Are We Crazy to Care about Animals?
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

Are We Crazy to Care about Animals?

I donít think Iím at all alone in wondering from time to time whether perhaps Iím 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 Iím 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 cowsí 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 elseís desires. When the animals are abused for the benefit of people in general, those people donít 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 ďChristian,Ē but to be Christian means taking Jesusí message seriously. Endorsement and contribution to animal abuse is fundamentally anti-Christian.

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