Andy Alexis-Baker has a nice article at The Mennonite on Jesus’s actions in the temple (you know, turning over tables, whipping people, and driving out the money changers). He argues that careful consideration of Jesus’s reaction to the doves – pausing to tell the dove sellers to take the caged birds out of the temple – not only pose a challenge to the idea that Jesus was throwing an unrestrained and violent tantrum, but might also suggest that the Christian ethic of non-violent peacemaking needs to be expanded to include God’s other creatures as well as humans. The article is short and worth a read.
“Christian vegetarianism might be understood as a witness to the world that God’s creation is not meant to be at war with itself. Such a witness does not entail romantic conceptions of nature or of our fallen creation but rather is an eschatological act signifying that our lives are not captured by the old order.” ― Stanley Hauerwas & John Berkman, “The Chief End of All Flesh” Good News for Animals?: Christian Approaches to Animal Well-Being.
“Vegetarianism is a valid and valuable way of anticipating the kingdom of God by practicing what God most intends for the world. It is a sign of our trust in God’s intentions for the world and our hope in God’s plan for the world’s ultimate redemption.” ― Stephen H Webb, Good Eating.
Andy Alexis-Baker, co-founder of Jesus-Radicals, and co-editor of A Faith Embracing All Creatures: Addressing Commonly Asked Questions About Christian Care for Animals has an interview with Erin O’Sullivan on ‘Animal Voices’ about this anthology and about Christian vegetarianism in general. The audio is available here, and is worth a listen.
The only thing I would like to have heard a bit more about, was the distinction that Alexis-Baker sort of started to make (when asked if he thought Jesus was a vegetarian) between the somewhat superficial “Christians-should-do-everything-Jesus-did” approach, and a more Christologically informed imatatio Christi. In particular, I would like to hear from him, what such a Christological vegetarianism would look like: is it a form of kenotic asceticism rooted in the self-emptying of Christ for the sake of others? Does it stem from an understanding of the Incarnation as a radical solidarity with the weak and suffering? I assume that the answer is yes. But it would have been nice, for those listening who might not think to make such a distinction, to hear a bit more on this.