God Desires a World Without Hurting and Killing Animals, Some Biblical Verses
"The multitude of your sacrifices-- what are they to me?" says the LORD. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? 13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations-- I cannot bear your evil assemblies. 14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight.”
What do the scriptures say about animals, animal welfare and veganism? I’m not a biblical scholar, but I personally believe that many of the scriptural passages in the Bible suggest that God desires a world without killing and suffering inflicted on animals for food. And that in the greater context of the different Biblical stories, the message seems consistent—to treat animals with compassion, respect and abstain from eating them. Especially when killing another living creature goes against our human nature—and the divine and spiritual being within us. Today, with the horrors of factory farming and industrial animal agriculture, and the profound suffering inflicted on animals who are God’s creatures as we are, there is no way a merciful God could ever condone or justify this.
God Desires a World Without Hurting and Killing Animals
What do the scriptures teach us about a healthy diet? I personally believe that God wants people to embrace the Genesis 1:29 diet of eating plants, that is the best and healthiest for the environment and the planet; is the healthiest for people; is the least toxic and polluting; is the most humane, kind and compassionate; is the least violent and cruel; is the safest for our bodies and doesn’t cause chronic and acute disease; and does not cause the profound misery, suffering, pain, grief, terror, and torture of animals raised for meat, dairy and eggs today, and the violent slaughtering and death that leads to eating them. Eating meat and animal products inflicts incalculable pain and suffering on the lives of innocent animals who were created by God to enjoy life—just as we do, not to be enslaved and tortured by us. I don’t believe God would ever condone how we purposely mutilate defenseless animals today; induce their fear, terror, stress and anguish; force their unnatural fattening with drugs and hormones (that cause cancer and disease); egregiously ignore their suffering and pain; disallow them to exhibit any natural behaviors; confine them cruelly and unnaturally their entire lives; cage them so severely they cannot walk, move, or turn around; break their beautiful spirits; forcibly impregnate all females and take and kill their newborn young; all the while enslaving them, then slaughtering them while they are conscious — and doing this 10 to 20 billion times a year, to sentient, feeling beings. This is what we consume when we eat animals today.
I believe God and the divine wants us to practice non-violence toward humans and animals, and wants all living creatures to exist peacefully, healthily and as happily as possible in community together. And I believe God’s concept of having Dominion over the earth and animals from Genesis (the earliest book), was and is not in the spirit of domination, enslavement and control—and to be cruel to them, but rather, having Dominion is in the spirit of being responsible stewards and caretakers of the natural world and all its creatures, and instead, promotes reverence for animals and the natural world. I don’t believe a merciful, loving God would or does condone the human behavior to be destroyers of our environment, killers of animals, wildlife and nature, and inflict enslavement, torment and death on the 10 to 20 billion farm animals raised every year in the U.S. for food. I believe all humans and non-human animals were created with God-given rights to be free from harm, human abuse and intentional cruelty.
The world requires our care and protection for all – and for all the generations to come. “Thou shalt not kill,” and the Golden Rule of “treating others as we ourselves want to be treated,” extends love and compassion to all, not only to some species and people.
Verses from the Bible:
And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.”
And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth.
But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.
That you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
“Speak to the people of Israel, saying, You shall eat no fat, of ox or sheep or goat. The fat of an animal that dies of itself and the fat of one that is torn by beasts may be put to any other use, but on no account shall you eat it.
It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.
Isaiah 1:11, 11-15
“The multitude of your sacrifices– what are they to me?” says the LORD. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? 13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations– I cannot bear your evil assemblies. 14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight.”
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
“He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck; he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig’s blood; he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations;…
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