Members of the body of Christ are called to be prophetic witnesses to the whole world. That means we look forward to a fully reconciled creation, to paradise restored. So, our challenge is to examine what’s happening in our world today and how we are contributing to brokenness and make changes to reduce suffering and increase reconciliation. In the past, the church has struggled for the abolition of slavery, for women’s suffrage and other basic rights for women, for children’s rights, and more. One hundred years from now, the church should look back and be proud to have been a leader in the animal protection movement.
A world “on earth as it is in heaven” is a vegan world. The Kingdom of God is marked by nonviolence, life over death, and peace between species. Factory farms and slaughterhouses are hell on Earth. Chickens and turkeys have their throats slit while still conscious, piglets have their tails and testicles cut off without any painkillers, and fish are suffocated or cut open while still alive on the decks of fishing boats.
As Christians, we are called to be radically inclusive in our love for the least and most marginalized of society, as demonstrated by the life and death of Christ. The most loving thing that we can do toward God’s creatures is not to eat them.
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it ….Psalm 24:1
God created animals with the ability to feel pain, joy, and fear and to suffer. Anyone who lives with an animal will tell you that each animal has a unique personality and strong needs and desires. When we treat animals like unfeeling commodities, we undercut God’s original design.
Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way that impedes their ability to live their lives free from suffering and exploitation. The most Christ-like action we can take toward animals is to work for their protection.