In the wake of this week’s shooting at the Muhammad Art Exhibit at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, we sent a letter this morning asking the center to display a banner that shows peas laid out in the shape of the Christian cross, the Muslim star and crescent, the Hindu Aum, and the Jewish Star of David and reads, “Give Peas a Chance: Go Vegan. Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.”
Our banner would promote a message of nonviolence toward all living beings and remind the citizens of Garland that although people of different nationalities and religions often feel powerless in the face of senseless violence, every time we sit down to eat, we can help reduce suffering by choosing a vegan diet.
In today’s industrialized meat and dairy industries, chickens and turkeys have their throats cut while they’re still conscious, fish are left to suffocate on the decks of boats or are cut open while they’re still alive, and calves are taken away from their loving mothers within hours of birth so that humans can drink the milk intended for the infants.
This treatment flies in the face of what it means to be stewards of God’s creation. Jesus’ commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” surely means showing mercy to all—including God’s creatures, who are in desperate need of our mercy.