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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

Animals are our Covenant Partners, our Kin. Go Vegan! By Dr. Chapman Chen

Updated: May 24


Words like bacon, leather, beef, pork, dairy, etc. are speciesist language that beautifies animal abuse, and turns sentient creatures of God into inanimate objects that humans may use in whatever ways they fancy. The correct, moral way to respectfully address animals is "our covenant partners" or "our kin", according to US theologian Dr. Tripp York (2012:157).


Animals are our covenant partners because God made a covenant with animals besides humans (Genesis 9:9-10; Hosea 2:18). Animals are our kin, our sisters and brothers, because both humans and non-human animals were created by God. After creating each species of animals, God commented that "it was good" (Genesis 1:21, 25 KJV). The purpose of creation is "the participation of creatures in... fellowship" or communion with God (Clough 2012:23).


Furthermore, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us" (John 1:14 NIV). As pointed out by Rev. Prof. Andrew Linzey (1998:xvi), "by becoming flesh, the Logos identifies... not only with humanity but with all creatures of flesh and blood" (cf. Cunningham 2009:116-117; Clough 2012:103). Ultimately, humans and other animals are fellow creatures of, and in, God. Therefore, to go vegan is the only proper way to treat other sentient creatures of God.




Clough, David (2012). On Animals Volume One: Systematic Theology. New York/London: T&T Clark.


Cunningham, David S. (2009). "The Way of All Flesh." In Creaturely Theology. Eds. Celia Deane-Drumond and David Clough. London: SCM Press. 100-117.


Linzey, Andrew (1998). "Introduction: Is Christianity Irredeemably Speciesist?" In Animals on the Agenda: Questions about Animals for Theology and Ethics. Eds. Andrew Linzey and Dorothy Yamamoto. i-xvi.


York, Tripp (2012). "Can the Wolf Lie Down with the Lamb without Killing It?" In A Faith Embracing All Creatures. Eds. Tripp York and Andy Alexis-Baker. Eugene: Cascade Books. 150-165



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