It Should Be Obvious

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

I found myself on PETA's website the other day while I was studying pro-choice arguments. (I do that -- otherwise, I have no way of understanding what they're fighting about, but that's another post.) It was a reasonable bunny trail (no pun intended), but unlike, more clearly abortion-related sites, it was hard to read PETA's website without being personally offended. The feature "What PETA REALLY Stands For" was particularly appalling. The point of the article was the equal value of all living animals -- humans included. Apparently this is the mantra of PETA: "Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way." Clicking on this banner will take you to the feature I'm reacting to here.

Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way. ~PETA

Fighting for the humane treatment of animals is one thing. All animals have been created just like we have been -- and I find it hard to believe God doesn't mind what we do to chickens. They are much more than nuggets.

These boundaries change throughout history, and we’re horrified now to recall the abuse inflicted on others once classified as outsiders: the extermination of Jewish people by the Nazis, the enslavement of African people by American plantation owners, and the slaughter of Christian people for entertainment by Roman centurions. from What PETA Really Stands For

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

The ownership of a human being is evil. A man is not a thing to be owned. Slaves were counted as cargo, as cattle. The systematic dehumanization of an entire race far outweighs the treatment of cows or horses or beetles. It is the treatment of humans as nonhuman that is at the heart of the historical abominations mentioned in the above quote.

We work hard to deceive ourselves and each other in order to maintain the illusion of a real boundary around “human.”

Animals are more than we think they are, and we ought to protect them. A human is not simply one of the animals; there is a difference in value. Both are true.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

I learned from a young age that humans are animals, a machine, so I have always had a hard time with this truth. It should be obvious, but it just isn't to me and has never been. When I read

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26.

I would think -- am I? You can easily tell from the context that Jesus means this as a rhetorical question, easily understood. It should be ridiculous -- one not being of more value than the birds.

I still do that. The Lord says "Are you not of more value than [the birds]?" And I say, Am I?

Yes, of course.