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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

Anti-Vegan Humanocentrism Challenged from 3 Theological Angles. Rev. Prof. Andrew Linzey.

According to Rev. Prof. Andrew Linzey (1995:33-34), when we say that God values humans more than any other creatures such that we have the right to kill innocent animals for food, to abuse them for entertainment and to exploit them for their labour, we are expressing humanocentrism. This prejudice can be challenged from three theological angles, namely, common creation, dominion and covenant. (Prof. Linzey is Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and a member of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oxford.)

Regarding common creation, terrestrial animals and humans are created together on the sixth day. (According to David Clough [2012:27], "the affirmation of God as the creator of all things means the subversion of all human attempts to create hierarchy among creatures. We exist in solidarity with all other creatures, sisters and brothers of a single parent.")

Regarding dominion, God expects humans to look after and care for the creations which is made (cf. e.g. Gen. 2.15 where humans are specifically given the task of tilling and keeping the garden). "The dominion granted is such that subsequent upon hits bestowal, God commands a vegetarian diet (Gen. 1.29f.)."

Regarding covenant, the primary subjects of the covenant in Genesis 9 are not just human beings but 'every living creature that is with you' and specifically, 'the birds, the cattle, and every breast of the earth with you' -- and this, as if to underscore the point, is 5 times repeated (Gen. 9. 10, 12, 15, 16, 17).

In the editor's conclusion, animals are our brothers and sisters under the same Heavenly Father, who made a covenant with not only humanity but also other animals. We are supposed to take care of God's creation instead of abusing, slaughtering and torturing them.

Edited by Dr. Chapman Chen


Clough, David. L. (2012). On Animals: Volume 1 Systematic Theology. London: T&T Clark.

Linzey, Andrew (1995). Animal Theology. Champaign: University of Illinois.

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