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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

A Vegan Christian's Review of Neil Pine's The Conscious Planet. By Dr. Chapman Chen 

Executive Summary: Neil M. Pine's 2023 book, The Conscious Planet: A Vision of Sustainability, Peace, and Prosperity, is published by Trine Day LLC. The knowledgeable author therein stimulates people to think about different urgent issues such as climate change, vegan theologies, racism, and endangered species. More centeredness and interconnectedness, however, would have made it even better. This review will focus on Vegan (Christian) theology as dealt with in the book.


The Conscious Planet does offer a glimpse of crucial topics in the field of Vegan Theology, like "animals also have souls", "many Old Testament prophets spoke against animal sacrifice", "Jesus was vegan," and "Jesus died for animal liberation." More depths, however, would be desired by religious readers. Queries about Jesus' fish stories, for instance, are dismissed by Pine with a simple statement that it has no justifiable validation. And it is doubtful whether it is fair to blame white Judeo-Christianity for most problems of the world.


The documentation and citation style has room for improvement. Many "sources" in the endnotes are invalid yahoo search links. Many others are incomplete or fragmentary data. And there is no bibliography. Moreover, there are quite a few misquotes of celebrities, e.g., Albert Schweitzer.



1. A Very Diversified Book


Apart from animal rights, this book covers the negative health impacts of eating animal flesh, environmental protection, global warming, nuclear power hazards, endangered species, parental education, white supremacy, Vegan Christianity, Vegan Buddhism, Vegan Hinduism, fluoride as a carcinogenic substance, GMO, and what not. Had it interwoven these diverse topics closely around a single (hypo)thesis, it would have been more readable.


2. Vegan Theology Topics


The Conscious Planet does offer a glimpse of crucial topics in the field of Vegan (Christian) Theology. Below please find a few examples, which I will examine from a Vegan Christian's point of view.


2.1. Animals have a Soul


"The Bible proclaims that both animals and humans are “Nefesh Cha-ya” (living souls)" (Pine 2023:49).


Here, I would like to add that the Biblical Hebrew word, נֶ֫פֶשׁ‎ nephesh (soul) is translated "life" or "creature" in most English versions of the Bible when applied to animals, e.g., Genesis 1:20, 1:21, 1:24, 1:30, 9:4 KJV. Whereas it is often translated accurately when applied to humans, e.g., Genesis 2:7 KJV (cf. Antipas 2014). The same with רוּחַ‎ ruach (spirit), e.g., "For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts... they have all one breath [ר֫וּחַ  ruach (spirit)]; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast" (Ecclesiastes 3:19 KJV). The significance of animals having a soul and a spirit lies in its implication that humans and animals are equal before the Creator, that animals are our neighbors; and we are supposed to follow Jesus' commandment and love them (Matthew 22:39), instead of abusing and murdering them (Chen 2022b). 


2.2. Great OT Prophets Condemn Animal Sacrifice


As put by Pine (2023:51),


All the great prophets of Israel (Amos, Isaiah, Hosea, and Jeremiah), had spoken out for the same compassionate reasons as Jesus, also condemning this practice of ritualistic animal slaughter; but like Christ, their cries were all in vain!


“When you offer me holocausts, I reject your oblations and refuse to look at your sacrifices of fattened cattle . . . but let justice flow like water and integrity like an unfailing stream. — (Amos) [98]


“What are your endless sacrifices to me, says Yahweh. I am sick of holo-causts of rams . . . the blood of bulls and goats revolts me . . . the smoke of them fills me with disgust . . . Your New Moons and your pilgrimages I hate with all my soul . . . your hands are covered with blood, wash, make yourselves clean.”— (Isaiah) [99]


“All living creatures may lie down without fear”— (Hosea) : (2:18) (NEB) [100]


“Nothing in all creation is hidden from gods’ right.”— (Hebrews) : (4:13) [101]"


Here I would like to point out that in the Old Testament, the word "holocaust" actually refers to burnt animal sacrifice. No wonder, in his semi-autobiographical story, "The Letter Writer," the Yiddish writer and Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer (1982) has the hero Herman say:-


They have convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor of all the species, is the crown of creation. All other creatures were created merely to provide him with food, pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka.(Singer 1982:262-279)


2.3. Saints Support Veganism


Pine quotes a few saints to support veganism, e.g., St. Basil's saying that "The steam of meat meals darkens the spirit" (Pine 2023:54); Thomas' saying (in The Lost Gospel of Thomas) that “Wretched is a body depending on a body (Corpse)" (Pine 2023:55); and St. Augustine's story about Jacobus (James the Just) who lived on seeds, vegetables, and also refused meat and wine (Pine 2023:55). However, Pine has forgotten to tackle St. Augustine's (Augustine 2014: 1.20) and St. Aquinas' pro-animal-exploitation stance on the ground that animals have no reason (Aquinas 1920: Article 1, Question 64). 


2.4. Jesus was Vegan


Pine (2023:50) recognizes that Jesus was a vegan: “In a recent discovery (as in terms of Biblical chronological order), in the 1950s, of the Dead Sea Scrolls, it gives strong evidence that Christ was actually a vegan who taught and lived by the principle of nonviolence. It also makes reference about some of the original Christians called the Essenes, who lived by these same principles.” (Pine puts the passage above in parentheses but does not put down the source.)


As a matter of fact, the question asked in the book, “if Jesus and the devil were standing in the road and a lamb crosses the road, which would kill the lamb?” sort of anticipates what Kameron Waters asks in Anderson's and Waters' documentary Christspiracy -- "How would Jesus kill an animal?"


2.5. Jesus Died for the Cause of Animal Liberation


According to the scriptures, Christ was sentenced to death for his part in preventing the execution of tens of thousands of sacrificial lambs who would have been killed on Easter Sunday.... Jesus freed the animals in the temple which in reality was actually a butcher shop, thus declaring “I desire MERCY not SACRIFICE!” He subsequently was arrested for being an animal rights activist. (Pine 2023:51)


Here, I would like to add that the crucial event that directly sealed Jesus' fate was His cleansing of the Holy Temple. In emptying the Temple of animals about to be slaughtered for sacrifice, and in calling the Temple-turned-butcher-shop "a den of thieves" (Mark 11:16, Luke 20:46, Matthew 21:12-13 KJV), debunked the business fraud of animal sacrifice and disrupted the chief priests' and scribes' lucrative revenue stream (Akers 2000: 117-119; Chen 2024), who immediately afterwards conspired to destroy Him (Mark 11:15-18). They framed Him up for being the King of Jews (Mark 27:11, Luke 27:3, John 18:33-37, Matt. 27:11) , which implies that He was the leader of a Jewish insurrection against the Roman rule. (Jesus' rebuttal was: "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence [John 19:36 KJV]). The accusation, despite Jesus' clarification, reinforced the Roman authorities' political concern about such a mega popular spiritual guru as Jesus. Pilate thus sentenced Jesus to death by way of crucifixion, a punishment specifically reserved for rebellion, treason and robbery (cf. Chen 2024a).


2.6. Did Jesus Eat Fish?


Concerning the question as to whether Jesus ate fish, Pine just asserts that according to Keith Akers' book Disciples: How Jewish Christianity Shaped Jesus and Shattered the Church", due to so many ambiguous translations of biblical text over the years, there is no valid justification to assume that Jesus ate fish" (Pine 2023:54). And then Pine concludes, "nowhere in the New Testament is Jesus depicted as eating flesh!" (ibid.). Had Pine provided more evidence in this respect, the conclusion would have been more convincing.   


In fact, instances of Jesus the Vegan Christ eating fish or helping His disciples to catch fish in the gospels are all products of either misinterpretation or later interpolation (cf. Chen 2023, 2022a, 2022b, 2020). I. Jesus miraculously aided Peter and his folk to catch a huge net of fish (Luke 5:1-11)? But Jesus then asked them to FORSAKE their NETS, follow Him and CATCH MEN INSTEAD OF FISH. Matthew 4:18-20 and Mark 1:16-18 also record this story albeit without the first part. II. Jesus directed Peter to go hook a fish and dig a coin from her/his mouth in order to pay a temple tax (Matthew 17:24-27)? This could not be real for, firstly, it was never executed; secondly, it's improbable that Jesus would have performed a complex miracle in order to pay his own tax; thirdly, how could Jesus, who died for animal liberation (Akers 2000), have had the heart to order his disciple to do such a cruel thing to an innocent fish? III. Jesus multiplied "five loaves and two fish" to feed the multitudes (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:1-14)? However, Jesus therein broke and handed out loaves but not fish (Matthew 14). Moreover, the Greek word for fish (ἰχθύας) is a code word for " Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior" (Akers 2000); and "fish (opsarion)" may also be a mistranslation of the Greek word for "fishweed (opson)" (Hicks 2019; Giron 2013). IV. Luke's story of Jesus helping Peter to catch fish and His eating fish to prove to the eleven disciples on the very night of his Resurrection that he's no ghost is clearly a forgery, for both the date and the venue contradict Mark and Matthew (cf. Vujicic 2016).  


3. White Judeo-Christianity cum White Supremacy


The author of this book blames white anthropocentric Judeo-Christianity not only for meatism but also for most problems of the world, such as racial discrimination, genocide, and even the potential end-of-the-world nuclear war. He thinks this may be traced back to "God said, Let's make man in our image" and "let them have dominion over" all animals (Genesis 1:29 KJV), and he retorts against it with “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5 KJV).


Here, I would like to add two points.


3.1. Animals may also have been Made in God's Image


Firstly, there is good reason to question whether Christians should think that only humans bear the image of God. Animals at least partly manifest God's image because of the following reasons:- Firstly, The Bible never denies that animals are made in the image of God. Secondly, both humanity and other animals were made out of dust by God. Thirdly, God made a covenant with not only humanity but also other animals (Genesis 9:9-11; Hosea 2:18). Fourthly, many verses in the Bible describe how different animals bear different characteristics of God (e.g. Isaiah 31:4; Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34; John 1:29; Matthew 3:16). Fifthly, not only humans but  other animals are gifted with a "living soul" (נֶ֣פֶשׁ חַיָּ֔ה nephesh chayyah) (Genesis 1:21, 24; Genesis 1:30). It follows that animals are our fellow creatures, that we should go vegan and stop eating and abusing them (Chen 2023a).


3.2. Dominion May Mean Servanthood, NOT Dictatorship!


Secondly, the original Hebrew word in the ancient biblical consonantal form for "dominion" in Genesis 1:28 is yirdu (ירדו). Seven hundred years after the birth of Christ, the Masoretes put a chireq (one dot) under the Resh (ר) making this the root word radah (רִדָּה) (Masoretic Hebrew) which means to subdue. Had they put a tsere (two dots) under the Resh they would have come up with the root word yarad (יָרַד) (Masoretic Hebrew), which means to come down or lower oneself (cf. Chaim & Laura 2015). In other words, humans are expected by God to lower themselves to serve other animals. Jesus Himself made it clear that His mission was to serve all sentient beings rather than to enslave them. "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve," Jesus emphasized in Luke 22:24-27 ESV. In Jesus' interpretation, "dominion" is not only stwardship but "servanthood" (cf. Linzey 1995:45, 57).


Similarly, Rev. Prof. Andrew Linzey (1994:34) argues that "dominion" in Genesis 1:28 means stewardship rather than despotism. Judging from its context, namely Genesis 2:15 where humans are particularly commissioned to till and keep the garden, and Genesis 1:29 where humans are prescribed a vegan diet by Yahweh, Linzey is adamant that "dominion" should be interpreted as human's God-assigned moral obligation to "look after and care for the Lord's creatures. Further still, humans are the species uniquely assigned by God to be "the servant species", after Jesus Christ, "capable of co-operating with God in the healing and liberation of creatures" (Linzey 1994:44).


3.3. Yellow China Supremacy vs White Supremacy


Pine puts all the blame on white supremacy. But how about yellow China supremacy? The greatest threat to world peace now is not the former but the latter. The country of the Red Dragon is behind Russia in the Ukrainian War (Note 1), the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel (Note 2), and Houthi attacks on red sea shipping (Note 3). And the Red Dragon's imminent invasion of Taiwan may trigger off WWIII any minute (Note 4).


According to Chapman Chen (2011), while mainstream postcolonial theories maintain that postcolonial translation should and does fight against colonialism, it is hypothesized here that Western drama in Hong Kong drama translation often manifests nostalgia for, or reluctance to part with, British colonial rule and a need to revolt against the new colonizer, China. This is echoed by Rey Chow – “the imperialist policies practiced on Mongolia, Taiwan, and Tibet by China... render the typical ‘East versus West,’ ‘colonized versus colonizer’ dichotomy facile and useless” (Chow 1998:156). Indeed, the Han race of China has been most racist for over 3000 years. They have always regarded people of other nations as sub-human barbarians, demons and ghosts.


4. Is Hindu Culture Necessarily Non-Violent?


Pine is adamant that only the meat-eating Judeo-Christian culture would enslave people and animals, that Western culture has to learn from the Ahimsa principle of the Hindu culture and the Jain culture. However, the fact remains that every five years, the world's largest animal sacrifice takes place at the Gadhimai Temple in the Bara district of Nepal, about 200 km south of the capital. It is reported that 5 million people attend the festival. As for the number of animals, the 2009 festival saw an estimated 500,000 animals sacrificed. This festival is also depicted in Anderson's and Waters's 2024 documentary, Christspiracy.


5. The Book's Documentation has Room for Improvement


Despite Pine's claim that the book is well-documented, its documentation and citation style still has room for improvement. Many "sources" in the endnotes are invalid yahoo search links. Many others are incomplete or fragmentary data. And there is no bibliography. Moreover, there are quite a few misquotes of celebrities.


5.1. Invalid Links


Many links provided in the footnotes are invalid. For example, the link in note 20 to Chapter 11 (Pine 2023:175) :-;_ylu=Y29sbwNncT-EEcG9zAzY EdnRpZAMEc2VjA3Ny/RV=2/RE=1635692113/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fwww.publi-chealthp


Another example is the link in note 26 to Chapter 16 (Pine 2023:225):-


xBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjAzNjJfMQRzZWMDc3I-/RV=2/RE=1441143320/RO=10/ monsanto/RK=0/RS=ldou_



5.2. Incomplete Data


For example, the source provided for the quoted passage, "... But the Temple was actually a slaughterhouse..." (Pine 2023:51), is "Viatoris Ministries" and the corresponding footnote provides the same name and nothing else. This makes it very difficult for the readers to trace the source. I have found the complete information to be:

Viatories Ministries (1998). "Animal sacrifice." Humane Religion, (July/August). Retrieved from

In addition, Viatoris Ministries with its journal Humane Religion was founded by Pastor Janet Regina Hyland in 1995 to provide a Christian perspective on animal rights and promote a vegan lifestyle.

5.3. Misquotes


For example, the author of The Conscious Planet attributes the following saying to Albert Schweitzer:- “Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace” (Pine 2023:54). However, this quote cannot be found in any of Schweitzer's published works. It encapsulates the essence of his philosophy of "Reverence for Life," which he discussed in various writings and speeches. The closest match to this sentiment can be found in his Nobel Peace Prize speech published in 1954, and his 1923 book Civilization and Ethics, where he elaborates on the principle of respecting and valuing all forms of life.


Another example. After quoting from Steven Davies's (2002) The Lost Gospel of Thomas saying 11, which states “The dead do not live and the living will not die when you ate dead things (Animals) you made them alive....”, Pine puts down, "Also, nowhere in the New Testament is Jesus depicted as eating flesh!" without acknowledging any source. In reality, the notion comes from Lewis Regenstein's (1991) book Replenish the Earth. In it, Regenstein discusses the absence of Jesus eating meat and the lack of mention of the Passover lamb dish in the Last Supper, and concludes that nowhere in the New Testament is Jesus depicted as eating Flesh -- "if the Last Supper was a Passover meal, there is, no mention of the Pass Over Lamb Dish."   


6. Conclusion


Neil Pine, the author of The Conscious Planet, has a great, compassionate heart and the range of his knowledge is very wide. The issues raised in his book are all very important. Nonetheless, had his book focused on vegan theology/theologies or the environmental impacts of meatism, it would have been even more readable. For example, whether Jesus was vegan and whether real Judeo-Christianity is vegan are topics worth digging into deep. Regarding documentation and citation, Pine may find it  rewarding to revisit the MLA Handbook (9th Edition) and The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th Edition).


Pic credit: Neil Pine




Note 1. •  The Daily Mail reported that China is increasing its support for Russia's war efforts in Ukraine by supplying tank components, rocket fuel, and other equipment (


•  The Diplomat highlighted China's diminishing neutrality in the war, suggesting that full Chinese logistical support for Russia could be a game-changer, and that such support is growing more important and less discreet (


•  BBC News explored the extent of China's support for Russia, including the possibility of China providing weapons and ammunition, as well as the significant increase in trade between the two countries since the imposition of Western sanctions on Russia (


•  Newsweek mentioned that China's defense minister expressed full support for Russia's actions in Ukraine during a video call with his Russian counterpart, discussing increased military cooperation and coordination as the war continues (


Note 2. There are articles discussing the topic of China's stance and involvement regarding the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Here are some examples.


•  BBC News reported on China's role as a peace broker in the Israel-Hamas conflict and its close relationship with Iran, which backs Hamas. The article suggests that China could use its influence with Iran to de-escalate the situation (


•  TIME discussed how China could play a key role in the Israel-Hamas war, noting that Beijing has been reluctant to intervene in a meaningful way despite its potential influence. The article also mentioned China's initial response to the conflict, urging calm and restraint (


•  American Enterprise Institute (AEI) opined that China has effectively sided with Hamas and Iran over Israel following the terrorist attack on Israel. The article highlighted that China's foreign ministry statements have repeatedly declined to use the words "Hamas" or "terrorism" when referring to the violence (


These articles provide insights into China's diplomatic position and actions related to the Israel-Hamas conflict, indicating a complex interplay of geopolitical interests and relationships in the region.


Note 3. •  Politico reported that China's purchases of Iranian oil are indirectly financing the Houthi rebels' attacks in the Red Sea. The article suggests that by buying oil from Iran, China is helping to fund the Quds Force, which in turn supports the Houthis (


•  FMSO (Foreign Military Studies Office) highlighted the economic risks for China due to the rise in Houthi shipping attacks. It mentioned that China's trade with Israel is being affected by its decision to maintain shipping access to the Red Sea, which is being threatened by the Houthi attacks (


•  Al Arabiya noted that Chinese officials have asked Iran to help rein in the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, indicating a concern for the impact on business relations with Beijing (


Note 4. There have been several reports and articles discussing warnings from the USA and UK politicians about the potential for China to invade Taiwan. Here are some key points from these articles:


•  USA Warnings:


•  The Daily Telegraph reported that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned that China wants to seize Taiwan "on a much faster timeline" than previously thought (


•  NBC News detailed a summit where Chinese President Xi Jinping told President Joe Biden that Beijing will reunify Taiwan with mainland China, although no specific timeframe was set (


•  The Heritage Foundation President expressed concerns about how a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would impact the U.S.'s national security (


•  UK Politicians' Warnings:


•  Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss warned of economic and political threats to the West posed by China during a visit to Taiwan, as reported by AP News (


•  In a speech in Tokyo, Liz Truss urged countries to send a message to Beijing that "military aggression towards Taiwan would be a strategic mistake", as covered by the BBC (


•  The Independent reported that Foreign Secretary Liz Truss issued a warning that any attempt to invade Taiwan would be a “catastrophic miscalculation” (




Akers, Keith (2000/2020). The Lost Religion of Jesus. Lantern Publishing & Media.


Andersen, Kip, & Waters, Kameron (Dir.) (2024). Christspiracy [Film]. Performance by Kip Anderson, Michael Beck & Melanie Joy.


Antipas (2014). "The Bible Meaning of Soul"., Nov. 24. (   


Aquinas, St Thomas (1920). The Summa Theologiæ of St. Thomas Aquinas. Second and Revised Edition. Trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province. London: Burns Oates and Washbourne.


Augustine, Aurelius (2014). The City of God, Volume I. Ed. Marcus Dodds. Project Gutenberg Ebook.



Chen, Chapman (2024). "Pauline Christianity is a Bloody Black-Magic Sacrificial Cult. Go Vegan!" HKBNews, Apr. 2. 


Chen, Chapman (2023a). "Animals are at Least Partly Made in the Image of God." HKBNews, May 15.


Chen, Chapman (2023b). "Follow the Vegan Christ and Celebrate Easter without Taking Life!" HKBNews, Mar.  28.


Chen, Chapman (2023a). "Fish-hooking Never Meant by the VEGAN Christ!" HKBNews, Feb. 12.


Chen, Chapman (2022a). "Jesus Calls Peter to Catch Men, NOT Fish. Go Vegan!" HKBNews, Oct. 10.              


Chen, Chapman (2022b). "Animals Have a Soul (Nephesh) and a Spirit (Ruach)." HKBNews, Apr. 22.  


Chen, Chapman (2022c). "Jesus did not Eat Meat. Go Vegan!" HKBNews, Mar.15. 


Chen, Chapman (2021a). "Did Jesus Declare All Foods Clean? Go Vegan!" HKBNews, Aug. 30.


Chen, Chapman (2021b). "Jesus Asks us to Serve the Animals. Go Vegan!" HKBNews, July 10.


Chen, Chapman (2021c). "Follow Christ's Words n Love your Neighbors, includ. Animals." HKBNews, June 15.   



Chen Chapman (2011). “Postcolonial Hong Kong Drama Translation.” Beyond Borders – Translations Moving Languages, Literatures and Cultures (refereed). Eds. Pekka Kujamäki / Leena Kolehmainen / Esa Penttilä / Hannu Kemppanen. Berlin: Frank & Timme Verlag für wissenschaftliche Literatur, 39-57.


Chow, Rey (1998). "Between Colonizers: Hong Kong’s Postcolonial Self-Writing in the 1990s." In Ethics after Idealism: Theory, Culture, Ethnicity, Reading. Bloomington; Indiapolis; Indiana UP, 149–167.

Davies, Stevan L. (2002). Gospel of Thomas: Annotated & Explained. Nashville: Jewish Lights Publishing.


Giron, Denis (2013). "Vegetarianism in the Bible". ISKCON News, Mar. 30.


Hicks, Ryan (2019). Why Every Christian Should Be A Vegan. n.p.: Ryan Hicks.


Keith, Akers (2020/2000). The Lost Religion of Jesus. NY: Lantern Publishing & Media/Woodstock & Brookyln.


Linzey, Andrew (1994). Animal Theology. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.


Pine, Neil M. (2023). The Conscious Planet: A Vision of Sustainability, Peace, and Prosperity. Springfiedl: Trine Day LLC.


Regenstein, Lewis (1991). Replenish the Earth: The History of Organized Religion's Treatment of Animals and Nature—Including the Bible's Message of Conservation and Kindness Toward Animals. New York: Crossroad.


Schweitzer, Albert (1923). Civilization and Ethics. Trans. C. T. Campion. London: A. & C. Black. 


Singer, Isaac Bashevis (1982). "The Letter Writer." The Collected Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer. NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 262-279.


Vujicic, John (2016). "Did Jesus Eat Fish".





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