"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)


Katrina, Animals, and Judaism

A few weeks ago, I wrote about helping animals in Gaza amidst such vast human tragedy. It was just after Hurricane Katrina struck, which I touched upon very briefly. Since then, I have been inundated with stories of heroic rescues from animal protection organizations and individuals (not to overshadow all the humanitarian relief to aid the human victims, of course). PETA has been giving daily updates on its Web site about what its team members are doing. I highly recommend reading these stories, viewing the photos, and hearing the accounts that depict both the devastation of disaster and the selflessness of compassion.

The Jewish Week just ran a fascinating story about Andrew Goldberg, a Jewish filmmaker involved in the same kind of work, both as a documentarian and a hands-on rescue worker. Goldberg sought to chronicle the work of animal rights organizations who tried to save the estimated 50,000 companion animals abandoned in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

“The animals are the forgotten victims,” said Goldberg. “The Torah gives humans dominion over the animal kingdom. Dominion means we must respect and protect. To protect, to have compassion … is the responsibility of every Jew.”


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