Letter to the Editor

Be compassionate to animals this Christmas

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

To the Editor:

For Christians, Christmas is the celebration of Jesus' birthday, even though scholars are not sure of the exact date.

It is believed the Roman Emperor Constantine, who converted to Christianity in 313, chose December as the celebration of Jesus' birth, and eventually, Pope Gregory (590-604) decided on Dec. 25.

Jesus' main message was to love one another and help those in need, but he didn't say anything about being kind to animals. However, not all Christians ignore their suffering.

As St. Francis of Assisi said, "If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men." And Abraham Lincoln has been quoted as saying, "I care not much for man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it."

Animals should have the right not to be abused. Those raised for food should be treated better, which goes beyond food and shelter. They should be allowed to live a more natural life.

We should stop keeping animals tied up or in cages for most of their lives and we should stop using them for rodeos, research and fashion.

So on this Christmas season, I ask all Christians to expand their circle of compassion to include all of God's creatures because only when we end cruelty to both humans and animals will we be able to realize our most unique quality: Humanity.

Harold Wilson