Skip to main content

Vegangelical






Vegangelical: How caring for animals can shape your faith by Sarah Withrow King

What difference does caring for animals make and is it really a matter of justice?  Sarah Withrow King in her new book, Vegangelical, answers these questions and more as she draws together the rich tapestry of Scripture concerning creation and her research on the use and abuse of animals in our world.  What turns out to be no so much an apology for the vegan way of life, but a vision for how to rightly treat animals and how God has made the world in such a way as to promote the flourishing of all of creation.

Drawing on her experience picking up a booklet on the suffering of animals and their use for food, Sarah was propelled to stop eating meat, join PETA and advocate for animals and oppose testing on them (14-17).  Yet, there was a certain disconnect between those in the church who were like-minded with Sarah and a whole host of others who thought Christianity had little to do with animals.  It was in seminary that she also began to connect the two, seeing in the Scriptures and in theology a way of affirming her love for animals and advocacy on their behalf. 

Sarah brings together some key theological foundations that help undergird her perspective on animals.  One, how does the image of God in man relate to the treatment of animals?  Second, “what does it mean to steward creation?”  And third, “how are we called to extend mercy to the least of these and who is our neighbor (25)?”  The section in chapter 3 devoted to loving the least of these and our neighbor has some excellent points.  Sarah writes, “Exclusion by assimilation demands the subject of exclusion to give up their identity, to be subsumed into the identity of the dominant power.  The animals we keep as pets, in zoos, and in circuses fall into this category (70-71).”  These animals are transplanted from their natural environment into a man designed one, often with consequences.  This master/subject relationship gives the upper hand to the owner, and yet there is a slice of mercy here, since many pet owners lovingly take care of their animals, in sickness and in plenty. 

At times, the book seemed to be overdone with the endless Scriptural quotations and exposes of the treatment of animals.  But, I do believe Sarah’s point about bringing us back to a healthy understanding of God, animals, and neighbor is on target.


Thanks to BookLookBloggers and Zondervan for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes.: A Journey Through Loss with Art and Color

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes by Roger Hutchison

Taking a look at the digital copy of this book allowed me to look at the striking art inside the book, and its connection to the words of the page that were focusing on loss.  Looking at the physical copy of the book even brings to life more the staggering similarity that the words and pain have together on the page.  The focus here is how certain colors express the sentiments of those who have lost a loved one.  I did not think that I would relate too well to this book until two days ago, as we lost our little boy, who was only 17 weeks old.  The pain is palpable and yet the pages of this book give me good reason to think of my son with a sense of pride and hope.

Roger writes, "You are a shooting star. Your light trails across the heavens.  I blinked and you were gone."  We were full of anticipation at the first and second ultrasounds, and there was the picture of our little boy Jackson, his developing face and little …

The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South

Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose by Flannery O’Connor
A profound simplicity of thought, a penetrating vision of what it means to be human, Flannery O’Connor embodies the spirit of bringing fictional stories to life.  Others might call her fiction ‘grotesque’ in a rather unflattering manner, but O’Connor was not content to live up to their criticisms.  In this short book of collected essay and lectures, Mystery and Manners, editors and friends of Flannery, Robert and Sally Fitzgerald have given us a glimpse into the vision of her faith, style and life as a writer.   A lifelong Catholic, Flannery O’Connor sought to wed together the moral integrity of her faith with the character of her craft in writing.  Specifically, fiction for her was an exploration in imitation.
In a rather illuminating statement in the chapter entitled, “A Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South, “ O’Connor writes,
“I am specifically concerned with fiction because that is what I write.  There is a certain em…