This is not a typical summer read. My goal was to read more books outside my comfort zone this summer and I’d say I’ve done a good job with that. Now, I am not a vegan. I’m fine with the vegan lifestyle, but as you will soon see, I believe in the ethical treatment of animals for purposes of feeding and providing clothing for us as a more natural way of living. I’m also a strong believer in the ethical treatment of our pets, spay & neuter programs, and No Kill Shelters.
With that said, there is nearly nothing we do nowadays is natural, we live in structures with indoor plumbing, cooled air and artificial light. We live a ‘natural life’ in the same way that evangelicals call for a more ‘biblical’ view on marriage and family. Unrealistic, impractical, and inappropriate in our modern age. So, let’s break this book down into 2 sections as the author does, theology and the use of animals.
Theology: Theologically, King has put her ducks in a row, so to speak, she uses all the arguments that most/all vegan use to believe that the vegan style of living is a pleasing lifestyle in the eyes of God.
And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. -Genesis 2:9
What King fails to mention Jesus participating in passover but mentions Him comparing the love of the Father like that of a hen and her chicks.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! – Matthew 23:37
While I fall into the Animal Welfare group that don’t do enough by King’s standard, I do love her imagery and use of scripture to show how all of creation; animals, fish, and plant life rejoice and live in harmony with God. It makes me wonder if she believes if animals have a soul, although the topic is never brought up the terminology and verbiage makes this reader wonder.
The terms of the use of animals, I get King’s point with the last half of the book; buying animals (dog, cats, hamsters, rabbits) from breeders when thousands of animals are put down everyday in this nation is wasteful and a horrible example of animals being made into a large business scheme. (The Pet Industry is a MultiMillion dollar industry in the US) Animals used for chemical, beauty and medical testing is also wrong in my opinion, this is where King and I differ. She refers to animal welfarist being OK with the medical & chemical testing of animals so long as it benefits humanity. I’m not ok with this and work hard to purchase items that are cruelty free, and support businesses and products that are.
Zoos, are a gray zone. Most agree that circuses are wrong, due to the lack of large free range areas for animals to enjoy and the forcing them to do something not natural. Zoos, on the other hand I feel can benefit animal species, while many animals are poached or we fear poaching of, zoos and animal refuges are ideal to maintain these creatures in our world today. No, it is not ideal that they don’t have the room to roam and run as they would in the wild. Concrete barricades make them into prisoners for our our amusement, and creatures that thrive in solitude and hidden away are forced in front of glass walls to be ahh’d at.
I agree, that our industrialized farming system is wrong, we devalue our cattle, pork, chickens and even plants and trees. We need to recognize that this is a problem as Christians and a society, and work toward the ethical treatment of all animals, while it is not natural to keep pigs in constricting pens for their entire lives it’s also unnatural to line trees up for the purpose of producing almonds without cover crops on the ground. Without cover crops and variety in orchards and farming we now must haul in bees to do what they do best, pollinate so we can eat.
My biggest problem with the book is King fails to mention how PETA, a previous employer of hers, kills 90% of all the animals that come into it’s care. Whether PETA will say it or not, they believe it is better to put down the animal than adopt them out.
Although, we do look to the Bible for guidance in how we ought to live our lives, we have to remember that Christ never called for Peter to not eat meat, He called him out of his comfort zone for sure. (Acts 10) And Jesus participated in Passover. While all creation was created to glorify God, we & natural predators didn’t magically develop canine teeth after the introduction of sin.
If you’re interested in the vegan lifestyle in it’s relationship to the Christian point of view, I recommend this book, get it here on AMAZON. Remember to form your own opinions and consult your doctor before making a huge diet or lifestyle changes.
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