Tuesday, October 04, 2016

St.Francis and the Pigs

Image result for st francis of assisi

We had a delightful blessing of the animals at Bridge St. UC this past Sunday, and those who didn't bring their companion animal(s) were given the opportunity to call out their names. These blessings are in honour of St. Francis whose actual feast day is October 4th --today.

While we can be rather sentimental about our pets, the Feast of Francis can nudge us to consider the wellbeing of all creatures, including those we eat.

I'm thinking of the trial going on in Burlington Ontario of a woman who was charged with the crime of giving water to thirsty pigs on a hot summer day last year. They were in one of those transport trucks we all see on the highway from time to time. Whenever I pass one I have misgivings about my beloved bacon, for a moment anyway. The woman Anita Kranjic, of Toronto Pig Save (I'm not making this up) walked up to one of these trucks, stopped in the city, and gave the pigs some water. The driver got angry, the police were summoned, and she was charged. Interestingly,  Ms Kranjic invoked Jesus on the day she was charged, and the bible during her testimony. This from the Globe and Mail:

“It’s in the Bible,” she said. “When I was thirsty, you gave me water.”
“So you did it because the Bible told you to do it?” Mr. Apel asked.
“I did it because it’s the Golden Rule,” she said. “It’s written in our hearts.”
Ms. Krajnc’s testimony was rooted in the history and morality of activism rather than the niceties of the law. She spoke about the importance of “bearing witness” during the “vigils” for farm animals that her group conducts and films three times a week, in order to persuade members of the public to become vegan.
“We’re trying to end this mass disconnect in society” between the suffering of animals and the meat that people consume, she said. “When you go to the supermarket, you don’t see their eyes, or you don’t hear their cries. … In the supermarket, you just see cellophane-wrapped meat. ”

Image result for blessing of the animals

This makes me uncomfortable as a carnivore and a Christian, and I figure that's a good thing. I would never eat a dog, but apparently pigs are as intelligent as canines. It's probably too easy to pick up that package of meat and not think of what the animal went through on the way from the farm to the grocery store to my plate. We never see images of St. Francis standing in the midst of an abattoir. We would prefer him to be communing with the birds.

Does anyone else think that this trial is absurd? Does the Golden Rule --"do unto others as you would have them do to you" -- apply to non-humans? Are you ready to give up bringing home the bacon?


roger said...

I think the trial is absurd, although I realize that someone could easily put something in the bottle that is not water, and is something very harmful. To be truthful, I could very easily see myself with the group, giving water to the pigs.

Being married to a vegetarian, coupled with the numerous books I have read about factory farming, has led me to eat red meat very rarely....and I have given up bacon altogether(yes, partly because I, too, have driven by those trucks with those poor pigs).

I don't mean to sound righteous; I don't think negatively of people who eat meat - I was raised eating meat at every meal. However, I do feel better physically being an "almost vegetarian", and it is easier on the grocery bill.

Frank said...

Good grief!
Surely police, and truck drivers, have more important issues to occupy their time.
It wouldn't have taken very much effort to establish that only water was being administered. The woman in question could have been sent away with a warning.
Next time I want to commit a crime, I'll just send out a cadre of water bearers out to kick up a fuss and draw in the police because of all the mayhem. That should let me off scot-free!