ANDREW LINZEY QUOTES

theologian & animal rights activist

The biblical case for vegetarianism does not rest on the view that killing may never be allowable in the eyes of God, rather on the view that killing is always a grave matter. When we have to kill to live we may do so, but when we do not, we should live otherwise.

ANDREW LINZEY, "Vegetarianism as a Biblical Ideal", Religious Vegetarianism

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Animals are not expendable for humans. I mean by this that animals must not be viewed simply as raw materials for our designs, no matter how morally laudable. Animals are not things.... There are a variety of ways in which humans can live in a symbiotic relationship with animals that benefits both parties. But that is surely the point. When animals are used so that their own lives are enhanced, supported, or protected in some way, the motivation is often more than simple human self-seeking. What is not justifiable is the intention to so use and take over the natural life of animals that its reward for humans is seen as its only reason for existing. The doctrine of creation will not allow us unrestricted and unrestrained use of the animal world for human purposes.

ANDREW LINZEY, Animal Theology

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If the cross does provide us with a true picture of what God is like, it follows that God is a redeeming presence in all creaturely experiences of suffering. All innocent suffering will be transformed.

ANDREW LINZEY, Why Animal Suffering Matters: Philosophy, Theology, and Practical Ethics

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Familiarity with holy things can often engender blindness, and churches are, for all their merits, institutions that embody, perhaps more than most, the will to perpetuate themselves. In this process, they can easily lose sight of the purpose for which they came into being and, in so doing, frustrate the Spirit.

ANDREW LINZEY, Why Animal Suffering Matters: Philosophy, Theology, and Practical Ethics

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Animals are God's creatures, not human property, nor utilities, nor resources, nor commodities, but precious beings in God's sight.... Christians whose eyes are fixed on the awfulness of crucifixion are in a special position to understand the awfulness of innocent suffering. The Cross of Christ is God's absolute identification with the weak, the powerless, and the vulnerable, but most of all with unprotected, undefended, innocent suffering.

ANDREW LINZEY, attributed, Please Don't Eat the Animals: All the Reasons You Need to Be a Vegetarian

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Although Christianity has a poor record on animals (as it does, it must be said, on the treatment of slaves, women, children, and gays), it is also the case that Christian theology, when creatively and critically handled, can provide a strong basis for animal rights.

ANDREW LINZEY, Creatures of the Same God: Explorations in Animal Theology

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It took Christians many years to realize that we cannot love God and also keep humans as slaves. It has taken even longer for Christians to realize that we cannot love God and also regard women as second-class humans. Now is the time for Christians to realize that we cannot love God and hate the Creator's nonhuman creatures.

ANDREW LINZEY, Animal Gospel

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We can't change the world for animals without changing our ideas about animals. We have to move from the idea that animals are things, tools, machines, commodities, resources here for our use to the idea that as sentient beings they have their own inherent value and dignity.

ANDREW LINZEY, interview, OneKind, June 21, 2011

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Humans have "dominion" over animals. But that "dominion" (radah in Hebrew) does not mean despotism, rather we are set over creation to care for what God has made and to treasure God's own treasures.

ANDREW LINZEY, Creatures of the Same God: Explorations in Animal Theology

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I am one of those people who believe that humans need to be saved for the sake of creation itself. We know so little about animals and creation. One of my pet peeves is hearing people pontificate about what animals are or are not capable of -- because the truth is we really don't know. All the stuff about animals not having language, not having rational souls, not having culture, not being persons -- all of these are human constructions. And I'm not sure how far any of these kinds of things matter to God even if they are true. Part of me wants to ask how we can know that God does not fundamentally value some parts of creation, or regard them as much more intimate with Herself, than human beings? All uniqueness-spotting on the part of humans is bound to be self-serving. Christians have been fiendishly good of course at drawing lines between humans and the rest of God's creatures.

ANDREW LINZEY, interview, Satya, February 1996

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I do not oppose violence simply because it is counterproductive. I oppose it because it betrays animal rights philosophy. Those who resort to such tactics really have not understood that animal rights is about the extension of moral concern to all sentient beings--humans obviously included.

ANDREW LINZEY, Creatures of the Same God: Explorations in Animal Theology

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When I was in my teens I had a series of intensely religious experiences. They deepened my sense of God as the creator of all things. And they also deepened my sensitivity towards creation itself so that concern for God's creatures and animal rights followed from that. Some people think I'm an animal rights person who just happens, almost incidentally, to be religious. In fact, it's because I believe in God that I'm concerned about God's creatures. The religious impulse is primary.

ANDREW LINZEY, interview, Satya, February 1996

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The Bible nowhere says that animals are just made for human use. It does not say that the whole earth is just ours to do with as we like. Neither does it say that God's sole interest is with the human species. We cannot allow such an important and influential book to become the preserve of those who want to exploit animals. The Bible needs to be read, studied, and reclaimed for the animals.

ANDREW LINZEY, Creatures of the Same God: Explorations in Animal Theology

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What I have had to face--and what incidentally drives me on--is the sad realization that unless I represent these ideas, they will (more often than not) go unarticulated.

ANDREW LINZEY, Creatures of the Same God: Explorations in Animal Theology

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There is now ample evidence in peer reviewed scientific journals that some animals (especially mammals and birds) can experience pain and suffering only to a greater or lesser extent than we do. It is important to grasp that animals don't just experience pain (understood as an adverse physical stimuli) but that they can suffer, i.e. they experience mental pain, including fear, foreboding, anticipation, stress, trauma, and terror.... Well, it means that these animals have complex systems of cognition and awareness. They can be harmed in ways that other beings cannot. They are -- in the words of Tom Regan -- "subjects of a life". Such sentiency means that it is illogical not to extend moral consideration to them.

ANDREW LINZEY, interview, OneKind, June 21, 2011

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I look forward to the time when the churches come to celebrate and honour the work of animal protection as an imperative arising from their belief in the Creator and in the gospel of the crucified. After all, similarly remarkable things have happened, for example, the growing consensus among churches that the environment should be cared for and protected as a Christian duty--an astonishing turnaround when one considers the prevailing dualism in previous centuries, which expressly discouraged concern for "earthly" matters as distinct from "spiritual" ones.

ANDREW LINZEY, Why Animal Suffering Matters: Philosophy, Theology, and Practical Ethics

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If tomorrow we decided only to desist from killing and causing suffering for sport and entertainment, the world would be significantly better for animals. Even this we have failed to achieve.

ANDREW LINZEY, Creatures of the Same God: Explorations in Animal Theology

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At the heart of the Judeo-Christian tradition is the dream of peace. Many people refer to how humans are given "dominion" in Genesis 1, and that's true. But if you look at the whole saga: in verse 27, humans are made in the image of God; in verse 28, they're given dominion, and in verse 29, they're given a vegetarian diet. Herb-eating dominion is hardly a license for despotism. The original author was seeking to describe a relationship -- not of egotistical exploitation -- but of care for the earth. It's extraordinary that almost 2000 years of biblical exegesis should so often have overlooked the radical vegetarian message in Genesis 1.

ANDREW LINZEY, interview, Satya, February 1996

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Eating animals by humans is thought to be as natural as sucking blood is for vampires. The argument is quite explicit: "Do what it is your nature to do," argues Lestat: "This is but a taste of it. Do what it is your nature to do." This claim seems to sum up the dilemma of both vampires like Louis and mortal vegetarians like myself who would rather live without killing. Are we not simply opposing the nature of things as given, or indeed our own natures? Are not non-blood-sucking vampires and non-meat-eating humans similarly anomalous in the history of our respective species? Is it not true that both are seemingly incapable of facing the world as it is without emotion or moral squint?

ANDREW LINZEY, Animal Theology

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One cannot get to animal rights by trampling on human rights.

ANDREW LINZEY, Creatures of the Same God: Explorations in Animal Theology

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