Give Animals a Happy Christmas

Posted by on December 25, 2012 | Permalink

Christmas is here.
For Christians, it’s a holy time of the year, spent celebrating with friends and family and commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.

When you consider that Christmas is a time to celebrate life, it seems peculiar that many Christians choose to share the products of violence, misery and death with their loved ones on this holy day. Meat, eggs and dairy products come from exploited and abused animals. PETA’s “Glass Walls” video offers a behind-the-scenes look at abattoirs, factory farms, live-animal transport and the fishing industry. Could such cruelty be Christ-like? has some answers:

Why Should Christians Be Vegetarians?

Jesus’ message is one of love and compassion, yet there is nothing loving or compassionate about factory farms and slaughterhouses, where billions of animals live miserable lives and die violent, bloody deaths. Jesus mandates kindness, mercy, compassion, and love for all God’s creation. He would be appalled by the degree of suffering we inflict on animals to indulge our acquired taste for their flesh.

Christians have a choice. When we sit down to eat, we can add to the level of violence, misery, and death in the world, or we can respect His creation with a vegetarian diet.

Choose Compassion, Not Cruelty

The Garden of Eden, God’s perfect world, was vegetarian (Gen. 1:29-30). Immediately, God calls this ideal and non-exploitative relationship “good” (Gen. 1:31). There follow many years of fallen humanity, when people held slaves, waged war, ate animals and committed various other violent acts. But the prophets tell us that the peaceable kingdom will be nonviolent and vegetarian; even the lion will lie down with the lamb (e.g., Isaiah 11). Jesus is the Prince of Peace, who ushers in this new age of nonviolence. When Christians pray, “Your will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven,” the one prayer given to us by Jesus, this obligates us to change our lives, to make choices that are as merciful and loving as possible. There will be no factory farms and slaughterhouses in heaven.

God created every animal with the capacity for pain and suffering. But on today’s factory farms, animals are dehorned, debeaked, and castrated without anesthesia. To maximize profits, they are crowded together in the least space possible, and are genetically bred, so that most suffer lameness, crippling leg deformities, or bone breaks, because their legs can’t keep up with their scientifically enhanced bodies. Finally, they are trucked without food or water, through all weather extremes, to a frightening and hellish death.

Compassion and Respect for All Who Suffer

A vegetarian diet is good for your health and spares animals unimaginable suffering and violence. Remember: As we do to the least, so we do to Him.

Christmas is a great time to begin your compassionate journey – a life focused on reducing harm to animals. Order PETA’s vegetarian/vegan starter kit for recipes and tips on making the switch.