Making Time : Jesus . . . A VEGETARIAN?; Female Times

Article excerpt

What a flap People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals caused by declaring Jesus a veggie.

Honestly. If they'd called him the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, the response couldn't have been more hysterical.

It is difficult to know what exactly everybody's objections were. I mean Christians have always said Jesus was a carpenter. Now some say he was a vegetarian. Why is one okay, the other absolutely not?

Jesus wore a beard (men did then). Jesus liked prostitutes (Mary Magdelene). Jesus was an alcoholic (water to wine). Jesus was gay (12 male disciples who followed him everywhere). Jesus was a healer (the miracles). Jesus wanted tolerance, fairness and justice (sermon on the mount).

I don't know any of these to be true but I could pick through the bible and find an assortment of quotations that would seem to back them up. Depending on the outlook of the reading Christian, some of these statements are abhorrent, some acceptable.

The thing is, we can say many things about Jesus without real proof and the prejudices of those who claim to be Christians come to the fore when an attempt to describe him is made. The protesters will say they objected to the use of Jesus as a vehicle to promote vegetarianism.

Perhaps they think it'll set a precedent and the National Carpenters Society will be taking possession of him next. Jesus Was A Joiner: Take Up Woodwork Today! Anyway, Christians themselves use him to promote their alleged philosophies of love and peace and harmony. Why can't animal lovers use him to promote a similar set of values towards the world's more defenceless creatures?

I suspect the objections weren't about Jesus' use as an advertising icon, so much as the issue being advertised. There was, no doubt, an unchristian, selfish, reaction from those who don't like the promotion of vegetarianism in any form.

''Blasphemy!'' they cried, hiding behind some pseudo outrage and pretend victim-hood because they didn't like the challenge.

What would be wrong with a vegetarian Jesus. Why wouldn't the man Christians believe to be the son of God be ethically opposed to the killing of animals for food, when humanity can survive perfectly well without meat. Indeed if Jesus wasn't veggie then, he would be if he returned now.

What may have been animal husbandry in his day is nothing more than factory production now. …