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Discussion About the Article:
Violent Role Models:
George Bush Sr. and the United Methodist Church

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- people - squirrels - cats - dogs -

Comments by Don Gwillim
9 July 2001

Dear Roger:

I believe that both Mike and Frank have fully answered your questions.  However I would just like to add my two pennies worth (sorry two cents worth.)

In my email I stated "Man must reflect God's non-violent image when exercising his dominion over other creatures".  I did not state that this included being cruel to pet animals, in fact my statement implies the exact opposite, "other creatures" includes both the violent animal and the innocent victim.

We run a small animal sanctuary of rescued dogs, parrots and rabbits.   They came to us indoctrinated by previous owners and the age of most of them we do not know, especially the parrots as they could be anything from 5 to 65 years old.   So we do not know what we are taking on or how damaged they are due to past experiences.

They are however, all welcomed into our house and become a part of our family. This sometimes takes a couple of years but we seem to get there in the end.   One interesting point is that although they tend to fight with their own species (dog with dog, parrot with parrot and definitely rabbit with rabbit) apart from pairing up (same or opposite sex), through our care and guidance, they can all live very peacefully together and within their pairs, are happy to share the same space with another species.   So in the same room we can have parrots flying overhead, dogs and rabbits running across the floor. This also applies in the garden during the summer months.  My daughter shares her bed with a dog and a rabbit every night, and my wife, who is disabled, has the wonderful therapy of sharing her lap each night with a dog and a rabbit. While my daughter and myself play with parrots on our laps.

My point is that man has the power to create his own Eden, provided he reflects God's non-violent image with a knowledge of the species he is dealing with and patience.

Biblically, we are responsible not only for our pets welfare but also for their actions. If we allow our pet to harm or kill an innocent victim (wild or pet, man or beast), it is not our pets fault, it is ours.  If we brought in a cat and it killed one of our small parrots, it would be our fault not the cats.  So we do not rescue cats (and yes, I was brought up with cats and love them but hate what they do.)

When people take on a pet, they must be made to realise that they are taking on a huge responsibility.  A responsibility that requires much more than just buying a lead, hutch, cage and food.  There must be a commitment and willingness a make sacrifices in their own lifestyle.  Not to opt for the easy way out of any problem, so if the pet does need to be confined, they must be prepared to spend hard earned cash; learn all they can about their pet, and provide the necessary accommodation, toys and space to ensure a good quality of life.  So all may live (pet and neighbour, aggressor and innocent victim) in peace and harmony.

Yes, sometimes we may be forced to make a hard decision but this should be only after we have exhausted all other avenues, and then, only with love and compassion.

This to me, is reflecting God's non-violent image.

Peace and love to all,
Don Gwillim

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