Talk by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to see His Holiness, the Dalai Lama

20th September 2015

13.30 to 15.00

London Coliseum, Trafalgar Square, London WC2

AHIMSA – INDIA’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD

Talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the UK Indian Communities followed by Questions and Answers.

Tickets on sale 3rd July.

For further information and to book www.eno.org/whats-on/other.dalai-lama

Tickets can be booked through this dedicated website or by phoning the Box Office on 020 7845 9300 quoting ‘Tibet House’.

Please book early: tickets not sold by 1st September will go on public sale.  This will be a sign language interpreted talk – see webpage to book designated seats.

Hosted by Tibet House with support from Nemu Chandria OBE, Chairman of the Institute of Jainology and Vinod B Tailor

For latest news about the Dalai Lama’s visit: http://www.dalailama2015.uk

Interfaith Celebration for Animals & AGM 2015

Fox

At its first AGM held on Sunday 12th July 2015, the Animal Interfaith Alliance (AIA) unanimously approved the following resolution:

“That the Animal Interfaith Alliance abhors and condemns the attempt to undermine the Hunting Act 2004 by the proposed Statutory Instrument.”

The motion was proposed by Chris Fegan, AIA’s Director of Education & Campaigns and Catholic Concern for Animals’ (CCA) General Secretary.  It was seconded by Sarah Dunning, AIA director and trustee of the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (AWSA).

The AGM followed the 12th annual Interfaith Celebration for Animals, led by AIA Chair, Rev. Feargus O’Connor, at which readings on animals were given by Anglican, Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Jewish, Jain, Muslim and Unitarian speakers from each of their faiths.

Dr Deborah JonesThe keynote speaker was Dr Deborah Jones who talked on Pope Francis’ new Encyclical on the Environment, Laudato Si’ and discussed its historic importance for animals. Dr Jones is AIA’s Vice President and is also Vice Chair of Catholic Concern for Animals.  A Catholic Theologian, she is author of The School of Compassion: A Roman Catholic Theology of Animals.

Dr Alpesh Patel from the Dr Hadwen Trust spoke on the humane medical research undertaken by the trust, for which AIA’s own Dr Schweitzer Universal Kinship Fund is a sponsor.  The research involves no animal testing and therefore saves both animal and human lives.

AIA’s managing director, Barbara Gardner also gave an update on the progress of AIA since its formation in 2014 and expressed AIA’s goodwill and gratitude to Pope Francis for the excellent document, Laudato Si’ by lighting a candle.

Funds raised at the Interfaith Celebration will be donated, half to the Dr Schweizter Universal Kinship Fund and half to Friends of the Earth, in support of the environment highlighted in Pope Francis’ new encyclical.

St Melangell, Patron Saint of Animals for Wales, said ‘NO’ to Hunting.

Saint Melangell 3In 604 AD St Melangell, the Welsh patron saint of animals, said ‘No’ to hunting with hounds and the Prince of Powys made over his lands as an animal sanctuary.

The Prince of Powys, Brochwel Ysgithrog, went hare hunting at Pennant in the Derwyn Hills. His hounds pursued their prey into a bramble thicket, where he followed them and found the young woman, Melangell, with the hare lying under the fold of her garments, praying.  The baying hounds also came under her calming influence.  The exasperated prince gave up the chase and, impressed by her piety and courage, presented her with his lands to be a sanctuary for animals.  He gave up hunting.

Melangell lived there as a solitary for 37 years, after which a church with a shrine was built over her cell.  Her church remained a place of sanctuary throughout the Middle Ages and the hares continued to be protected in the parish.  The conservation society, Cymdeithas Melangell, now promotes animal welfare.

Pope Francis Rejects the Notion of Domination over Other Creatures.

Encyclical Letter

Laudato Si’ – paragraph 67:

We are not God. The earth was here before us and it has been given to us. This allows us to respond to the charge that Judaeo-Christian thinking, on the basis of the Genesis account which grants man “dominion” over the earth (cf. Gen 1:28), has encouraged the unbridled exploitation of nature by painting him as domineering and destructive by nature. This is not a correct interpretation of the Bible as understood by the Church. Although it is true that we Christians have at times incorrectly interpreted the Scriptures, nowadays we must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures. The biblical texts are to be read in their context, with an appropriate hermeneutic, recognizing that they tell us to “till and keep” the garden of the world (cf. Gen 2:15). “Tilling” refers to cultivating, ploughing or working, while “keeping” means caring, protecting, overseeing and preserving. This implies a relationship of mutual responsibility  between human beings and nature. Each community can take from the bounty of the earth whatever it needs for subsistence, but it also has the duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for coming generations. “The earth is the Lord’s” (Ps 24:1); to him belongs “the earth with all that is within it” (Dt 10:14). Thus God rejects every claim to absolute ownership: “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is    mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with me”  (Lev 25:23).

Hunting has never had a place in the Teachings of any of the World’s Religions

St Francis

The Animal Interfaith Alliance believes that chasing and tearing apart our beautiful British wildlife for sport has no place in a compassionate society.

It never had a place in the teachings of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism or Sikhism and we now know, following Pope Francis’ new encyclical, Laudato Si’, it certainly has no place in the teachings of the Catholic church.

Over 80% of the British public do not want fox hunting and do not want The Hunting Act to be watered down.

Please Ask SNP MPs to vote Against Amendment to The Hunting Act

Hunting-with-dogs

Please Email or write to the SNP MPs to ask them to vote against the amendment to The Hunting Act next Wednesday.

Nicola Sturgeon can be emailed on FirstMinister@Scotland.gsi.gov.uk

The votes of the SNP will determine the outcome.

A debate on English Votes for English Law (EVEL), being held the same day, will give the SNP a dilemma on whether to vote on this piece of English legislation.  However, the timing of the two debates was calculated to prevent the SNP MPs from voting on the amendment to The Hunting ActPlease ask them not to be put off by the EVEL debate.

The pro-hunters will argue that the change in legislation, to allow an unlimited number of dogs to flush a fox out, will bring the legislation in line with Scottish law.  But monitoring of hunts in Scotland by The League Against Cruel Sports, has shown that this concession in the law has been flouted by those who wish to hunt foxes for sport and therefore the SNP could be looking to tighten up the legislation in Scotland anyway.  So this argument should not be used to put the SNP off voting against the amendment to The Hunting Act next Wednesday.

More than 80% of the British population do not want to see the act amended and are against foxhunting. The governing party only received votes from around 25 per cent of the total electorate, which is hardly a mandate to bring forward a cruel measure opposed by over 80 per cent of voters.

The Animal Interfaith Alliance believes that chasing and tearing apart our beautiful British wildlife for sport has no place in a compassionate society.  It never had a place in the teachings of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism or Sikhism and we now know, following Pope Francis’ new encyclical, Laudato Si’, it certainly has no place in the teachings of the Catholic church.

Letter from Campaigner Against Fox Hunting and Terrier Work

tortured foxDear Editor,

I campaign against fox hunting and also terrier work (which is an integral part of any fox hunt).
We expose the cruelty of terrier work and associated blood sports by sharing images of suffering foxes posted by those who commit these terrible atrocities. I wonder at the kind of men and women who get enjoyment from this. The images we see are extremely distressing but what bothers me even more is just how many men, and some women, get enjoyment from torturing and killing foxes.
The police have no interest in these people so its up to people like me to try to expose this horrible cruelty to the wider world via social media.
Those of our supporters, connected to our page, do get very distressed when viewing these images.  We do get so many disturbing images that even a seasoned campaigner like me can lose sleep at night. Images of a captive fox being held by the scruff of the neck and punched to death, a fox held by its ears as she is being de-socked (flesh removed from her leg) by a dog.  Others being held in cages awaiting a gruesome fate.  A tiny cub being held aloft just before it is about to die.  Foxes dug out and killed, some legally some not, but all are killed for fun (again we have sreen shots). Those committing these acts of cruelty love to pose with the mangled remains of their bloodied victims and then share these vile pictures on Facebook. I find this deeply disturbing, yet we live in a society where cruelty to animals has not only increased, it seems to be tolerated by some, and it is rarely punished. A punishment that does nothing to deter these men and is not worth court time or taxpayers money.
Supporters of our work always question why these animals are not being given any protection, even though many of the atrocities are illegal and I have to tell them that we feel just as frustrated because nobody in authority seems to care.
So where do we go from here?  Do we continue to expose these people and nothing ever gets done or do we try to close our eyes to the cruelty and stop campaigning?  Either way, it’s a tough decision. Giving up is not an option for me but I can see why so many fall by the way-side.
Right now I have a petition up against terrier work that is touching 36,000 supporters, but even when we reach 100,000 I know that nothing will be done to stop these men horrifically torturing and killing foxes –  basically because those in politics don’t really care, after all to most of these people they’re just animals. Well not to me they’re not – if they can feel pain and fear like us then they have as much right to protection from awful abuse as us.
Ordinary people like me don’t often get our voices heard in this country – and especially when folk like me support an end to hunt cruelty.  So I am asking you to please give us a voice to get this terrible barbaric cruelty exposed to the nation, especially now since the ban on fox hunting is under threat. Many of the men in the photos we expose enjoy inflicting the most awful cruelty onto their victims and many of these men support hunt gangs that go out every Saturday so that they can enjoy watching their dogs savage foxes and badgers to death.  God help our wild animals if these men are allowed free reign again!
For myself, I continue to be a victim of the hunt, bullied by hunt members and by horrid men into terrier and lurcher work, who post terrible comments about me. Countryside Capers have a column dedicated to me alone specifically to bully and insult me. Keep Hunting posted stories up about me and displayed comments that I should be hung from a tree, shot and stuck down a fox hole and many others (I have screen shots) but they were never taken seriously by North Wales Police or by the CPS. More recently I saw a comment saying ‘JUDI HEWITT I AM WATCHING YOU’ and the response from one local man in my area replied saying how he would show them where I live. Yet these are the kind of people that get access to guns – I find it terrifying! .
Gun licences seem to handed out like sweets these days and there seem to be lots more people able to get  their hands on them. It appears all you have to do is tell the police that you are pest control and you can obtain a gun licence. I am asking you to help expose the increasingly horrific cruelty to our wild animals by so called terrier and lurcher men. It is these people who hang onto the shirt tails of the mounted hunts.
I have no idea where Cameron’s sly vote is going to lead – will it be to an increasingly hostile world, if that’s possible, or will it eventually work against his hunting friends and bring about a future where compassion for animals is matched by compassion for people?  I hope it will be the latter but I sense while Cameron is still in office our wildlife will continue to suffer in ever increasing numbers.
Judi Hewitt

AIA Implores SNP MPs to Vote Against Amendment to The Hunting Act

Fox Hunted by dogs

The Animal Interfaith Alliance implores SNP MPs to vote against the amendment to The Hunting Act in next Wednesday’s debate in the House of Commons to allow an unlimited number of dogs to flush out foxes.

Although Scottish law currently allows this, we are aware that this practise is currently under review, as monitoring by The League Against Cruel Sports has revealed that this concession is being abused by those who wish to see dogs tear foxes apart.

The Animal Interfaith Alliance deplores the government’s Machiavellian tactics in trying to achieve a piece of legislation which it knows is opposed by more than 80% of the British population.  That this was announced on budget day, with the hope of the budget overshadowing this news, and that the vote was timed to coincide with the English Votes for English Law (EVEL) debate, to deter the SNP from voting, is considered by the AIA to be deplorable.

Chasing and tearing apart our beautiful wildlife for sport has no place in a compassionate society.  It never had a place in the teachings of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism or Sikhism and we now know, following Pope Francis’ new encyclical, Laudato Si’, it certainly has no place in the teachings of the Catholic church.

AIA Dismayed at Government’s Underhand Tactics to Bring Back Foxhunting

Fox Hunters

The Animal Interfaith Alliance (AIA) is dismayed at the Government’s underhand tactics to bring back foxhunting.

Despite over 80% of the British public supporting The Hunting Act and not wanting a return to foxhunting, David Cameron’s government still hoped to have a vote in the House of Commons to repeal the Act.  When it realised that it did not have the required majority to support a repeal of the Act, it resorted to underhand tactics to bring back foxhunting.

On budget day, a day when it was hoped that other news would go unnoticed, it announced that it was going to bring forward a statutory instrument to alter The Hunting Act to allow an unlimited number of dogs to flush out a fox rather than the current maximum of two dogs.  Presumably it hoped that only the pro-hunting MPs would be made aware of the vote and that it could slip this amendment through under the radar.

AIA is dismayed that the government should act in such an underhand way and try to deceive the public.  It is dismayed that, in a democratic country, the government should ignore the wishes of the majority of the British people and serve the vested interests of a minority of loud and powerful individuals.

Chasing and tearing apart our beautiful British wildlife for sport has no place in a compassionate society.  It never had a place in the teachings of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism or Sikhism and we now know, following Pope Francis’ new encyclical Laudato Si’, it certainly has no place in the teachings of the Catholic church.