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Christian Vegetarian Association Presents:
Take Heart!

A Fable to Share

“Let’s write a letter to Pastor Linzey of The First Church of Christian Charity.” Most nodded approvingly and stamped the ground excitedly.

“If we can just get some help, maybe the next generation won’t suffer what we have. After all, I hear Christians preach and teach to love your neighbor, be merciful, seek justice, be selfless, and this is a good one - treat others the way you want to be treated .”

“You mean, maybe no more factory farms, no hunting or trapping?” “I mean that and more: no cruel experiments, no rodeos or circuses, either. The long nightmare would be over.”

It was a fascinating exchange. Hiking deep in the woods, I had come to a clearing where a number of animals had gathered. From the forest, farm and field they came. Afraid of frightening them, I backed away quietly, but remained within hearing distance, captivated by what was taking place.

“What could we possibly say to them?” exclaimed Ellen as she nuzzled her fawn. “I think Christians are a big part of the problem. They all claim we were just made for their use. And dominion-- why it’s the first word out of their mouths. Love - dominion - mercy - dominion. I don’t know about you, but it’s downright confusing to me.”

“To be sure,” replied a Jersey cow named Clement. “But I think it’s because most don’t realize - Why I don’t know - that animals were actually created to be Adam’s companions. And it was Adam, with perfect love and no biases who was given dominion. You see the trouble is - imperfect humans today are still claiming dominion. But, tyranny is what I call it. Look at Genesis 2, if you don’t believe me. And while you’re at it read Genesis 1. Believe it or not God’s original diet for all of us, I mean humans, as well, was plant-based. Now my friends, you know something most Christians don’t”.

A shy little rabbit, Matthew, raised his foot, “Excuse me, but why did people start killing us?”

“Well“, said Clement, “it was after humans had fallen into sin and after the flood when God gave Noah permission to use us, though Noah wasn’t commanded to. But get this, God then made a covenant, not only with Noah, but with us as well. And some of you didn’t think we count for much.”

“Will someone explain to me, though, why Christians always argue from their fallen, sinful state about what they can do to us,” entreated Francis Fox. “Why do they never think about the state God intended? I’m wondering if Christians would even feel very comfortable back in the Garden of Eden. For some reason reconciliation and restoration is just not on their radar screens.”

As Francis lay down, Leonardo, a large pig, got up to speak. “Why is it Christians just SAY grace when they could show it? We’re stuck in small cages, kicked and hit, shocked with probes, trucked long distances in dirty, crowded trucks, and then we have our throats slit. I don’t know how many of my kin I’ve lost to church suppers, and I’m guessing many of you could say the same. And Albert weren’t you wounded by the Christian Sportsmen Club during deer hunting season? And you, Francis, you lost a foot in a trap, didn’t you? Why, they cry more over their cars when they’re banged up than they do when we’re injured.”

“What I’ve noticed,” said Wesley the horse, “is that preachers do preach love, mercy and justice - it’s just that they suspend their message three times a day, and during hunting and trapping season, and a few other times when people want to make money off of us.”

From the back someone shouted, “But I don’t hear any of you saying anything about all the abuse we get from people who don’t go to church.”

“Well, I certainly don’t like it - but at least they don’t hide behind the Bible and their religion when they do it,” shot back Wesley.

“Oh my, is there no hope with Christians?” cried Lincoln, one of the sheep there.

“Oh I have hope,” shared a black bear everyone called William. “You do know Christians have done good things don’t you? - not so many for us - but I think they could change. One problem is their superiority complex, but I’d bet a tree full of honey that they’re glad Jesus didn’t have one. Correct me if I’m wrong, William went on, but aren't church people supposed to imitate God? “The Lord is good to all and His tender mercies are over all He has made.” Let’s see; what do humans say, "It’s not rocket science”? And what about Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”? Does this seem like heaven to all of you? It seems more like the other place to me.”

Harriet straightened her feathers, looked around and said, “As I see it if Christians could only untangle themselves from the culture of profit and exploitation, my kinfolks wouldn’t be sitting in those awful battery cages - at least not as many. Christians don’t always do bad things to us but they pay people who do bad things to us. Have any of you heard the one about the preacher who said he didn’t need to preach about getting Israel out of Egypt - as much as getting Egypt out of Israel“? They all chuckled sensing the implications.

“Hey, has anyone noticed there aren’t any cats or dogs here?” Muir the raccoon was speaking,” Is it because they already get kind treatment from most Christians? I always thought all animals were equal in God’s sight, but I guess with Christians some animals are more equal.”

A calf turned to a fawn and whispered,” I know Christians don’t care much about our suffering, but I always thought it was because the Bible said, “Thou Shalt Be Cruel.” I didn’t know until today, it actually says to be loving and merciful and to seek justice.”

As I slipped away I heard, “How many think there’s any use to write Pastor Linzey? Please raise your hoof or paw.”

Larry Brown is a retired teacher, Praise band member at Brandt United Methodist Church, and a vegetarian since 1976 .

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