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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

If Christianity has a Future, it must be VEGAN! By Dr. Chapman Chen


Summary: Christianity has been on steady decline in recent decades. Most mainstream churches just mechanically go through their age-old rituals every Sunday, looking away with Godless indifference from the fact that trillions of innocent creatures of God are ruthlessly enslaved, abused, tortured, raped and murdered every year by humans. This religion, as it is organized and formulated now, fails to resolve the most urgent problems of our times like senseless murders, atrocious dictatorships, the imminence of WWIII, global warming, energy crisis, world hunger, and increase in cancer rates. And all these problems are connected with animal flesh eating. It is time for Christianity to have another reformation which will need to be vegan.


1. Christians Now a Minority in England and Wales

Christians now account for less than half of England and Wales' population for the first time in census history, government figures reveal.


The Office for National Statistics (ONS) results show that 46.2 per cent of the population (27.5 million people) described themselves as 'Christian' in 2021. This marks a 13.1 percentage point decrease from 59.3 per cent (33.3 million people) in 2011.


The census data also shows that every major religion increased over the ten-year period, except for Christianity. Meanwhile, 'No religion' increased to 37.2 per cent (22.2 million) from 25.2 per cent (14.1 million).


2. Christ is COMPASSION

God is love (1 John 4:7 NIV); God loves the world (John 3:16), including ALL His creation (Psalm 145:9); Christ is compassion (Matthew 12:6-7). These are the core of the Christian faith. However, when confronted with the atrocity of meatism, mainstream church priests will quote the meat-greedy, false, self-proclaimed apostle Paul (Chen 2023; Eisenman 2012):- “Eat any meat that is sold in the marketplace without raising questions of conscience” (1 Corinthians 10:25 NLT).


In fact, back in 2017, I used to regularly email information about veganism to an American Pastor and his wife in Hong Kong. One day, they arrogantly replied that what I was sending them was bullshit, that "we love eating meat, so what? Humans are always superior to those lowly beasts", etc. Now, let's look at some of the atrocities of meatism.


According to Anonymous for the Voiceless (2023), every year, over 2.7 trillion animals are murdered by human beings for human consumption. (These numbers do NOT include animals killed each year in vivisection laboratories, animal shelters, circuses, rodeos, zoos, and marine parks, blood sports such as bullfighting, cockfighting, dogfighting, and bear-baiting, horse or greyhound racing.) The vast majority of these animals will have been raised in intensive conditions, commonly known as factory farming (Note 1).


According to Animal Aid (n.d.), on factory farms, animals are forced to reside in cramped conditions, often in windowless sheds where there is no natural sunlight, no grass and no fresh air. Disease outbreaks and injuries are caused by living in such stressful conditions. Many of their natural instincts and needs are denied to them, all in the name of producing meat and dairy products as quickly and cheaply as possible. Due to this, many animals will die before they leave the farm, and for the rest, a bloody and brutal death at the slaughterhouse awaits (Note 2).


The dairy industry is horrifically cruel to animals. Dairy cows face a lifetime of forced impregnation, that is rape, having their babies taken away from them, and then when they are no longer considered ‘profitable’, they are usually sent to the slaughterhouse. If their babies are female, they will face a similar fate as their mother. If they are male, they are often sent to veal farms, killed shortly after birth, or even exported to other countries to be raised and slaughtered for consumption (Note 3).


3. Meatism and War

In his book, The Letter Writer, Isaac Bashevis Singer a Nobel Prize-winning author cum Nazi concentration camp Jewish survivor, states, "In relation to animals, all people are Nazis; for the animals, it is an eternal Treblinka."


On the other hand, mainstream churches almost invariably fail to see that these senseless massacres of animals have everything to do with the imminence of WWIII. “As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love,” said Pythagoras (570 BC - 490 BC) the ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician.


As a matter of fact, Ukraine invasion may be start of ‘third world war’, says George Soros (2022). And the oriental Red Dragon may invade Taiwan any minute now, as warned by the U.S.A. numerous times.


By the way, when encountered with brutal dictatorships, many a pastor, e.g., EFCC Kong Fuk Tong Senior Pastor Daniel Ng Chung Man (2010) (Note 4), will again quote Paul the Roman spy (cf. Voskuilen 2005):- "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God" (Romans 13:1 NIV).


4. Meatism and Global Warming


The Union of Concerned Scientists lists meat-eating as one of the biggest environmental hazards facing the Earth. Globally, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation systems combined (Note 5); livestock farming produces 37% and 65% of our global methane and nitrous oxide emissions respectively (Note 6), and accounts for over 60% of our global ammonia emissions (FAO 2006).


5. Meatism and World Hunger


About a third of global cropland is used to grow feed for livestock, not people. More than 80 percent of the corn we grow and more than 95 percent of the oats are fed to livestock. The world’s cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people—more than the entire human population on Earth (Note 7). Moreover, according to the Worldwatch Institute, “Roughly 2 of every 5 tons of grain produced in the world is fed to livestock, poultry, or fish; decreasing consumption of these products, especially of beef, could free up massive quantities of grain and reduce pressure on land.” So much the more, on average, it takes around 6 kg of plant protein to produce just 1 kg of animal protein (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2003).


Meanwhile, the number of people affected by hunger globally rose to as many as 828 million in 2021, according to the 2022 United Nations report The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) that provides fresh evidence that the world is moving further away from its goal of ending hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. However, if all crops were used exclusively for direct human consumption, there would be enough food to feed 10 billion people by 2050 within environmental friendly limits.


How many mainstream churches, in their Sunday sermons, have called upon their believers to give up meatism and adopt veganism for the sake of those famished people if not for the sake of those suffering animals?


6. Meatism and Water Scarcity

It takes over 15,000 litres of water to produce an average kilo of beef. This compares with around 1,200 litres for a kg of maize and 1800 for a kilo of wheat (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO] 2010). Agriculture uses about 70% of global freshwater for irrigation of fields and for rearing farmed animals. Growing feed crops is responsible for 20% of the global freshwater use.18 Today, more than 2.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water and more than 780 million people lack even a basic drinking-water service. Water scarcity is likely to increase, and it is expected that by 2025 around 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with water scarcity. The water footprint of conventional diets is larger than that of plant-based diets making it more water-efficient to reduce the consumption of animal protein (Note 8).


7. Meatism and Cancers

According to The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health, a book by T. Colin Campbell and his son, Thomas M. Campbell II, the consumption of animal products (including dairy) is closely connected with chronic illnesses such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and bowel cancer. . The book argues for health benefits of a whole food plant-based diet. It was first published in the United States in January 2005 and had sold over one million copies as of October 2013. It is "loosely based" on the China–Cornell–Oxford Project, a 20-year study which looked at mortality rates from cancer and other chronic diseases from 1973 to 1975 in 65 counties in China, and correlated this data with 1983–84 dietary surveys and blood work from 100 people in each county.

8. Reformation Badly Needed for Christianity

Human-centered theology prejudiced against non-human animals (cf. Linzey 1995: 33, 179; Clough 2012: 9-19, 22-4) has caused unspeakable sufferings to innocent creatures of God as well as contemporary serious crises faced by human beings themselves. As put by Faye Eastman (2023), "Every so often Churches have to rethink past beliefs, where they have become either outdated or distorted. It is time for the Churches to have another reformation, to address the state of the planet and the suffering of the animals." Christianity badly needs a reformation, otherwise it will be abandoned by most people who find it irrelevant to our current dilemmas. Mind you, this reformation is meant to be neither a distortion of the Christian faith nor a heresy, but a return to Jesus Christ's original compassionate teachings.


At present, very few mainstream churches care about the rights of animals at all. I have been to numerous physical churches in Europe, in the U.K., in Hong Kong and in Taiwan. Haven't found any of them praying for animals. The only exceptions are a small number of online vegan churches like Church for Christian Vegetarians and Vegans UK (CVVUK), Church for Christian Vegans in the Philippines, Creation Care Church, The Humanitarian Church, New York, Creation Care Church, All-Creatures .org, and CreatureKind; and a few individual vegan priests, e.g., Reverend Professor Andrew Linzey (founder and director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics), Pastor Robert Munro of the Humanitarian Church, Fr. John Ryder, a retired parish priest of All Saints church, in Godshill, Isle of Wight, England, Fr. Derek Keeve, Pastor Frank L. Hoffman of All-Creatures .org, and Pastor Christopher Golding, School Chaplain of Seabury Hall, Maui, Hawaii.


Christian churches had better pray for innocent suffering sentient beings created by God apart from human beings. Their theologians had better seriously study vegan and animal theology in order to properly understand God's wills and Jesus' teachings. Their church leaders had better call upon their followers to adopt a compassionate diet, i.e. veganism, and take direct action everywhere against meatism, animal farming and animal abuse.


9. To Serve, NOT to be Served!

According to Colin Gunton (1998: 71-2), to borrow David Clough's (2012: 27) words, Saint Basil of Caesarea's "Christian insight that the affirmation of God as creator of all things means the subversion of all human attempts to create hierarchy among creatures.... If we confess God as creator ex nihilo we must recognize that our basic relationship to creation is... that we are part of it... we exist in solidarity with all other creatures, sisters and brothers of a single parent." And as emphasized by Jesus in Luke 22:24-27 ESV, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve." Thus, our mission as humans, particularly as Christians, is to serve other animals, NOT to exploit them.



Notes

1. https://www.anonymousforthevoiceless.org/kill-counter

2. https://www.animalaid.org.uk/veganism/why-veganism/going-vegan-animals/

3. https://www.animalaid.org.uk/veganism/why-veganism/going-vegan-animals/

4. https://www.christiantimes.org.hk/Common/Reader/News/ShowNews.jsp?Nid=59069&Pid=5&Version=0&Cid=220&Charset=big5_hkscs

5. https://www.peta.org/about-peta/faq/how-does-eating-meat-harm-the-environment/

6. https://www.ciwf.org.uk/factory-farming/environmental-damage/#:~:text=But%20carbon%20dioxide%20isn't%20the%20only%20issue&text=Livestock%20farming%20produces%2037%25%20and,more%20potent%20than%20carbon%20dioxide.

7. https://www.peta.org/about-peta/faq/how-does-eating-meat-harm-the-environment/

8. https://proveg.com/5-pros/pro-justice-hunger/


References

Chen, Chapman (2023) "Was Paul Really Converted by the Vegan Christ?" HKBNews, 6 Mar. (https://www.hkbnews.net/post/was-paul-really-converted-by-the-vegan-christ-by-dr-chapman-chen)


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


Eisenman, Robert (2012). James the Brother of Jesus and the Dead Sea ScrollsI. London: The Way Publishing.


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


Voskuilen, Thijs (2005) "Operation Messiah: Did Christianity Start as a Roman Psychological Counterinsurgency Operation?", Small Wars & Insurgencies, 16:2, 192-215, DOI: 10.1080/09592310500079940



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