“Lord, have we ever seen you suffer as a veal calf? Or imprisoned as a
laying hen? Or slaughtered as a fish, or a cow, or a pig?”
“Truly I tell you, just as you did it not to one of the least of these, you
did not do it to me.”
This version of the famous Matthew 25 passage is not in my Bible, nor is it in yours. Yet after reading Richard Alan Youngs thoughtful and important book, I believe that the animals who are consumed as food qualify as “one of the least of these.”
It is the success of this book that it does not argue, it compels. He does not insist “We must do it this way because that is how it was done in the Bible.” Instead he suggests “As Christians we must consider the current situation of animals, and the environment, and our health; decisions in these areas of our lives are not divorced from our understanding of what it means to be Christian.” Faithful living in community transcends human bonding; it requires faithful action that works to break the bonds that injure our fellow creatures—bonds of our own design.
Richard Young has settled for no simple task. He does not turn to the Bible to vindicate his own view. We learn how both