DiscussionsGod's Hunters? - Comments by Joe Classen - 28 Jan 2010
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By Fr. Joe Classen

In Reference to the Article: God's Hunters?

Greetings Frank and Mary.

Indeed, in one sense, (as scripture teaches) plants and animals are similar as “living things.” They are “living things” that mankind is the steward of, was given dominion over and has the responsibility to use (certainly not abuse) in order to sustain him/herself. A very dangerous area that I see so many “animal rights” folks venturing into is the idea or concept that animals are equal to human beings and that the same moral codes apply. This is absolutely not what the Catholic Church (or any orthodox Christian community) teaches. To do so is complete heresy. As you well know, while animals have a “life force” or a kind of “soul,” they are not made in the “image and likeness of God.” Again, certainly, animals, and all lesser forms of life, deserve our respect and care. But, they are also intended for our proper/legitimate use….and eating them is, as the Church teaches and Jesus (God) demonstrated…a proper use.

You are correct in saying that Jesus’ sacrifice was that which ended all sacrifices…but the sacrifice of His blood applies to our salvation, that is, the atonement of our sins. It has nothing to do with no longer killing and eating things. And this is the “sacrifice” that is present in what I (and all of humanity) eats. Our lives are sustained by the sacrificing (that is, killing and properly utilizing) other living things.

When you consider all of creation….the vast majority sustains itself by searching for/hunting, killing and eating once living (and feeling) forms of life. But while animals do so with no regard to the pain and suffering their prey feels, humans are called to take life humanely. The vast majority of birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and even insects eat other fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and mammals. The ones that do not (herbivores) become food for the others. In the grand scheme of things…very little of creation is vegetarian.

As I mentioned, it is an undeniable fact that Jesus and his followers killed and ate things like fish and lamb…even after the resurrection. In Acts-10:13-16 we clearly see Jesus declaring all foods (including animals) as clean and worthy of eating…. “A voice said to him, "Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat." But Peter said, "Certainly not, sir. For never have I eaten anything profane and unclean." The voice spoke to him again, a second time, "What God has made clean, you are not to call profane."

I’m very curious to hear how you’d reconcile this undeniable fact of God (Jesus) killing and eating other living and feeling things? Along those same lines…how do you reconcile the absolute fact that millions of animals suffer a horrible, painful death in the process of raising vegetables? Living here in the Midwest, I personally know many, many farmers, and every one of them ends up intentional and unintentionally having to kill truckloads of animals to keep them from completely destroying their livelihood…and….so the good people of America can have vegetables for dinner. Also, the “organic farmers” that I know have to go to even more extreme measures to defend their crops. It blows my mind that so many vegans and vegetarians completely turn a blind eye to this fact.

When it’s all said and done, I just wish those involved in “animal rights” were so passionate about the dignity and well being of humans. I don’t know how many vegan, animal rights people that I’ve met aggressively promote things like the slaughtering of unborn human beings (abortion) yet cry bloody murder when someone kills a deer to feed his/her family. Now that is an atrocity that cries to heaven! If we want God to bless America…stop selfishly killing innocent human beings, who, unlike animals, are made in the “image and likeness of God.

Take care.

Fr. Joe


Go on to comments: By Frank and Mary Hoffman - 29 Jan 2010
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