"But God put animals here for humans to use as we see fit, didn't He?"
Please know that people don't say this to be callous. They say it because they honestly believe that it justifies their meat-eating.
You may choose to say, "Yes, I hear that a lot, and religion is of course very important in this debate. Would you agree that God opposes cruelty to animals, that God approves of laws to protect dogs from being beaten to death or cats from being poisoned?" Of course, they will agree, and then you can continue with something like this: "Actually, some of my closest friends are Jewish and Christian [or "I am Christian '"], and they are vegetarians because they're horrified by how badly God's animals are treated. From their perspective, God designed chickens to build nests and raise their families; God designed pigs to root in the soil; God designed all animals to breathe fresh air, to play with one another, and so on. But today, animals are denied everything that God designed them to be and to do, and they're horribly abused' they are God's creatures, but we're treating them like they're rocks or dirt or something. We're playing God, really. And of course, the horrible cruelty, even as the Bible teaches compassion for animals' it really does deserve condemnation. Don't you agree that cruelty to animals is wrong?"
Don't argue about whether or not God exists or whether the person's religion is valid. Begin by acknowledging that it's a good question. Get them to agree with you that cruelty to animals is ungodly. Don't try to convince them that they should have a new interpretation of the Bible, Koran, or Torah, or that Jesus was a vegetarian, however strong the arguments for these points are. Meet them on their terms. Raise issues that they will understand and resonate with and, as always, bring it back to cruelty.
Question on using the bible to
Quote: My body has never been defiled by animal flesh. Ezekiel 3 & 4.
I've seen this posted in many vegetarian magazines as a reason to not eat animals.
The bible reads this:
Ezekiel 4:14, Then I said, "Ah Lord GOD! I have never defiled myself; from my youth up until now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by animals, nor has carrion flesh come into my mouth."
That doesn't state you shouldn't eat meat. Just unclean meat.
We've never seen any intelligent use of the bible to defend any action.
We've seen unintelligent uses of the bible to argue both sides of many issues.
Rules of logic say that something is not true because someone says its true, no matter how famous or smart that entity may be.
The reason for
taking any action should never be because someone else says to do it. Even God.
The Bible was written in reference to an era that has passed. The author
would probably assume that we would use our brain to extrapolate the compassion
it asks us to show to
today, an era when we don't NEED to kill animals to survive.
Recall that God's first dietary law, according to
the Bible (Genesis 1:29) was strictly vegan. When God fed
people directly, He gave them manna, a vegetarian food. When
he reluctantly provided flesh (quail), it was to punish them
for their lust and gluttony.