Friday food for thought quote: our varying attitudes towards animals, from James Serpell

With the hot discussion this week about the wholesale dog breeding facility approved for Gorham, NY (or as it's otherwise known, a puppy mill), I thought this quote might provide someting to ponder on this weekend regarding the different way we view animals we eat and animals we live with, and how that differs around the world. It's from the preface to James Serpell's very thought-provoking book, In the Company of Animals: A Study of Human-Animal Relationships: "Human attitudes to animals often … [Read more...]

Friday food for thought quote: stray cats … or not?

"Seriously? Can't a guy just go for a walk in the neighborhood?"

Not to discount the work of cat rescuers who rescue and care for stray cats. But this passage from Linda Lombardi's "Animals Behaving Badly" made me wonder how much of shelter crowding might - again, might - be the result of well-meaning rescuers unwittingly "saving" cats who already have families: "Many a perfectly contented outdoor cat has found himself scooped up from his daily route and confined, then seen his photo plastered on 'found cat' posters, when all he wanted was to be left alone … [Read more...]

Friday food for thought quote: animal welfare and the church

"Still, there is a growing awareness that how we treat animals is a measure of our own humanity—that violence inflicted on animals is inexorably linked to human-against-human violence, that compassion is a big enough idea to encompass animals as well as humans." Christine Gutleben,  senior director of the Faith Outreach program of The Humane Society of the United States, in a piece about animal welfare and the church … [Read more...]

Friday Food For Thought quote: The perfection of the lobster eye

lobster eye

"Religious creationists cite the unique and ingenious construction of the lobster eye as evidence of an intelligent Designer; the surface of the square openings is as geometrically exact as graph paper, and the grazing angles inside each box must be mathematically perfect for the retinal cells to receive light. Scientists agree that this construction is ingenious, and they are using it as the blueprint for a new X-ray-vision space telescope called Lobster-ISS." Trevor Corson, author of "The … [Read more...]

Friday food for thought quote: does a dog have a conscience, from Temple Grandin

"[Y]ou don't have to have language to have a conscience, which means it's at least possible for an animal to have a conscience, too. Many owners have seen their dogs act remorseful after doing something wrong, but animal behaviorists always reject this interpretation. However, no one has shown that an innocent animal can't feel bad for doing something he knows is wrong, the same way an innocent child can feel bad for doing something he knows is wrong. We shouldn't assume that we know for a fact … [Read more...]

Friday Food For Thought quote: our relationship with dogs

"The dogs we live with today are hardwired by millennia of purposeful breeding for a relationship with people, and who's to say that humanity's wiring to desire a relationship with dog has not been affected by our partnership with these remarkable creatures. Being guided by our shared instincts and common history brings us together into the most successful, unique interspecies relationship on the planet. And our relationships can only get better by further adapting how we relate to dogs in a way … [Read more...]

Friday Food For Thought: quote from St. Francis of Assisi

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who deal likewise with their fellow men." - St. Francis of AssisiClick here to read more quotes about animals on the Heavenly Creatures blog. … [Read more...]

Friday Food For Thought, from Suzanne Clothier

"The leading cause of death in dogs in Western countries is behavior - unacceptable, uncontrollable, inappropriate behavior. Not disease. Not being hit by a car. Not neglect or abuse (though an argument could be made that a failure to train a dog so that he can act appropriately is precisely a form of neglect and abuse). If we fail to develop a high quality of connection with our dogs, we may fail them in the most terrible of ways, and they may pay for our failure with their lives." - Suzanne … [Read more...]

Welcome to the Heavenly Creatures blog

Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. - Genesis 1:24, 25 NKJV I've never been big fan of the notion that God created the universe and everything in it, then created man and for … [Read more...]


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