People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has taken a new approach to persuading people to become vegetarians. The organization is turning towards Christianity, using the premise that Jesus was a vegetarian in an attempt to sway people against eating meat.
This disturbs some Christians, who don’t recognize the command to “refrain from eating meat” in Jesus’ messages. In contrary, many Christians are familiar with the not-so-vegetarian story in the book of Matthew that tells how Jesus fed a group of 4,000 followers a meal of fish and bread.
PETA placed a billboard in Pensacola that says, “Jesus was the prince of peas. Follow him — Go vegetarian.”
This catchy phrase, however, has no basis of truth. Paul Welch, senior pastor at Pensacola’s First Pentecostal Church disagreed with the message, calling the campaign deceptive in a United Press International report
Instead of stepping into religious venues, since PETA obviously has trouble in that area, the group should find another advertising scheme that is truthful. They should do this quickly, before they offend any more Christians in the Pensacola area or elsewhere.
Bruce Friedrich, director of vegan outreach at PETA, explained that they’re trying to prompt serious consideration of the religious implication of being a vegetarian.
However, there are no instances in the Bible where vegetarianism is promoted, and PETA shouldn’t suggest views that don’t exist.
Another PETA billboard in Detroit quotes the Quran with a similar message, though there is nothing in Islam that prevents Muslims from eating meat, though the religion has other dietary regulations.
PETA needs to stay away from using religious tactics in its quest to convince people to become vegetarians. When a message offends people more than it promotes an action, it’s not very effective.