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The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Family Foundation


Letters and Responses



Letter From Melissa - 20 Feb 2002


My name is Melissa and I am from Connecticut. I am also a Christian.

Since the age of 7, I haven't eaten much meat.  I hated it from the time I can remember.  It wasn't so much about the cruelty part; I really just didn't enjoy it.

Up until a little over a year ago I didn't touch meat.  My fiancée loves food and I really didn't understand his obsession with it.  I try everything once so I started to try his.  I started to eat chicken around once every other week.  I never eat steak or any pig products.  I refuse and he knows that.  I started to wonder why I was eating things that I really didn't like.

At the time it seemed good but every time I was done I felt really disgusting.  I started to think about things I've never thought about.  The killing and do people really need meat to survive.  The hunting for sport was killing me.

Then one day after my fiancée became saved he asked me if animals have souls and do they go to Heaven.  I didn't know how to respond.  All I remember is my Mom telling me when I was little that if I loved something with all my heart, something that was innocent and pure then why wouldn't it be in Heaven when I got there.  Why would God put these wonderful creatures on this earth to make us happy and comfort us for us not to be with forever?  So many animals in the Bible are considered sacred. If that's the case why would they live for nothing?  So, I decided not to eat meat anymore (again).  

I've always been a tofu lover, anyway.  I was looking for recipes when I came across your site.  I can't begin to tell you that this is what I've been waiting for. Someone of the same faith to share the same views.  Everyone I know always says that God put animals here to eat, for man to survive.  I never believed it but never fought it.  

My favorite part with reading your pages was about the Donkey and how it saw the angel.  I think of how everyone says that animals sense things and they see more than we do, but no one has ever put it so clearly as you have.  If they can see what we can't, who's to say they don't know the other world.  Who's to say they can't see our angels?  I believe it.  

I have 5 dogs and let me tell you they certainly know how to entertain themselves and sometimes it seems as if there is something they are playing with that we can't see.  Could it be?  

Have you ever looked into an animal's eyes? They have more life and  more love than most humans.  That scares me. Animals love and protect, they comfort and most are loyal.  I know mine would do anything to keep me free of harm and sadness.  And if the only thing the rest of the world has is to say they're dumb so they can't have souls, then why do elephants really cry tears when they are sad or hurt?  Why do penguins go their whole life searching for their "soul" mate to have babies with and live the rest of their lives together?

Animals feel pain and hurt when they are abused, abandoned or when their owner passes.  If this is so, wouldn't they have a soul? They have a brain, a heart and red blood just like us.  And believe me they are very smart.  

Why are dogs called man's best friend?  These are innocent creatures that have no way of defending themselves and all they live for is to give and love.  Why would God want his creatures to not be loved in the same way we are loved? Why don't they get the same respect?  

I want to thank you for opening my heart again and letting me see that there are others out there of the same faith that believe the same as me.


Reply from Frank L. Hoffman - 20 Feb 2002

Dear Melissa:

Thank you very much for you heartwarming letter.

You express the obvious, the common sense, the truth about animals; they do indeed have souls and spirits just as we do, and they deserve to be treated in the same ways that we want to be treated.  And, yes, they will be in heaven with us.

God's word says that both humans and animals are living souls (Hebrew: neh-fesh khah-yaw), though unfortunately it is not usually translated correctly.

We look forward to hearing from you again.

In the Love of the Lord,


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