Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Reformation needed!

Today contained a first (look away now if squeamish) - I killed a chicken!

It wasn't personal, though it has been waking us up the last couple of weeks at 4 a.m. or so...

The two cockerels had grown to full size, so it was time to put them in the pot. The place that sold them to us falsely told us they were layers - of course you can't tell until they grow! I was shown how to do it with the first one, and did the second myself.

As I watched the "poor old" thing wriggling a bit (without its head!) whilst the life went from it, I confess I felt a bit guilty. Was that right? I don't think so. We're brought up in the West almost from birth to think of animals as if they were just like us. Darwinism tells us that they're our cousins, on the same tree of life, from whom we differ just by some lucky mutations. Cartoons and children's toys impress on us the ideas of cute talking creatures with emotions and feelings. The devotees of the Mother Nature goddess, in their guise of the animal rights lobby, are always in the media, encouraging us to sympathise for the poor wee things in their pains and sorrows in the same way as we do for humans.

Biblically, though, there's nothing to encourage this way of thinking. To be sure, wanton cruelty is the sign of a twisted mind that is far from pleasing God. But the Bible never betrays the slightest bit of sentimentality for cute little bunnies in the way that we do. There's a talking donkey in the Bible, but it was a real one and not a story-telling device. It's interesting to me that the Bible uses talking plants in a story, but not as far as I can remember any talking animals (can you remember any?). Is it the Lord's wisdom to avoid the kind of thing used by Aesop in the world? Sure, bunnies are cute - but they're not human, being separated from us as divine image bearers by an unbridgeable gulf. Their lives have no ultimate meaning or significance; Fido will not be appearing before the judgment seat as you and I will. It seems to me that in order to help my tiddlers think biblically, I should make sure they're around next time the cockerel's head gets sliced off, lest the twee little story books they read lead them astray!

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