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The Cattle On a ​Thousand Hills

Eating is a Spiritual Discipline.

...for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. ​​Psalm 50:10

Genesis 1:29

Growing up, my family always had pets: dogs, cats, birds, rabbits. As a child I felt a deep connection with animals. There was not an insect or animal I did not love. I remember spending a lot of time outside, in nature, and I've been a vegetarian since the time I learned "who" I was eating. 

As I got a little older, I'm sure I drove my family crazy with all of my crusades to help the innocent from injustice. When I found out the truth about the circus, I boycotted, and handed out leaflets and stickers. When I found out about fur, I picketed a popular local fur retailer.  There has never been a time in my life when I was not on some mission of advocacy for animals.

Raised in a Christian (Southern Baptist) home, I have always believed in God, and was baptized at age 12. Knowing that God created all of us, including animals, I have always been baffled by the lack of compassion from the Christian community. 

In Genesis, the story of our Creation, we were given all of the plants for food. The Garden of Eden was vegan. It wasn't until the story of Noah, that God granted us permission to eat his animals. And it was brought about by sin. 

We had been given dominion over creation: the earth, animals, the ocean, the forests, the land. Since then, man has managed to distort this word's definition into something  more convenient. Dominion is the act of caring for something that doesn't belong to us. All of creation was created for and by God and we were entrusted to care for it. It was our first job, and we failed. 

Fast forward several thousand years, and because we know we have "dominion", we have given ourselves permission to enslave billions of God's creatures for our pleasure and our taste buds. We artificially inseminate them on a massive scale, drug them, imprison them and take away every basic instinct given to them by their creator. Then we kill them, years before their lifespan would naturally end. We justify this by saying that the animals were put here for us. And we do it despite knowing there are more healthful alternatives. 

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground - everything that has the breath of life in it- I give every green plant for food." And it was so.  Genesis 1:29-30

My love for animals never faded as I got older, and as an adult I worked for animal shelters, non-profit animal welfare organizations, and have taken college courses in humane education. I have taught a pet safety class for children and most recently I founded my own non-profit organization, Shy 38 Inc.

We are told in church that we must believe the entire Bible, as it is the inerrant Word of God. We are told that if we read His Word, follow His commands, believe in Him, love Him with our whole heart, and pray without ceasing, we will grow and become more Christ-like and that is the ultimate goal as a Christian. After all, the Bible says He created us in His image. When I think of Jesus, the image that comes to mind is one of love, compassion, and kindness to all. Not just to people, to ALL. 

How, as Christians, knowing what we know to be TRUTH, can we willfully participate in the torture, abuse and killing of God's GOOD creation? Concentrated animal feeding operations negatively affect God's animals, God's people and God's earth. Everyone is impacted by these choices. It isn't just an animal welfare issue.

Anything that has fulfilled its purpose - brings glory to God. A pig in a factory farm is not fulfilling its purpose. A grieving dairy cow in a factory farm is not fulfilling her purpose. Why then, do churches contribute to this cruelty?

This is why I'm here. I believe I was placed where God wants me. I am a vegan, animal-loving Christian living in rural Kansas. And I will speak for those who are destitute.

God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. 
Genesis 1:31

Kris Taylor