I'm not sure what I expected Vegangelical by Sarah Withrow King to be about but I didn't expect it to turn into a PETA commercial.
The first half of the book didn't seem to flow with the topic of animals but rather like a textbook from a theology class. It got so deep that soon it was boring and I admit that I skimmed over it. As a Christian, I know WHO God is, WHAT God is, and what my connection with Him is...unless you are writing for an atheist I saw no need to go into an in depth discussion of what most Christians already know.
Getting to the last half of the book is when it comes down to animals and our relationships with animals, especially as Christians who are to look after God's creation. I agree with King there, and with her views on factory farms and the current state of the big farming practices. Animals are treated horrendously and we should not stand for that.
Yet, the only thing I got out of this book is that King feels we should all be vegans. She mentions eating eggs from her friend's backyard flock because chickens lay eggs and nothing had to die or suffer for that egg but that is the only instance where she seems to think eating an animal product is okay.
I know King logically does not expect meat-eating or all animal by-products to suddenly stop being consumed, but if she had her way does she think this would be a good thing? Does she realize that cows and chickens most likely would not be kept as pets except for a select few? Does she not realize that one can be a good steward of God's creation while still utilizing animal products?
I have nothing against vegans...I would have nothing against living my own life never consuming animal products. But I'm also not against animal products. Take a hunter who bags one or two deer a year to stock his families freezer, or a small family farm that has a flock of chickens, a milk cow, and a pig for the freezer. Is the question really...is it bad to eat meat? Or rather, does our current method of raising farm animals need to go back to what it once was?
King lost me when on page 111 she ragged on zoos (even though I agree with her sentiments!) when she added "It's similar to the message we send our children when we teach them to love and be kind to animals while serving them animal parts for dinner." Is it not possible to love and care for an animal and then to humanely put that animal on your dinner table? Does it have to be an either/or?
The same goes for wearing wool or leather. King states that sheep do not need to be sheered and that it is painful and inhumane to do so. I do know that large factory sheep farms are not often humane places, yet know people who raise their own sheep, sheer their own wool, and spin that wool themselves. The sheep are like pets to them and well taken care of. Does King protest that type of wool or just factory farm wool? Is she protesting our current animal husbandry habits or any and all forms of animal products? This book didn't leave much in the way for interpretation - clearly the only right way is to be a vegan. As someone who feels that God didn't just give us animals as pets I do not agree with King, except on the fact that all animals should be treated humanely and lead a happy life while living.
This book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.