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These saints, they are so heart-able. Take Saint Francis here, for example. Everybody hearts Saint Francis. Even people who don’t normally believe in saints heart Saint Francis so much they put statues of him in their gardens.

The Humane Society especially hearts Saint Francis, and why not? Look at his rescue work with that Wolf of Gubbio.

That’s why they want to help you celebrate the Feast of Saint Francis with this handy Saint Francis Day in a Box.

What do you get in this box?

- Amazing Grace DVD (courtesy of Walden Media)

- The Green Bible (retail value $29.95)

- The HSUS’ Eating Mercifully DVD

- Feast of St. Francis sermons

- Humane Society Youth booklets with animal protection-inspired service learning project ideas for teens and youth

- A Religious Case for Compassion for Animals, by Matthew Scully; a booklet from The HSUS Animals & Religion series

- 100 HSUS All Creatures Great and Small postcards

Now, I love animals. My dog came from a rescue shelter. I don’t like the idea of large-scale factory farming, though as a friend of mine raising chickens and goats on an organic farm recently told me, she no longer allows her chickens to free-range, because they’d picked up parasites while free-ranging which, though though they didn’t affect the meat or eggs, did affect the chickens’ overall wellbeing. Clearly there’s more than one way to understand eating mercifully.

On the other hand, animal lover though he famously was, I don’t think that Saint Francis would have wanted to be identified as “one of the most celebrated saints worldwide,” or as the poster boy for a cause. He might suggest that you get rid of the video, the postcards and all your other stuff. He might advise you to stop your clamoring, so as to think about God and be thankful.

That’s what he told the birds, anyway.

ADDENDUM: Of possible interest, a “factory” farmer’s response to Scully.

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