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Vegan Values
Comments by Stephen Kaufman - 30 Jan 2003

You have asked some tough questions, Erin. I think well-meaning, thoughtful Christians will have different opinions, which they may support quite well citing the Bible and Christian traditions. However, I do think there is common ground in that nearly all Christians agree that we are called to be good stewards of God's Creation, and causing unnecessary suffering and death for any of God's Creatures is not good stewardship.

What about "humanely raised" animals? When asked, I respond that "humanely raised" is certainly preferable to factory farming, but concerns remain. First, it is hard to be sure that the animals were indeed "humanely raised," and many producers have falsely applied this label. Second, the terror of slaughter remains problematic. I don't think that, in this fallen world, eating animals is inherently sinful. I do think we should do what we can to minimize their pain and misery, and this naturally impacts our dietary choices. The bible teaches that a vegan diet is the ideal. But, that happened in an ideal world where plant foods were plentiful. Those who lack access to plant foods (and that includes very few Americans) should 1) try to obtain animal foods in the most benign manner possible and 2) try to minimize animal food consumption, and 3) pray for and strive for a plant-based diet.

In Christ's peace,


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