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Why Animal Protection Advocates Are Lauding Pope Francis's Encyclical, 'Laudato Si'


"As it turns out, animals are hardly a footnote in the encyclical. Indeed, the word "animal" or "animals" (mentioned 13 times), appears nearly as much as the word "climate," (mentioned 15 times). This observation doesn't tell the whole story, however. For instance, the word "creature" is also mentioned nearly 80 times. While human beings, too, are acknowledged as creatures in the encyclical, the use of this term to include both human and non-human creatures, is very likely purposeful."

http://worldanimal.net/world-animal-net-blog/item/368-why-animal-protection-advocates-are-lauding-pope-francis-s-encyclical-laudato-si

Jessica Bridgers Communications Coordinator World Animal Net www.worldanimal.net Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin Register your organization | Sign up for our e-News


responses:
"thank you ...people are telling me I'm negative; that I should be open to this new turn of events .. ...I respond that they should be open to Ahimsa, the teaching which can change everything;" Sharon Azar

"...just the fact that it [the encyclical] speaks of power, whether for good or not so good, is wrong. We don't need power, we need compassion and a commitment to do no harm. I told him (a dominion supporter) this: In Genesis it speaks of 'The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands.'....is this something you want to learn from a 'holy book'!!! fear and dread???!!! It's clear to me these words are inflammatory and not meant to teach compassion for all life..but rather power 'over' all life. .

With Ahimsa, it's clear and direct ..no harm...that's it!!! when you teach Ahimsa, you plant the seed of compassion for all life. .you receive a sense of equanimity that dominion lacks .. it is arrogant to think we are 'given' power, whether for good or ill. . but if you learn Ahimsa, there is no need for power. Just the recognition that you and the other are not two. ." Sharon Azar

"Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God's infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things".[43]" Taking Care of Our Common Home Encyclical

Softer words do not change the intention of dominion: 'ordered' use allows for ordered slaughter.

It is only ahimsa which has the potential to end animal suffering. It is only ahimsa that does not allow for violence to animals: either ordered or disordered.

To say animals have inherent goodness, then allow for their ordered use and responsible domination of them is a far cry from the inherent worth of ahimsa. Evocative language is not needed with ahimsa.... It is clear, precise, exquisite in substance and the only sure route to compassion.

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THE PAPAL ENCYCLICAL: CAREFULLY CRAFTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE...
The language in the encyclical Taking Care of Our Home, is vague enough, so that it really says very little. It is lovely to say that each animal has Its ( its: an unfortunate choice of words for a living being) own goodness, but to allow for their use in an orderly fashion, does not negate the slaughter and exploitation of dominion..

This is some of the best double speak I have seen coming from the dominion tradition... but it is not ahimsa.

The pope's statements do not rescind dominion, but merely put a fresh coat of varnish on a cruel ideal...with terms such as ordered use of things (things: an unfortunate choice of words, when referring to living beings) and the 'goodness' of animals and god... This is the same old rhetoric with very refined words meant to conceal the murderous intent of dominion... To appreciate the goodness of animals is not respect for the inherent worth of their lives. To reference the goodness of god does not preclude violence to animals:

Goodness is not Ahimsa

These papal statements are a masterfully cloaked effort to sustain dominion, while appearing benevolent. This is the same old dominion, all decked out in the language of empty phrases such as the 'particular goodness of every creature' and the 'orderly' use of animals.

This is the very same language that has led to the welfare concept of animal compassion, so rightfully vilified by Gary Francione. That he finds these words comforting and an indication of progress is puzzling. It would seem that the ideal of 'ordered' use of animals is antithetical to the abolitionist approach, but then it has been clear for quite some time that Gary Francione no longer promotes the abolitionist ideal.

Animals do not need grandiose and vague statements about their goodness or the goodness of god, they need the understanding that human and animal lives, all lives, have equal worth... The language of ahimsa is explicit:

"All things breathing, all things existing, all living beings whatever, would not be slain or treated with violence, or insulted, or tortured or driven away. This is the pure unchanging eternal law, which the wise ones who know the world have proclaimed..." Jain Acharanga Sutra

The Pope's deliberately vague statements of 'ordered' use and the goodness of animals and god, has reinforced the preservation of dominion. Softer words do not change the intention of dominion: ordered use allows for ordered slaughter. Those who care for animals, will persuade themselves that these statements are a major shift. This is not the case, they are just an exquisitely worded presentation of dominion.

Ahimsa, which has led to so much progress for animals in India, will not be found in nations where the Semitic religions are mainstream. Ahimsa will not be found in sophisticated language that mirrors compassion, but speaks of ordered use. Ahimsa will not be found in the Semitic religions... Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

It is only ahimsa which has the potential to end animal suffering. For it is only ahimsa that does not allow for violence to animals: either ordered or disordered.

more dangerous doublespeak...

"83. The ultimate destiny of the universe is in the fullness of God, which has already been attained by the risen Christ, the measure of the maturity of all things.[53] Here we can add yet another argument for rejecting every tyrannical and irresponsible domination of human beings over other creatures"

The implication being that responsible domination, aka dominion is fine.

The ultimate purpose of other creatures is not to be found in us. Rather, all creatures are moving forward with us and through us towards a common point of arrival, which is God, in that transcendent fullness where the risen Christ embraces and illumines all things. Human beings, endowed with intelligence and love, and drawn by the fullness of Christ, are called to lead all creatures back to their Creator.

This statement leaves the door open to man's use of animals.... as defined in genesis, where the purpose of animals as granted by god is to provide their flesh as food for humans. The limitations of love were described by Andrew Linsey, who had the honesty to acknowledge the failure of a love that allows for violence to animals. He had the courage to admit that: LOVE IS NOT AHIMSA:

A while ago, I was interviewed about the awful record
of Christianity on animals in comparison with Jainism,
and I commented that Jainism in its care and respect
for creation has more understood the Christian
doctrine of love than Christians have themselves.
This may sound a very odd comment coming from a
Christian theologian, and it certainly aroused a lot
of criticism. But I still believe that Jains have
grasped something that most religionists have missed:
to live a life without reverence for life is to lead a
spiritually impoverished life." Rev. Andrew Linsey

Pope Francis has succeeded in presenting a craftily worded version of dominion, while its cruel intention is preserved . Though there is no paradigm shift from dominion to ahimsa, those eager to preserve the Semitic religions will view this as a victory. It takes a good deal of skill to perpetuate the sanctity of violence to animals...and that was accomplished. Even Gary Francione was fooled:

"These two paragraphs [of the encyclical] unmistakably confirm that nonhumans have inherent value." GF

Gary Francione has confused inner goodness with inherent worth. But then his intention to preserve the language and logic of dominion is also clear, so that the confusion may be deliberate.

To say animals have inherent goodness, then allow for their ordered use and responsible domination is a far cry from the inherent worth of ahimsa. Lovely words are not needed to disguise ahimsa, It is clear, precise, exquisite in substance and the only sure route to compassion.

"I renounce killing of living beings whether subtle or gross, whether movable or immovable. Nor shall I myself kill living beings (nor cause others to do it, nor consent to it)." Jain Monk, c. 5th century B.C.

Don't kill any living beings. Don't try to rule them. Mahavira (Jain Acaranga, 4/23)

The Pope has not renounced the killing of living beings. Instead he has called for responsible domination. He is the darling of dominion, not the savior of animals.

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Splendid language which reinforces dominion:

On Care for our common Home:

69. Together with our obligation to use the earth's goods responsibly, we are called to recognize that other living beings have a value of their own in God's eyes: "by their mere existence they bless him and give him glory",[41] and indeed, "the Lord rejoices in all his works" (Ps 104:31). By virtue of our unique dignity and our gift of intelligence, we are called to respect creation and its inherent laws, for "the Lord by wisdom founded the earth" (Prov 3:19). In our time, the Church does not simply state that other creatures are completely subordinated to the good of human beings, as if they have no worth in themselves and can be treated as we wish. The German bishops have taught that, where other creatures are concerned, "we can speak of the priority of being over that of being useful".[42] The Catechism clearly and forcefully criticizes a distorted anthropocentrism: "Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection… Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God's infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things".[43]

83. The ultimate destiny of the universe is in the fullness of God, which has already been attained by the risen Christ, the measure of the maturity of all things.[53] Here we can add yet another argument for rejecting every tyrannical and irresponsible domination of human beings over other creatures. The ultimate purpose of other creatures is not to be found in us. Rather, all creatures are moving forward with us and through us towards a common point of arrival, which is God, in that transcendent fullness where the risen Christ embraces and illumines all things. Human beings, endowed with intelligence and love, and drawn by the fullness of Christ, are called to lead all creatures back to their Creator.


The cows' final seconds in the system Temple Grandin designed. Graphic: Temple Grandin

Pope Francis has called for the ordered use of animals: "Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things”." In effect he has called for the ordered slaughter yards of Temple Grandin, where animals are lulled to their slaughter with great care. The pope did not dare call for an end to slaughter. It is only ahimsa which calls for an end to all slaughter:

"I renounce killing of living beings whether subtle or gross, whether movable or immovable. Nor shall I myself kill living beings (nor cause others to do it, nor consent to it)." Jain Monk, c. 5th century B.C.


On Animals: The Two Voices of Pope Francis...
I have been receiving words of praise for the papal encyclical (enclosed below) from those intent on preserving dominion. The following is my reply to one such statement of support:

I know you will find fault with this but I like to think this means The Pope is one step closer to becoming a vegan?

Whether Pope Francis becomes vegan or not is irrelevant to the intent of dominion.  If one is a vegan and legitimizes biblical slaughter, then compassion is lost. The Pope speaks with two voices. He claims animals have value in the eyes of god.... yet he does not note the most significant foundation for compassion:

I renounce killing of living beings whether subtle or gross, whether movable or immovable. Nor shall I myself kill living beings (nor cause others to do it, nor consent to it)." Jain Monk, c. 5th century B.C.

Instead he speaks of 'ordered use' (i.e. ordered slaughter) and 'responsible domination'...
As one of my readers put it:

"...just the fact that it [the encyclical] speaks of power, whether for good or not so good, is wrong. We don't need power, we need compassion and a commitment to do no harm.

With Ahimsa, it's clear and direct ..no harm...that's it!!! when you teach Ahimsa, you plant the seed of compassion for all life. .you receive a sense of equanimity that dominion lacks .. it is arrogant to think we are 'given' power, whether for good or ill. . but if you learn Ahimsa, there is no need for power. Just the recognition that you and the other are not two. ." Sharon Azar
With all the eloquent and evocative language at his command, the pope is clinging desperately to dominion, ... He must speak with two voices. With one voice speaks with the voice of compassion:

"Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature..."

With the other voice he adds the qualifying clause:

Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things”

"to avoid any disordered use of things"

This clause reflects man's dominion over the animals, as he further elaborates and calls for 'responsible domination' Domination aka dominion by its very nature is irresponsible.  It seeks to control, contain and use animals as a resource for man.

Not everyone is deceived by the Pope's jovial appearance and his eloquent, though half-hearted words of compassion: .

"...just the fact that it [the encyclical] speaks of power, whether for good or not so good, is wrong. We don't need power, we need compassion and a commitment to do no harm.

The Pope did not dare to refer to ahimsa, He did not dare to contradict the right of dominion, to control and kill. Ahimsa seeks mutual co-existence and non-violence for all living beings.:

Don't kill any living beings. Don't try to rule them. Mahavira (Jain Acaranga, 4/2)

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