By Steven R, Kaufman, MD, Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)
Anyone can call themselves a “Christian,” but to be Christian means taking Jesus’ message seriously. Endorsement and contribution to animal abuse is fundamentally anti-Christian.
I don’t think I’m at all alone in wondering from time to time whether
perhaps I’m at least a little crazy when it comes to animal issues. Nearly
everyone I meet, who generally come across as quite kind and decent, seem to
have a fundamentally different view about whether we have the right to harm
nonhuman beings. An episode last spring in Ohio reinforced in mind that I’m
on the right track.
At Conklin Dairy Farms, an undercover investigator for the group Mercy
for Animals videotaped farmers sadistically abusing animals, including
viciously punching calves in the head, hitting cows with an iron rod, and
twisting cows’ tails. Segments of the video were shown by the television
networks, and Ohioans in general were outraged. This tells me that, indeed,
society at large does recognize that abusing animals is terribly wrong.
Where I differ from most people is that I also oppose institutionalized
animal abuse. It certainly appears that people strongly object to animal
abuse only when the abuse is designed to satisfy someone else’s desires.
When the animals are abused for the benefit of people in general, those
people don’t find it nearly as objectionable.
Christianity, as well as nearly all religions and secular belief systems, teach compassion, caring, humility, and self-sacrifice. To promote and sponsor brutality violates core Christian values. Anyone can call themselves a “Christian,” but to be Christian means taking Jesus’ message seriously. Endorsement and contribution to animal abuse is fundamentally anti-Christian.