Abortion and Animals Rights: The Connection
By Yvonne A. Hess - 18 Mar 2007
Dear Frank and Mary,
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comments.
In your email to me you said:
"Our personal philosophy is one of true pro-life: we are against wars, against capital punishment, against exploitation and killing of animals for food, clothing and other purposes, and against the killing of unborn human babies. Since you speak of the need not to be hypocritical, we assume that you believe the same way; is this true?"
I appreciate your willingness to stand up for what you believe, and I have little doubt that a good, well-balanced Vegan diet would benefit us in many ways. However, with that said, I do not feel that it is at all hypocritical to say that I do not place the same value on animals that I do on human life. Why not?"
First of all, I believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God, inerrant in its original form. Therefore, I believe that what it says takes precedence over human conjecture, human logic, humanistic theory, etc.
In Gen 9:6 God said, " Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man." God did not prohibit the shedding of animal blood, because animals were not made in His image. In fact, God substituted animal skin for the fig leaves that Adam and Eve contrived to cover their nakedness, so it is obvious that an animal life was required for this. (Without getting deep into theology at this point, I will simply say that there was a deeper meaning behind that animal skin--an innocent victim had to die for the sin that they had committed, and this incident was teaching a symbolic lesson.)
Because of the way that you signed your email, I am quite sure that you have some acquaintance with the Bible. Therefore, you are aware of both mandatory and voluntary animal sacrifices that people made throughout the Old Testament Period and up to 70 A.D., when the Second Temple was destroyed by Titus's army. They followed a proscribed way that was given in great detail in the Torah, the Holy Scripture. God would not have required these animal sacrifices if it was wrong to do it. Once again, those sacrifices represented a future event when an innocent Victim would end the need for further sacrifice on earth. Was slaying an animal a sad occasion? Absolutely! Did anyone rejoice when the priest laid his hands upon the head of an innocent goat or lamb to symbolically transfer the sin of the Children of Israel onto him, and then sent the animal into the hot desert to die who-knows-how? The people were happy to be relieved of the penalty for their sin, but they certainly weren't happy for the goat!
Although Adam and Eve were clearly vegans at first, it is equally clear that God later permitted mankind to eat fowl and meat. If you are not Jewish, you probably also know that some of the disciples were fishermen, and some continued to fish even after they had been in Jesus' company for several years. They wouldn't have done that if Jesus were a vegan and preached against killing animals. In fact, on one occasion in John 21:9-11, Jesus, Himself, broiled fish over a charcoal fire: "So when they got out on the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have now caught." He could have served many things, other than fish, but He chose fish. That's good enough for me not to believe that it is all right to eat fish.
I could list many other verses from the Tanakh/Old Testament and the New Testament that show that eating flesh is not wrong in God's sight, and if it is all right with Him, who am I to listen to a human being tell me that it IS wrong. Ultimately, it is God's command that stands at the end of time; man's opinion means nothing.
Hopefully, I have made it clear why I see no ambiguity in being pro-life when human life is at stake, and not being pro-life when animal life is at stake. By that, I mean that I am not crusading for animal rights. I do not wish to spend my life crusading for causes that ultimately mean nothing at the end. God will never ask me why I ate a hamburger instead of a tofu stir fry, because He has made clear that this kind of cause is not what life is all about. He won't consign me to Hell for eating lamb; but He WILL expose what I did with the Lamb that He provided on my behalf. If I ignore the sacrifice of the Lamb of God (Isa. 53), I will miss the entire meaning of life. Even if you could turn every person in the world into vegans, this wouldn't mean a thing in view of eternity. Vegetarianism does nothing to assure a soul of eternal life, and that's what REALLY counts. "What shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" Mark 8:36
Thanks again for taking time to reply!