Saturday, August 06, 2011

All God's Creatures?

With the high heat and humidity the past two Sundays attendance at worship has been a little thin, to put it diplomatically. Just the same our members have opened their hearts and wallets, giving more than $2,000 in response to famine victims in the countries of the Horn of Africa. I'm sure more will be donated and it can't come fast enough. Today's news tells us that so far 29,000 children under the age of five have died.

So, should we focus on response to humans rather than other animals, a sort of compassion triage where we set priorities? Because of the dire situation in Africa I thought about this as I read what is really a lovely story of caring out of Florida. A badly injured sea turtle weighing 80 kilograms was found on a beach with gaping wounds in its shell caused by boat strikes. Andre, as he was named, was one sick turtle, the gashes so deep that his spinal chord was visible. Veterinarians, human doctors, and even an orthodonist (for the shell) brought their skills together to bring Andre back to health. This week he was released back into the sea with hundreds cheering him on. We have heard other stories in the past few days of a "wrong way" penguin named Happy Feet rehabilitated and returned to the wild in New Zealand, as well as Ralph the pelican in Nova Scotia. Notice how we like to "humanize" the creatures we help?

Should all these resources have been committed to creatures other than humans? Do we agree that this doesn't need to be an "either/or" situation, or is that unrealistic? What are your thoughts?


johnny said...

It definitely doesn't need to be an either/or situation. We have a responsibility to be respectful to animals - marine or otherwise. This turtle was injured because of humans, which is so often the case.
We have done a pretty good job of messing things up for so many creatures, the least we can do is try to help them when they are injured.

What is happening in Africa is heartbreaking. The very disturbing part is how people can intercept aid and leave children to starve. Completely unconscionable.

lionlamb said...

Well said johnny.