How Can Christians Live Mercifully?

How Can Christians Live Mercifully? 

How humans exploit animals is seemingly infinite. We mainly target these four industries which most commonly exploit animals. Utilizing the principles of New Earth Abolition (NEA), we can safely say that none of these industries align with those principles. No human would want to be treated as a commodity for food, entertainment, fashion, or experimentation. Thus, we biblically oppose these uses of animals. Instead, we offer alternatives that align more with the principles of NEA - humans treating animals with equality (Luke 6:31), servanthood (Mark 9:35), and harmony (Isaiah 11:6–9). NEA corresponds with Jesus teaching in Matthew 5:7, where he stated, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."

ANIMALS EXPLOITED FOR FOOD  

Animal agriculture is relentlessly cruel in industrialized nations. Farm animals are frequently castrated, dehorned, cramped into close quarters, and fed unnatural diets. We advocate a vegan diet, which consists of solely plants and eliminates meat, dairy, eggs, cheese, honey and all other animal products. Vegan diets have much biblical support. When God first created the earth, he ordered humanity a vegan diet in the paradisiacal garden of Eden (Genesis 1:29–30). This is God's ideal diet, as demonstrated by him calling it and the rest of his creation, "very good" in Genesis 1:31. This diet was also praised in Daniel 1:1–21, when Daniel ate nothing but vegetables and water to avoid defiling himself with the king's food. Veganism is also the implied diet on the New Earth, as humans and animals will live in peace (Isaiah 11:6–9).

Recipes available from PETA

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ANIMALS EXPLOITED FOR ENTERTAINMENT

Animal circuses, rodeos, horse racing, bullfighting, and dogfighting involve immense cruelty to animals. Zoos and aquariums put wildlife on display primarily for human entertainment and spectacle. Even the very best facilities frustrate many of the animals’ basic behavioral needs. The Bible does condemn the use of animals in entertainment, specifically in Genesis 49:6. This verse in the New Living Translation (NLT), states, “May I never join in their meetings; may I never be a party to their plans. For in their anger they murdered men, and they crippled oxen just for sport.” This verse could certainly be applied to bullfighting, where the bulls are harmed for entertainment. Thus, we apply the principle of Genesis 49:6 to all instances where animals are harmed for entertainment. We instead advocate for entertainment involving consensual humans. With animals, we recommend nonprofit farm and wildlife sanctuaries, which puts the concern for the animals first, not the entertainment of humans.

Farm Animal Sanctuary Directory from Vegan Navigator

ANIMALS EXPLOITED FOR FASHION

The fashion industry is disturbingly cruel. A variety of wild animals are trapped for their fur, which causes excruciating pain to their limbs before their merciless death. Other species are farmed for their coats, skins, wool, and feathers. Undercover footage often shows the animals painfully struggling before their death. Clothing, in general, was not given until after the fall (Genesis 3:6). We believe Adam and Eve were clothed with the skins of an animal (Genesis 3:21) to cover their sin (Hebrews 9:22). With the death of Jesus, animal sacrifice is no longer necessary (Hebrews 10:18). Adam and Eve used fig leaves as clothing (Genesis 3:7). Thus, we believe a better fallen option is clothing made from plants. Regardless, the New Earth depicts believers as wearing robes (Revelation 22:14). These cannot be made of animal hides, as the New Earth is described as a place where there is no death or pain (Revelation 21:4). Thus, we advocate cruelty-free fashion, with products made from plants or synthetic materials. There are many alternatives, such as synthetic materials, faux leather, and faux fur. We advocate abstaining from wearing all clothing, accessories, and textiles made from the skin, fur, or feathers of animals, including leather, fur, mohair, wool, silk, cashmere, angora, exotic animal skins, down feathers, and others.

Resources for Vegan Fashion: PETA and Farm Sanctuary

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ANIMALS EXPLOITED FOR EXPERIMENTATION

Animals are often used for used for medical and scientific research (vivisection), as well as for household products so that companies can avoid possible litigation. The Bible appears to be silent on this issue. However, based on the paradise seen in Eden (Genesis 1:20–31), and the New Earth (Isaiah 11:6–9), animals will no longer be harmed. Thus, we advocate for the abolition of animal use in experimentation. This is primarily a legislative issue. However, several organizations promote ridding the sciences of animal use and promoting ethical alternatives. Additionally, several organizations list and promote companies that circumvent the use of animal testing on their products. 

Anti-Vivisection Organizations:

  • American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS)
  • National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS)

Cruelty-Free Product Listings:

History and Future: The Derm Review

Banner and Corresponding Photo Credit: Farm Sanctuary