All creatures

I spent some time fretting about the animals which were sacrificed to make parchment/vellum. I am a softy when it comes to animals. I won’t even squash bugs in my house—I toss ’em back outside. I care very much about animals’ suffering. The problem is, we live in a fallen world. Suffering and death are an unavoidable part of it. If I choose to eat a chicken salad sandwich, it means one of G-d’s creatures had to die violently. Even if I switch to a vegetarian diet, animals will still suffer and die.

The Heavenly Father put us in charge of the animals. The Bible tells us it’s right and proper that animals are a resource for us to use (Genesis 1:25/26). BUT, we have a responsibility to animals. All life should be respected. If we take good care of animals while they’re alive and then make their deaths as easy as can be managed, we’ll be serving G-d. If an animal must be slaughtered, we ought to use every last bit of it. This is not a frivolous thing to think about. Our humanity, our soul, demands that we think about this stuff and act on it.

How do you get bugs out of the house alive? I have a fool-proof method. You’ll need a tall drinking glass or a goblet (the kind of glass with a stem) and a postcard that’s big enough to cover the whole rim of the glass. When the bug is on a flat surface, put the glass upside-down over him. Try to catch him by surprise. Take your postcard and slowly, slowly slip it under the glass and the bug. When the postcard completely covers the rim of the glass, pick everything up as one unit. Hold the postcard tight to the rim of the glass with the bug trapped inside. Take it outdoors and put it on the ground. Take the postcard. Run back into the house and lock the door.

I once trapped and released a bat this way. I took him outdoors and coaxed him onto a tree branch. The little jerk peed in my glass.

Back to the beginning of The Western Civ User’s Guide to Reading & Writing.

5 responses to “All creatures

  1. Compassion towards animals is a value we all share. But when we must sacrifice them, the Torah makes it clear that it should be done with care and concern for the animals’ comfort. When you commented that recycling all of a sacrificed animals’ parts is an ideal act, I was reminded of a drawing that I did in the 1988 called The Akedah, or The Sacrifice of Isaac as told in Genesis 22. Here are some of the notes from my research for the piece:

    According to the Jewish Mishnah, the voice of a sacrificial victim (the ram) is multiplied seven times when it dies because its horns become shofars (horns sounded in synagogue rituals), its two leg-bones become flutes, its hide becomes a drum, its entrails are used for lyres, and its chitterlings (intestinal fibers) for harps. (Mishnah, Kinnim 3:6) According to a Jewish legend, David’s harp strings were made from the gut of the ram Abraham slew on Mount Moriah. (Ginzberg, p 134) In the synagogues ram’s horns were used as a reminder of that ram sacrificed in Isaac’s stead. (Werner, p437)

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  2. Pingback: All creatures – SHOPPEX NIGERIA

  3. Pingback: Scrolls are still around | John Manders' Blog

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