The page features photos of people and their animals. One post says, “My current relationship status.” And it shows a person’s hand with a wedding ring and a ring on the paw of their pet.
Founded in 1980 as a non-profit organization with 400 employees and claiming 6.5 million members and supporters, PETA is an “animal rights” organization that sees no difference between human beings and animals.
Now PETA has a new ad campaign equating the eating of crustaceans with cannibalism. Recently they erected a billboard in Baltimore to coincide with the Baltimore Seafood Festival in September.
Not surprisingly, their latest initiative is not setting well in Maine and Maryland with those whose livelihoods are built around the crabbing industry.
Restaurant owner, Harvey Linton of Crisfield, Maryland, has owned and operated Linton’s Seafood Crab Deck for 51 years and has his own message for PETA.
“PETA can put a sign down here” in Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Linton said. “I think they should put a sign down here and see what happens. We’re here waiting for you, PETA!”
This story reminds me of what God has revealed about His creation of all things including animals and people. From the very beginning, God made human beings different and distinct from the animal kingdom. Here’s what the Bible says in Genesis 1:26-27,
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Human beings are created in God’s image. After His likeness. Unlike animals we have been given a spirit and soul that will never die. People were the crowning act of God’s creation. The Psalmist said that we are made just a “little lower than the angels” and that we have been endowed with “glory and honor” (Ps 8).
The Psalmist continues by affirming the right of our rule over the animal kingdom.
You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen —
Even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air,
And the fish of the sea
That pass through the paths of the seas.
PETA’s claims that “animals are people too” reflects a worldview that goes beyond the ethical treatment of dogs and cats. I suppose if one believed in evolution you might feel it was wrong to eat a lobster or consume a crab cake. Or that eating a steak or pork bar-b-que was cannibalism.
The Genesis account plus our own observation shows that human beings alone are designed to be self-reflective, morally responsible, and ethically honorable. God has given us mental, emotional and spiritual qualities that elevate us far above a cow or a pig.
While there is a wonderful, beautiful and amazing complexity in animals, they are not people. We cannot and should not elevate an animal to human status. Sadly it seems that some have not only confused the two, but like those condemned in Romans 1, have exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worship the creation instead of the Creator.
As good stewards of all God’s creation we should treat it responsibly. We should not abuse it or waste it. But neither should we worship it.
No, PETA. Animals are not people.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman