|09-22-2012, 06:57 AM||#1|
Joined: Jun 2006
Plight of the elephants...
While not mentioned in the article it would seem this is an initiative that would be supported by Baha'is..as we also revere life and kindness toward animals...Recently military helicopters were reported destroying whole herds of elephants...
KINDNESS TO ANIMALS
Then, O ye friends of God! Ye must not only have kind and merciful feelings for mankind, but ye should also exercise the utmost kindness towards every living creature. The physical sensibilities and instincts are common to animal and man. Man is, however, negligent of this reality and imagines that sensibility is peculiar to mankind, therefore he practices cruelty to the animal. In reality what difference is there in physical sensations! Sensibility is the same whether you harm man or animal: there is no difference. Nay, rather, cruelty to the animal is more painful because man has a tongue and he sighs, complains and groans when he receives an injury and complains to the government and the government protects him from cruelty; but the poor animal cannot speak, it can neither show its suffering nor is it able to appeal to the government. If it is harmed a thousand times by man it is not able to defend itself in words nor can it seek justice or retaliate. Therefore one must be very considerate towards animals and show greater kindness to them than to man. Educate the children in their infancy in such a way that they may become exceedingly kind and merciful to the animals. If an animal is sick they should endeavor to cure it; if it is hungry, they should feed it; if it is thirsty, they should satisfy its thirst; if it is tired, they should give it rest.
Man is generally sinful and the animal is innocent; unquestionably one must be more kind and merciful to the innocent. The harmful animals, such as the bloodthirsty wolf, the poisonous snake and other injurious animals are excepted, because mercy towards these is cruelty to man, and other animals. For instance, if you show kindness to a wolf this becomes a tyranny to the sheep, for it may destroy an entire flock of sheep. If you give the opportunity to a mad dog it may be the cause of the destruction of a thousand animals and men. Therefore, sympathy to the ferocious animal is cruelty to the peaceful animal, so they should be done away with. To the blessed animals, however, the utmost kindness should be exercised: the more the better it will be.
This sympathy and kindness is one of the fundamental principles of the divine kingdom. Ye should pay great attention to this question.
Can religion save Africa’s elephants and rhinos?
By Jason Straziuso
The Associated Press
NAIROBI, Kenya — Standing before a pile of charred elephant ivory as dusk covered the surrounding savannah, Christian, Muslim and Hindu religious leaders grasped hands and prayed. Let religion, they asked, help “God’s creatures” to survive. Poachers are escalating their assault on Africa’s elephants and rhinos, and conservationists warn that the animals cannot survive Asia’s high-dollar demand for ivory tusks and rhino horn powder. Some wildlife agents, customs officials and government leaders are being paid off by what is viewed as a well-organized mafia moving animal parts from Africa to Asia, charge the conservationists.
Seeing a dire situation grow worse, the animal conservation group WWF is enlisting religious leaders to take up the cause in the hopes that religion can help save some of the world’s most majestic animals. “We are the ones who are driving God’s creatures to extinction,” said Martin Palmer, secretary-general of the Britain-based Alliance of Religions and Conservation.
Palmer spoke during Thursday evening’s prayer at a site in Nairobi National Park where Kenyan officials burned hundreds of ivory tusks in 1989 to draw attention to the slaughter of elephants. Although the park has no elephants, it hosts 221 rhinos.
“We are the ones who can change the way Africa works,” Palmer said.
Dekila Chungyalpa, the director of WWF’s Sacred Earth program, argues that the killing of elephants, rhinos and Asian tigers — the three animals WWF is most concerned about — is a moral issue. She said that conservationists are not doing well enough getting the anti-poaching message across, and that new strategies — such as religion — must be tried.
“Faith leaders are the heart and backbone of local communities. They guide and direct the way we think, behave and live our lives,” she said, adding later: “I think this is the missing piece in conservation strategies. ... WWF can yell us much as we want and no one will listen to us, but a religious leader can say ‘This is not a part of our values. This is immoral.’ ” Three dozen religious leaders from nine African countries toured Nairobi National Park on Thursday, where they saw rhinos, zebras, buffalo and ostriches all within site of the skyline of Kenya’s capital city. One of the safari vans held a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim and a Buddhist, which spawned efforts to create some sort of wildlife-themed religious joke. During a more serious conversation, Hamza Mutunu, a Muslim leader from Tanzania, argued for the animals.
Last edited by arthra; 09-22-2012 at 07:13 AM.