Facebook photos posted by Sarah Palin on Friday showed her son Trig stepping on the back of the family’s black Labrador in order to reach the sink—and boy, did it cause a kerfuffle.

Instead of apologizing for posting photos of the incident, Palin defended the photos with crude remarks such as, “Chill. At least Trig didn’t eat the dog.” She seems to be missing the point of what it means to be a steward of God’s creation.

Jesus didn’t trample on anyone who was perceived as lowly or meek. In fact, he lifted them up and walked alongside them.

One simple way to respect God’s creation is to encourage our children to treat animals with kindness and the consideration due to them as God’s beloved creatures—and not as step stools, targets, or dinner. Over and over again, we read in the Bible that animals are not ours—they’re God’s, and we’re their protectors. If Palin really wants to help protect God’s creatures, she can make a New Year’s resolution to learn more about what the Bible really says about animals. And if she really wants to walk the stewardship talk, she’ll go vegan.

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