dine on lambs from the flock, and stall-fattened veal.

28 Romans 8:19-22 For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God;... because of the One who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery (bondage) to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now...

29 We’re Responsible? No creature (KTISIS) is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must render an account. -Hebrews 4:13

30 Habakkuk 2:17 For the violence done to Lebanon shall cover you, and the destruction of the beasts shall terrify you; Because of men’s blood shed, and violence done to the land, to the city and to all who dwell in it.

31 St. Francis Loved nature (the environment) and animals out of his love for God. Loved the poor and the outcast. Promoted peace between the Christian Army and the Muslim Army.

32 Eternal Life for all Creation Colossians 1:15-23 – “God chose to reconcile the whole universe to Himself... To reconcile all things, whether on earth or in heaven, through Him alone.”

33 Facts Dairy and meat products contribute to many diseases. Factory farms cause horrendous suffering to billions of animals daily for food and clothing. “While people suffer and die of starvation in Central and South America, these regions ship their grain to the U.S. To feed our cows, pigs, and chickens so that we can satisfy our desire for animal flesh, milk, and eggs.” -Fr. John Dear, S.J.

34 Facts “The typical meat eater’s diet can easily consume up to 14 times more water and 20 times more energy than that of a vegetarian.” -Christian Vegetarian Association Gluttony, pride, covetousness, greed vs. Selflessness, and humility are moral choices we make every day.

35 What Can We Do? -Teach compassion from the pulpit and classes -Have a veggie dinner -Allow the local shelter and/or rescue groups to put pictures of adoptable animals on bulletin boards -Honor volunteers in your community who help animals -Have a foster care list of volunteers in you church to help Parishioners

36 Mark 16:15 “Go out to the whole world; proclaim the gospel to all creation.”

37 Choices Do not support entertainment that exploits animals Check labels if animal tested Avoid buying wool, down, fur, leather, etc. Avoid meat and dairy products

38 Choices Do not buy from pet shops Be humane to animals in and around your yard. Spay and neuter cats, and allow wildlife to live Support charities that do not do animal research

39 Quote We cannot treat any living thing callously, and we are responsible for what happens to other beings, human or animal, even if we do not personally come into contact with them. -Rabbi Pinchas Peli

40 Pope St. Pius V, Nov 1567 De Salute Gregis “We forbid soldiers and all other persons, whether on foot or horseback, to dare to contend with bulls or other beasts in the aforementioned exhibition and if any one of them meets his death there he shall be deprived of Christian burial...we likewise forbid the be present at such exhibitions under the penalty of excommunication.”

41 Quote “Can eating meat be pleasurable to a sensitive person when he or she knows that, as a result, their health is endangered, grain is wasted, and the environment is damaged, and animals are being cruelly treated? One can indulge in pleasure without doing harm to living creatures. There are many othe cases in Judaism where actions that people many consider pleasurable are forbidden or discouraged—such as the use of tobacco, drinking liquor to excess, having sexual relations out of wedlock, and hunting.” -Richard H. Schwartz, author and professor

42 Quote “I believe in my heart that faith in Jesus Christ can and will lead us beyond an exclusive concern for the well-being of other human beings to a broader concern for the well-being of the birds in our backyards, the fish in our rivers, and every living creature on the face of the earth.” -John Wesley

43 Quote “Cruelty to animals is as if man did not love God...there is something so dreadful, so satanic, in tormenting those who have never harmed us, and who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power.” -Cardinal John Henry Newman

44 Isaiah 11:6 The wolf will live with the lamb, The leopard will lie down with the goat, The calf and the lion and the yearling together; And a little child will lead them.

45 Psalm 150:6 Let everything that breathes Praise Yahweh. Alleluia!

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