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How Do We View God’s Animals?
Monday, May 9, 2011 Blog

1. Animal Emotions

2. Famous Quote – Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

3. Are Current Versions of the Bible Speciesist?

4. Bible verse – Romans 12:1

5. What and Why We Eat What We Eat

6. This Week’s Video – Agribusiness on the Assault

 

1. Animal Emotions

Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, writes a fascinating article about the range of emotions and behaviors of which non-human animals are capable. From showing empathy and rescuing others, to holding wakes for the dead, animals are showing us that they are very complex creatures that feel joy, fear, anger, compassion and much more. To read the article please search online for Animal instincts: not what you think they are

For too long, humans have considered God's animals inferior and incapable of feelings, leading us into becoming tyrants, something very far of God's ideal plan for us: to be good stewards of God's Creation. However, animals have evidently God-given instincts and emotions that need to be respected. Humans and God's animals are interdependent, sharing the same essence of life, for we all are God's creations. Humans and God's animals enjoy life and fear death; this simple understanding should prompt us to transition to a plant-based diet that shows compassion and mercy to all Creation. 

2. Famous Quote

"If we really love and care about animals, we shouldn’t pay people to raise them in inhumane conditions and then kill them. Fifty billion land animals are killed worldwide each year, and no country has ever tormented and killed more animals than the United States today. If sin is whatever separates us from God, is not cruelty to God’s creatures and unnecessary damage to God’s earth a sin? For many Christians, a plant-based diet constitutes mindful and faithful eating."

~ Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D., CVA chair

3. Are Current Versions of the Bible Speciesist?

Current versions of the Bible refer to animals as "it" and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is asking translators of the New International Version (NIV) to remove what it calls "speciesist" language and refer to animals instead as "he" or "she".  Bruce Friedrich, PETA's vice president for policy, believes that calling animals "it" denies them of their value as creatures loved by God. To read the article please search online for  PETA: Don't call animals "it" in the Bible

The way that many of God’s animals are treated in our society certainly is appalling. For the meat, egg and dairy industries God’s animals are just commodities and not creatures with God-given instincts and emotions. Certainly, a Bible version recognizing that God’s animals are not inanimate things but sentient beings would depict God’s love for all creatures and in turn glorify our Creator.

4. Bible Verse

(RSV) Romans 12:1

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Following Christ's teachings affect every aspect of our lifestyle, including our choice of diet. What better way to present our bodies to God than by adopting a well-balanced plant-based diet that is healthy and compassionate?

5. What and Why We Eat What We Eat

Bryan Walsh, writer of "Going Green" on TIME.com, exposes the ethical and moral questions in regards to raising animals for food. Walsh refers to the undeniable cruelty that farm animals endure in factory farms and points out that even in small-scale farming, where there is less animal abuse, the fate of the animals is the same: slaughter. Walsh encourages the reader to be aware of what they eat and why. To read the article please search online for The Morality of Mealtime

There is undeniably more awareness now than ever before in regards to the food we eat and how it is produced. However, there is a lot of ignorance as well that only benefits those who exploit God's animals for the sake of profit and taste. It is our duty, as stewards of God's Creation, to make mindful and informed decisions as consumers with the ultimate goal of alleviating suffering and helping bring peace and healing to the world. The transition to a plant-based diet is an inevitable step in order to accomplish this.

6. This Week’s Video – Agribusiness on the Assault

Mother Jones illustrator Zina Saunders help us to take a look at our abusive meat production industry where powerful, unethical agribusiness has been pushing laws in many states that would criminalize shooting or displaying undercover videos that show animal abuse on factory farms. To watch the animated cartoon please search online for WATCH: Agribusiness on the Assault (Cartoon) and share with friends and family. Thank you!.

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