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From 19 December 2004 Issue

A Prayer for the Holidays
by Greg Lawson - ParkStranger@aol.com 

A few days ago I was talking with a good friend during a vegan Holidays party I hosted. She expressed her distaste for the holidays, Thanksgiving through New Years, how she hated to be with family because there was usually a dead animal as the centerpiece on the table. Laura told me that she hated the hypocrisy of saying grace, asking for a blessing on meat, that Jesus and Carcass were words that shouldn't be together in the same prayer. Then Laura told me that next Thanksgiving she planned on celebrating by having a dinner party, that this year she had sat at home, alone, mourning for the birds.

It does no good to be sad at this time of year, although it is tempting to marinate the turkeys, hams and roast beef in our vegan tears. Let's cook for our friends and family instead. I am going home to be with my parents for a week during the Christmas holidays and I will be cooking all the meals.

Many of my left-wing liberal radical philosophizing animal rights advocating vegan friends have a problem with organized religion and the concept of a man named Jesus who might or might not have lived two thousand years ago. I hadn't been to a church service for thirty years until a year ago when I met the ministers of the El Paso Unitarian Universalist Community, LoraKim and Merideth. LoraKim was a guest on our radio show, Animal Concerns of Texas in November of 2003. She is a former avian veterinarian who decided to become a minister for all species, a Vegetarian Veterinarian Unitarian Universalist. I went to a couple of the UU services and after she did a sermon entitled Animal Liberation as a Means of Human Liberation, I felt the need to join the community.

LoraKim is also president of the national organization UUETA, Unitarian Universalists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Next month we are having an event called Dinner and a Movie, we are showing the film Peaceable Kingdom and serving a vegan buffet. All of the "sermons" during the month of January are devoted to our seventh guiding principle, respect for the web of life.

UUs shy away from the mention of the name Jesus or the word God, But Hey, it's that time of year when we think of a little baby laying in straw in a barn in the mid-east, surrounded by farm animals, so please allow me to share my thoughts. Many biblical scholars think that Jesus spent some time, between his teen years and his thirties, as a member of the Essene, a Jewish vegetarian community.

Rynn Berry, the historical advisor to the North American Vegetarian Society and a recent speaker at our vegetarian society, thinks that Jesus was probably a vegetarian. So do I. Jesus and carcass are words that don't go well together in the same sentence.

Here are some words that are attributed to Jesus in the Essene Gospel of Peace, a book left out of the bible but kept in the vatican library....

"For I tell you truly, he who kills, kills himself, and whoso eats the flesh of slain beasts, eats of the body of death. For in his blood every drop of their blood turns to poison; in his breath their breath to stink; in his flesh their flesh to boils; in his bones their bones to chalk; in his bowels their bowels to decay; in his eyes their eyes to scales; in his ears their ears to waxy issue. And their death will become his death."

"...he who kills the beast without a cause, though the beast attack him not, through lust for slaughter, or for its flesh, or for its hide, or yet for its tusks, evil is the deed which he does, for he is turned into a wild beast himself. Wherefore is his end also as the end of the wild beasts."

This is my image of the season, The Christ Child, Jesus the animal rights advocate, the savior of man and beast. Let's be like children this Christmastime.

I pray for you a Merry Christmas,
ParkStranger

Go on to Create a Vegan Holiday Feast for Meat-Eaters
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