"Animals are God's creatures, not human property, nor utilities, nor resources, nor commodities, but precious beings in God's sight. ... Christians whose eyes are fixed on the awfulness of crucifixion are in a special position to understand the awfulness of innocent suffering. The Cross of Christ is God's absolute identification with the weak, the powerless, and the vulnerable, but most of all with unprotected, undefended, innocent suffering."
—Rev. Andrew Linzey
Jesus' message is one of love and compassion, yet there is nothing loving or compassionate about factory farms and slaughterhouses, where billions of animals live miserable lives and die violent, bloody deaths. Jesus mandates kindness, mercy, compassion, and love for all God's creation. He would be appalled by the degree of suffering we inflict on animals to indulge our acquired taste for their flesh.
The Garden of Eden, God's perfect world, was vegetarian (Gen. 1:29-30). Immediately, God calls this ideal and non-exploitative relationship "good" (Gen. 1:31). There follow many years of fallen humanity, when people held slaves, waged war, ate animals and committed various other violent acts. But the prophets tell us that the peaceable kingdom will be nonviolent and vegetarian; even the lion will lie down with the lamb (e.g., Isaiah 11). Jesus is the Prince of Peace, who ushers in this new age of nonviolence. When Christians pray, "Your will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven," the one prayer given to us by Jesus, this obligates us to change our lives, to make choices that are as merciful and loving as possible. There will be no factory farms and slaughterhouses in heaven.
God created every animal with the capacity for pain and suffering. But on today's factory farms, animals are dehorned, debeaked, and castrated without anesthesia. To maximize profits, they are crowded together in the least space possible, and are genetically bred, so that most suffer lameness, crippling leg deformities, or bone breaks, because their legs can't keep up with their scientifically enhanced bodies. Finally, they are trucked without food or water, through all weather extremes, to a frightening and hellish death.
A vegetarian diet is good for your health and spares animals unimaginable suffering and violence. Remember: As we do to the least, so we do to Him.
Show respect for God's creatures—go vegetarian!
|People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510; 757-622-PETA