Why Are So Few Christians Vegan?
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from All-Creatures.org


Kim Socha and Rowan Taylor, Animal LiberationCurrents.com
February 2017

Read the entire article here: Why Are So Few Christians Vegan? PDF)
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christian vegans

Something happens when a person or institution for whom progress seems anathema says something seemingly progressive: accolades abound. For example, whenever Pope Francis utters a view that does not sound like it comes from the Middle Ages, he is lauded by liberals as the radical pope.1

Francis became PETA’s Person of the Year for the parts in his 2015 encyclical on saving the environment which urged Catholics to respect animals.2 However, his comments did not amount to an animal liberation manifesto. They largely reiterated those of the Catholic Catechism and his predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, with any differences being in emphasis rather than substance.

Echoing the Catechism, he said: “Every act of cruelty towards any creature is contrary to human dignity.” But he prefaced it with the anthropocentric observation that animal cruelty leads to human cruelty. He urged Catholics to respect the intrinsic value of animals as a part of nature and to “forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures.” But he made clear that he was not advocating species equality, just a more caring approach to domination based on an anthropocentrism which is not “excessive,” “distorted,” or “misguided.” Most significantly, the Pope did not call upon the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to stop eating and exploiting animals. Veganism, it seems, is a step too far, even for a radical pope.

Enter Catholic theologian Charles Camosy. In a recent Washington Post article,3 Camosy ventured where pontiffs fear to tread. He asserted that all Christians should go vegan because God created the Garden of Eden as a vegan paradise and, therefore, intended all humans to live that way. This is not a mainstream reading of Genesis, but Camosy hopes it will catch on. And like PETA with the Pope, he seized on a prominent religious leader as a hopeful messenger of that innovative reading. The Reverend Franklin Graham is the son of and successor to Protestant super-evangelist Billy Graham and was a prayer leader at Donald Trump’s inauguration. In a recent Facebook post, he announced that he is going to try a plant-based diet to lose a few pounds.4 To Camosy, that makes him a useful role model for bringing all Christians to veganism, apparently including Trump’s conservative, alt-right, “let’s overturn reproductive choice and marriage equality” supporters. But bringing all Christians to veganism is no small challenge. Most of the 90 billion animals slaughtered in the US every year5 — within an industry that devastatingly exploits minority and undocumented workers6 — suffer and die at Christian hands on their way to Christian stomachs. That’s around 30 corpses a year per Christian, and relatively few Christians seem to care. Although they comprise 71-75 percent78 of the US population, Christians are less likely than the rest to be vegetarian or vegan.

Read the entire article here: Why Are So Few Christians Vegan? (PDF)

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