July 4, 2013 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #1040043
Curiosity: Reread your post. That is EXACTLY what you said. Whether it’s what you meant is a different question, but the assumption from reading your above post is that you think that it’s a slippery slope from ASPCA and what it stands for to legal bestiality.
Quote: “First it starts with prioritizing the needs of animals alongside those of people’s, then the love one has for an animal becomes on par with those shared with humans, and the final step is to cross that small threshold of turning those relationships into sexual encounters – as unpalatable as that sounds.”
It is not a BAD THING to save an animal- if you saw that your car was about to run over a squirrel, would you stop the car or just run over it (assuming you could safely avoid it- granted that many times you can’t)? Nobody is putting up a picture of a starving child and a starving cat side-by-side and saying, “don’t bother with the kid! Fluffy the Cat needs your help!” It’s marketing, and just as plenty of people market products that are utterly useless and ridiculous and make very effective commercials to convince you that they aren’t, the ASPCA is trying to sell something. Feel free not to buy it, but they’re the ones paying the advertising time.July 4, 2013 6:18 pm at 6:18 pm #1040044
Apparently many, but not all, sources hold that it is a mitzvah to relieve animals of their suffering, whether or not the animal belongs to you. See this passage from a book by R’ Dovid Sears:
The Chasam Sofer advances the opinion that, although causing pain to an animal is scripturally forbidden, the obligation to rescue an animal in distress applies only to one’s own animals; see Teshuvos Chasam Sofer, Yoreh De’ah, nos. 314, 318, and Choshen Mishpat, no. 185. This appears to be consistent with the view of Maharam Schick on the Taryag Mitzvos, Mitzvah 80. Authorities who do not make such a distinction include: Noda B’Yehudah, Mahadurah Kama, Yoreh De’ah, nos. 81-83; Shulchan Aruch HaRav, Vol. 6, Tza’ar Baalei Chaim, 4; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, 191:1; Orach Maysharim, 15:1; et al. The Netziv in Ha’amek Davar, Deuteronomy 22, maintains that one is not obligated by Torah law but is required to intervene by rabbinic decree. In Eishel Avraham: Tinyana, Yoreh De’ah 305:20, R. Avraham of Butchatch argues that the relief of tza’ar baalei chaim directly or indirectly caused by a human being is incumbent upon any Jew capable of intervening by scriptural law. For further discussion see R. Yitzchak Nachman Eshkoli, Tza’ar Baalei Chaim (2002), chap. 11.July 4, 2013 6:23 pm at 6:23 pm #1040045
To add to that: if you have pets, you must feed them first, and you must relieve the burden of a donkey even if his owner is your enemy.
By the way, Curiosity, do you/would you donate to yeshivos? Why, when you could instead donate to a tzedakah that feeds starving people or one that provides medical care to dying people? Do you donate to BOTH the yeshivos AND the lifesaving tzedakahs? In that case, why shouldn’t one donate to the ASPCA as well?July 4, 2013 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #1040046
JF02- You will notice I didn’t express any hatred towards another person. All I did was “lambast” an ideology and a misguided hashkafa that I view as being severly crooked, and lamented the fact that most of society is too out of touch with daas Torah and emes so as to even realize why/how it’s misguided. And yes, I feel that the people who fall for it are very stupid for falling for it. That doesn’t mean I hate them, as people. I just think they’re stupid. That’s an opinion.
editedJuly 4, 2013 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #1040047
Well, because donating to the ASPCA has no charitable purpose at all.
It doesn’t mean it’s a waste of money though. It isn’t a waste of money when I buy a sandwich at Carlos and Gabbys, because I like it. If you like giving money to them, then it isn’t a waste.July 4, 2013 6:29 pm at 6:29 pm #1040048
Curiosity, your first post was expressed in a hate-filled way, although your later posts were toned down more.
popa, if you think there is “no charitable purpose at all” in relieving the suffering of Hashem’s briyos, then I guess we have nothing more to discuss.July 4, 2013 6:30 pm at 6:30 pm #1040049
Well, you might convince me.July 4, 2013 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #1040050
JF02 – My personal allocation of tzedaka money is none of your concern, but I do support Torah Mosdos. Rav Moshe Feinstein once said, the two questions people have never asked him are where to send their children to school, and where to give tzedaka money. Whether you should give your tzedaka to anee’im or yeshivas is a great question, but it’s completely irrelevant. The fact that you struggle in your decision as to whether to give your maaser to Chickens for Shabbos or BMG does not make it okay to give that money to an animal shelter, instead.July 4, 2013 6:38 pm at 6:38 pm #1040051golferParticipant
Exactly what I meant when I referred to this thread as being “interminable.”July 4, 2013 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #1040052
Well, then, to reference one of your earlier posts: if animals could live in their natural habitat without us bothering them or them bothering us, all would be fine and there would be no need for the ASPCA. I shed no tears for animals killed by natural predators. However, because of human intrusion into animal environments (industrialization destroying the places where they live and feed is a big example, not to mention human breeding of animals for pets causing an overrun of strays with not enough food to go around), we have made it impossible for them to live as they should, according to the biological programming you mentioned. Therefore, we have an achrayus to correct this issue by spaying/neutering our pets, rescuing animals we come across who are in obvious distress (this should go without saying but do it safely), etc. One way to help rectify the damage we have done is to donate to the ASPCA, which provides food and shelter for those strays and rehabilitates animals who have been cruelly abused by humans.July 4, 2013 6:45 pm at 6:45 pm #1040053
yytz, thanks for the source finding. I don’t disagree with any of what you said, but (although legend has it I have been wrong once before) I don’t believe any of those poskim would say to provide animals with foster-homes and “love.”
writersoul – I have no clue how you gleaned your statements from mine, much less is that ‘exactly what I said.’ I was not alluding to the slippery slope argument. I was saying that the fact that we’ve gotten to the point where these commercials are mainstream indicates that the next two steps are not so far behind.
Mod, thank you for editing that last post.July 4, 2013 6:47 pm at 6:47 pm #1040054
JF02, I’m only 95% sure, because I haven’t personally seen it inside, but I have it from a reliable talmid chacham that spaying/neutering animals is tzaar baalei chayim deoraysa.July 4, 2013 6:52 pm at 6:52 pm #1040055
I think paying and neutering pets is assur, but not because of tzaar baalei chaim. It is assur in its own right.July 4, 2013 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm #1040056benignumanParticipant
ASPCA provides food and shelter for strays for a week or two and then, if nobody adopts them, the ASPCA kills the dogs.
I should also point out that the Torah forbids neutering a pet (or any other animal).July 4, 2013 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm #1040057
You are correct. I should have said that we can make sure when we are buying/adopting pets that we choose one that is already spayed or neutered.July 4, 2013 6:56 pm at 6:56 pm #1040058
Curiosity, the question was hypothetical. I was not actually expecting a list of the tzedakahs you support. Please explain (in more detail than “basic daas Torah”) why you believe it is assur to donate to the ASPCA.July 4, 2013 6:57 pm at 6:57 pm #1040059
benignuman, 1) if more people were to support the ASPCA, they could afford to provide food and shelter for strays indefinitely, and 2) a quick and painless lethal injection provides the animal with a much more pleasant exit from this world than the ravages of starvation and disease on the streets.July 4, 2013 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #1040060
JF02. Chazal are very clear about money serving a purpose. We have a requirement to give tzedaka, and we have a cap as to how much tzedaka we are allowed to give (generally, 20% of net income). If I have yet to reach my cap, how could I take money that I set aside for tzedaka and give it to a dog instead of an orphan, widow, or yeshiva? It’s absurd – especially as a Jew, who has a strict obligation to support Torah learning. Maybe the goyim who have no chiyuv of tzedaka (that I know of) can use their money on lesser things, but only because they have no obligation to give tzedaka at all. But for a Jew to pay for a random stray animal is obscene when there are so many needy Jews in klall Yisrael. Since you seem to be fond of emotional arguments, I’ll say it like this: There are Jews that have lost families to terror, children lying on their death beds because they can’t afford better healthcare, single mothers whose husbands died and are now trying to raise children alone, thousands of children in Israel that go to sleep hungry every night because they only get fed in school, people that cannot afford to make food for yomim tovim and shabbasos, and lots more examples of your needy brothers and sisters – not even talking about non-Jewish people who suffer just as badly. In this context it is pure achzariyus to give tzedaka money to help stray animals – abused or not abused.
Thanks PBA, that could very well be. It was a long time ago when I heard this. It’s definitely assur though. I know it’s even assur to have a non-jew do it for you. I wonder if it would be halachically assur to give money to these organisations just for that reason alone – that we know they use the money for forbidden practices…hmm…July 4, 2013 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #1040061
Hmmm. I don’t think our actions create that achrayus. If I take a dog and lock it in a room, I hear I have an achrayus to feed it. But I do not think I have an achrayus to feed every animal that is harmed through multiple steps of causation from my perfectly normal actions.July 4, 2013 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #1040062
Human beings as a whole have this achrayus, regardless of whether or not we as individuals were the abusers of animals. ?????? ??????? ????????? ???-???????, ???????????; ??????? ???????? ??????, ???????? ???????????, ???????-??????, ?????????? ???-???????.July 4, 2013 7:10 pm at 7:10 pm #1040063
I don’t really think that’s a very good diyuk from that passuk. It says we should rule the other creatures. And conquer the planet.
Seems more an espousal of said industrialization than anything else.July 4, 2013 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm #1040064
With power comes responsibility. If we have “conquered” the earth, and are in charge of all its creatures, that means we need to make responsible decisions. “Conquer” does not mean “abuse”.July 4, 2013 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #1040065
I don’t really hear that as applied to non-human subjects.July 4, 2013 7:17 pm at 7:17 pm #1040066
“writersoul – I have no clue how you gleaned your statements from mine, much less is that ‘exactly what I said.’ I was not alluding to the slippery slope argument. I was saying that the fact that we’ve gotten to the point where these commercials are mainstream indicates that the next two steps are not so far behind.”
And… what is that if not for the slippery slope argument?
Or are you saying that the fact that there is such an organization as the ASPCA indicates that there is public sympathy for bestiality? Because if it hasn’t happened since 1866, why should it happen now?
Anyway, you’re the one who brought bestiality up, not me.July 4, 2013 7:18 pm at 7:18 pm #1040067
Why not? “The earth” means the earth and everything in it, no?July 4, 2013 7:20 pm at 7:20 pm #1040068
Yes. I meant I don’t hear the achrayus that comes with it to protect individual animals, plants, rocks, or whatever.
I would hear an argument perhaps to not wantonly destroy stuff, and perhaps to not eliminate species. But I just don’t hear that that comes with an achrayus to feed baby squirrels that are displaced by my entirely constructive urban sprawl.July 4, 2013 7:24 pm at 7:24 pm #1040069
I never suggested feeding baby squirrels (that’s cute, though).
Yes, urban sprawl is constructive. We are not going to go back to pre 1800 and this really is the right decision for us. But we should consider the impact it has on the environment, including both plants and animals, and take appropriate corrective action.July 4, 2013 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #1040070
Sure, I agree we should consider the impact. But if I’m considering the impact, it’s going to be on the species as a whole–not on the individual animals. They don’t have any specific value.July 4, 2013 7:29 pm at 7:29 pm #1040071
I think we are in agreement, and arguing over semantics.
Individual animals and their stories are behind the mechanism that arouses compassion in people and leads them to donate to the ASPCA. But the mission of the ASPCA is to help animals as a whole, and its success is measured in numbers (e.g. how many animals did it rescue?) Within this framework, each individual animal is fairly insignificant.July 4, 2013 7:29 pm at 7:29 pm #1040072
Feeding animals in the wild is NOT a good idea. They may carry diseases and, if they were already keeping away from populated areas, now come closer to get more food- bad for us and for them.
That’s why ASPCA is a good thing, assuming that’s your thing. They’re professionals who know what they’re doing.July 4, 2013 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #1040073
I don’t think it’s semantics quite yet.
I mean perhaps I’d hear an argument that we have an achrayus not to let species become extinct. Perhaps. That is certainly not a danger with housecats and dogs.July 4, 2013 7:36 pm at 7:36 pm #1040074
Agreed. But the other extreme of “extinct” is overpopulation, which creates a glut of animals who wander around starving and diseased in acute distress. They (as a whole) are in this state because we (as a whole) think they’re pretty and cuddly and breed them for pets. Therefore we have an achrayus to control their population numbers so as to eradicate the suffering that we caused.
A friend once said to me, regarding overpopulated deer that the city had tagged for observation, “they’d be doing them a greater kindness to just put a bullet through their heads”. That was hard for me to hear, but I have to admit that he was probably right.July 4, 2013 7:37 pm at 7:37 pm #1040075
Writersoul – kind of the second thing you said. Except, it’s not the fact that they exist that I find symptomatic of what I described (and therefore, nothing to do with the ASPCA’s ideology as it was in 1866s), rather, it is the fact that their commercials, as of late, suggest certain very misguided hashkafas and priorities, and yet, they still receive a wide base of public approval and endorsement. THAT is what I see as an obvious symptom of up and coming sympathy for bestiality. They are not CAUSING moral deterioration (not directly, at least), but the success of their new methods and the new degree of underlying extremist undertones in their publications both indicate (to me) that society’s moral standards are fading at an alarmingly increasing rate.July 4, 2013 7:40 pm at 7:40 pm #1040076
JF02 – You and Poppa should drive around town with crossbows and shoot stray animals. I think it will be a big mitzvah. 😉July 4, 2013 7:43 pm at 7:43 pm #1040077
Also, JF02, I answered your question about why it is right to give tzedaka to some places over others at the top of the page, but it was a long post and hasn’t been approved yet…July 4, 2013 7:47 pm at 7:47 pm #1040078
Curiosity, you are not making any sense. I literally just read your post three times and have no idea what you are trying to say.July 4, 2013 7:53 pm at 7:53 pm #1040079
Crossbows… kittens…July 4, 2013 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm #1040080
JF: I accept!
Next time you are in my area, look me up and we’ll go crossbow hunting strays together.July 4, 2013 7:58 pm at 7:58 pm #1040081
Your question was, why should you not give tzedaka to the ASPCA. My answer is that using money set aside for the obligatory mitvah of tzedaka to give to “lesser causes” (which I don’t even agree are worthwhile causes at all – but that’s a different discussion) when you can use that limited amount of money for more important causes, is not only a lack of responsibility, but also a lack of compassion for the people that could use the money that you choose to give to the animals shelters, instead.July 4, 2013 7:59 pm at 7:59 pm #1040082
Curiosity: Why do you think their methods are new?
Check out the ASPCA website. They have a nice long blurb about their history.
I’m not old enough to know how long they’ve had these commercials, but it looks like they’ve been guilt-tripping New Yorkers for years.July 4, 2013 8:01 pm at 8:01 pm #1040083
I’m waiting for a humorless individual to burst in here and start berating us for joking about killing stray animals… any minute now…July 4, 2013 8:04 pm at 8:04 pm #1040084
Writersoul- I don’t believe they were broadcasting tv commercials in 1866. It seems to me that their commercials lately have been getting worse and worse.July 4, 2013 8:07 pm at 8:07 pm #1040085yitzchokmParticipant
If i remember my learning correctly,
popa_bar_abba is right about Neutering animals. NOT ALLOWED!!
I’m wondering if you’re even allowed to help s/o neuter,even only with your money.July 4, 2013 8:10 pm at 8:10 pm #1040086
yitzchokm – I don’t know the source, but I have it on good authority that it is forbidden to have a goy neuter an animal, even for free. If that’s true, (somebody get to the roof and light the Sam2-signal) it sounds like a kal vchomer that you shouldn’t pay a goy to do it.July 4, 2013 8:15 pm at 8:15 pm #1040087
Curiosity, that’s what I said. I have no idea since when they’ve been doing these commercials. For all I know, it could have been since the invention of the television, but as I’ve only been around for a bit less than seventeen years, I wouldn’t know. But the commercials ONLY aren’t the point- the fact is that they’ve been fundraising for nearly 150 years and this isn’t really a big divergence from their usual derech.July 4, 2013 8:25 pm at 8:25 pm #1040089
Right, that’s why I said to make sure you are getting a pet that is ALREADY neutered.July 4, 2013 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #1040090ToiParticipant
im getting mixed rememberings about a goys issur to be misaress.July 4, 2013 8:51 pm at 8:51 pm #1040091
Popa, some poskim (I believe R’ Ovadia Yosef is among them) permit spaying and neutering, though you’re correct that it’s generally prohibited.
I think the basic assumption behind Curiosity’s posts — that it is somehow wrong and against the Torah to promote gemilus chasadim against animals — is wrong. We may or may not be actually required to go out of our way to be kind to animals and help relieve them from suffering, but I think there’s no question that it’s a praiseworthy act. I don’t think you can find a single major rabbinical statement saying that it is wrong to rescue abused or neglected dogs and cats and take them in as pets.
On the contrary, the rabbis have always acknowledged that compassion for animals is an admirable trait. There are many stories of great tzaddikim assisting animals in various ways.
As the Ramak said in Tomer Devorah, one’s “mercy should extend to all creatures, neither destroying nor despising any of them. For the Supernal Wisdom is extended to all created things- minerals, plants, animals and humans. This is the reason why we were warned against despising food. In this way man’s pity should be extended to all the works of the Blessed One just as the Supernal Wisdom despises no created thing for they are all created from that source…”
Of course, it would be absurd to spend all of one’s time helping animals and neglect to help any people, as if only animals were worth helping. But there’s nothing wrong with specialized organizations dealing with particular issues like animal welfare. Your assumption that this has something to do with animal rights is incorrect — a concern for animal welfare is different than animal rights.
Actually, Orthodox Jews in Israel, among them a well-regarded rabbi who was responsible for a lot of Israel’s privatization, recently started an organization dedicated to promoting compassion for animals in Orthodox communities. I think this is a great thing, despite all the other important things people should be working on, because whenever there’s a neglected mitzvah or area of concern, people need to be paying attention to it and working on it. We are supposed to follow the whole Torah, not just the parts that happen to be most fashionable to focus on in any particular generation.July 4, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm #1040092
What does bother me about many of these organizations is that they actually kills thousands of animals. If the cats or dogs aren’t adopted within a few weeks, they are often killed (“euthanized.”) It’s like holding the animals hostage — adopt this puppy now or it’s dead [cue throat-cutting hand-motion]!
A growing movement, however, of “no kill” shelters has emerged, which only kill the animals in very unusual circumstances, such as when the animal is extremely aggressive or is about to die anyway.July 4, 2013 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm #1040093HealthParticipant
jewishfeminist02 -“You only explained why we don’t eat dog. You didn’t explain why we do eat chicken.”
When I get tired of HOT DOGS, burgers, steak – I eat chicken.
I like chicken and other meats. Why do you eat veggies?
As long as you eat meat in moderation -so not to eat too much cholesterol.
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