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Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion

Animals, Religion and the Environment
The Bible’s Teachings on Protecting Animals and Nature
by Lewis Regenstein

Part 13: The Devastation Caused by Factory Farming

The authors of the Bible could hardly have foreseen the suffering and devastation of animals caused by modern-day society, which clearly violate the spirit and letter of the Biblical laws.

In factory farming, for example, crowding together billions of animals in thousands of such facilities is causing massive damage to the environment. Manure, chemical pesticides, and fertilizers are polluting our rivers, lakes, streams, aquifers, and other drinking water sources, killing off fish and wildlife, and causing tragic human health problems such as cancer, miscarriages, and birth defects.

Huge amounts of water, energy, and grain are being used, and largely wasted, raising cattle, pigs, chickens and other animals, which emit enormous amounts of gases that cause or exacerbate the civilization-threatening problems of Global Warming and depletion the planet’s protective Ozone Layer that makes life on earth possible.

This has thus become one of the great political issues of our day – the massive and increasing destruction of God's Creation, our natural environment. But our environmental crisis has also become a moral and spiritual issue, since it is overwhelming the earth's ability to repair itself and to support not just wildlife but human life as well. What greater sin could there be than to destroy future generations’ ability to live on our planet?

Fortunately, the solution to many of these problems may be found in the doctrines of our ancient Judaic-Christian faith, especially the holiest of our sacred scriptures, the Bible. If adhered to, these teachings, promoting a reverence for the earth and its creatures, could prevent many of the threats to our biological life support systems, and ensure a secure future for humanity on this planet.

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