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I. A compassionate ornithologist saw a yellow canary chirping beautifully in its cage. He opened the prison, but was surprised to see that the bird refused to come out. He was even more surprised to hear it say, "I'm not getting out of here; all my immediate ancestors were born in captivity. My owners treat me well and provide me with birdseed, water and hygiene; they even give me vitamins. Out there I would not survive; and besides, I am told that there are hawks and other birds of prey ready to gobble me up in one bite."

II. A cynophilist wayfarer approached a dog that was leading a blind man. He asked the four-legged animal if it felt bad about being forced to work as a guide. The dog replied: "Not at all. I have many fellow creatures who provide services. There are sheepdogs that help shepherds; there are guard dogs; there are dogs that detect narcotics and explosives at airports. We all enjoy high self-esteem. And because we exercise both body and mind, there is no service dog that suffers from canine Alzheimer's disease."

III. A Spaniard opposed to bullfights cautiously approached a pasture where the Sánchez-Cobaleda family breed fighting bulls outside Salamanca. He saw a stout bull under the shade of a tree and beckoned him to come to the fence. The bovine, an elderly specimen, approached him unhurriedly. The inquisitive man asked the bull why he had lived to such an advanced age. The two-horned animal replied: "Well, because in the bullring I seriously injured the bullfighter and the public asked for my pardon. The veterinarians cured my wounds from the banderillas, and my owners committed me to breeding. With the years I lost interest in cows, and now I enjoy a happy old age surrounded by children and grandchildren."

Now comes the crucial question, "What do you bulls think about such cruel bullfighting events?" The bull answered: "We prefer to die gloriously in the bullring than to die vilely in the slaughterhouse with a nail in the back of the neck".

IV. In the Seaquarium of a city whose name I don't want to remember, a killer whale that had been in captivity for more than fifty years died last August 18. The mournful news sparked angry reactions from animal defenders. But the owners of this tourist attraction said that the orca had lived so long thanks to the good treatment it received, consuming about 160 pounds of fish a day and enjoying the affection of its trainers. The marine mammal was happy to perform its pirouettes in front of the cheering public. She died of old age, not of mistreatment.

V. An interviewer was returning home at night one day when he heard a call from a tree. As he approached, he saw that it was an owl, the symbol of wisdom. The big-eyed feathered one said, "Americans spend more than $41 billion a year on their pets; most of that spending is lavishness that the animals neither need nor appreciate. If humans had the same compassion for their fellow humans, there would not be so much poverty in the world, so much injustice, so much crime and so many wars."

This blog was first published as a column in the September 2023 edition of La Voz Católica.

Comments from readers

Jose Manuel Lorenzo - 10/13/2023 07:07 AM
Padre Eduardo, Su mensaje es un arma divina de doble filo por un lado nos nuestra que debemos respetar la naturaleza y por el otro que algunos humanos se exceden en aportar comodidades a los animales cuando lo deben de hacer por nuestros semejantes. Mi fe me dice que está usted en lo correcto, no obstante que seriamos sin nuestros acompañantes de la naturaleza. Dios creo a las otras criaturas para que nos acompañen y no sabemos respetarlas, sino que las utilizamos como negocios y abusamos de ellas. Cuantas de ellas van al matadero para nada ya que un tercio de la populación del planeta se muere de mal nutrición. Yo que soy de corazón Franciscano y trinitario por amor no puedo soportar el ver mis hermanos irse a la cama cada dia sin siquiera un trozo de pan y ver por otra parte el abuso de la naturaleza en el que hemos caído por codicia. Por mi parte hace tiempo ya que no pruebo la carne o muy poca. Pan y vino son mis alimentos favoritos, productos de la tierra y pescado. Como por necesidad y no por glotonería. Haber sido chef por más de medio siglo me causa horror el comer porque me siento culpable en parte del hambre de este mundo. Amen
Valli Leone - 10/09/2023 11:05 AM
Thank you so much, Father Edoardo, for this sensible and practical understanding of the treatment of God’s wondrous created animals. In my opinion, the enemy has perverted man’s thinking, and the value system of this world we live in is upside down. How can we turn a blind eye to the many fathers, mothers, children and all of those in need who are hungry and homeless? — especially when Jesus Christ himself told us that whatever we do for the least of his people, we do it for Him. Let it be done in our neighborhoods, our churches, our workplaces, schools, governments and everywhere in the world according to your word, your will and your wonderful love for people everywhere. Jesus, take the wheel. For those of us who love all of God’s creatures, let us love the Lord and mankind first of all! Alleluia! 🔆🕊🔆

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