Advertisement

Archive for Saturday, July 5, 2008

How does God view the killing of animals?

July 5, 2008

Advertisement

Killing and eating creatures contributes to chaos, violence

Judy Carman, author of "Peace to all Beings":

The enlightened founders and teachers of most of the world's religions have taught over many centuries, and continue to teach, that killing and eating animals contributes to the chaos, violence and endless wars in the world, and is not harmonious with God's highest will for us. Likewise, taking into our bodies the flesh of terrified animals prevents us from achieving the inner peace, wisdom, enlightenment and heaven within that we ourselves desire. The highest ideal for us regarding animals, they say, is to do them no harm. Clearly, they are telling us God does not want us to kill animals.

These principles have been well-known among Eastern religions for centuries, and vegetarianism is common among them. Recently, vegetarianism has gained new respect in the West, and many people of the Jewish faith, as well as Christians, are realizing the enormous spiritual benefits of a life dedicated to lovingkindness. Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, more evidence is emerging that Jesus was a vegetarian Essene who lived and taught the values of nonviolence and compassion for all life. Well over 100 Christian saints and their millions of followers were vegetarian as part of their dedication to live as Jesus did.

Most people of faith agree that God is love and that we ourselves have the potential to express such divine love for all God's creation. What sense would it make for our compassion to be limited only to human beings, while 100 billion animals are killed in this world every year by human hands. Our hands are meant for blessing, nurturing, healing and sharing, not for killing.

- Send e-mail to Judy Carman at judycarman@myvine.com.

How can we alleviate their suffering and bring them joy?

Judy Roitman, guiding teacher, Kansas Zen Center, 1423 N.Y.:

In 1977 while driving cross-country, for a couple hundred miles, I was behind, to the side, or occasionally in front of a pig truck - one of those big rigs that hauls pigs up the highway. The truck was empty, but there was dried pig excrement dribbled down the sides, and somehow what the pigs had experienced was palpable to me. I didn't think much of it at the time. That night, I ordered what I always ordered for dinner on the road: breakfast. In this case, ham and eggs and hash browns.

But when I put a piece of ham in my mouth, something strange happened. I just couldn't swallow it. In that moment, I became a vegetarian. I wasn't planning to do it. You couldn't even call it a decision. It was a reaction so visceral that there was no arguing with it.

My friend Kyoki Roberts, a Zen teacher and priest in Pennsylvania, was a farmer for many years, raising pigs and sheep and chickens and cattle. She loves animals and took good care of them. Her animals led good lives. But she raised her animals to be eaten. I do not eat animals, but I am not as good or kind to them as Kyoki is. I have never put my mouth to the mouth of a baby pig to breathe life into it, as Kyoki has, many times.

So here you have two human reactions to the fact that other beings suffer, from two people who don't want to cause more suffering. How does God view the killing of animals? I have no idea. More to the point is: How can we alleviate their suffering and maybe even bring them joy?

- Send e-mail to Judy Roitman at jroitman@ku.edu.

Comments

ndmoderate 6 years, 5 months ago

Good one, R_I!I also like this one:Meat is murder! Tasty, tasty murder.

yellowhouse 6 years, 5 months ago

To understand how God sees "life" think of a big parade.If you are living life on earth, you are standing on the curb watching the big parade pass, one piece at a time.If you are God you look down upon the parade like you are on top of a building. He sees our life from beginning to end in one glance! and its over!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 5 months ago

God's coming over this evening to watch some vids. I think we're going to watch the third season of The Wire. I was planning on asking him about juvenile gang violence and crack babies, but I'll quiz him on the killing of animals when we get to the segment on dog-fighting.

Emily Hadley 6 years, 5 months ago

In my minimal and humble understanding of the Bible, God gave Adam the animals as companions before creating Eve. In addition, meat doesn't grow in gardens-- grains, vegetables, fruits, and other plants do!The Bible is full of vague, contradictory, and dated guidance. We all take away different messages, but it seems to me that most organized religions focus on messages that can sustain family, community, and peaceful living. Compassion and reverence for life, and creating a kingdom of God on Earth, the only true Heaven that I understand, do not involve slaughter of any kind.'Do unto others as you would have done unto you' certainly supports that.: ) Nobody is perfect, but we can all only do our best to live as we wish to and as we hope others do. Every little bit matters.

yellowhouse 6 years, 5 months ago

Life on earth is a gift from God, but he could care a-less how long we are here, or how we die. In death there is no pain because its final. God is about the eternity of life beyond this life. Our life here on earth is nothing but a lost moment in time anyway!

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree with Marion Lynn. While organized religion has itself been the source of centuries of killing between those who loudly proclaim that "My god can kick the ass of your god", the real awful truth is that no human has any factual evidence short of personal belief of the true nature of the Supreme Being. Many religions have tried to create an agenda for this Deity, usually formulated to exhalt their own beliefs over those of others with a different view of the nature of the Universe. But all such fabrications are those of humans, not of any divine power. We truly do not know of the nature of the Divine. It is real, I truly believe that, but no human (not even the Pope, the seemilgly ultimate fabrication of imaginary religious doctrine) has any idea of the true nature of this unknown power of the Universe. So for anyone to get their gasric functions altered by such fabrications is a bit laughable to me. Plants are live beings also, and who are we to categorize any living organism above another. These vegitabliarians make pronouncements about what life is "sacred" and what grass can be mowed. It boggles the mind of those who truly want to think about the meaning of ALL life and just how it REALLY fits into the grand plan of the unknown Divine Power of the Universe.

jonas 6 years, 5 months ago

yellowhouse: Isn't it a sin to presume the mind of God? You make it sound like he's within your comprehension.

logicisking 6 years, 5 months ago

marion i didn't realize you were a cannibal. thanks so much for letting us in on your dark secret.

purplesage 6 years, 5 months ago

As a Christian, I regard the Bible as the guide for living. It tells us that the world was created and that man and woman were in a garden, allowed to eat all but one tree's fruit. Their fall into disobedience and rebellion was followed by being covered by animal skins - which God provided. Animal life was forfeit - clothing covered the shame which came with sin. So, the wages of sin are death - symbolized by the animal skins. But the guidelines seem to me most clear through the Law communicated in Leviticus which allows the eating of meat and the example of Jesus whom we know ate both fish and meat. He ate the Passover meal, which includes lamb and even in His Resurrection state, prepared and ate a meal of fish on the shore of Galilee.It does not give us leave to kil animals painfully or cruelly or wantonly. We are te be stewards of the world God created and entrusted to us.

ReadingSports 6 years, 5 months ago

Hey, who's up for a cheeseburger? One of the grocery stores (name withheld as to not endorse said grocery store) has 93% lean pre-made patties in a four pack. (ReadingSports needs to watch his waistline, you know.) They go just great on the grill. A little pickles and mustard on a bun. MMMM....MMMM .... Good....Way, way, way better than fast food...

chickenheart 6 years, 5 months ago

All of us have been born into a culture that forces us to participate practically from birth in the routine brutalizing, confining, and killing of animals for food. We have all been pressured by overwhelming forces to eat the flesh and secretions of these terrified and vulnerable creatures and it is our choice to eat them that is the driving force behind their mass enslavement and slaughter. No one in our culture ever chose to eat meat or cheese freely, on our own - we do it because it's easy and ubiquitous, and we're continually pressured into it by all the institutions in our culture - family, religion, science, education, government, media, and medicine.It takes real courage and character to question this cultural programming, especially publicly. Deeply wounded children will not be able, as adults, to look clearly or rationally at what is actually happening and the oceans of misery, pollution, disease, and violence that our eating habits cause. Instead, from their unfaced pain, they will understandably lash out, mock, condemn, ridicule, and say immensely absurd things in justification for their ongoing violence, like "might makes right."Might makes right is the foundation of exploitation and oppression and war. Of satanism, also. The definition of satanism is getting pleasure from the pain and suffering of others. Justifying stabbing and torturing animals because they "taste good" and we can get away with it shows how deeply wounded we are in this culture. We can only weep at how violent and self-centered we have become in our quest to consume - and the Earth and her creatures pay the price, and leaving nothing but devastation for our children. Wounds are healed with love and understanding. Instead of arguing with each other and bickering, let's together turn and face the obsolete and damaging cultural programming that keeps the mentality of slavery, death, violence and exclusion in place, and heal it within ourselves. I give thanks to these courageous women for starting this discussion in spite of the predictable knee-jerk reactions and I give thanks for every effort any of us makes to genuinely question the mentality of violence staring up at us from our plates.We will evolve positively as a culture only when we question the foundation of violence in our culture: our routine mistreatment of animals for food. There is no discussion more threatening to the status quo of oppression than this, and no better way to uncover our spiritual legacy and bless the world.

TtownKUlivin 6 years, 5 months ago

Well, I'm not a very religious person but I have read the Bible to explore and learn the culture(ways) of Christianity. "Luke 24:42-43, "And they gave him (Jesus) a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them."" Now I know fish isn't part of a Vegetarians diet, yet it clearly states Jesus ate fish in the Bible. Good try Dead Sea scrolls. And this person does know that after the great flood God gave Noah the right to not just green vegetation of the lands, but all living creatures. It is not sinful to kill animals for food, only when they are murdered for other reasons is it wrong. "Proverbs 12:27 says that the man who hunts for game and just kills it, and does not take possession of it for eating is a slothful man." Personally, I think the Bible is the greatest novel ever writ..it's strewn out of context more than the Constitution.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 5 months ago

Well, God keeps telling me he's omniscient, but I'm not scatterbrained enough to verify that.

riverdrifter 6 years, 5 months ago

"Food for thiought for some:.food for the table for others"Agree, H_Lecter: according to these ladies, I'm going to hell on a sled with teflon runners. No stop signs, speed limit...

ReadingSports 6 years, 5 months ago

RationalAnimal -- "With all due respect, Ms. Carman is ...." Seriously, name calling is not glorifing to God.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 5 months ago

How does God view the killing of animals?... from "on high" (above), apparently.

Newell_Post 6 years, 5 months ago

Q: How does God view the killing of animals?A; Well, if you want to get Biblical about it, I would point out that God apparently likes animal sacrifice. http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Leviticus+1http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Leviticus+5Joseph and Mary made animal sacrifices.http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Luke+2Biblical literalists out there: have you offered an animal sacrifice lately?

H_Lecter 6 years, 5 months ago

How does God view animals killing us? HmmmmmFood for thiought for some....food for the table for others

Frederic Gutknecht IV 6 years, 5 months ago

What is reverence for life? Is it reverence for the individual? Is it reverence for the living of life? Every animal will die, including you and I. It seems to me that the last few minutes of our lives may be no more or less important than these few minutes we take to read others' thoughts.It is obvious that we are "like" animals...so much "like" animals that we appear to BE animals. Are you an animal? The answer is "Yes." in my eyes.What does this mean? We are creatures that tend to draw lines. I will eat (kill) this but not that. We take lives contunually, by simply living. We can take fewer animal lives if we choose to do so. Empathic individuals often choose to take fewer animal lives, fewer lives with spines and nerves to which we can relate by blood and "feelings".We take our feelings very seriously. We tranpose them upon others. How could you not? ... How could you?Corporate cruelty abounds and casts its horrid stench upon what was natural and is now a mechanical indifference. Who could blame anyone for feeling the terror of corporate death.I could!~) ...but only if it skips the beat of life and the means to ends. I consider myself a predator and I feel little shame in that consideration. I hope for the good life...and the good death. That becomes less and less available. We work for no good. We purchase evil. We pay evil to continue and grow. We are trapped like rats eating cheesecake and cherries. It is a horror.Diversity is a blessing. We snuff it out. We grow to an enourmous size and waste our world away. Is it because we believe in an afterlife?...that we are here to multiply and subdue?...that we are fools and must follow books to find eternity? I don't know.I do know that seeking not to kill is a fool's errand. To live is to take life from other living entities. Respect for those entities is more important than the taking of individuals into your being. It is much more important to preserve the diversity of life than to take its individuals in a natural process.It's hard to be a pig. I know!~)

Rationalanimal 6 years, 5 months ago

With all due respect, Ms. Carman is an moron. Why don't we all hold hands in a circle in a big meadow full of flowers with the sun beaming through the fresh fallen dew as we dance around in flowing dresses and hair and frolic into a big tickle fight. Circle of life Carman, it's nothing to feel guilty over. I had an incredible fire grilled burger tonight and will have chicken-- that probably was kept in a tiny cage until it was plump enough the slaughter--tomorrow night. That's life. You should thank God your at the top of the food chain rather than To answer the question posed. The Old Testament is full of animal sacrifice and burnt offerings. In the New Testament, Christ's apostles were fisherman, Peter a dry fly-fisherman. Christ is on record eating fish and fed the masses with fish. There are passages in the New Testament in which Paul describes apostates in the last days as though which forbid men to eat the flesh of animals. If God didn't want us to eat animals, than why did he create animals like cows that run so slow, but, taste soooo good?

H_Lecter 6 years, 5 months ago

...as our delicious little friends.Their lives mean that the meat stays fresh w/o refrigeration.Animals and people have something in common.

janeyb 6 years, 5 months ago

I can't give up bacon. If a pig must give his life for bacon, "So be it."

labmonkey 6 years, 5 months ago

To quote Vincent Vega: "Bacon tastes good, pork-chops taste good." Only the LJworld would print and article like this.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

Marion: "God" (he.she.it) allows the killing of human beings by the thousands on a minute-by-minute basis and seems to not be bothered at all."I agree with Marion, too! If there was a God, (he.she.it) wouldn't have allowed us to invade Iraq. So many thousands of lives lost, and for what? That is what Marion was referring, was it not?Do animals or people ever have to use the bathroom in heaven? If so, then cat heaven might just be hell for the poor souls who have to scoop for eternity. Vegan God would be a cool name for a band.

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

Marion: "God" (he.she.it) allows the killing of human beings by the thousands on a minute-by-minute basis and seems to not be bothered at all.""Allows the killing". Do you mean, fail to prevent? Do you have evidence that He (And it is supported as a "He" in the Bible) is not bothered at all?Do we have evidence that you are bothered by Iraq?

Rationalanimal 6 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

chickenheart 6 years, 5 months ago

Some variations on the theme: If God didn't want us to be cannibals, why did he make humans out of meat?If God didn't want people to be raped, why did he make them with suitable body openings?If God wanted us to eat animals, why does he make us have to cover it up so we disconnect from the basic disgust we feel about eating bloody flesh?McCartney is right on when he says that if slaughterhouses had glass walls, we'd all be vegetarians.

alimpic 6 years, 5 months ago

Last time I checked... and I may be wrong, but "acts of god" contribute to a tremendous number of deaths... God is apparently one of the leading causes of death... I say we continue to eat delicious animals and accept the CHAOS!

gr 6 years, 5 months ago

"but "acts of god" contribute to a tremendous number of deaths: God is apparently one of the leading causes of death: "Surely you don't think we are so naive to not understand that as a way for insurance companies to get out of paying up.----------------duplenty, what do you base your life on? How is it not "just silly"?

MountainLion413 6 years, 1 month ago

I met Judy Carman a few years back.I knew her for a short time.She is NOT a moron!She may be a prisoner of her own New-Age noise, but she is NO moron.Having said that, I have heard her say that she and her cohorts are trying to "evangelize" the world around them toward living the vegan life.Well, count me OUT!Quietly BEING a vegan or vegetarian without preaching about it is one thing.But trying to "evangelize" an all-or-nothing vegan life upon the entire world - that's outright TYRANNY in my book!These New-Age activists like Ms. Carman make it needlessly hard for the rest of us vegans and vegetarians, who'd rather eat our plant-based diets in peace, WITHOUT making an issue of it all.MountainLion413

dplachy 2 years, 11 months ago

is anyone concerned about how God's heart must hurt when animals die? The reality of the situation is God cares even for the birds. People come on, killing something so we can feed our bellies? if you really want to know the truth try praying, i bet God will answer and you will find he tells you with a firm no to killing animals. Yes i am a christian and this is what i know to be true. by the way read isaiah 66 1-3, you might find it interesting.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.