Sunday, December 10, 2006
Animals are People Too
I was recently in a business establishment that had only a secular display of Christmas sentiment. On the Christmas tree were neither angels, nor mangers, nor the Infant but hand carved animals. There was a beautifully rendered raccoon, badly imitated camel and birds to good effect. At first I thought to myself that maybe the propetier's only experience of love had come from animals. Maybe their families were broken, fragmented, self involved and incapable of showing love.
But the more cynical and probably rational in me prevailed and I realized that throughout our society we are seeing a diminuition of regard for human beings, babies in particular and an elevation of status for animals. My comment that animal products share the same aisle in the supermarket as babies caught some by surprise. They had never noticed it. Have they noticed "Doggy daycare", pet strollers, and the interminably tiresome argument about whether or not animals will be in heaven? If that is the extent of your theological inquiry, friend you need to turn off the TV, cancel your subscription to People Magazine and read a book. The library has some.
The war against children is a subtle one. In the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, I noticed that the Baroness hates children, wears lingerie and is hated and scorned by her husband. While Truly, the heroine takes on the motherhood of two children whose mother has died and frees the children in hiding, poverty and despair. You would be hard pressed to find a movie that mirrors those sentiments today.
Peter Singer, Yale "philosopher" has grabbed the headlines recently in calling for legislation that would recognize the right of parents to kill their born children up to 21 days of life if they are handicapped or found wanting in any way.
From an essay on the rights of animals he says:
" But a full grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversible animal than an infant of a day, or a week or even amonth old."
The whole essay is here if you can bear it.
The bottom line is that the move to elevate animals raise them to the level of humans is insidious and intentional. You can resist it by refusing to send Christmas cards that depict an animal nativity, an animal scene or anything other than a Nativity.
As my dear husband just chimed in, "Without animals it wouldn't be Christmas. There would be nothing to eat."