Scripture is full of calls for us to be merciful, and Jesus’ message is one of love and compassion; yet there is nothing loving or compassionate about the industries that farm animals and turn them into meat.
Animal suffering, like all suffering, should matter to us because it matters to God.
Instead of seeing animals as existing to serve us, the proper perspective is that we were designed to serve our fellow creatures humbly, with Christ-like mercy and compassion.
My faith in Jesus has influenced my decision to stop eating animals and using them in other ways because I strongly believe in compassion and freedom for all. These precious animals are a part of God’s creation, and humans have no right to abuse or torture them in any way. As a follower of Jesus, I want to be more like Him and would like to start by opening up the eyes and hearts of people who do not know much about cruelty to animals and animal rights. I hope to encourage and motivate Christians to take action for animals.
The greatest thing my spirituality and faith in God has done for me is connect me to the Spirit within me, the animals, and the Earth we all call our temporary home. Knowing that these beautiful creatures are capable of feeling love, eating them could no longer be well with my soul.
People sometimes think it’s strange that I am both a firm believer in Christ and a staunch animal rights advocate, but I can’t imagine how I could ever separate the two. The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:8 that we were created in God’s image of love, and we are called to show love to the world and all of His creation. God commends those who do so, saying in Matthew 5:7, ‘Blessed are the merciful.’ And Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:40, ‘As you did it to one of the least of these, my brethren, you did it to me.’ I don’t see how I can possibly honor God while abusing His creation. I am a Christian, therefore I am compassionate to ‘the least of these,’ just as Jesus taught.
‘Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die.’ Proverbs 31:8 (NKJV). I decided that I could no longer, as an ambassador of Christ’s love, subsidize the slaughter of His creation. As a mom to four rescued dogs, I look at each of them and see no difference in how my Savior fearfully and wonderfully made them and how He fearfully and wonderfully made the other nonhuman creatures whom we so arbitrarily—and mercilessly—call food, clothing, test subjects, and entertainment. If my God cared enough for nonhuman animals to create in them individuality and sentience, then I must respect their interests and their dignity.
Romans 14:20-23 is my guide. Everyone has to decide whether or not they are willing to participate in the cruelty and violence required to bring animals to their plate. I will not cast a blind eye to the suffering of ANY of God’s creatures, be they human, animal, or otherwise. To me, killing animals for human use is wrong. It is a sin.
The difference between me and a chicken is pretty significant. But it’s nothing compared to the difference between me and God, who is far greater than any human. But instead of factory farming us as food, He died for us. If we’re looking to live as Christ did, we have an obligation to show compassion for all whom God has given the capacity to suffer.
In the Gospel according to Mark, Jesus indicated that His good news was to be shared with every creature. Caught in between the peace of Eden depicted in Genesis and the peace to come, as described in Isaiah, I believe that ‘good news’ for animals starts with letting them simply be who God created them to be, praising God in their own ways. Today’s use of animals—for food, clothing, entertainment, and experimentation—denies creatures their God-given behaviors and natures. That’s why I try to exercise our dominion over animals by looking after them, as I think Jesus would, and not by using them.