Practical Issues > Things to do > Religion and Animals
Say NO to Clergy Endorsed Hunting

Father Wenthe is a Catholic Priest who derives 'peace' from the violent act of hunting and does not see this as inconsistent with his religious calling:

Please write to Father Wenthe and let him know that his impaired judgment about the compassion of his position is a cause for concern by many.

Email address:

If you have concerns in general about a religious position which sanctifies the harm and slaughter of animals this is an opportunity to have your voice heard. The intitial message was sent to Father Wenthe and activists. Also included is a reply from an activist who agrees with the message that there is no room for animal abuse in religion, Also included are two other messages received from activists which were also delivered to Father Wenthe.

As you can see there is diversity in how to address animal abuse by the clergy. Please send a message in your own words to Father Wenthe, so he will see that his position is intolerable.

Ruth Eisenbud

(note: permission was obtained to use both letters)

From: Undisclosed
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2010 22:13:00 -0500
Subject: Re: FW: Animal Abuse is Not Sacred

Powerful and I would love to send a message plus this letter on my website if you don't mind . thank you

Animal Abuse is NOT Sacred:

Subject: Animal Abuse is Not Sacred
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 08:58:56 -0500

Dear Father Wenthe,

It has come to my attention that you are a man of religion and an avid hunter. At first glance the contradiction between these two avocations is perplexing, as traditionally religion has been thought to encourage and embrace compassion.

Ideally religious teachings profess to guide followers to a higher spiritual and moral state. Some religions extend compassion to ALL living beings and deliver a message of unconditional compassion for both animals and humans. The Semitic religions extend compassion only to humans, and as defined by the concept of dominion, grant man the right to harm and kill animals for his own benefit.

Your casual acceptance of the violence of hunting and meat consumption indicates a lack of the understanding done by such violence. Violence to animals and humans is inextricably linked. When you allow for the slaughter of animals, it often acts a precursor to human on human violence. It is therefore morally irresponsible to teach people to kill any living being, but especially so in the name of sport.

In religions which grant unconditional compassion to all living beings the harming or killing of an animal is viewed as sinful:"He who harms animals has not understood or renounced deeds of sin" Jain Sutra "

Great secular thinkers in the west have also understood the root of compassion that seems to allude you: the taking of an innocent life cannot be justified to benefit man:

"For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love." Pythagoras, mathematician

"The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men." Leonardo da Vinci, artist and scientist

"Nonviolence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all living beings, we are all savages". -- Thomas Edison

Violence is violence and encouraging it whether it be towards an animal or a human does not fall within the definition of compassion, which is: deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it. This definition does not specify human or animal just another. Furthermore your lack of awareness of the suffering caused to the animals you so enjoy harming is troubling in a person empowered to promote the message of Christian compassion. The ability to extend compassion to the weak and disempowered is the mark of high moral development. The converse is also true.

In your words: "I enjoy being out in God's creation in this particular way. It's very peaceful and rejuvenating."

Peaceful is not a word that comes to mind when one thinks of stalking and hunting down another living being, who cherishes his life as you do yours. The taking of a life that is not freely given is an act of violence. Distorting the meaning of the word peaceful to suit your own selfish pursuit does not change the definition. Peaceful: undisturbed by strife, turmoil, or disagreement; tranquil. Your inability to see the turmoil and pain you wreak on the creatures you hunt down defies logic and distorts the meaning of peaceful to include violence and domination.

When consideration and respect are granted to All beings...ALL beings benefit. The definition of dominion established thousands of years ago is a relic in the modern world, where the concept that All beings exist to be mutually beneficial to each other would go a long way towards healing a troubled and violent world.

The lack of compassion in your position undermines your moral claim as a spiritual leader for your community. It is irresponsible and cruel to endorse hunting for the pleasure of the sport, as there is no pleasure in it for the victim. The self-serving position granting humans the right to harm and kill living beings who have done them no harm cannot be used to justify the killing of innocent creatures, who are as entitled as humans to dwell on the earth It is a poor excuse for the suffering it inflicts.

The harm do is twofold: you have let down you parishioners by encouraging violence and taken innocent life as you find it pleasurable. Your failure to grasp the spiritual poverty of your position is distressing and alarming as you have been entrusted with the spiritual development of the members of your congregation. You have let them down. Perhaps it is time you considered renouncing your deeds of sin.

Ruth Eisenbud
Cambridge, Ma

Date: Tue, 19 Jan 2010 14:49:50 -0800
Subject: There is Nothing Sacred about Animal Abuse/God's Hunters

Re: Father Joseph Classen [Are you listening father?]

Ruth, Satan has outdone himself by severely blinding and manipulating this priest. I have 2 very appropriate Bible verses for him:

"For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light" (2 Cor. 11:14)
[E.g. killing, torture and other abominations are 'good' and noble -- the ends justify the means as long as mankind is the benefactor.] The Devil LOVES this way of thinking!

"You will know them by their fruits" (Matt. 7:16)
Here are just some of the 'fruits' of the Catholic religion, which the father needs a history lesson in:

A) The Spanish Inquisition. B) The Catholic Church's collaboration with the Nazis in handing over innocent Jews. C) The centuries-long history of illicit sex between priests and nuns resulting in multiple infanticide. D) The ongoing scandal of the Catholic Church protecting deviant, child molesters. And yet, this "father" continues to align himself with this obvious, organized evil, while hypocritically proselytizing about homosexuals? [which, by the way, make up a large percentage of the Catholic priesthood] ...abortion? [which has been repeatedly performed by priests and nuns when sexual relationships resulted in pregnancy]. Just a few examples of the soul-destroying "filthy" history within his own church!


“God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.”

TRUE: God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. HOWEVER: Stewardship is defined as PROTECTION -- NOT A LICENSE FOR EXPLOITATION, CRUELTY AND MURDER.

FALSE: Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing.
Genesis 1: 29-30 CLEARLY DEFINES GOD'S COMMANDMENT TO VEGETARIANISM FOR BOTH MAN AND ANIMAL. It was only after man's disobedience and fall from Grace that the Lord CONCEDED to cadaverism -- and NOT without severe punishment -- He smote and cursed those who made the choice to eat animals.

TRUE: They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure

FALSE: Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives. The Bible clearly states that the welfare of a man's animal shall come BEFORE that of his own: Man is to feed and care for his animals before his own needs are met! Torture and confinement constituting severe physical, emotional and psychological distress upon the powerless is a sin according to Biblical guidelines.

FALSE: It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. True Christianity -- as practiced by Jesus -- was ALL INCLUSIVE. The Lord never denied help to any soul [ soul is defined as a "life" and appears in Biblical transliterations as "nephesh" -- the Bible makes no distinction between animal life or that of human life, in terms of one being superior to the other, anywhere within the Good Book. ALL ANIMALS HAVE SOULS [LIVES] AND WILL BE [AND ARE] PRESENT WITH THE LORD IN HEAVEN. A Biblical FACT.

FALSE: One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.” Not only is there no Biblical proof for this statement , but it goes against true Christian principles. Love is love and NOWHERE IS IT STATED IN THE BIBLE THAT DEGREES OF LOVE ARE TO BE DOLED OUT BASED ON SPECIES BIAS.

In conclusion, Father Joseph Classen needs some serious theological re-education! And a compassion and ethics transplant as well!!


Hello Ruth:

If you think the following presentation is appropriate please use it or forward to any religious leaders you think should read it.

I have a hard time sugar coating the subject of religious leaders that think it is okay to eat animal flesh and or hunt.

I hope the following presentation is useful.

All the best.
Arthur Poletti

Dear Reverend

I hope you will agree, after reading this presentation, that if there truly is a God in Heaven who is the supreme symbol of kindness, and life, and love for all creatures with a soul then the only rational conclusion must be that God wants all animal factory farms and slaughterhouses to close, and that God wants all experimental laboratories that use animals to close, and for sure God wants all HUNTING of precious animals to STOP.

These most repulsive, gruesome, unimaginable tragedy’s that happen every day to God's creatures are overwhelmingly supported by most people in the world, including *most religious and government* leaders.
The never ending worst possible kinds of completely unnecessary forms of cruelty and sufferings forced upon the innocent, helpless, animal race represent the worst crimes in history.
Wise up now!! Do not be unwilling or reluctant to know the real truth. Become aware now of why you and those whom you love should not participate, support, promote, or condone any of the many different types of despicable and sickening forms of cruelty to animals.
You might be shocked to know that in the United States alone approximately 660,000 animals are killed for meat every hour. A surprising quantity of animal flesh is consumed. The average American consumes in a 72 year lifetime approximately 11 cattle, 3 lambs and sheep, 23 hogs, 45 turkeys, 1100 chickens and 862 pounds of fish. Bon appetite!
Reference: Himalayan Academy, California & Hawaii
“While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?” George Bernard Shaw

Please read the articles and view the videos that follow revealing some of the many *man made* disgustingly cruel forms of torture and death to millions of precious and irreplaceable animals every day and than ask yourself do you really want to continue supporting any of this? Do you really think that in the end people that support this type of *completely unnecessary cruelty* will get away with it?
Reverend, after you review the following videos ask yourself these questions:
(Do You Really Want Children To Think What Follows Is Okay?)
(1) Hunting
(Animals Were Not Put On Earth For This)
(2) Factory Farms, Slaughterhouses, Animal Testing: (Authorized Torture and Murder)
(3) Turkey Slaughter (What A Way To Prepare For A Happy Thanksgiving)
(4) Cat and Dog Slaughter: (Pets Just Like Yours)
(5) Rabbit Slaughter: (Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail)
(6) Fur Farms: (Imagine How Horrible Your Life Would Be Without Fur?)
(7) Circus Cruelty: (See What Happens Behind The Scenes)
(8). Bull Fighting (Man is a clever animal who behaves like an imbecile). Albert Schwitzer
(9) Rodeo Cruelty (For People That Are Immune To Kindness)
(10) Dog Fighting (Pets Just Like Yours)

Animal flesh eaters, hunters, factory and slaughterhouse workers, animal testing workers, circus, rodeo, dog and bull fighting fans, together you can play a huge role in changing the world society to a kinder, safer, healthier place to live and to thrive, in peace and harmony with the earth.
For the sake of all animals, all humans, the earth, and the earth’s atmosphere.
Thank you. Arthur Poletti Author of the short story: *God Does Not Eat Meat*
Read it for free online at:

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