April 14, 2007

Activists tell Pope to stop wearing fur

Maybe as a sign of goodwill the activists will listen to the Pope and stop using latex.


The activists are the leaders of the Italian "Anti-Vivisection League."

The League that has exhorted Pope Benedict XVI in this matter has long debated with Catholicism in Italy.

In particular, AVL members employ a philosophy that, in order to highlight the so-called “rights” of animals, minimizes the actual rights of human beings, especially those humans who are the weakest: the comatose, the handicapped, the elderly, children, the unborn.

Among the “inspirations” and sources of AVL thought, one finds dependence on the writings of Peter Singer, also an animal activist, who actually proposed the killing of children born with deformities. In “Practical Ethics,” Singer says that "to kill a newborn with malformations is not the same as killing a person and, very often, it is not even an error."

Singer holds the same in regard to those who have suffered irreversible brain damage, or who are comatose:
"their lives are deprived of intrinsic value."

Peter Singer declares:
"the doctrine of the sacredness of life is a product of Christianity. Perhaps the time has arrived to think of these questions (abortion, infanticide) beyond the framework of Christianity."

The Anti-Vivisection League has issued their statement on their website, www.infolav.org, which is in Italian.

You can read about the Anti-Vivisection League's exhortation to the Pope in an English article about the event.
Click HERE for it.


Blogger RobK said...

Because this is soooo much more important than other issues. I don't get these guys.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Panda Rosa said...

The Pope's use of fur...as the trim on his velvet mozzetta and on the camauro...now just how many farm-raised minks had to die for that? Do we really need the fingers on both hands?

5:21 PM  
Blogger beez said...


Great response, Father.

Stop wearing latex. I LOVE it.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um. Actually, the latex used in most condoms is made with casein (a milk protein) so observant vegans won't use them.

I'm always surprised when I see people making fun of vegans on Catholic forums. Personally, when I see a group of people with strong self-discipline who practice abstinence and stewardship, I think, "Hey, they'd make great Catholics!"

Why not convert them?

2:11 PM  
Blogger Histor the Wise said...

The problem is that vegans aren't motivated by sacrifice but by ideology. They believe meat-eating is bad. To them, vegetarianism is no more unnatural than refraining from baby flesh as an appetizer.

Now, if they'd give it up as a penance, I'd take them seriously.


4:08 PM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

The activists who told the Pope to stop wearing fur were not identified as vegans, but as members of Italy's Anti-Vivisection League. For those who understand Italian, here is their site.

Their site identifies their objective as animal rights:
"un grande obiettivo di libertà: i diritti degli animali" [a great objective of liberty: the rights of animals].

In Catholic theology, it is not coherent to speak of animals as having rights. Rather, human beings have rights and also have moral DUTIES. The moral duties of human beings do involve the rejection of wanton cruelty towards animals. However, the use of animals for food is something that Catholicism does not consider to be wanton cruelty.

One cannot be coherent in speaking of so-called "animal rights" if one does not include in one's thinking a firm and expressed commitment to the defense of the foundation stone of all HUMAN rights: the right to life from the first moment of human existence, conception. Cancel that right and there is nothing at all left to attack or defend.

As for "strong self-discipline" among vegans ... the one's I knew in college were drug-users and sexually active outside of marriage.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Kasia said...

Fr. Stephanos, you mentioned in a comment on Gerald's blog something about being a spiritual representative of someone when you receive the Eucharist. Could you please expand on that? I haven't heard of it (but then, I only entered the Church at the Easter Vigil).

Thank you!

10:20 AM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

Kasia, I'll do that by writing a post on it here on my blog.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...


First things first!

Welcome to the Eucharistic Communion of Christ in his One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church!

11:09 AM  
Blogger Kasia said...

Thank you kindly for the warm welcome, and in advance for the explanatory post! :-)

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Histor, I agree that veganism is an ideology. I am not vegan--my Birkenstocks are leather--but I do find much that is admirable in vegan philosophy. As a vegetarian, I obviously don't think a plant-based diet is unnatural or unhealthful. On the other hand, I concede that there are vocal vegetarians whose love for animals clouds their common sense. Fanatics can be found everywhere. And yeah, a lot of those people are very, very weird.

However, you might be surprised to discover that there are indeed vegetarians and vegans who originally adopted a plant-based diet as a form of penance. Certainly faith plays a large part in many people's dietary restrictions. Everyone has a story and some of them might even resonate with you.

Father, I don't know anything about the Italian Anti-Vivisection League. I do appreciate that they acknowledge the Pope as a moral authority, though.

I believe that factory farming constitutes wanton cruelty toward animals; that is one of the many reasons I abstain from meat. But I am not hungry. If I were, I would eat whatever was available. People with limited resources don't have the luxury of choosing to eat and/or shop ethically. Human life must come first. I am swayed, however, by the argument that meat production is an inefficient use of resources.

It is true that some appear to value animal and plant life above that of human life. I thought the pet rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina were kind of stupid in light of all the very real human suffering. I thought their compassion was sorely misplaced, and yet, it was compassion, wasn't it?

I received an email from a friend this morning. We've been discussing conservative V. liberal stances. She commented that it isn't the conservatives or liberals that are the problem, it's the hordes of lazy people in the middle. I think she makes a valid point.

With all due respect, I don't think any group of university students can be held as representative of their group in the larger culture. That type of anecdotal evidence just opens us up to attacks citing things like the percentage of American Catholics who use artificial birth control. When it comes to charges of hypocrisy, Catholics shouldn't throw stones.

I stand by my assertion that we should court those who recognize the glory of all creation. After all, it is only a small step from there to recognizing the glory of God.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome, Kasia! Congratulations!

And don't worry; you're only obligated to be vegetarian a few days out of the year. :-)

12:54 PM  
Blogger Kasia said...

Thanks, Anonymous!

...I used to be vegetarian, actually, but was lured back by bacon, sausage and steak...

It didn't help that I got flak from other vegetarians for not being militant enough, and flak from omnivores because they claimed my admission that I was vegetarian in part for ethical reasons was a tacit condemnation of their choice to eat meat. Ya can't win for losing, I tell ya. That, on top of missing meat (one of my favorite foods), was enough to convince me to throw in the towel after 9 or 10 months.

So I'm very glad to only have a couple of days of abstinence per year!

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Jeron said...

What *Beez* said.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

I have updated the orginal blogpost with information that clarifies the ideology that is directly behind this exhortation to the Pope.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Kasia said...

At risk of being uncharitable...if Peter Singer supports 'em, I know I'm against 'em.

3:45 PM  

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