Animal Care

The embodiment of separation from God is death.
— Sarah Withrow King

Waking for the blood

It's 5 a.m., my dad comes to my room and wakes me up. We are about to go into our morning trip to the slaughterhouse. After the process has been completed, we collect the meat and take it to the shop where I would sell it for the next couple of hours. I was not concerned with animals or their destiny at the time. I was just following instructions, as my dad was making sure to provide for our family. Looking back, I can hear the groan and wail from the cows that lost their lives for the delicate and savory "enjoyment" of many people's plates. 

It is true: eating meat is not a sin. It is not a "bad thing" to do. Yet, when I remember my daily trips to the slaughterhouse and collecting the flesh of another being, I cannot help but cry and be sad. I cannot help but think, "a life was lost for my pleasure." Eating meat is just that, the losing of a life for the "pleasure" of another being. I cannot eat meat now and the health reasons are not the primary reason. The primary reason is that I regard animals as the beautiful creation of God and as such deserving of care. 

Animals: Care vs. Cage

In the narrative of Genesis, humanity is entrusted with the care of animals. The Creator entrusted His human creation with the "dominion" over the fish, birds, and livestock. He told them to be fruitful, fill the earth, and subdue it for the purpose of its flourishing. The task at hand for all of humanity was to master the animal kingdom as a benevolent ruler, emulating the Creator and His Kingdom of the whole universe.

As individuals, we have come far away from that ideal. Caging of animals in zoo's, overpopulation in farms, and mistreatment of animal's health are some examples of the lack of care that we, as humans, have implemented against the animals that were given to us to master over. We are not benevolent masters to the beautiful creation of God, rather we are, usually, destroying them. We have segregated, discriminated, and separated animals into different categories, to the point of fulfilling the words penned by George Orwell in Animal Farm, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equals than others." As humans, we have failed not only our care to one another, but our care to the kingdom of animalia.  

Sin has destroyed not only our relationships with one another, but also our relationships with animals and plants. Sin has, moreover, cursed the earth. The whole of the flora, fauna, and human kingdoms groan for the redemption of this broken world. They are all desiring to be redeemed from the darkness that encapsulates them. 

As Adventists, we believe in the principle of caring for creation. All creation deserves to be cared for: animals, plants, and people. Adventism seeks to collaborate with animals, plants, and the rest of creation to be fruitful, fill the earth, and increase the livelihood of all. We believe that we disrupt the world when we care for those who have less choice than we have. 

As the animals in Animal Farm portray, we, as humans, are "the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough... Yet he is lord of all the animals." As lords, let us be ones that love, care, and keep all of creation in a such a way that fulfills the task God has given to us. Let us not use animals in a utilitarian way. They are creation and deserved to be cared for. 

Being disruptive for animals is seeking to change the way we care for them.