Maligning and Denigrating Animals

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Maligning and Denigrating Animals
Comments by Andrea - 5 Aug 2007


I am a vegan Christian. I get upset when someone maligns or denigrates any type of animal in some way -- especially people who know how much I love animals. I try not to show it but nevertheless, it hurts my feelings and I feel bad.

Of course I realize the types of people who would do this intentionally, I can't consider my true friends -- and indeed this particular one happened to be a co-worker.

We were doing a financial call from India, and she Instant Messaged me that cows in India were considered sacred (of course I already knew this). Well, my IM display image is a flying pig with wings, and I was just kidding around when I replied "Of course flying pigs are extremely sacred."

Well, it was just a lighthearted silly thing that I said but she replied: "Nothing cloven hooved is sacred, I'm afraid. all sacrificial to the God's for our sins"

This really bothered me for some reason. I believe she was insinuating pigs as cloven hoofed creatures were akin to the devil and that God required that we kill them for our sins. (!!!)

I was curious why someone would think that way. So I happened upon an article on your very website about Jesus and the money changers who were actually butchers selling animals for sacrifice in the temple. (a wonderful article, by the way)

And so I replied to her in an IM: "Just a note I found on eating piggys & the like -- Jesus abolished sacrifices of animals, requiring mercy instead, angrily kicking the butchers out of the temple who were selling birds for sacrifices. So that's what feels right to me."

Well, this woman has odd mood swings (I have to work with her every day over the computer) and she replied: "I'm not going to get into quoting scripture today... in the second week of earnings. Isaiah is asked to sacrifice the lamb twice daily for God and then Jesus is referred to as the lamb of God... so, who knows what is what in those stories."

Luckily, just then, an IM shot up from my boss (a bit like a lightning bolt, it felt like) letting us know we'd just been given another call -- and thankfully the discussion ended. Although later on she did IM that: " I enjoy talking religion. I have holy water on my desk and a rosary that I pray with on calls that never end. I'm a pretty devout catholic, I'm afraid." I didn't reply to that, wishing to just let the subject die.

I realize her thinking is off-kilter (especially since she had told me just the other day she was going to visit a farmer who had rescued some pigs!) but I'm having a hard time "forgiving and forgetting..." As it is, she's a hard person to work with, bad mood swings (she's on prescription drugs) and several people have told the boss they couldn't work with her.

So I have 3 questions:

1. Why do people say bad things about animals to people they know love them? (I am trying to tell myself it was not really her talking, but the mental illness caused by drug abuse and I shouldn't take it personally.)

2. Did God ever give "permission" to eat animals? That doesn't seem right to me! I found this very disturbing scripture LEVITICUS 11:1-30 "And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, 'Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ''These are the animals which you may eat among all the beasts that are on the earth:

3. Is there things mistaken in the Old Testament that Jesus came to earth to correct? (like instead of eye for an eye, it's turn the other cheek; instead of sacrificing animals, show mercy)

I will still believe what feels right to me but I still have these questions.

Thank you so much for any and all comments & thoughts!! Meanwhile I will read your sermon.

- Andrea J.

Go on to: Comments by Gayle Nelson-Folkersen - 5 Aug 2007

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