Practical Issues > Things to do > Religion and Animals
 




 

 

 
MIX AND MATCH

Match each quotation with the person who said it.

a. Albert Schweitzer
b. Abraham Lincoln
c. The XIV Dalai Lama
d. Mohandas Gandhi

1. “Spiritual progress does demand at some stage that we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants.”

2. “I care not much for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.”

3. “Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy.”

4. “Killing animals for sport, for pleasure, for adventure, and for hides and furs is a phenomenon which is at once disgusting and distressing. There is no justification in indulging in such acts of brutality.”

ANSWERS:
1. d, 2. b, 3. a, 4. c

Animal rights supporters subscribe to all different religions and philosophies. Whatever your beliefs, you can test your knowledge of what various religions have to say about the issues. We guarantee some surprises!

In 1992, the Sephardic chief rabbi of Tel Aviv issued a rabbinical ruling that Jews should not:

a. eat fish.
b. wear fur.
c. attend circuses.
d. hunt.

ANSWER: b. Rabbi Chaim Dovid Halevy issued a ruling prohibiting the manufacture and wearing of fur. He found these practices unethical, based on his research of the Torah, the Talmud, and other texts.

What activities did Mohammed, the founder of Islam, condemn?

a. Keeping animals in captivity.
b. Wearing animals’ skin.
c. Experimenting on animals.
d. Bullfights.

ANSWER: All of the above.
The Koran quotes the prophet Mohammed as saying, “A good deed done to an animal is as meritorious as a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad as an act of cruelty to a human being.” Mohammed called it “a great sin for a man to imprison those animals which are in his power,” banned all animal fights and forbade the commercial trade in animal skins. Retired Islamic imam Al-Hafiz Basheer Ahmad Masri, an expert on Islamic teachings on animals, says that “any interference with the body of a live animal which causes pain or disfigurement is contrary to the Islamic principles.”

What did Pope Pius V forbid in 1567?

a. Bullfights.
b. Dog breeding.
c. Veal production.
d. Hunting.

ANSWER: a. Outraged at animal suffering, the pope forbade bullfights and other animal torture fiestas.

Fill in the blank: In the story of the multiplication miracle, Jesus fed the masses with loaves and _____.

a. fruit
b. fishes
c. wine
d. seaweed

ANSWER: d. Evidence indicates that the miracle that has come to be known as the story of the loaves and the fishes did not originally include fish. Some biblical scholars contend that the Greek word for “fishweed” (a dried seaweed) was later mistranslated as “fish.” Fishweed was a popular food among the Palestinian peasants and was likely to have been in a basket with bread. In other stories, Jesus calls fishers away from killing animals and tells them to be “fishers of men.” He pleads with them to show mercy to all beings, quoting Hosea: “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.”

Who said, “We are all God’s creatures—that we pray to God for mercy and justice while we continue to eat the flesh of animals that are slaughtered on our account is not consistent.”

a. Albert Schweitzer.
b. Isaac Bashevis Singer.
c. Leonardo da Vinci.
d. Albert Einstein.

ANSWER: b. Nobel Peace Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer told one interviewer, “My vegetarianism is my religion, and it's part of my protest against the conduct of the world.” Schweitzer, da Vinci and Einstein were all vegetarians, too. Great minds think alike!

Which country has the most faith-based vegetarians?

a. Israel.
b. Belgium.
c. India.
d. The United States.

ANSWER: c. India, home of Buddhism and Hinduism, has the most faith-based vegetarians, followed by Israel. Buddha commanded his followers not to kill animals, and the Buddhist text Surangama Sutra says that “if we eat the flesh of living creatures, we are destroying the seeds of compassion.” The Tirukural, a 2,000-year-old Hindu text, states: “When a man realizes that meat is the butchered flesh of another creature, he must abstain from eating it.”

On Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, Jewish law forbids:

a. eating meat.
b. eating anything.
c. wearing leather.
d. reading.

ANSWER: b and c. In addition to fasting, Jewish law directs that no leather be worn on Yom Kippur because one cannot ask for compassion while dressed in the products of suffering.

Which biblical figures were vegetarians?

a. Adam and Eve.
b. Matthew.
c. Jesus.
d. Noah.

ANSWER: a, b, and c. Genesis tells us that Adam and Eve were vegetarians in the Garden of Eden, and, according to Clement of Alexandria (himself a vegetarian), Matthew, too, was an ethical vegetarian. Many biblical scholars believe Jesus was an Essene, a member of a vegetarian sect of Judaism. Find out more at http://www.jesus-online.com/.

Who founded the world’s first animal welfare society?

a. A prince.
b. A priest.
c. A veterinarian.
d. A nun.

ANSWER: b. An Anglican priest, Arthur Broome, founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in England in 1824.

True or False?
The Bible gives humans dominion over animals.

ANSWER: False. To say God gave humans dominion is a mistranslation of Genesis 1:28. On the sixth day, God created human beings and animals, and, in Genesis 1:28, God calls for humane stewardship of animals, immediately afterward commanding a vegetarian diet (“I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.”).

HOW'D YOU SCORE?

1-3
Novitiate
It’s time to hit “The Books”—whichever one you chose, you’ll like what you find!

4-7
Disciple
Nice job!

8-10
Sage
A divine performance! How about spreading the word?