I have this thing about being kind to animals. Maybe it all stems from the fact that both of my parents are veterinarians. Not that our poor dog Emma always gets the best side of me, due to her habit of taking naps in the middle of the kitchen floor exactly where and when I am trying to cook.(She weighs more than my five-year-old and my three-year-old combined by the way, if that helps.)
The things is, cruelty to animals–insects included–just doesn’t come from a right heart. There is something missing or twisted that needs to be examined there. Animals should be treated with the respect they deserve as creatures created by God for our enjoyment and our benefit. We don’t need to treat animals like people to treat them with dignity–even the animals that we eat or have to kill for some reason.
St. Francis sums up why it’s so important to teach children to be kind to animals:
“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.
|Photo by Yolanda Coervers via Pixabay|
I was playing blocks under the carport with two-year-old Gianna this week when I noticed that Gabriel and Faith were waving two of our long crawfish paddles in the air trying to hit a bug that was flying around–a butterfly.
“No!” I shouted, leaping to its rescue. “You never kill a butterfly!” Because you just don’t kill butterflies. Gabriel, mystified, explained that they just wanted to catch the butterfly and “put him in a cage.” Then I explained how “catching” or even touching a butterfly could harm it.
Once I had returned the crawfish paddles to their respective pots and had garnered both kids’ attention, I probably went a little overboard with weaving in St. Francis’s kindness to animals and explaining why roaches are probably always OK to kill as well as animals that God gave us for food, but only the right context. (Yeah, you heard the splash, too? Totally overboard, I know.)
But I think they got the gist.