LettersLetter from Susan Houston about Animals, Religion, and Humans - 22 Jul 2006
Letters From All-Creatures.org and The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation

Letter from Susan Houston about Animals, Religion, and Humans - 22 Jul 2006


I so wish that there were more 60 minutes, Dateline NBC, etc., exposing people to the horrible animal trade. Larry King had Paul McCartney and then wife, Heather on (you may have seen this or heard) exposing live animal skinning of cats and dogs in China and the abuse they suffer at the hands of man before they even get to this point. It's not because of God or their religion, that they do this (because we all know that Christianity isn't too helpful as it should be and Buddhism reveres animals for many reasons and there is cruelty in all these areas----it's just MAN, plain and simple!) Some whole countries and cultures are just further back than us, socially, and many individuals, groups and cultures, even this country, too. We've had horrors (trapping, wholesale killing, live vivisection, you know it . . . )and Europe, too, and some Europeans still exhibit cruelty in their dealings with animals.

How THIS country that is supposed to be so "advanced" and better than others, allow veal, hog-dog baiting, inhumane farming (you may have seen PETA's undercover video of pig farming and I didn't feel very pacifist, let me tell you, after seeing it . . .!) is beyond me and hurts me to the core. I feel ashamed that I am not a vegan as you are, but I will tell you that I work hard at helping animals and humans, wherever I can, give time and money (some serious money here and there) and hope that God helps me in this endeavor as I pray.

I love the Buddhist prayer, inducing us to help bring about the suffering of all sentient beings, for that is the only true liberation here on earth and in the after life. Being a student of philosophy and comparative religions (you probably would never guess this about me, if you met me and knew my lifestyle) I have become more tolerant and understanding, but far short of where I should be, certainly.

Keep up what you're doing, because some people may see you as "extremist" but I always tell people who criticize others they think are this way (especially when they think I'm not) is that, "Hmmm. . . maybe you're right, but what if these people are right, that the suffering can't be justified or rationalized and we are really supposed to be far more mindful about this?" It always brings a better response and I just do my best to dispute it if otherwise.

If we had more religious and spiritual leaders get on the band wagon and preach this, much would benefit, naturally, but instead, many even Christian leaders, tell us that whole "dominion" thing and the whole people have souls, animals don't, etc. Again, we all can pick and choose from the Bible and interpret as we will, based on our own mind set, experiences, culture, and the times, but we can all also try to understand the far greater meaning of true divine love, can't we? The meaning behind the words is clear----"Do unto others . . ." Much else is no more than figuring out "how many angels can dance on the head of the pin" and just argument forming, isn't it?

Sorry for the long email and thank you for your great website!



Reply from Frank and Mary Hoffman

Dear Susan:

You might be interested to know that the EU is further ahead than the US in their efforts to eliminate many of the cruel ways animals are treated.

Have you seen the video “Honoring God’s Creation”, which we made with Christian Vegetarian Association? We believe it addresses many of the problems you are addressing.

In the Love of the Lord,

Frank and Mary

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