Vegeterianism in Christianity
Many Christians seem to turn a blind eye to the suffering of animals that is inflicted by humans. Sure, they are generally kind and caring people, and may love their dog or cat, but they don’t seem to be concerned about the plight of the pigs, chickens, sheep and cows that they themselves eat. On one hand they teach about a loving, compassionate, merciful God, but they contribute to unnecessary misery and suffering to the lives of innocent animals.
One widespread rationalization in Christian circles, often used to justify humanity’s mistreatment of animals, is the erroneous belief that humans alone possess immortal souls, and only humans, therefore, are worthy of moral consideration. The 19th century German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, condemned such a philosophy in his ‘On the Basis of Morality’. “Because Christian morality leaves animals out of account,” wrote Schopenhauer, “they are at once outlawed in philosophical morals; they are mere ‘things,’ mere means to any ends whatsoever. They can therefore be used for vivisection, hunting, coursing, bullfights, and horse racing, and can be whipped to death as they struggle along with heavy carts of stone. Shame on such a morality that is worthy of pariahs, and that fails to recognize the eternal essence that exists in every living thing, and shines forth with inscrutable significance from all eyes that see the sun!” Most intriguing of all great apostles is St. Francis because many of the stories that surround the life of St. Francis deal with his love for animals. He not only saw that animals are living entities with Soul; he went a step ahead and did preach to them as well.
Thou shall not kill ! One of the Ten Commandments by Moses remains the most misunderstood one. For some it’s Thou shall not Murder-another convenient misinterpretation by deceptive ideologues. According to Reuben Alcalay, one of twentieth century’s great linguistic scholars and author of The Complete Hebrew-English Dictionary, the commandment refers to “any kind of killing whatsoever.” The original Hebrew, he says, is Lo tirtzakh, which asks us to refrain from killing in toto. We can then analyze the commandment as follows: “Thou shalt not” needs no interpretation. The controversial word is “kill,” commonly defined as (1) to deprive of life; (2) to put an end to; (3) to destroy the vital or essential quality of. According to this commandment then, the killing of animals is forbidden.
Some Christians’ appeal fall on deaf ears: “Animals are God’s creatures, not human property, nor utilities, nor resources, nor commodities, but precious beings in God’s sight. … Christians whose eyes are fixed on the awfulness of crucifixion are in a special position to understand the awfulness of innocent suffering. The Cross of Christ is God’s absolute identification with the weak, the powerless, and the vulnerable, but most of all with unprotected, undefended, innocent suffering of animals.” – Rev. Andew Linzey, Professor of Theology, Oxford University. “To me, vegetarianism is fundamental to compassion, and I personally believe that a loving and compassionate God would prefer humans to be vegetarian, especially these days, and especially when it is better for our health, is less wasteful of resources, and is more sustainable for the beautiful planet that He has created.” - Rev David Ogilvie
Jesus Christ did practice and preach love towards all the creatures and did not advocate their large scale mechanized murder and consumption of meat. In Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna says, “It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.” (14.4). All living entities have a soul and the soul transmigrates from one body to another. So no one can kill an animal and escape the sin associated with it.
Source : Absolute Truth Network
Reference : http://www.absolute-truth.net
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