Follow Christ’s Words and Love Animals as your Neighbors! Go Vegan! By Chapman Chen

Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Animals are our neighbors who not only inhabit the same earth but also have a living soul. You don’t eat your neighbors, do you? Please go vegan if you believe in Christ.

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart… This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself'” (Matt. 22:37-39).

In the first creation story man and woman are created in God’s image. But it also tells us that animals have a soul. In Genesis 1:30 (KJV) it reads, And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

The Hebrew original of the phrase “life” in the verse above is “nephesh hayah”, which is mistranslated as “life” in most English versions of the Bible. Nephesh means soul and hayah means living. In other words, God did give the animals a living soul when He created them.

Thus the animals are sentient, i.e., able to look for physical pleasure and to stay away from physical pain; to yearn to go on living, endeavoring to shun death and to able to experience various emotions. Subsequently, God created man and breathed into his nostrils the same “breath of life”, “nephesh hayah”, (Gen.2:7) which is the living soul.

By reason of this commonality of possessing a living soul the animals are also our neighbors to be loved by us. Web link: ! References • Norm Phelps. The Dominion of Love: Animal Rights According to the Bible, NY: Lantern Books, 2002. • Andrew Linzey. Why Animal Suffering Matters: Philosophy, Theology and Practical Ethics. N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2009. • Elizabeth Farians, Ph D., APE – Animals, People and the Earth (Presentation at the 2009 Animal Rights Conference)

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