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The treatment of animals

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A friend of mine sent me this article about a Christian understanding about how we should treat animals and also our enviroment. This is written by a 7th day Adventist and what he says I believe is balanced, though not all will agree with everthing he says.

Below is my response: here is the site he sent, I believe well worth reading:

How Should We Treat The Animals - by Matthew Priebe

Thank you Marko, a wonderful article and I will read it again. I like what he said about becoming Christ-like in how we relate to others, humans as well as the rest of creation. When a very young man, in my tweens and early teens (say 13-15) I found myself willing to kill animals, both for fun as well as for food. I guess many boys go through that faze of life where this has to be expressed so that it can be outgrown. Or perhaps it is was that way because I was in Panama and surrounded by jungles filled with animals. So to this day I can recount to myself actions that I now regret, that evoke deep sorrow. When I was 15 something happened to me, animals took on a more relational aspect and I stopped being unconscious about my ability to inflict pain on these lovely creatures.

I also like the idea of putting on the mind of Christ, the all encompassing compassion that God has for all of his creation. St. Paul says it in this way that "all of creation groans in anticipation of the fulfillment in Christ":. I think this should give us pause in how we treat others humans beings most of all as well as animals, both are connected, also in how we treat our environment as well.

I have a strong sense that all or our religions, as well as our spiritual insights are limited and there is much more going on in our world that we may never understand while on this level of reality. I do know that the Christian faith is about becoming fully human, as I believe Christ Jesus was. We are still on the way, not bounded by our instincts, but because of that they do havoc in our lives that animals are free from, they have set boundaries that protect them from descending into the evil that we are capable of..

Anything that does not lead to deeper love and compassion is a form of narcissism that I believe we all struggle with…. but not all know about this struggle. I do know this, that I still struggle with being self centered, narcissistic and yes I still have a deep streak of cruelty that I saw in it all of its rawness when a very young man. I think I am not alone in this, but that we all struggle in one way or another with our still primitive fear based relationship with the world around us. Perhaps we all have a deep seated rage about life but keep it hidden and it only shows in how we relate to others. The more unconscious, the deeper and more encompassing in how we objectify all of reality, use it and discard.

Our paths are dictated to us by what happens in our early years, before 5 years of age. Then we deal with the cycles of chaos and integration over and over again. If we don't go deeper, then we get worse and more unconscious of our relationship with the world around us. It is all about power, or control, those still seem to be our major focus in dealing with others as well as does not seem to be working.

I believe that the idea of original sin is not far off the mark. Our problems and struggles are passed on from one generation to the next, and if there is not a way to deal with that the burden gets heavier and all of our knowledge will only add to that sad to say. I also believe that God's mercy is infinite, God's love is something other, something that can't be understood but it is the bases of all our desires and longings.

I remember when I was in my early 30's, I was looking into the eyes of a cat we had here and I experienced God looking back at me. God's immanence and transcendence I believe is shown in the Incarnation of Christ. I know you think differently Marco, but we are not that far apart. I just decided to delve deeper into my faith heritage, as well as seeking the wisdom of other paths. Your go more deeply into these other ways of looking at reality and I value that very much. We meet in our desire to understand and to grow.

I believe that finite means that we are contingent beings, mortal, but with the capacity to grow eternally. The love we have for God draws us into union, yet the distance between the finite and the infinite will always be infinite. I like that, for it means that we grow for eternity, we don't rest, unless resting in love is what people mean, but the relationship grows eternally. On some level, different than ours, God may change with each of us, since he sees the person, not the group.......the profundity of this relationship can't be comprehended I believe in this life. We are truly children, moving ever deeper into mystery, often a rough and painful road.

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