Is God a Vegetarian? Christianity, Vegetarianism, and Animal Rights

By Richard Alan Young | Go to book overview

4

Was Noah's Ark
an Early Food
Factory?

The Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark…. Take with you seven pairs
of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals
that are not clean, the male and its mate; and seven pairs of the birds
of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of
all the earth.
(Genesis 7:1–3)

Wherever an animal is in any way forced into the service of man,
every one of us must be concerned with the sufferings which for that
reason it has to undergo.… No one must shut his eyes and regard as
non-existent the sufferings of which he spares himself the sight. Let
no one regard as light the burden of his responsibility. While so much
ill-treatment of animals goes on, while the moans of thirsty animals
in railway trucks sound unheard, while so much brutality prevails in
our slaughter-houses, while animals have to endure intolerable
treatment from heartless men, or are left to the cruel play of children,
we all share the guilt.
(Albert Schweitzer, Philosophy of Civilization,
Macmillan, 1949, pp. 318–19)

Very few people visit slaughterhouses. It is simply not a place one goes for entertainment. However, the Russian novelist and social reformer Leo Tolstoy was one of those venturesome souls who

-41-

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