Like the other images I’ve analyzed on my blog, this nativity scene, made from assorted pieces of dead pigs, normalizes animal cruelty by making light of it, and hides the violence we commit against animals.
Nativity scenes are used to celebrate the birth of the nonviolent Jesus Christ. And this holiday season, it’s common to wish for “peace on earth,” a phrase from the Bible. But instead of celebrating compassion for all earthlings, we mock the torture and murder of certain sentient beings. This is the problematic speciesist thinking that’s currently rampant in our culture: we wish for “peace on earth” while participating in animal exploitation, which not only hurts the animals, but also directly harms the environment; furthermore, practically no one would think this was funny if the scene featured parts from a cooked dog. Pigs are okay to exploit because…? Because that’s the way things are?
I’m not going to tell my Christian readers how to practice their faith, but if you want to reflect on whether veganism is compatible with your religion, here are some links to get you started:
- Christianity and Vegetarianism: Pursuing the Nonviolence of Jesus [jesusveg.com]
- Christian Vegan – Not An Oxymoron! [thejoyfulvegan]
- The Vegan Christian Resource [tumblr]
- How To Encourage Christians To Become Vegan [Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians]
- Why I’m a Christian Vegan [todayschristianwoman]