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A Prayer to St. Francis

Story ID:10063
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various usa
Person:St. Francis
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Today –October 4th is the Feast of St. Francis. How glad I am that this
compassionate man lived. How I wish that there were more like him today,
though sadly, I don’t believe that they are even found among the Franciscan
religious orders he founded. I had to leave the Third Order Franciscans after
10 years because there was just nothing about the need to help the animals,
and I didn’t even find any vegetarians or vegans among them.

I joined them because I thought they would reflect the charisms of St. Francis,
but sadly they and the other orders don’t seem to promote anything for animal
justice. Dear St. Francis, if this is true, I believe this must be profoundly
disappointing to you, but please help those of us who have imbued your spirit
and try to make a difference for suffering animals. On this day, I also have some
prayer requests re some animal cruelties and injustices to them.

DISMANTLING THE CAFOS FROM HELL. This is a biggie and until the world at
large tries to forgo their meat lust, it will not be accomplished. Perhaps the most
we can hope for is the lessoning of the cruelty experienced by these poor
incarcerated farm animals –chickens in tight battery cages, mother pigs in
gestation crates, cows in a never ending milk line.

Thankfully, there seems to be some movement to get rid of battery cages and
gestation crates. I believe that the EU is also doing something in this regard.
However, that since probably 1950 we could treat these poor animals so cruelly
is beyond comprehension and sadly, shouldn’t everyone who has eaten the products
of cruelty with knowledge of their suffering bear some of this responsibility?


Going through some of my saved articles in this regard, I came across the account
of an Humane Society of the United States investigation of a New Jersey slaughter
plant owned by the Catelli Brothers. This is what HSUS wrote of this experience:
“Our undercover investigator documented calves being forced to rise to their feet
by men who wrapped the calves’ tails around their hands –lifting the entire weight
of the calf by this appendage. One calf with a broken leg was dragged by a chain
around his neck and other calves were struck, kicked, pulled by their ears, and sprayed
with water. The plant manager warned workers not to take some of these actions
when the USDA inspector was around –an indirect admission that he knew that workers
were breaking the law on animal handling.”

Breaking the law? These people were absolute brutes. These were baby calves after
all. What kind of families did these workers come from? Were they allowed to
torture little helpless creatures with impunity? Thank God, the US Department of
Agriculture shut down the Catelli Bros. slaughter plant in suburban Monmouth
County, New Jersey.

ELIMINATING WILD HORSE ROUND-UPS. We have administrations who by doing
nothing to stop them have allowed the Bureau of Land Management to engage in
cruel horse round-ups. Just yesterday the Humane Society of the US sent their
latest blog-- Latest Roundup in Wyoming Exposes Flaws, Failures in BLM’s Wild
Horse Program.

Wayne Pacelle wrote about this cruelty: “At least 10 animals, including four yearlings,
are dead after a poorly conducted and strategically suspected government roundup
of approximately 800 wild horses in Wyoming. This loss of life, and the stress and
trauma for the survivors, could have been avoided had the Bureau of Land Management
(BLM) put in place a more humane and economically viable management plan for wild
horses throughout the West.”

BLM records showed that one yearling was found dead in a holding pen because of an
acute neck injury. A three and a half month old filly was found dead of unknown causes.
Unknown causes? – she was forced to run for miles in heat – without rest or water
while fearing for her life because of the whirly bird monster. What a joke. They didn’t
know the cause of her death? A six month old colt died in a horse trailer from pre-existing
lung injuries exacerbated by the helicopter drive. Shouldn’t we be enraged about this

And where do many of these horses end up? –in cruel slaughter houses in Mexico and
Canada. Humane groups which include animal experts have tried without success to
convince our government to work with the humane community to manage wild horses
using fertility control methods which would prevent this suffering, but sadly – not the
President, not the Congress, not the BLM are responding compassionately,

Dear St. Francis – as you can see, we have a long road to go before we can ever consider
ourselves humane and caring. I only mentioned three cases of animal cruelty Of course,
there are many others – like the killing of wolves and deer for hunting “pleasure.” There
are hospitals that still perform useless experiments on helpless animal subjects. There
are horrible puppy mills where these poor dogs live in squalor while churning out pure
breed dogs for people who don’t seem to care.

In Australia farm animals are exported in trying conditions on ships to countries where
they face horrible slaughtering practices. In some oriental countries dogs and cats are
butchered in horrible ways for their flesh. In Spain bulls are not only used in the ring
but their horns are set afire in a “religious” festival.

Please St. Francis – continue to help us because generally our treatment of animals is
abysmal. Certainly, my few examples attest to this. Imbue us with a spirit of compassion –
making us realize that these animals are not ours – they are God’s and He wants them
treated compassionately.