Questions for Christian Animal Rights Activists

uring my research for the book, Dominion over Wildlife? An Environmental-Theology of Human-Wildlife Relations (Wipf and Stock, 2009), I encountered a number of arguments used by Christians claiming that Scripture supports compassion/non-violence against animals. Here are some questions, I would love to get answers to…

First, if Jesus wanted his followers to have compassion for animals (as these animal rights activists claim), why did Jesus kill so many fish?

Second, if Jesus wanted his followers to have compassion for animals, why did he not tell his disciples to rescue the pigs that were drowning after being possessed by the demons?

Third, if Jesus wanted his followers to avoid causing the suffering of animals, why did he sit on a foal to enter Jerusalem before his crucifixion? Why didn’t he just walk?

Fourth, if Jesus wanted us to adopt a vegetarian diet, why did he cook fish for the disciples after his resurrection?

These and other issues puzzle me. Regrettably, the only answer I get is from self-proclaimed Christians who say that the bible was corrupted by meat eaters. My answer to that is “how convenient.” That is what I would like to say every time the bible tells me that my behavior is wrong.

So does anyone out there have an answer for me? I have tried asking one person and he says that he doesn’t have time to answer my question. Maybe someone else does?


Stephen M. Vantassel is tutor at Theology at Kings Evangelical Divinity School

Copyright 2009

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