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Until relatively recently, vegetarianism was a dietary alternative for Christians—a mere option or perhaps, for some, a conviction. But the biblical tradition recognized that a plant-based diet isn’t more spiritual or moral than eating meat. Meat-eating is legitimate for humans; it is not prohibited and is even blessed by God.
Increasingly, secular organizations and activists have been pressuring Christians to turn their freedom into bondage and to adopt false commandments based on activist convictions. Voices from inside the church have joined the chorus:“Meat-eating isn’t compassionate.” “Animals have rights too.” “Aren’t you concerned about animal suffering?” “We should include animals into the moral community.” “Would you kill and eat your dog Lassie?”
A group of scholars have applied their expertise in biblical studies, theology, philosophy, resource management, communication, and generational pig farming to write an accessible response for Christians who rightly believe that meat-eating is a gift from God. This book responds to leading challenges from animal activism outside the church—offering important biblical and practical correctives to a growing but misguided compassion—and even to bullying within the church.
ContributorsDr. Paul Copan: philosophy, ethics, theology (Palm Beach Atlantic University)Dr. Wes Jamison: agricultural & resource politics; public relations (Palm Beach Atlantic University)Dr. Walter Kaiser: Old Testament (emeritus, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)Dr. Tom St. Antoine: communication and rhetoric (Palm Beach Atlantic University)Dr. Timothy Hsiao: philosophy, humanities (Grantham University)Dr. Gordon Spronk: veterinary medicine, hog farming (Spronk Brothers III LLP)Mr. Randy Spronk: hog farming (Spronk Brothers III LLP), corn & soybean farming (Ranger Farms LLP)
Editors:Wes Jamison (PhD, natural resource and agricultural politics) is associate professor of public relations at Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida, and is ordained in the Southern Baptist denomination. He has taught for over two decades at universities in Europe and the US, and has published extensively in journals, books, and popular publications. He also served on the board of directors of the Leopold Center of Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.
Paul Copan (PhD, philosophy, Marquette University) is professor and Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida. He is a philosopher and a theologian, and he has authored or edited over thirty-five books—both scholarly and popular. They include Is God a Moral Monster? (Baker) and An Introduction to Biblical Ethics (IVP Academic). He is a member of the Institute for Biblical Research.