Why don't you focus your attention on abortion or child abuse? Why do you care about animals?

Since the principle that underlies all of Jesus' actions is the sanctity of life and the right of every being to be secure from violation and harm, it makes perfect sense that some organizations and individuals would focus their limited energy and resources on the alleviation of the millions of daily acts of violence against animals in laboratories, on factory farms, in the fur and leather trades, and on our streets. As animals have few defenders, this is an enormous undertaking. Those who are particularly adamant on the abortion issue should also consider the issue of vegetarianism, as it requires no additional effort and lends the credibility of personal action to their statements about being "pro-life."

There is so much violence in the world, from wars in sub-Saharan Africa to violence in U.S. inner cities. For the most part, the issues are complex and the solutions not easily formulated. Even with the issue of abortion, few of us will ever have to make this choice, and no one can make this choice for someone else, however much some people might wish to.

But there is one area where the solution is simple: the issue of animal abuse on factory farms. Each and every one of us can simply choose not to be animal abusers by becoming a vegetarian. Every time we sit down to eat, we make a choice: Do we want to support compassion and mercy? Or do we want to support misery, violence, and bloodshed? Are we animal abusers, or are we kind to animals? Most of us would agree that it is immoral, unchristian even, to cause gratuitous suffering to a dog or a cat. It is illogical, as well as unkind, not to extend this same understanding to cows, pigs, chickens, fish, and all other animals.

If we purport to be "pro-life," yet we choose to support violence, misery, and death every time we sit down to eat, what does that say about our convictions? For a simple palate preference, we have become "pro-death," we are paying for cruelty to animals. The only legitimate Christian or "pro-life" choice is vegetarianism.

The Nazarenes of  Mount Carmel
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