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'Thou shalt not kill' applies to all beings

Phil Davis argues that because Jesus ate meat, he could too (Sept. 6, West Linn Tidings).

In reply ... because the animal you eat would prefer to live. Because the animal you eat suffers and dies only for your transient pleasure. Because "thou shalt not kill" applies to all beings who have capacity to feel pleasure or pain. Because Eden was vegan (see Genesis 1:29-30, "I have given every green plant for food"). Because Christ's love was expansive, even beyond the mores of his time.

The issue is not one of the eater's choice, but of acknowledging the God-given rights of the animal. Is it a choice for the chicken, or fish, or turkey? We don't barbecue people for ethical reasons (in addition to being unlawful) — we acknowledge their right to enjoy life, including being free from being warehoused and murdered. And for those who quickly rationalize that people are different from animals, I would note the words of 18th century British philosopher Jeremy Bentham: "The issue is not can they think, nor can they reason, but can they suffer?"

Betsy Wosko

West Linn