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My beautiful friend is very religious and recently said to me 'god made humans above animals and they are here for us to eat and use. Even god gave Adam and Eve a loin cloth to cover themselves which had to have come from a dead animal'.

Now, I'm not religious as such, but I actually love how passionate she is about it and don't want to be disrespectful of her beliefs. However, I totally disagree with her viewpoint. My mum has said similar things to me when I've suggested she ditch the dead animals.

Whats the best way to to encourage religious peeps to entertain the idea that animals are sentient beings without coming across as offensive?

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It just shows how much people actually read the bible

A long time ago, before I became vegan myself, I read an interview somewhere with a long term vegan who stated that his inspiration for that lifestyle was a sermon he had read by Dr. Albert Schweitzer entitled "Reverence for Life".  Of all the many reasons that people have for doing this, I couldn't help but find this very interesting, must have been quite the message to have had such a profound impact on this person.  So of course, I eventually had to track that down and see what I thought.  If you take the time to read it carefully, and think about what it is really saying, it is impossible not to be deeply moved by the message.

So you might want to share that with her. It really approaches the whole philosophy from her point of view if she is willing to look at it:

Reverence for Life

This book looks great, I just reserved a copy at the library! :)

Awesome...this is something I'm going to read, thanks :-)

having an argument about what someones imaginary friend said is never going to go anywhere.

What they are trying to do is remove the responsibility from themselves and dump it onto an imaginary friend.

If someone said that to me I would put it onto them.

"is that what YOU believe?"

"so YOU believe that it's ok to support the exploitation and murder animals for food and clothing when YOU dont need to?"

"have YOU seen what goes on in factory farms? Do YOU think that's ok?

Nice! :)

Thank you, thank you everyone who has taken the time to respond to this. It has really helped me clarify and strengthen my position. To be honest, I did see religion and veganism at odds with one another. But the truth is, for me, spirituality and compassion for all things cannot be separated. After reading through all the suggestions and thinking about it, I think I can be more understanding (and hopefully helpful) when I hear 'god put animals here to eat' again, rather than feeling bewildered and even annoyed by the ignorance. So again, thanks so much :-)

According to the story, God made Adam and Eve loincloths after they had sewn loincloths of fig leaves for themselves. But since they had "sinned", God made them clothing out of dead animals to punish them for their transgression of seeking knowledge (a convenient and obvious way for the religion to scare people from questioning authority in the pursuit of truth).

Since they had never seen animal death before, and had previously been designated as the caretakers of all animals, the significance of being made to wear a carcass would not be lost on them. Pretty sick, huh? It's like, "You tried to figure something out that I wanted to keep hidden from you, so now I'm going to make you wear your dead friend to remind you what happens when you question me."

I understand that you want to be tactful, but if I were in your shoes I would ask your friend if she really believes in a God that creates animals capable of love and joy only so that we can exploit, torture, rape, and murder them.

Well said Jacob! :)

I came across a book that wrote about the Adam and Eve story in such an unusual way, at first I was a bit horrified, it seemed so wrong, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to make sense in such an unexpected way.  I am paraphrasing, it has been years since I read the book, so I might not be exactly right, but I think you will get the idea:

In the beginning, Adam and Eve lived in paradise.  All their needs were provided, but one day they decided to eat from the tree of knowledge. (the author pointed out at this point that this clearly indicated that this story was written by our enemies - if it had been written by us, the gaining of knowledge would have been a good thing).  In this story, eating from the tree of knowledge represents the dawn of the agricultural revolution.  At that point in history, we suddenly realized that we could indeed take control of our food supplies by growing our own food. Never again would we have to arrive at a fruit orchard and discover that the fruit was already eaten. Or worry about disasters or anything else that would cause us to go hungry.  "Cursed" to eat from the food of the earth with labour and toil. We became farmers.  (Again, if the story had been written by us, this would also have been a good thing - no more being subject to the whims of nature, having control over our food supply - how could that be a curse!!).  

So how does the birth of agriculture correlate to the birth of mankind?  Simply this:  Before this happened, mankind lived the same as all the other animals. Feast, famine, sickness, whatever, we were at the mercy of nature.  But this change set us apart from all the other animals. And once we achieved the ability to not have to worry too much about starvation, we were now in a position to focus our rather impressive brains onto other things.

Things like inventions.  Art. Philosophy. Technology. Medicine. You name it.  And that is precisely the point when we diverged from being just like all the other animals, ie, the birth of man.

I am sure I have oversimplified it all, and probably not explained it in quite the same way.  The book was called Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.  I thought it was a great book, it was about a whole lot more than just this. But one of the strangest books I have ever read!

If this all sounds totally insane, it is more likely my own inability to explain it, I think the book does a MUCH better job. But if you extrapolate the idea of farming for early man to what we are doing to our planet today, you can see clearly how it turned out to be a curse after all. A terrifying out of control curse!  Maybe our "enemies" had it right all along (the hunter/gatherers). But we have pretty much wiped them out. So time will tell.

Something to think about.

honestly, no clue. BUT they are humans, and everybody knows humans want things like happiness, good-looks, etc. and since ur vegan and they're not ur gonna have this stuff and they're gonna be like, well yno i really wish i was like her cuz she has this this this and they're gonna pick it up. oh yea also, this one time i was riding home with this religious guy and i sort of made a deal with him at the top of the hill. i said ill check out your church website thing that u been talking bout if u check out earthlings. so mabye thats a way to do it.



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