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Are Vegans the Sons and Daughters of God for Whom the Whole of Creation Eagerly Awaits?
by: Frank L. Hoffman
Published in Vegan Online Magazine 4 May 1998
Are vegans the sons and daughters of God for whom the whole of creation eagerly awaits? If we are not, we certainly have the potential. There is a "hardness of heart" that is ever so prevalent in the world. This hardness crosses all religious and ethnic lines. Throughout the ages, we, as a world society, have systematically tortured and destroyed each other, billions of animals, and the environment. Yet, within all this hardness, there have always been those individuals who shine forth a light of unlimited love and compassion, who truly feel the pain and suffering of the whole of creation, and seek to make a difference.
From my own personal experience, I have found such people to also be vegans. Yes, there are others (non-vegans) who show a kindness and sensitivity, too, but their love and compassion seems to be limited. As an example, there is a local animal welfare organization that is focused mainly on cats and dogs. Each year this group conducts an essay contest among the children. And the prizes? They're cheeseburgers! While helping to protect one aspect of creation, they also help destroy other portions of it. For the most part, I have not seen this hypocrisy among vegans, though sometimes in our zeal, we lose our focus.
In Romans 8:18-25 Paul writes: I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (NIV)
Whether or not we are Christians doesn't matter, for these words speak forth a universal truth. Sometimes, as we experience all the pain and suffering around us, we get frustrated, we lash-out at others, and we even get angry at God for "allowing" all this cruelty to exist. However, we need to remember that it is also God who has revealed the glory to come, and the truth to us. As vegans, we need to keep focused on the future hope and promise of a better world to come, and wait patiently for it. But we cannot afford to just sit back and wait. We need to keep our light shining forth in the darkness around us that others will truly see how God's revealed unlimited love and compassion is the only hope for us all. It is then that we make a difference.
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