People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [PETA] is reportedly “reconsidering” a campaign that compares animal abuse to human slavery. According to The Los Angeles Times, One panel showed a black civil rights protester being beaten at a lunch counter beside a photo of a seal being bludgeoned. Another panel, titled “Hanging,” showed a graphic photo of a white mob surrounding two lynched black people, their bodies hanging from tree limbs, while a nearby picture showed a cow hanging in a slaughterhouse.
Civil rights groups complained. An official with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP] said, “PETA operates by getting publicity any way they can . . . . They’re comparing chickens to black people?”
The animal rights movement — certainly in its extreme form — denies the basic difference between human beings and non-human animals. The NAACP is rightly outraged, and they should not be alone. The biblical worldview disallows any confusion about the difference between the worth of chickens and human beings. PETA’s ad and its controversy may help us all remember that important distinction. Human beings alone are made in the image of God –both genders, all races, all humanity.
Before closing the door on this issue, however, we should note that what we need now is what I call an “animal respect” movement that avoids the grotesque excesses of the animal rights movement but does demonstrate a truly Christian concern about the respect we owe animals as creatures made for God’s glory. I’m working on an essay on that theme to be released soon.
Your thoughts are welcome. As always, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
R. Albert Mohler Jr.
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