I am writing about an upcoming event at an area Middlesex County church in mid-September. Members are hosting a pig roast as a fundraiser for the Outreach Ministry. While I applaud the good work that this church is doing in helping others, the idea of roasting a whole pig as a spectacle to be enjoyed cannot be condoned. Pigs, and other farmed animals, feel pain, have emotions and intelligence and want to live. Today we can lead healthy, fulfilling lives without harming other sentient creatures. I have been attending an annual Gentle Thanksgiving Dinner at a North Jersey church for the last 10 years, and every year the crowds are getting larger for this delicious plant-based, vegan feast.
Most people are aware of the rampant abuse of farm animals in slaughterhouses and in the factory-farming system so prevalent in our society. There is also heightened awareness of the negative environmental effects of animal agriculture, from pollution of local water from runoff from the farms, and the clear cutting of land and controlled burning for cow pastures. It is also known that eating meat and animal products contributes to cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
It is time for churches and houses of worship to spread their circle of compassion to include all of God’s creation. As moral and ethical leaders, it’s time to set a more humane example and not contribute to further animal suffering.