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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

Billy Graham Eats Baby Animals while Saying that God Cares about them! By Dr. Chapman Chen



 

Summary: In reply to a fan's question as to whether God cares about animals, Pastor Billy Graham assured (2010) him that God is indeed concerned about the animals whom He made and called good (Gen. 1:21-25); and a righteous man cares for the needs of his animal (Proverbs 12:10). However, Graham's favourite foods were actually canned Vienna sausage, pork, and ice-cream with lard icing (Rossman 2018). Now, how is it "caring" to have innocent creatures of God pushed into a gas chamber, where they literally burn from the inside out, in order to chew their flesh, when one can thrive on a vegan diet? Greg Laurie (2018), who eye-witnessed Graham devouring a McDonald's hamburger, claimed that the Pastor "preached about love and he lived it." Now, is it "love" to have an innocent sentient being's throat slit when one does not need to? Graham also told that fan to caution his daughter against loving animals more than humans. Yet veganism is not about placing animals above humans; it's about leaving innocent creatures of God alone!

 

 

1. Does God Care about Animals?

 

The Q & A passage aforementioned -- "Does God Care about Animals" --  is cited in its entirety as follows:

 

Q: Our daughter is very tender-hearted toward animals, and recently became a volunteer at our local animal shelter. We're glad she's found something that interests her, since many kids her age (she's 16) drift along without much purpose. She feels this is what God wants her to do with her life, but is God really interested in things like this?

A: Yes, let me assure you that God is concerned about our care of every part of His creation—including the animals. After all, He made them, and ultimately they belong to Him. The Bible says, “For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10). And what your daughter is doing is a good thing in God’s eyes, for He is concerned about the way we treat animals (especially those that depend on us). The Bible says, “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal” (Proverbs 12:10). On the day God made the animals, the Bible tells us that He pronounced it good (see Genesis 1:25).

Should we ignore or treat cruelly something that God calls good? Of course not.

Someone who is thoughtless or cruel to animals is also likely to be thoughtless or cruel to other people—who are made in God’s image. Encourage your daughter to seek God’s will for her life—and if she is convinced God is leading her in this way, be grateful for it and encourage her. On the other hand, caution her against loving animals more than she loves people (which can be easy to do—because people can be difficult to love!) Most of all, encourage your daughter to make Christ the center and foundation of her life, and to do everything for His glory—even if this doesn’t turn out to be her lifelong career.(Graham 2010)

 

Here, I would like to add that God, of course, cares about animals. For God is love (1 John 4:7 NIV); God loves the world (John 3:16), including ALL His creation (Psalm 145:9), so much so that He made a Covenant with every animal (Genesis 9:10); and Christ is compassion (Matthew 12:6-7). Indeed, Jesus the Vegan Christ came specifically to "abolish the sacrifices" (The Gospel of the Ebionites, Panarion 30.16.5).

 

2. Billy Graham's Favourite Foods

 

According to Rossman (2018), on his birthday, including his last one in November, his family brought him his favorite: Lemon cake with lard icing. "He loves those cakes —but it has to have the lard icing," said his son Franklin Graham, leader of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. There was also his favorite meal of canned Vienna sausages and pork and beans, also out of the can. Franklin Graham told WNCN in 2016 his father ate both "cold out of the can," a legacy of his time as a farm boy, when he ate the canned delights for lunch.  

 

In reality, all these foods are products of animal abuse and cruelty. In "Does God Care about Animals?" Billy Graham (2010) quoted the first half of Proverbs 12:10 (NIV) -- "The righteous care for the needs of their animals" -- but omitted the second part -- "but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel", which seems to suggest that Graham pretended to be righteous and kind but his acts were wicked and cruel.

 

3. The Kindest Acts of the Wicked are Cruel!

 

When he enjoyed dairy ice-cream, he was paying for cows to forcefully impregnated, i.e. raped, and separated from their newborns almost immediately after delivery — all so humans can consume products derived from the milk meant for the cows' calves. If the calf is male, his life is cut short, either instantly on the farm or later at a slaughterhouse for veal production. When he ate cakes made from eggs, he was paying to have hens compelled to lay an unnatural number of eggs, and their male babies consigned to a brutal fate simply because of their gender. When he consumed pork and lard, he was paying to have six-month old piglets pushed into gas chambers, where they literally burn from the inside out (cf. Peterson 2023). Tash Peterson's (2023) experiences outside slaughterhouses have exposed her to the pigs' heart-rending screams. She has been inside piggeries and witnessing babies perishing on the floor, having convulsions. She has witnessed mothers in these crates with tears in their eyes as they spend their whole lives in a crate forced to give birth to these babies over and over again.

 

4. A Vegan Diet is Healthy, Safe & Nutritionally Adequate for All

 

Now, all these atrocities to animals are completely unnecessary for human survival and health. The American Dietetic Association, which is the largest body of diet and nutrition professionals in the US, and is formed of over a 100,000 certified practitioners, has categorically stated that a vegan diet is healthy, safe and nutritionally adequate for all stages of life, including pregnancy, lactation and infancy (Note 1). This is also supported by the British Dietetic Association  (Note 2) as well as the NHS (Note 3).

 

4.1. The Sinful, Fleeting Pleasure of Graham's Taste Bud

 

It is thus fair to say that throughout his life, Pastor Billy Graham chose to devour the flesh and bones of all these innocent creatures of God solely for the sake of the sinful, fleeting pleasure of his taste bud. And he actually had the face to admit that ultimately animals belong to God instead of humans (Psalm 50:10)!

 

5. Animals Exist Solely for Man's Enjoyment and Use?

 

As a matter of fact, Billy Graham (2004) was convinced that animals exist solely "for man’s enjoyment and use", on the ground that humans have been given "dominion" over them. However, examining the Hebrew roots of "dominion" in its context, and considering Jesus' spirit of service, we must conclude that "dominion" here implies servanthood rather than lordship. Graham's perspective on animals is typically un-Christ-like, disrespectful, arrogant, and anthropocentric (Chen 2024) (Note 5).

 

6. I watched Billy Eat his Roast Cow-Flesh Sandwich!

 

Below please find any eyewitness's (Harvest Christian Fellowship Senior Pastor Greg Laurie's) account of Billy Graham the preacher of love complacently consuming an innocent cow's flesh:-

 

One time, after one of his crusades, we drove over to his hotel... Someone had given us some roast beef sandwiches to eat after the service... we took them out of the bag and just sat around munching on them, talking about this and that. I watched Billy eat his sandwich, completely content in his pajamas and dress shoes... Billy was just happy to eat his cold sandwich and be around friends. (Laurie 2018) 

 

Pastor Greg Laurie (2018) claimed that Billy Graham "preached about love and he lived it". However, according to Collins Dictionary (Note 4), "You say that you love someone when their happiness is very important to you, so that you behave in a kind and caring way towards them." Now, is it anything caring, kind and loving to pay someone to send cows to a slaughterhouse by trucks, where they are hung upside down, their throats cut and their bodies bled to death, in order to eat their flesh and bones, while Graham could have thrived on a vegan diet? 

 

7. Thou Shalt Not Kill!

 

Worst still, in devouring innocent helpless creatures of God, Billy Graham broke at least the Sixth Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill". As put by Reuben Alcalay (1981), one of the greatest contemporary linguists cum author of The Complete Hebrew-English Dictionary, the 6th Commandment "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13 KJV; Matthew 19:18 KJV) means "any kind of killing whatsoever." The original Hebrew, he points out, is לֹא תִּרְצָח Lo tirtzakh, which requires us to stop ourselves from killing any sentient beings altogether (see Rosen 2004:87).

 

Admittedly, the Hebrew word for "murder" is רָצַח ratzakh, whereas the word for "kill" is הָרַג haroq. The commandment, in the original Hebrew, indeed states: "Lo tirtzakh" (a form of ratzahh), not "Lo Taharoq." But still we submit that Reuben Alcalay is justified in asserting that tirtzakh means "any kind of killing whatsoever" on two grounds.

 

Firstly, Luke (18:20), Mark (10:19), and Matthew (5:21-22) all urge adherents to transcend conventional understandings of this prohibition. For instance, Jesus expands on the formal definitions of "Thou shalt not kill" as follows:- “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’  But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment;" (Matthew 5:21-22 ESV).

 

Secondly, the primary definitions of "murder" and "kill" are given by human linguists, mostly meat-eating, and animals who do not enjoy equal rights as humans are naturally omitted from the formal definitions so that it will not be unlawful for humans to take innocent animals' lives. However, provided that we consider murder in a practical manner and look at what it in reality is, beyond just legalistic principles, we are met head-on with the secondary designations of "murder" abovementioned, both of which are for sure applicable to animals (cf. Rosen 2004). As a matter of fact, "He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man" (Isaiah 66:3 KJV) puts forwards a closer connection betwixt "kill" and "murder".

 

8. The Danger of Loving Animals more than Humans

 

Towards the end of his answer, Graham warns against loving animals more than humans. However, according to Ed Winters (2021), veganism isn't about placing non-human animals above humans, or denying that there are human injustices that still call for addressing. "After all, human rights and animal rights are not mutually exclusive." We can endeavor to create both at the same time. Veganism is simply about acknowledging that non-human animals are persons whose lives are significant to them and who merit ethical consideration from us.     

 

In my opinion, you don't even to love the animals. For God's sake, just leave them alone!

 

9. Conclusion

 

In conclusion, Pastor Billy Graham, whom Finstuen et.al. (2017) praise as one of "the most influential Christian leaders of the twentieth century", was hypocritically self-contradictory. On the one hand, he confessed that God owns and cares about all His creation, i.e., all animals. On the other hand, he regularly consumed animal products like pig-flesh, cow-flesh, dairy and egg products, all of which involve the enslavement, abuse, torture, rape, and murder of innocent creatures of God, when he (Graham) could have thrived on a vegan diet.

 

Greg Laurie (2018) claimed that Graham "preached love and he lived it." Nevertheless, his speeches were not matched by his actions. For he habitually paid for people to push sentient beings into gas chambers, to hang them upside down, to slit their throats, as well to rape females, to steal from mothers milk meant for their babies, to mince newborns alive, etc. and etc. And he unabashedly confessed that animals ultimately belong to God, while he (Graham) used them for his own "enjoyment and use" without a moment's hesitation (Graham 2004). No wonder James stresses that "as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (James 2:26 NKJV). 

 

So watch out if the pastor of your church is non-vegan.

 

Notes

 

 

 

 

4. "Dominion" in Genesis 1:28 actually means servanthood to, rather than absolute domination over, animals. ירדו (yirdu), the ancient biblical Hebrew word in consonantal form for "dominion" in Genesis 1:28 connotes both רָדָה (radah) (to tread down, subjugate, rule) and יָרַד (yarad) (to lower oneself, to descend) (cf. Chaim & Laura 2015). Judging from its context, namely, Genesis 1:29, where humans are prescribed a vegan diet by Yahweh, and Genesis 2:15, where humans are particularly commissioned to tend (עָבַד/abad) and keep (שָׁמַר/shamar) the garden, as noted in the NKJV—i.e., to exercise great care over it (cf. Ritenbaugh 1999), "dominion" should imply yarad (to lower oneself) more than radah (to tread upon). Rev. Prof. Andrew Linzey also argues that "dominion" in Genesis 1:28 means stewardship instead of despotism (Linzey 1995:34), that humans, are the species uniquely assigned by God to be "the servant species", similar to Jesus' mode, "capable of co-operating with God in the healing and liberation of creatures" (Linzey 1995:44). Here, I would like to add:- "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve," emphasized Jesus in Luke 22:24-27 ESV. From a Christly perspective, "dominion" is thus not only stewardship but "servanthood".

 

 

 

References

 

Chapman, Chen (2024). "Animals Exist for Man's Enjoyment and Use, Says Billy Graham." HKBNews, Apr. 7. https://www.hkbnews.net/post/animals-exist-for-man-s-enjoyment-and-use-says-billy-graham-by-dr-chapman-chen

 

 

Finstuen, Andrews, Wacker, Grant, and Wills, Anne Blue, Eds. (2017). Billy Graham: American Pilgrim. Oxford: OUP.

 

Graham, Billy (2010). "Does God Care about Animals?" Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, May 13. https://billygraham.org/answer/does-god-care-about-animals/

 

Graham, Billy (2004). "Will There be Animals in Heaven?" Evangelistic Association Website, Jun. 1. https://billygraham.org/answer/will-there-be-animals-in-heaven/

 

Laurie, Greg (2018). "A Tribute to a Faithful Servant Billy Graham." Christian Post. Feb. 22.

 

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

 

Peterson, Tash (2023). "ANGRY farmer DESTROYS vegans." Tash Peterson, YouTube, May 6.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbTkQKHHBU4&t=1137s

 

Ritenbaugh, Richard T. (1999). "The Bible and the Environment." Forerunner, "Prophecy Watch," February. https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/2163/Dominion-over-Animals.htm

 

Rosen, Steven J. (2004). Holy Cow: The Hare Krishna Contribution to Vegetarianism & Animal Rights. New York: Lantern Books.

 

 

Winters, Ed (2021). "The Most Logical Arguments AGAINST Veganism (In 10 Minutes)." Earthling Ed, YouTube, Jun. 28. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rS0F4WeG0eo

 

 

 

 

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