Don’t Forget the Animals

Laura Hobgood-Oster has a new book coming out on October 1 called “The Friends We Keep: Unleashing Christianity’s Compassion for Animals.”  She is a professor of Religion and Environmental Studies (quite a combination!) at Southwestern University in Texas and makes a scripture-based argument that that “God created all living things to exist in relationship to humankind. We have a moral responsibility of kindness and concern to non-human beings. In turn, animals sustain our existence, both physically as food and emotionally as companions.  Turn a blind eye to their plight and we underwrite our own undoing.”

New puppyAs the owner of a new puppy, I am practicing (with great effort at times) the compassion needed to sustain a healthy companion relationship with a pet. But pets are (relatively) easy. What about the chickens with their beaks sawed off to avoid pecking each other in the packed confines of their cages, pigs with teeth removed to save the iron bars of their pens, calves prevented from having iron to keep their veal meat a more cosmetically pleasing white?

If I’m God and I created all these creatures, I sure wouldn’t be pleased with how we’re treating them.

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