An ecological asceticism works to restore right relations between humankind and otherkind. Rather than the medieval construct of the hierarchy of being…ecological asceticism reconfigures that pyramid into a circle of life with human beings thoroughly interwoven with all other creatures, special in virtue of being conscious and free but utterly interdependent on others for their
life. The prophetic response moves us to action on behalf of justice for the Earth. One stringent criterion must now measure the morality of our actions: whether or not these contribute to a sustainable Earth community. We need to respect life and resist the culture of death not only among humankind but also among other living creatures. In such ethical reflection, the great commandment to love your neighbor as yourself is extended to include all members of the community.
Elizabeth Johnson, Passion for God, Passion for the Earth
O God, how wonderful are your works throughout the earth
I will not let my consciousness of what is happening to the Earth community fade away. Continue to educate yourself on our current situation and act on Earth’s behalf. Do not set aside this reminder as irrelevant to you. Share it with others.
He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. Psalm 147:9
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
An inadequate presentation of Christian anthropology gave rise to a wrong understanding of the relationship between human beings and the world. Often, what was handed on was a Promethean vision of mastery over the world, which gave the impression that the protection of nature was something that only the faint-hearted cared about. Instead, our ‘dominion’ over the universe should be understood more properly in the sense of responsible stewardship.
It is God whom human beings know in every creature.
Hildegard of Bingen.
Every creature is a word of God and is a book about God.
Animals have done us no harm and they have no power of resistance.…There is something so very dreadful…in tormenting those who have never harmed us, who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power.
Cardinal John Henry Newman
Animals, as part of God’s creation, have rights which must be respected. It behooves us always to be sensitive to their needs and to the reality of their pain.
Dr. Donald Coggan, former Archbishop of Canterbury
Animals possess a soul and men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren…the fruit of the creative action of the Holy Spirit and merit respect…as near to God as men are.
Pope John Paul II.