Our Readers' Opinions
March 22, 2013
Treat all animals with respect; they are also God’s creations

Fri Mar 22, 2013

Editor: Since Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s elevation to Pope Francis, we’ve heard and read about his humility, simplicity and devotion to the poor, which reflect the character of his honoured namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi.{{more}}

St Francis of Assisi was also a lover of all creation; he was an admirer of nature

and is the patron saint of animals. He wrote many rites, prayers and blessings to them – one, the Prayer of St Francis for Animals, in part reads, “…By our own fault we have lost the beautiful relationship which we once had with all your creation. Help us to see that by restoring our relationship with You we will also restore it with all Your creation. Give us the grace to see all animals as gifts from You and to treat them with respect, for they are Your creation. We pray for all animals who are suffering as a result of our neglect…”

Every day in SVG we see the neglect, abuse and cruelty inflicted on this part of His creation. Of course we also see brutality towards children, spouses, total strangers…but here’s the connection: an overwhelming number of studies in psychology, sociology and criminology show that animal abusers are far more likely to commit violent crimes against humans (and property) than non-abusers.

Maybe it’s time for the Police to take more seriously the complaints and reports against animal abusers and enforce the Protection of Animals Act, which imposes fines and/or imprisonment if found guilty. If shown that any cruel behaviour is unacceptable, perhaps at least some offenders might reconsider their actions before they turn on humans.

I just pray that the energy and influence of this new Pope, who, perhaps not by coincidence, is the only one to take the name Francis, will help all Vincentians see the beauty, intelligence and special qualities of our fellow creations, the animals.

Pam Ratti