Kids send Marcus the lamb to slaughter
I find this somewhat reassuring, while some may find this discomforting as pointed to in the article. In summary, kids at a school in Kent, England, vote to slaughter a lamb which they themselves raised. It was set within an educational farm setting, educating students on farming life. However, the choice to slaughter ‘Marcus’ raised a huge commotion by animal cruelty and animal rights activists. For more details, read the article.
The decision of the students, however, is a wake up call to this issue of humane animal treatment. Personally, if there is a voice that should heard, it is that of these students. Even having raised ‘Marcus’ themselves, it did not seem unnatural for them to slaughter the lamb. I think, it reflects the natural order that animals are, simply, not human. We, humans, have charge over the animal kingdom and there is no reason for us to treat them as humans.
Now, I’m not saying there should not be kind and gentle consideration of how animals are dealt with, there is a place for that; however, when it comes to the point where they are treated equal if not greater than human life itself, I think it represents a denigration of humanity, where the greater has become the lesser; the lesser become the greater. Yes, we should be considerate of animal treatment, however, they don’t walk, talk or think like you and I – they aren’t people.
On the other side, in regards to the food industry, I’m disgusted by the over-slaughter of animals. This was highlighted in a documentary by Jamie Oliver “Jamie saves our bacon.” It might be the Asian-within, but it is beyond me why an animal is culled simply for its ‘choice” parts and the rest, essentially, discarded. Now, I want to make it clear I don’t speak as an expert. However, if I might side with the activists (and no, I’m not going vegetarian), just stop and think.
A brief word to those of Christian faith. We are deemed the stewards of this world our God has created. Our faith must (yes, must) be lived out in every domain of our lives. While everything of the created order has been given to us, it has not been given for us to squander (something to be said about our finances…). Our world is suffering enough, but we do not need to be the ones who reinforce its demise.
“We, humans, have charge over the animal kingdom and there is no reason for us to treat them as humans.”
I’m sorry, what? Who said that humans have charge over the animal kingdom?
“God” is not an answer I’ll accept.
And I don’t think that trying to give a voice to those that have none (which is what activists of all causes do) – trying to give equal footing to the creatures we share a single planet with – can count as a denigration of humanity. I’d say that it’s actually one of the few things that humanity has going for it. This is the same humanity that rapes, exploits, murders, cons, extorts and lies to other humans. Hah, actually maybe you’re right. I wouldn’t want animals treated like humans in that case either 😛
Humans aren’t that special. You must’ve heard somewhere that we’re animals too. Mammals. Monkeys with a couple of extra neat tricks. But regardless of our differing opinions on what the value of humanity is, if you really think that using our sentience to try and protect other creatures that (apparently) have none is a “denigration” of humanity then I’d be worried about what you didn’t think counted as a denigration, or what you thought counted as praise for humanity.
Disclaimer: I ain’t a vegetarian an I’m not particularly fussed that the lamb was slaughtered as long as it was done humanely (and I use that word deliberately). Actually, hah, when I think of it, there is one issue where I can agree with you that animals are given more rights than humans – let’s have euthanasia introduced and let us die without pain and with dignity. If humanity means you have to suffer, painfully, dribbling to the end, then I’d like to resign my membership.
If I might be so bold to offer a reply. The fact that you do not (or cannot) accept “God” as a sufficient answer may well, if it hasn’t already, void what follows; yet, my entire worldview and perspective is based on such an answer. So, it will be with such a viewpoint that I proceed.
The “God”-given mandate at Creation of the BIble is:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”‘
My point regarding the “denigration of humanity” flows, therefore, from this mandate; there is a cause for humanity to exercise – let me emphasise, within proper bounds – authority and charge over all of Creation, that is, the environment and the animal kingdom.
You make an extremely valid point regarding the nature of humanity, one that “rapes, exploits, murders, cons, extorts and lies to other humans.” To further my “God”-perspective, the very point that humanity is broken and corrupt – as you may known, when Adam and Eve sinned – is where this all falls apart. As a result, humanity’s mandate of authority and charge over Creation is broken and corrupted. (Regarding your view of humanity suffering, painfully, dribbling to the end…there’s more that can be said regarding this issue.)
This denigration is, then, not so much the attempt to protect; rather, it is the means and understanding of humanity’s aim to protect. In the end, I don’t actually think the result would be all that different, but I do think that the role and status of humanity would be significantly different. Ironically, my praise of humanity is that, despite its differing perception of the world, it still lives up to the original mandate as caretakers for this world.
If all of your arguments are going to be essentially “because God said so” then I’m going to have to start an argument with you about the existence of “God” because otherwise we won’t be able to debate anything! 😛
I realise that you’re a pastor but we need to set out some common ground first before rational debate on any topic can begin.
Also, I thought that most modern Christians didn’t really believe that a lot of the stories from the Old Testament (Noah’s Ark, Adam and Eve, etc) were realistic or true – they were just “stories”?
At any rate: “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground” — sounds like a rather jerk thing to command 😛 The Abrahamic “god” of the Old Testament seem to come across as a jerk quite often in that book…
Well, personally, there’s not really much to debate. They are varying points of view. The very fact that I’m a Christian, let alone a pastor, sets the basis for that. To use words like “rational”, “logic” and “reason” simply mean very different things, for reality is seen through very different lens.
Regarding the Old Testament, there are various ways that they can be interpreted, each with its value. Regardless of whether they believe that they are real or true, the nature of Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) “stories”, myths and legends are based on some accepted cultural truth – whether or not that is communicated to us in a 21st century Western culture is another matter. Personally, I don’t think the Old Testament sets out to be a “history” book, as we might so expect; rather, through an account of “story-telling”, as you might expect from an ANE oral culture, explores a reality much deeper.
Sure, if he was a person like you and me. However, the difficulty which most people struggle with is that God is, simply, God. In the full sense of the word, a being perfect and complete, in character and status, with power and authority beyond humanity. The mandate/command given to rule over Creation is, similarly, like a king who delegates his authority to his subjects over aspects of his domain. To stretch the image a little further, it is like a monarch who trusts his aristocracy (the princes, dukes, barons, etc.) to maintain his domain and enables them to do so, freely and responsibility. Unlike the dictator who does not trust his administration, resulting in his absolute command with no deviation – adequately described, a “jerk”.
Simply put, an inadequate understanding of the character of who God is, results in an inadequate response. To view God through a human framework, simply doesn’t work. Herein lies the problem, it is only through faith, looking beyond what we know, that we see beyond the human framework.