Practical Issues > Things to do > Religion and Animals
Joel Freedman: Was Jesus a pioneer of animal-rights, vegetarian activism?

[Messenger Post - opinion] � The late U.S. Senator Richard Neuberger, an animal
advocate, explained, �I have always believed cruelty to animals is a
black mark in Heaven � I realized animals do not vote. They do not
make campaign contributions to enrich the coffers of politicians. But
I will be their friend. I imagine he who spoke the Sermon on the Mount
would want it that way, too.�

According to the Gospel of the Holy Twelve, the original teachings of
Jesus (122 pages accessible online), Jesus wanted everyone to have
such a mindset.

Jesus frequently condemned �partaking of benefits gotten by wronging
one of God�s creatures,� including human consumption of animals. Jesus
said, �God giveth the grains and the fruits of the earth for food, and
for righteous men truly there is no other lawful sustenance for the
body.� When one man donated rabbits and pigeons to be slaughtered for
Jesus� supper, Jesus said, �Ye believe Moses indeed commanded such
creatures to be slain and eaten, but behold a greater than Moses is
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has unsuccessfully
urged Catholic bishops to encourage all Catholics �to follow Jesus by
adopting a vegetarian diet.� (A free vegetarian starter kit is
available at I suspect that even when religious leaders
would like to convey Jesus� beliefs about animals to their
congregations, they would fear alienating their parishioners.
Whether or not one accepts all Christian beliefs, what a serene world
we would have if everyone at least adhered to Jesus� teachings that
�do unto others as you would have them do unto you,� which should
include our relationships with animals, too.

Joel Freedman, of Canandaigua, chairs the public education committee
of Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate New York.

full story:

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,