by John Vujicic
Our Readers' Comments are at the end of the article.
Many who crave and lust after animal flesh try to justify the killing of animals on the grounds that they do not possess a soul. They claim that only humans possess a soul. But is this claim true? The account of Genesis proves beyond refute that animals, just like humans, are actually LIVING SOULS. They are composed of the same material humans are. They breathe the same oxygen that humans do. They also have THE SAME AND IDENTICAL SPIRIT. This is somewhat obscured in the King James Bible and some other versions but is crystal clear in the Hebrew Bible. The King James translators often differentiate between animals and humans by referring to animals as “living creatures” but to Adam as “living soul.” In Genesis 1:20-21 the King James Bible uses the term “living creature” in reference to all marine life. Then in verse 24 it uses the same term “living creature” to describe all animals on the dry ground and the birds of the air. But in Genesis 2:7 the King James translators used the term “living soul” in reference to Adam. The Hebrew Bible however uses the term “nephesh hayah” which always means “living soul” or “air breathing creature.” The term is equally applied to animals as it is to Adam. In Genesis 1:20 it is explicitly said that ANIMALS actually HAVE A SOUL:
“And God said, let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that HATH LIFE.”
The moving creatures in the sea HAD LIFE. In the Centre Reference of the King James Bible it is admitted that the word should have been translated SOUL. The text therefore plainly says that all animals in fact have a SOUL. In Genesis 2:7 we are told that God made man out of the ground. Genesis 1:24 tells us that animals were likewise made out of the ground. Thus they were all made of the same substance.
All living creatures received the BREATH OF LIFE by which they maintained their existence. Likewise, all living creatures die once they run out of BREATH OF LIFE. In the Hebrew text the expression “chay ruwach” is used which means “living spirit.” Man maintains his existence in exactly the same way that animals do. They also die in exactly the say manner.
In Job 34:14-15 we read:
“If He [God] set His heart upon man: if He gather unto Himself HIS SPIRIT [ruwach] and HIS BREATH [neshamah]: all flesh shall perish together.”
In Ecclesiastes 3:18-20 we read:
“I said in my heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that THEY THEMSELVES ARE BEASTS. For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, THEY HAVE ALL ONE BREATH; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the SPIRIT OF THE BEAST that goeth downward to the earth?” [Ecclesiastes 3:18-21].
In this text we are told in the most plain language that animals and humans are of the same composition and both have the same breath. The word breath has been translated from the Hebrew word “ruwach” which means “spirit.” Thus the author tells us that beasts and the sons of men have THE SAME AND IDENTICAL SPIRIT. Even in the New Testament animals are likewise called SOULS. In Revelation 16:3 we read:
“And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; it became as the blood of a dead man: and every LIVING SOUL died in the sea” [King James Bible].
The Bible plainly states that all marine creatures are in reality LIVING SOULS. Thus it becomes apparent that the argument for killing animals cannot be justified on the grounds that animals are beasts who do not possess a soul. The next argument Christians, Jews and Muslims use in order to justify their butchering of animals is based on a claim that animals are IRRATIONAL BEINGS - unable to perceive right from wrong. But if this is the criteria we should use in order to distinguish between man and animal then by the same reasoning we should regard all little children as animals - since they too cannot tell right from wrong. Likewise those who were born with a retarded mind should be regarded as animals since they are not rational beings. What about the human embryos? They are not rational beings yet Jews, Muslims and Christians alike strongly condemn abortion as MURDER while at the same time clear consciously condone the butchery of billions of animals. When God originally created animals He created them RATIONAL - with ability to speak, think and reason. In Genesis 3:1 we read:
“Now serpent was MORE CUNNING THAN ANY OTHER CREATURE Yahweh Elohim had made.”
In verses 2-3 we are told that the serpent led a conversation with Eve. It was able to speak, think and reason. All other animals had the same ability, only the serpent was most cunning. Jesus advised his disciples to be WISE like serpents. This implies that serpents are intelligent.
In the book of Jubilees 3:28 we read:
“On that day the mouth of all the beasts and cattle and birds and whatever walked or moved was stopped from SPEAKING because all of them USED TO SPEAK with one another with one speech and language.”
In Job 12:7-10 we read:
“Even birds and animals have much they could teach you; ask the creatures of the earth and sea for their wisdom. ALL OF THEM KNOW THAT YAHWEH’S HAND MADE THEM. In His hand are the SOULS of all His creatures and the breath of all humanity.”
Job states that all animals are aware of who was their creator. It is also plainly stated that all animals also have souls and that their souls are in God’s care. In Revelation 5:13 we are plainly told that all creatures of the universe actually are capable of praising God with a rational mind.
“Then I heard every creature that is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea offer praise. Together, all of them were saying, Praise, honour, glory, and strength for ever and ever to the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.”
The four living creatures [animals] around the throne of God also speak and are rational beings. One of them is a lion, one a bull and one an eagle [Revelation 4:7]. In Isaiah 43:20 we read:
“Even the wild animals will honour Me.”
When we realise all these significant facts - how, then, can we insist that it’s all right to kill and eat all the living souls who are identical to us in almost every respect? Genesis 9:5 also alludes to the fact that animals will also be held responsible for their evil deeds:
“And for your lifeblood I will demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting FROM EVERY ANIMAL and from each man too.”
In the Secrets of Enoch 58:7 we read:
“And as every soul of man is according to number, similarly beasts will not perish, nor all SOULS OF BEASTS which the Lord created, till the great judgement, and they will accuse man, if he feed them ill.”
Just think logically and with an open mind. Is it right and ethically just to kill innocent animals in order to eat their flesh? They are living souls just like we are. A mother cow sheds tears when her calf is taken to the slaughter. A pig screams in agony when cruelly butchered. How can a humane person inflict such horrors to God’s innocent creatures who love life just as we do? They eat and drink, sleep, play and are full of joy when things are fine and suffer and cry when exposed to brutality. The true followers of Jesus and those who really love God and adhere to His precepts are instructed by Jesus thus to pray:
“Our Father Who art in heaven…Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
It should be the sincere desire and honest prayer of every individual believer who loves God and adheres to His noble precepts, that God’s will be implemented on this Earth as it is being carried out in heaven. Not many Christians would argue that the angels in heaven run modern and sophisticated slaughterhouses where billions of animals are butchered so that God and all those in His realm could dine and feast on animal flesh. There is neither suffering nor death in God’s realm. If the angels do not eat animal flesh nor are fond of veal, steak, a lamb chop or a chicken schnitzel, what is then their daily food? The Bible says that the Israelites were fed manna which was actually the food of angels:
“Yet He gave a command to the skies above and opened the doors of the heavens; he rained down manna for the people to eat he gave them the grain of heaven. Men ate the BREAD OF ANGELS” [Psalm 78:23-25].
The text strongly implies that manna which God rained in the desert was the type of food consumed by the heavenly beings. In this text the manna is said to be bread made from grain. In the Jewish Pentateuch it is said that manna was used to make bread and that it resembled the coriander seed. Both coriander and grain are plants and therefore it follows that all the celestial beings in God’s realm are radical vegetarians. Even those who would be accounted worthy of the eternal life and immortality are not promised dainty foods and barbecued meat but rather a “hidden manna” and the “fruit” of the Tree of Life. Isaiah 11 clearly shows that in God’s Kingdom which is to come, there will be no killing of animals for food. Rather, even the present carnivorous animals will become tame and the lion will eat grass like a bull. In that restored paradise the wolf and the lamb will dwell together and there will be neither harm nor destruction on all God’s Holy Mountain - because then the whole world will be full of the knowledge of God. In other words, the present ignorance and deception will be lifted and humanity and animals will come to know God and the principles He stands for. Genesis 1:29-30 explicitly states that at creation God prescribed a radical vegetarianism to both humans and all other animal species. At that long forgotten beginning, no living soul was permitted to consume the flesh of another living soul. All living creatures were created to be herbivorous:
“And God said, “Look! I have given you the seed-bearing plants throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given all the grasses and other green plants to the animals and birds for their food.” And so it was.”
“And so it was” tells us that this was not only an ideal of God but rather a fact of life. Both humans and animals implemented this radical vegetarian diet. It thus follows that all the celestial beings are vegetarian and that the first humans and animals were created to be radical vegetarians. It is therefore fair to say that the idea and concept of vegetarianism did not originate with some heretical man, but rather with God Himself. Many Christians however assume that vegetarianism was only short lived and that Adam became a carnivorous being immediately after his fall and partaking of the forbidden fruit. However, Genesis 3:17-19 irrefutably shows that Adam remained vegetarian all his life and that his sustenance came from the plants of the soil which he was to plant and cultivate with the sweat on his brow:
“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat OF IT all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, AND YOU WILL EAT THE PLANTS OF THE FIELD. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground.”
Even if you do believe in Adam’s fall and the curse, you still must concede that Adam was to remain radical vegetarian ALL HIS LIFE - since he was to cultivate his food FROM THE EARTH and the PLANTS were to be his food UNTIL THE DAY HE DIED. There was no promise of meat. Even all those who are obedient to God and who obey His true and perfect Law, are not promised animal flesh but rather “the best from the field”:
“Come now, let us reason together, says Yahweh…If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the field” [Isaiah 1:18-19].
If God’s will would be administered on Earth as in Heaven, as should be the sincere prayer of every true believer, then there would be no war in Iraq or elsewhere and people would be humane and friendly, there would be no hate and strife, no abortion, no adultery, and yes, no slaughterhouses and the feasting on flesh which comes from those in whose veins the blood flows and who are, just as we are, living souls.