am sometimes asked why I spend so much time and efforts on animal related
issues when there is so much insensitivity towards man. I
answer....."I'm working at the roots"!
George T. Angell
teachings in the bible that clearly show reverence and respect for ALL
living beings, it saddens me to see so many people - people
who 'claim' to be God-fearing and who also consider religion to play a
sizable role in their lives, mistreat, neglect and basically abuse their
I live in
Dolan Springs, Arizona. The local community has it's responsible pet
guardians, but by no means are they the majority. Far from it.
The average Dolan Springs household with pets is ripe with neglect,
ignorant of the pets needs, barron of any training or even proper
restraints for the pets safety. And don't even get me started
on the appropriate identification of the pets - hundreds of which roam
freely with little regard from their human counterpart as to where they are
vs where they should be.
why in the world, would the religious teachers, ministers and those who
believe the bible's teachings, refuse to use this incredible tool of faith,
to help clean up our problems of pet overpopulation and especially animal
IT'S SAD THAT DOGS DON'T LIVE AS LONG AS
WE DO. BUT, I SEE WHY NOW. THEY ALREADY KNOW HOW TO GIVE
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND AFFECTION - SOMETHING IT TAKES HUMANS 7 TIMES AS
LONG TO LEARN!!
majority of those who are causing harm are not doing it maliciously, but
out of simple ignorance. This is what makes me believe that the
church could and should play a role in the education of our
community. If we had a rash of rapes in the recent past, there would
be a sermon on respect for the opposite sex. If there were an
unusually large number of murders over the past year, we would hear a
sermon on respect for life and so on. So, why, when God makes it so
very clear that animals and humans are all to be respected and treated with
kindness and compassion, is this topic so ignored when the problem is so
There is a definite reason why Noah built the Arc for
the animals and no additional humans were invited.
Humane Education, at its roots, has benefits
that are felt far and wide in improved behavior of students, increased
attendance, much more awareness of others, a noticeably raised level of
achievement scores, more respectful nature of addressing adults and others
around them and gaining a less violent resolution technique when challenged
- not to mention the obvious - the lives that are spared and provided with
the proper treatment that will extend their lives in a healthier, happier
So, if the above reasons do not spur the
preachers and priests on to a more compassionate style of ministries or
simple common sense isn't enough for the local or national ministries to
take notice and begin giving more appropriate sermons to their listeners, maybe some of the following articles can
convince them to give a humane style sermon at least once a year. If
their followers are truly respectful of God and his teachings, they will
learn how to improve their pets existence as well - giving the pets a
noticeably improved chance of living out a healthy life in a manner
pleasing the man above.
"I looked at all the caged animals in the
shelter....the castoffs of human society. I saw in their eyes love
and hope, fear and dread, sadness and betrayal. And I was
angry. "God" I said, 'this is terrible! Why don't you do
something?" God was silent for a moment and then He spoke
softly. "I have done something'' He replied. "I
created you. "
I think all clergy should read Matthew Scully's book
He addresses all these issues and very well done.
TO All Religious Leaders:
by Dr. Jeanette Shutay, Ph.d.
First of all, I want to make it known that I take neglect of animals, abuse
of animals and all types of this behavior very seriously. I would also like
to mention that fact that those who are physically abusive to animals tend
to be more violent than average, in general (e.g., in all domains of life).
Let me give you some specific examples that support this supposition.
The Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAP) is an instrument which is
designed to measure one’s potential for abusing children (Milner, 1986).
This instrument has been referenced as a research tool in the abuse
literature. One of the statements on this questionnaire is “I enjoy
having pets” in which the person is to state whether he or she agrees
or disagrees with the statement. This particular item is on the
questionnaire because it has clinical significance. In other words, there
is a relationship between one enjoying or liking pets and one’s
likelihood to be a child abuser.
Another instrument, which is intended to detect child behavioral problems,
references animals. The Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 2-3 (CBCL)
developed by Achenbach (1988) specifically asks if the person’s child
is “cruel to animals” in which the person is requested to
indicate how true the statement is for his or her child (0 = not true; 1 =
somewhat or sometimes true; and 2 = very true or often true). In this case
the child’s behavior towards animals is considered to be a valid
indicator of behavioral problems which later tend to turn into conduct
disorder in the teen years and antisocial disorder in the adult years.
Both of these instruments have been found to uphold high standards of
reliability and validity. These instruments have been used many times as a
research tool for empirical studies as well as for detecting and or
predicting child behavioral problems (CBCL). It is not a coincidence that
both of these instruments reference either one’s view or treatment
towards animals. Although these two particular questions do not in and of
themselves define an adult as an abuser or a child as one that possesses
behavioral disorders, they have been found to be highly related to the
dependent variable (e.g., abuse or behavioral problems).
Furthermore, there are numerous studies that provide empirical evidence of
a link between animal abuse and criminal behavior in general. For example
Arluke, Levin, Luke & Ascione (1999) published an article titled
“The Relationship of Animal Abuse to Violence and Other Forms of
Antisocial Behavior” in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, which
indicates that there is an association between animal abuse and a variety
of antisocial behaviors. I mention this article in particular because its
methodology was very robust and the findings, I believe, are based on
highly reliable and valid sources of data.
Now is a pivotal time in our society and it requires that we make a strong
statement by enforcing the maximum punishment possible for the man who
dragged the dog with his car. We should also consider revising the current
laws so that stricter punishments may be awarded. I will provide you with
two reasons why this is such:
1. Now is a time in which our society greatly suffers
from an over abundance of hatred, ignorance, prejudices, etc.
2. And, although there have been many other times in
history dating back hundreds of years in which the existence of cruelty and
all the above can be documented, we are more sophisticated now than ever.
This means that we can either use our sophistication to become most cruel
and commit evil acts, or we can take our sophistication and become teachers
of humane education and societal problem solvers.
Help us proponents of change and humane education activists make this a
better place to live by sending out a message that cruel behavior, whether
intended for humans or animals, will not be tolerated for the simple fact
that it is unnecessary and terribly immoral. Please spread my message to
everyone you are able to reach. Let’s face it,knowing what we know
today, what these people do is extremely cruel and someone capable of
committing such acts is clearly a threat to society!
Dr. Jeanette Shutay Ph.d
Board Member 21st Century Animal Resource & Education Services
THE FOLLOWING IS A VERY ENERGETIC READ.
It is patently absurd and maddening
to partake in religious services and witness this
disgraceful neglect and ironic distortion of the base fundamental taught in
all major religions, the Golden Rule. Surely if there is a blueprint for
whether you're religious or irreligious, it's the Golden Rule! "Do
Unto Others as You
Would Have Them Do Unto You!" A child could see that this applies a
innocent, defenseless animals!
Perhaps too, the major religions should consider the words of Socrates,
an atheist, surpassed hypocrisy with his dictum: "There is but one
there is but one evil, ignorance." The more you consider that, the
more profoundly it
You may be interested in this excerpt of an email letter I sent to Rabbi
Monsignor Hartman of "The God Squad" some months back. They work
address issues and are seen periodically in various media outlets. As
never heard back from them; the silence is deafening! I think many of these
leaders are pathetically ignorant on these issues, much as medical doctors,
long, were so ignorant and shamefully uninformed on nutrition issues. At
they woke up and are much more enlightened today!
"Dear Rabbi Gellman and Monsignor Hartman,
Congratulations and thanks for your Newsday article of 9/23/02 referring to
significance of vegetarianism. You make some excellent points that at least
respect and consideration for animals. I must admit however, that the
absence of a strong
stand emanating from the major religions against animal cruelty and
failures to fully value and protect our animals, especially for those of us
the Judeo/Christian faith, is like an ever-present ache in our hearts; a
huge gap waiting
to be filled!
It is perhaps the ultimately tragic irony that humans seemingly are
perceiving what empathy and compassion for animals could mean to the entire
Although the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam may not
as having souls (respectfully, if not sacrilegiously questioned) as one
in The Tablet, "where there is love there is God." Well put!
Humans experience what we
refer to as unconditional love from animals. Every day, another health
benefit is reported
to be enjoyed by humans as a result of associations with animals. The
fidelity of dogs to
humans is unsurpassed among all living species; yet our treatment of them
compared to the
their treatment of us is a disgrace to, and a diminishment of, the human
Frankly, religions are missing the boat on this issue. Consider the
irrefutable evidence linking animal cruelty to human violence. Those of us
Humane Education consider the teaching of respect, understanding, caring
responsibility toward animals as perhaps the greatest deterrent to violence
living creatures that we have. Did you ever hear of a person raised in a
respect, compassion and responsible involvement with animals as becoming a
We need a quantum leap in speaking out for animals by our religions. We
our great leaders who provide great insights into respect and compassion
enough in our religious services, sermons and homilies. More tributes
should be paid to
Gandhi, St. Francis of Assisi, Albert Schweitzer, Albert Einstein, Tolstoy,
Lama, Isaac Bashevis, Nehru, Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, Adlai Stevenson,
Emerson, Rachel Carson and so many others that are rarely, if ever,
referred to in
Talk about a "Prayer of the Faithful"; Dr. Albert Schweitzer's
quote, "until he extends
the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find
peace" should be
urged to be prayed, repeated, and emblazoned on every house of worship in
on this planet.
Lastly, when we consider that animals, in their innocence and as
itants of our planet, virtually liberate us from the imprisonment of self,
humans are bound by with our limitations, foibles and biologically inborn
it's all the more painful that our religions fail so miserably in taking a
role in promulgating animal protection as a moral imperative and to the
the human condition.
I will make this impassioned challenge to all who preach,
spread and share the gospel. Gather some information on you local
area by speaking to your local humane society in detail:
contact your local police as well. You will be amazed at the numbers
and the level of abuse they witness on a daily basis in your own back yard.
Find out what problems they see as crucial to the beginnings of an improved
society - beginning where all larger than life projects begin - at the root
level - the home.
Then bring this information to the pulpit one Sunday in the
future. Clearly outline that much of what we do TO our animals are
certainly not beneficial to their existence - such as tying them to a fence
post. Locking them outside in small cages or pens. The
unnecessary restrictions these dogs suffer from, lack of social interaction
and exercise and extreme temperatures lends itself to uncontrollable
behavior and attacks, medical problems that are usually noticed too
late, unwanted litters - adding to the already overwhelming number of
slaughters seen in this country.
This leads to a life of neglect, illness and other problems
caused by the treatment by humans - resulting in a life span that is 7
years less than a dog who sleeps inside the home at night and has proper
exercise. I'm talking about this community where EVERYONE has their
dog on a short chain outside. Between coyotes, rattlesnakes scorpions and
heat strokes, you can see a home change dogs once a year or more. but they
get the next little puppy and tie it to the same chain. Your community will
have similar challenges.
With all the studies that are out now on so many matters, these issues are
clearly no longer ones of personal opinion, but moreso those of right and
wrong. These people are wrong. the churches could and should step in, give
details and speak out.
Have a list of do's and don'ts for the congregation to take
with them. Many argue that it is their right to do this and to do
that. It is NOT anyone's right to cause harm to an animal. .
It's clear there will be animals in heaven as there were
animals in the Garden of Eden. So, when we see clearly that abuse is
current in our very own congregations, why does the church choose to ignore
them here on earth? Remember, '.....not a sparrow shall fall
from the sky....."?
are more of a role model than we give them credit for. If we learn to
listen to the voices of our pets, it will enhance our emotional and
spiritual growth as well as give new meaning to the phrase,
"Man's Best Friend'
for your sermon and Sunday School Classes:
OF HUMANE EDUCATION by Dr. Jeanette Shutay Ph.d
Randy N. Warner