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Have your Pet Blessed | Buffalo Rising

Have your Pet Blessed

It was a big party last year, on the Feast Day of St. Francis, when I gathered with about 30 animals and their people, seeking blessings for the pets.

We will celebrate again this year, on Sunday Oct 4, at 1PM, at Lafayette Presbyterian Church. The Church, located at 875 Elmwood Avenue at Lafayette.  We’ll have a short reading of scripture, a reflection on who St.Francis was, and how his love for animals was rooted in the divine, and end with individual blessings for each pet.

This event is open to all people, regardless of belief.  (Even if you don’t believe, you might enjoy the company of other pets/pet lovers–participation is not required). 

There is also a blessing hosted by Fr. Huw at the Nickle City housing co-op (Elmwood and North) at 2pm.  Other communities are welcome to add to the list in the comments.

About the author  ⁄ Drew

18 comments
biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

Well, not dogs and cats. I don't know where I draw the line exactly.

Shoestring Budget
Shoestring Budget

Looking forward to it, Rev!

In the meantime, I maintain that the you cannot bless animals if you still eat them, just as (to borrow from earlier in US history) you cannot bless slaves if you still own them.

biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

We have cats (one's mine and one's my wife's from before our marriage) and I always had cats and a dog growing up. I love my pets (though I care about them a whole lot less since kids came along). There's a great bond between those species and humans. I wouldn't eat them myself, but yes I'd be okay with humane lives followed by recipes. In some societies dogs and cats are eaten. Some societies don't eat pork, others consider cows sacred. I'd try horse without guilt, I think.

I do draw lines, particularly for intelligent creatures. I'm very offended by the consumption of monkeys and great apes in jungle mining operations, for example. Those species are too complex to live happy lives on a farm awaiting the knife. They are highly sentient creatures being decimated to the brink of extinction by mine workers flush with cash, desirous of meat for their diets. I don't think we should kill wild elephants for food. Too intelligent to slaughter for food (plus you could never make farming them pay: they develop too slowly). I'm more comfortable eating things lower on the food chain from a brain development point of view. I have little angst eating shellfish, but I'm opposed to eating dolphin and whale. I think we should harvest more wild deer (though I'm not going anywhere near the woods in deer hunting season). That population is exploding and starving. Plus they run around all day--if you have a choice of eating something that sat around all day or something that ran around all day, eat the one that ran around; it will have less fat.

I think human beings are omnivores, not herbivores. And I don't think it's any more immoral for us to eat meat than it is immoral for a lion to eat a zebra. But as we change our environment to satisfy our own consumption I do think we should set aside many wild refuges to help the rest of the biosphere coexist with us.

Rev. Drew
Rev. Drew

This event doesn't talk about the ethics of eating meat, nor war, nor torture, nor greed, nor lust, nor lots of other things. I can't do it all in one, nor would I try.

There is an ethic to eating meat (or not) and such a question is worth considering. So now you know what is coming on Thursday.

O'Brien
O'Brien

Meat is meat! We could easily harvest domestic animals as a food source, and by extension we could begin to harvest humans for the same. Wasn't this the premise of Soylent Green?

Shoestring Budget
Shoestring Budget

Okay, let's test that argument. If a lot of people decide that kittens & puppies are tasty, is it OK to farm, slaughter, and package them as long as they aren't crammed into cages, pumped full of hormones, de-fanged, whatever?

If it isn't OK, why not?

biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

We treat animals appallingly. But eating them isn't necessarily bad treatment.

Chickens shouldn't be raised on steroids, crammed by the thousands into little pens with their beaks cut off. Cows shouldn't spend an eternity in tiny cubicles too small to turn around in. Factory farming is abhorrent for its 'dehumanization' of animals.

But eating animals isn't necessarily a bad thing. Consider: without a market for food, most of these animals would never be born at all. Now in the case of a hellish existence, never being born might be better, I'll admit. But a good chicken life is better than no chicken life. Make their lives good while their here, awaiting harvest.

If we treat farm animals more humanely, then I have very little problem with eating them. The very existence of a market for their flesh provides the means by which these myriad lives get lived in the first place. If we stopped eating cows, it wouldn't be the case that all the cows would live happily ever after. Rather, most of the cows would never live at all. That would be worse than farms full of happy cows.

Treat animals humanely before (and during) harvesting them. Make their lives decent through organic farming practices. Get rid of factory farms. Pay more for healthier meat and eat less of it. But don't insist that no one can eat animals.

I take it you don't have one of those T-shirts from Spar's which say: "Pigs: not just cute, delicious!"

MJ Worthington
MJ Worthington

I do not recall Rev Drew ordering all "ugly" animals away last year. And I missed where they were providing an eggs and bacon breakfast beforehand. ;) Seriously people...We have a nice event for those who are close to their pets.

If I recall Jesus ate fish. And maybe

Lamb?: http://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVarticles/DidJesusEatMeat.htm Since this became a vegetarian thread...what are your thoughts Rev. Drew from a Christianity stand point? Or is that a future post? ;)

PaulBuffalo
PaulBuffalo

Well, in some measure of seriousness, is it vanity? Yes, we turn an chicken into a McNugget, but events like these remind us of the true importance of animals. I'm not religious, but I find this ceremony intriguing because it's a ritual not dissimilar from those of other cultures that look to bestow gratitude upon the animals we use for food, clothing and other various life necessities.

In the era of a food-processing industry in which we don't always make the connection between the chicken and the McNugget, ceremonies like these have their place and the ritual aspect is as relevant as we decide it to be.

Shoestring Budget
Shoestring Budget

OK, I get it. A stunted moral imagination justifies on offensive display of moral vanity. Thanks for explaining it!

PaulBuffalo
PaulBuffalo

It's easy to anthropomorphize little Fifi. You can't do that with a McNugget. Hence, the lack of a moral quandary.

I want to know why these ceremonies discriminate against ugly animals? You never see a homely dog at these events. At St. John the Divine in New York City, they even parade good-looking camels and elephants around for a blessing. It's like the animal version of Top Model. Now, there's a moral contradiction.

Shoestring Budget
Shoestring Budget

Great! So what will you say to people about their bacon & egg breakfasts, their McNugget lunches, and their salmon dinners on the token day in which they parade their devotion to animals? Forgive me, but I am having a hard time with the blatant hypocrisy.

Rev. Drew
Rev. Drew

I do see the dissonance. Nobody said they didn't.

Shoestring Budget
Shoestring Budget

So no one sees a moral contradiction, or, using less loaded language, any cognitive dissonance, about having a bacon & egg breakfast before invoking St. Francis to bless little Fifi?

Scottwf
Scottwf

this is a fun event. we went to one in tonawanda. to be honest, i wasnt a fan of the pastor there. so it was funny when the little dog nipped at him. (no one got hurt)

but non the less, this is a fun event. if you have a pet, bring 'em...if nothing else its puppy socializing.

i'm trying to get my girlfriend to bring her cat here....the thing is pure evil.

Rev. Drew
Rev. Drew

Francis' way is pretty much good all year long. No plans on limiting the compassion. Be as compassionate as you can stand!

MJ Worthington
MJ Worthington

No, but it may be for this event ;)

Fiance was there last year Drew and loved it. We hope to be there again this year.

Shoestring Budget
Shoestring Budget

There are many who believe that St. Francis was a vegetarian. Or on his day is compassion for other creatures limited only to pampered housepets?

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