Good News for All Creation

Vegetarianism as Christian Stewardship

by Stephen R. Kaufman & Nathan Braun

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Praise for GNFAC

If you need a biblical mandate for changing your diet, this book will meet that need. It is important to read for your own good, for the good of the world, and for God's sake.
-Tony Campolo, professor of sociology, Eastern University, St. Davids, PA

The new version of Good News for All Creation is, in my opinion, the best book (by far and bar none) on the issue of Christianity and vegetarianism--and I am fairly sure I've read them all.
-Bruce Friedrich, Vegan Campaign Coordinator, PETA

No book does a better job of exposing the profound contradictions between Christ's teachings and animal-based food production. Good News for All Creation carries explosive insights, yet relates them in measured, compassionate tones.
-Erik Marcus, author of Meat Market: Animals, Ethics, and Money

Stephen Kaufman and Nathan Braun have developed a theological case for vegetarianism that all Christians need to take seriously. The authors' handling of Scripture and tradition is sensitive; their grasp of the task of interpretation is firm. Above all, they understand that the eternal Spirit of God speaks to the particular conditions and concerns of every generation.
- Bruce Chilton, author and editor of many books, including Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography; Rabbi Paul : An Intellectual Biography; and Pure Kingdom: Jesus' Vision of God

This little paperback is nicely written and is not "heavy-handed" in pushing vegetarianism as a Christian doctrine. The authors make a good case without a strenuous effort to twist Bible passages. The Appendices are also quite useful, including ideas on explaining how best to interact with family and friends at meals, and lists of resources.
- The Reference Librarian (Recommended for All Libraries list)

In a world where animals are the most abused and defenseless of all its victims, Good News for All Creation will help Christians realize more fully their vocation to take the side of the weak against the strong and be a voice for the voiceless.
-Charles Patterson, author of Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust

Stephen Kaufman and Nathan Braun make a compelling and inspiring case as to why all Christians should look deeply into the Bible's explicit message of compassion for animals.
-Kim W. Stallwood, Institute for Animals and Society

Good News for All Creation is an effective and powerful testimony that becoming vegetarian strengthens, rather than weakens, one's Christian beliefs and one's personal witness of Christ's compassion.
-Keith Akers, author of The Lost Religion of Jesus

Stephen Kaufman and Nathan Braun have been tilling the soil of Christian vegetarianism for years, and their labor has borne much fruit. They speak with much theological integrity, passion, and common sense. Their approach to diet is moderate and balanced, mixing practical advice with a serious engagement with Scripture. This book is a generous gift to all Christians who want to explore the spiritual aspects of food.
-Stephen Webb, author of Good Eating and On God and Dogs

If anyone wants solid reasons why so many Christians are becoming vegetarian, here they are. The book also offers sound advice about promoting vegetarianism among Christians, as well as up-to-date nutritional information. Overall, it is a thoughtful, clearly written, and very practical book with many helpful suggestions. Recommended.
-Richard Alan Young, author of Is God a Vegetarian?


Review by Donna Yarri

Alvernia College, Reading, Pennsylvania
Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Volume VIII, Fall 2004

The subject of the ethical treatment of animals has received renewed interest in the past thirty years or so, particularly within the fields of cognitive ethology, philosophy, and theology. Of special concern is the pain and suffering to which animals are routinely subjected in a number of institutional settings, with the food industry especially culpable in the slaughter of billions of animals in the United States alone. As a result of the rise in the number of agribusinesses, or factory farms, knowledge of some of the atrocities routinely committed in the raising of animals for food has been an incentive for many to champion the call to vegetarianism as a more humane, healthy, and spiritual way of life. These two authors join their voices to a myriad of others who are finding the practice of vegetarianism one which can be supported on religious grounds as well.

The text is divided into two sections: the first is devoted to a Christian assessment of vegetarianism, and the second contains a number of appendices dealing with more pragmatic issues. The basic argument is that vegetarianism, while not a requirement for Christian discipleship, is certainly a laudatory ideal towards which all should strive; and an expression of love and respect for God, other humans, and especially animals. Kaufman and Braun briefly describe the reality of factory farming (with accompanying pictures), and discuss the negative impact of these practices on animal well-being, human health, the world's hungry, and the environment. They offer several key Christian principles which support Christian vegetarianism, including compassion, mercy, love, the avoidance of overindulgence, and the search for the realm of God. They emphasize God's concern for all victims, including animals; they examine those passages of the Bible often used to demonstrate God's ultimate purposes for animals, namely the Genesis creation accounts and the book of Isaiah (particularly chapter 9); and they discuss the importance of vegetarian living in our contemporary society. The appendices describe interaction with others (in order to influence them to adopt vegetarianism), vegetarian nutrition, and vegetarian resources (including helpful books, magazines, organizations and Web sites).

This book seems especially suited for a lay evangelical (conservative) Christian audience, and would probably work well in a Sunday school class that wanted to examine the issue of vegetarianism. It could also be a short, simple, and helpful introduction for anyone new to the concept of vegetarianism. The book would not be particularly helpful to academic scholars who are already familiar with some of the points they make, in large part because their arguments are not detailed enough for a more scholarly audience. Obviously, in a book this short, there is insufficient space to develop arguments more fully.

As a mostly practicing vegetarian, I am very sympathetic to the thesis of their work. The chapter describing the problems with modern industrialized farm-raising practices was one of the strongest parts. For those not familiar with the concept, it is eye-opening to see the problems associated with raising animals for food. As for the appendices, the one on vegetarian nutrition was especially helpful; it could serve as a useful guide for anyone considering becoming a vegetarian-or even for those already practicing-since one of the most difficult tasks for prospective vegetarians is in making adjustments in their traditional meat-based diet. Also, the appendix containing resources for those interested in vegetarianism provides a number of helpful suggestions for where to find additional information to support this lifestyle change. Overall, while the book is a bit short on theology, it is long on pragmatic helps for those interested in a conversion to vegetarianism. This book has the potential to contribute in some small measure to the wider decisions and actions that need to be taken with regard to treating more humanely the rest of the animals on the planet.

Review by Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.

When my book Judaism and Vegetarianism was first published in 1982, I encouraged Christian vegetarians to build on my book’s arguments to write a book on Christianity and vegetarianism. Initially I had little success, and some even told me that a vegetarian case could not be based on Christian teachings. Fortunately, many have disproved this contention, and there has been a flood of books connecting Christianity and vegetarianism by many writers, including Reverends Andrew Linzey, Regina Hyland, and Gary Kowalski, and Keith Akers and Steven Webb.

Good News for All Creation is a worthy edition to these books. Stephen Kaufman and Nathan Braun very clearly and succinctly give all the reasons why Christians should be vegetarians. Their case can be summarized in their statement: "By attempting to show the greatest possible respect for Creation, we believe, we magnify and glorify the Creator, we participate in God’s sanctification of all life, and we assist God’s reconciling all Creation to a peaceful, vegetarian world. Because meat eating contributes to environmental degradation and harms creatures whose spark of life, we believe, comes from God, every meal in which we abstain from flesh becomes a prayerful expression of love and respect for God."

Both authors practice what they preach, as indicated by their active involvement and leadership in the Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA) (Mr. Braun is the founder and Dr. Kaufman, a physician, is the organization's medical director). and their many efforts to reach out to others with their message.

Among the many valuable features in the book are a chapter that discusses how vegetarians can respond to challenges they face in a meat-eating society and appendices that offer advice for dealing with non-vegetarian family and friends, suggest strategies for promoting vegetarianism within the Christian community, summarize nutritional basics (including how vegetarians can get adequate protein, calcium, iron, vitamins, and other nutrients) and provide information on groups, books, magazines, Internet sites, and other resources relevant to Christianity and vegetarianism.

As a non-Christian who found this book very interesting, informative, and well-argued and documented, I strongly recommend it to both Christians and non-Christians.

Richard H. Schwartz is author of Judaism and Vegetarianism and Judaism and Global Survival. He has over 100 articles related to vegetarianism at

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