How did you, as a Christian, become involved in animal protection?
I grew up in a Christian home. My father is a pastor, and I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in theology. The welfare of animals was never something I considered to be related to Christianity. I was happy for those who did not eat animals, but I didn’t see why it would matter for me to participate in that lifestyle. After watching the documentary Earthlings while in college, I realized that human beings treat animals as products and not as the living and feeling beings they are. A pivotal realization came to me during the film: We human beings share the Earth with other animals. For me, that realization brought me to a place where I knew I could not participate in the abuse and murder of any creature. The connection between my faith and my choice to be vegan came very soon afterward.
How has this impacted your relationship with God?
Through the help of a faithful vegan friend, I was opened up to the theological significance of animal welfare. Because I believe that God created the Earth with love and that the kingdom of God exists for peace, with no room for violence, I do not participate in the systematic oppression of my fellow earthlings. My relationship with God has been strengthened with the knowledge that I am lessening the violence humans have inflicted upon God’s creatures by living a vegan lifestyle. Being vegan has brought me to a new place of looking at God’s creation—it has given me a glimpse of the kingdom of God.
There are a lot of Bible verses that demonstrate God’s love for animals. What is your favorite?
My favorite Bible verse about God’s love for animals is actually the entire first chapter of Genesis. When God creates, God sees “that it is good.” God loves all of creation!
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food would have to be vegan BLTs with tempeh instead of bacon. I love mayonnaise, so when I make them at home, I always finish them off by spreading on a good layer of vegan mayonnaise like Just Mayo or Vegenaise.
What would you tell a fellow Christian who is thinking of going vegan?
Veganism is a lifestyle that is cruelty-free. God calls for believers to live a life of peace with everyone, a life without violence, and a life of reconciliation. The Bible speaks of “all creation” (including animals) joining together to worship and praise the Lord. If the Bible makes all creatures that important, shouldn’t you?