Animal Crackers

To celebrate the publication of the second volume of The Peaceable Kingdom series (A Faith Embracing All Creatures), for the next few weeks I’ll be randomly posting on animals, Christianity, and why, three times a day, most of my nonviolent friends live lives that are the absolute antithesis of nonviolence.

Ya’ flesh-eating, ‘bodies consuming other bodies’ bastards.

Hey, I understand. It’s easy to be a Christian nonviolent “practitioner” (pfft–yup, I just ‘pffted’ you). It rarely demands anything. But trying being nonviolent to other-than-human bodies and it becomes immediately apparent that much of your existence is predicated on violence. And I mean violent violence. Nasty, systematic, brutal, horrifying, ‘hidden from your face because some people think you could have a conscience’ kind of violence. Your lifestyle is is not indirectly related to unadulterated brutality–it is directly related to it. There’s no ‘six degrees to complicity’ here. It’s all on you. So, forgive me if I don’t take your “eschatological nonviolent witness” too seriously.

I know the rest of creation doesn’t.

Aw, crap. I meant this little post to be funny, not pissy (‘funny’ helps to sell books). My bad, hold on, let me fix it . . . wait a second . . . wait a second . . .

How’s this?!

Seriously though, that’s a good question. Why am I so romantic? Is it just in my nature? Is it genetic? Something to do with altruism and the ladies? Or, is it just hard work?

It’s a mystery.


  • rnewson

    I’ve really appreciated these last few posts – they’re making me consider crossing over from a freegan-pescatarian to something approaching a more faithful practice. … I remember eating lunch one time with a young adjunct prof. at Elon, who did the sign of the cross over some chicken nuggets while talking about Barth’s stance on vegetarianism. Just a memory that popped up out of nowhere… :)

    • theamishjihadist


      I totally remember that guy. I remember how he was a vegetarian for about five years, then he went to do his PhD and every single one of his theological advisors (especially the pacifists) bent over backwards trying to talk him out of his vegetarianism. So in a fit of concern that his vegetarianism was rooted in some ‘Nietzschean will-to-power/self-aggrandizing/I’m better than you’ rhetoric, he started eating birds and trying to justify it via Barth. That guy (the young adjunct, not Barth) was a real shit-head for about two years. I still kind of loathe him. Where did he end up, anyway? Actually, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.

    • Andy A-B

      Check out the book:

      This is the first book on Christianity and animals to have over half women authors (most have at most 3-4) and 3 people of color (most have 0). Some of the most well-known folks writing as well as new voices in the field. The answers people give are straightforward and interesting. I am very proud of this volume.

      For those who read the first volume, this volume will definitely complement that one. It is more accessible too: we really tried to take your concerns with the first volume into consideration as far as language and length.

      • rnewson

        Thanks Andy – looking forward to reading it and spreading it around town.