Jul 23, 2008 by Elizabeth Ziegler
(KCPW News) LDS faithful across the region will celebrate Pioneer Day Thursday with barbeques and rodeos. But BYU philosophy professor Chris Foster says the Word of Wisdom that advises Mormons to abstain from drinking caffeine and alcohol also applies to eating meat and treating animals unkindly.
“The Mormon doctrine is strongly pro-animal. And it’s strongly opposed to any kind of cruelty to animals, including mistreatment and killing when it is not necessary,” Foster says. “Unfortunately, Mormon culture didn’t quite live up to that. So there is a big discrepancy between what the gospel taught and how Latter-day Saints mostly seem to live.”
Foster joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a vegetarian who believes strongly in animal rights. He is the founder of the group Mormons for Animals and heads the vegetarian club at BYU. Foster says the radical animal rights movement is off-putting to many in the predominantly conservative LDS faith. He says the most effective animal rights message is just to tell the public the truth.
“There is an ethical component, and there is a health component, and there is a spiritual component, and there is an environmental component certainly today,” Foster says. “Animal agriculture is one of the most harmful things we do to our soil, to our water, to carbon emissions, to forest-clearing, it’s a very harmful environmental enterprise as well, so all four of those ideas are on the side of kinder diets.”
Foster gave a presentation on the Morality of Rodeos from an LDS point of view last night at 7 p.m. at the Main City Library. Click here to listen to a podcast conversation with Foster from Tuesday’s Public Square.
Email to a friendPosted in KCPW Newsroom. Copyright 2008 KCPW