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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's like... duh...

Remind her that the human slave trade was also justified on the grounds that it was sanctioned by God:

"My own convictions as to negro slavery are strong. It has its evils and abuses...We recognize the negro as God and God's Book and God's Laws, in nature, tell us to recognize him - our inferior, fitted expressly for servitude...You cannot transform the negro into anything one-tenth as useful or as good as what slavery enables them to be.”

~Jefferson Davis

"If slavery be a sin, it is not yours. It does not rest on your action for its origin, on your consent for its existence. It is a common law right to property in the service of man; its origin was Divine decree." 

~Jefferson Davis

God has permitted slavery for wise reasons in order to the accomplishment of some great and important ends.

~ N. L. Rice

“[S]uch is the order of providence that a considerable portion of the human race must necessarily move in a humble sphere and be generally at the disposal of their fellow men.”

~ Richard Furman


Tell them to prove it! don't let them shift the burden of proof on to you

The bible can be interpreted in many ways! You can literally bend the words to fit what you think is right or justify any of your actions. If she is talking about Adam and Eve, no where in the book of Genisis does it say that animals were originally created for us to eat. God does grant humans "dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Genesis 1:28). Yes, he grants us dominion (to have power over or govern) but he does not tell us to use them for food so she can't say that God intended for us to eat them. However, God does tell them "I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with the seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food" (Genesis 1:29). He specifically says plants are our food.
After Adam and Eve eat from the forbidden tree of knowledge, God banishes them from the garden of Eden (where the fruit and vegetables are plentiful) and says to them "cursed is the ground because of you, in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread" (Genesis 3:17-19). Since sin entered the world after Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree, they were forced to work for their food in the fields on cursed ground instead of having it provided for them in the garden of Eden making it harder for them to have an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Overall, eating animals is not mentioned in the bible until after sin comes into the world.

Hopefully that helped!!! This is just what I tell people when i get told things like what your friend said to you! It just has to do with looking at the text word for word and not trying to read between the lines because it's all right there (:
Thanks for your response. My friend actually gave me a bible and I was really excited to read the opening chapters about eating fruits and plants. But then it totally contradicts itself in other parts like where god talks about which hoofed animals we can and can't eat, animal sacrifice etc. I totally agree (from what I've read so far) that just about anything can be justified by pulling out a passage in the bible. I think I'll give it a shot myself and highlight all the parts that instruct us to eat plants next time it comes up ;-)

I'm also trying to get her to consider another side to the gay marriage debate but that's a whole other story!

"eating hoofed animals": This is the old testament, before Jesus was born. In the old testament it also talks about sacrificing animals, but after Jesus came along animal sacrifice is no longer needed according to Christian belief. Old Testament vs New Testament is not the same thing, you can Google it its pretty interesting.

Just give them a link to earthlings and ask "Is this what god intended?"

This is great!

Maybe tell her about the Cristian Vegetarian Association: http://www.all-creatures.org/cva/th-assisi-stfrancis.htm

Thanks for all the awesome responses. I've figured out the answer! I'll agree with her. Humans are different to animals. We ARE above them. We have a conscience and the ability to choose right from wrong and compassion over cruelty, whereas animals act instinctually. That gives us more of a reason to protect them, not justify killing them.



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