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Elaine Johnson

Animal Rights Hawaii

What does the religion of Jesus have to do with vegetarianism and animal rights? Everything, according to Keith Akers, well known author of "A Vegetarian Sourcebook: The Nutrition, Ecology, and Ethics of a Natural Foods Diet." He has, in his current book, asserted that true Christianity, based on the original Christian church and teachings of Jesus, is significantly different from what Christian churches preach today. He brings us through the history of early Christianity, pointing out that Jesus was, in fact, Jew, and that his teachings closely followed Jewish doctrine. He shows through a myriad of references that the early Christian church was rife with discord, largely due to the many factions of the church, especially Jewish Christians, and Christians who had disavowed Judaism in favor of other versions of Christianity. Akers shows that Jesus preached and practiced pacifism, nonviolence, simple living, vegetarianism, and kindness to animals, in opposition to other factions which practiced animal sacrifice and ate meat.

Akers asserts that the teachings of Jesus are in direct opposition to much of what current Christianity preaches, including acquisitiveness and prosperity. He contends that the single most appropriate manner in which once can live today the life prescribed by Jesus, of simple living and nonviolence is through vegetarianism, since "There is nothing in our current economy that causes more human and animal suffering or wastes more natural resources than the routine consumption of meat."

This gutsy, well documented book, which takes on the status quo of the history of religion, is a must read if you find yourself entangled in dialogs concerning animal rights and vegetarianism as they pertain to religion and the Bible.

(for Animal Rights Hawaii)



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