Ask Charles Camosy Anything: The Animal Soul

Andrew Sullivan —  Nov 12 2013 @ 3:00pm

In today’s video, Charles argues that the animal soul may resemble the human soul much more than we realize:

About his new book:

For Love of Animals is an honest and thoughtful look at our responsibility as Christians with respect to animals. Many Christians misunderstand both history and their own tradition in thinking about animals. They are joined by prominent secular thinkers who blame Christianity for the Western world’s failure to seriously consider the moral status of animals. This book explains how traditional Christian ideas and principles—like nonviolence, concern for the vulnerable, respect for life, stewardship of God’s creation, and rejection of consumerism—require us to treat animals morally.

His previous videos are here. A reader writes:

Thanks very much for this interesting series. Camosy says that we should not eat meat because we should live non-violent lives. I believe that violence should only be used in self-defense. When we eat eggs, meat, or dairy we are complicit in acts of violence against the innocent defenseless who do not threaten us. We would be choosing violence for no good reason. This is a compelling point. He goes on to say that animal products should only be used if there is a need, and that in modern society there is no need for these products. Eggs, meat, and dairy are totally unnecessary.

Camosy’s most important point is that factory-farmed animal products are a sin.

This should be obvious. Everyone should boycott those products completely, whether based on religion, basic morals, or both. Some people may feel that it is acceptable for them to use animal products that are not from factory farms. While I would not use them, I believe that these people are sincere. There is a massive problem with this approach though: there are almost no animal products that are not from factory farms, and the products that are labeled and marketed to suggest that they are not from factory farms really are from factory farms. When you see labels like “cage free”; “free range”; “grass fed”; “humane”; “natural”; “organic”; etc. you can very safely assume that these are all factory-farmed products. One would have to avoid all eggs, meat, and diary sold in stores and at restaurants, visit the producers oneself, visit their suppliers, and see where and how the animals are slaughtered. It would be a full-time job for most people and it would yield little food.

Our full Ask Anything archive is here.