Is It Morally Acceptable to Eat Animals? What About Being Vegan?

Is It Morally Acceptable to Eat Animals? What About Being Vegan?

At the recent Academy Awards, Joaquin Phoenix, gave a passionate acceptance speech. No one can deny that Phoenix is a talented actor—his performance in Gladiator was classic! He spent much of his Oscar speech talking about his vision of the crises plaguing our planet: injustice, gender inequality, animal rights, human selfishness, and…cow insemination! Not surprisingly, Phoenix is a vegan, which is certainly an acceptable choice morally. But, for the most part, his views and speech are typical Hollywood left-wing pabulum.

At one point, Phoenix said, “I think whether we’re talking about gender and equality, or racism, or queer rights, or indigenous rights, or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice. We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one people, one race, one gender, one species has the right to dominate, control, use, and exploit another with impunity.”

Well…what does God’s Word have to say about that? The answer comes quickly in Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’” Whether or not you accept these words as historical fact (Christians certainly have for centuries!), there can be no doubt about what these verses are saying. They are a powerful reminder that in God’s eyes humans and animals are ontologically different. While we certainly do not have the right to abuse animals (something that I believe is morally evil), we nevertheless have the right to raise, hunt and eat animals. They are, after all, just that—animals!

For someone like Phoenix to get up and equate animal rights and human rights is a stark reminder of the worldview difference on our planet. It also cheapens the value of human life. While animal rights activists believe that they are elevating the dignity of animals by attributing to them certain “rights”, what is really taking place is the devaluation of human life. God’s Word is clear about this. And one more thing. What about the rights of plants?! Vegans eat plants. We cannot forget that a group of students, at the liberal Union Theological Seminary in NYC, recently held a religious service in which they prayed to a group of plants and asked forgiveness for how human beings have treated our botanical friends over the centuries (I did not make this one up!).

by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor
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