In Reference to the Article: God's Hunters?
Dear Reverend Claussen,
I have been communicating with Mary and Frank Hoffman about a religious position which allows for the harming and killing of animals. They were kind enough to share your comments with me. I have tried to respond to your comments, from a different perspective, as I have chosen to follow a religion which grants full compassion to both humans and animals - the Jain religion of India.
Here are my comments, based on my experience. I hope you will not discount my perspective:
You state: "I really do appreciate your concern for the well being of all living things."
Your use of the word 'thing' do describe a living being indicates a misconception about the difference between a living being and an inanimate object. A table is a thing, an animal certainly has qualities not found in an inanimate object such as a table.
You state: "We simply have to live in reality. And the reality on planet earth is that something must die (animal or plant) for something else to alive. The reality is (as I often say) that unless you eat dirt or live in a dirt hut, you are responsible for killing and utilizing living things."
Again living beings are not things. While you seem to feel you are entitled to do as much harm as possible to other living beings and claim this is reality please keep in mind "that nothing is so, but thinking shall make it so"... For other individuals or religions, the killing of an animal is not an acceptable reality.
The truth is that all God’s creatures kill and eat God’s creation….and most do so in horrific, savage, brutal ways! I could go on and on with first-hand, barbaric descriptions of Mother Nature in action. Bloodshed indeed!!!!!
Your position has me perplexed, you claim man is above the animals, yet he has the right to act like one with regard to killing.
Even in the process of raising vegetables, literal truckloads of animals end up being killed. They are eradicated because of massive crop damage, they get run over in combines, chewed up in plows, etc., etc. Vegetarians have just as much blood on their hands as anyone else who must eat once living things to stay alive…many just flat out live in ignorance and denial.
If we were not raising animals to be consumed, they would not be in the way of farm equipment used to harvest vegetarian food items. Your statement does not allow for the difference between intentional and unintentional harm.
Vegetarians do not have blood on their hands, as vegetables, grains and beans do not have blood or a nervous system.
While it is true that some violence is necessary to survive, it would seem that the compassionate goal would be to do less harm rather than more. Followers of the Jain religion in India have not consumed meat or worn animal products for several thousand years and are educated valuable contributors to Indian society, with the lowest incidence of violent crime of any group, for you see violence to animals easily escalates to human on human violence. Jains attempt to minimize the violence needed to survive. Thousands of years ago they developed a system based on the number of senses possessed by a living being - humans, cats, dogs, cows, pigs, chickens and many others possess the full five senses and harming them is to be avoided at all costs...Plants on the other hand possess one sense and suffer less when they are harvested...
You state: "Of course, human beings are not savage animals, though we still have to kill our food (or pay someone else to) before we eat it, we must do so in respectful, humane ways…which the vast majority of outdoorsman, farmers, and for that matter, the general public does. "
You seem to have convinced yourself that stalking an animal and wounding or killing him/her is humane. If you were to stalk and wound or kill a human the law would not accept a 'humane slaughter' defense. Your inability to empathize with the suffering of an animal does not mean the animal is not terrified and in pain during the moment of slaughter. Placing man above the animals is an artificial construct designed to placate self-indulgent individuals who place their need of pleasure above the suffering of others..
You state: "Interesting you mention the notion of God being honored by bloodshed. It was only by the shedding of His Son’s blood that we are saved. Jesus Christ truly became the “Lamb of God slaughtered for our offenses” (Isaiah 53). What do you think was Jesus’ intent while he and his disciples slaughtered, killed and ate a lamb during the celebration of the Passover meals which they shared together? What do you think was His intent when our Lord killed fish? What was His intent in choosing (by animal rights logic) “killers” to be His first disciples?"
Please keep in mind that there are religions that have not found it necessary to worship God or their own inner spirit by inflicted harm, pain and terror on other living beings. It is as possible to honor your highest spiritual beliefs by practicing compassion towards your fellow living beings, especially when the killing is not a necessity for survival.
You state: "Anyhow, just a few thoughts for you to consider. As long as I remain an omnivore and in need of food, I will continue to respectfully harvest of God’s creation to feed myself and others…as Jesus (God) did Himself."
Animals are not harvested, they are murdered. They scream, are in terror and pain. Numbing you heart and soul to this suffering does not bode well for your ability to empathize and feel compassion either for humans or animals.
Jai Jinendra! (to the living spirit within ALL living beings)