PETA urges Southern Baptists to go vegetarian
A handful of activists from People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals (PETA) urged Southern Baptists meeting in Indianapolis on Tuesday to try the vegetarian option. “For Christ’s Sake, Go Vegetarian,” read one of their signs outside the convention center in downtown Indianapolis, where the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), America’s largest evangelical denomination, is holding its annual meeting.
“The Bible’s greatest message is compassion,” said PETA campaign coordinator Ashley Byrne, who said she hoped to convince Southern Baptists to adopt a diet that was compassionate to animals by not eating them.
The SBC, like the broader U.S. evangelical movement, is divided about what action to take on “creation care” or environmental issues such as climate change.
But the culturally and politically conservative SBC, better known for its fondness of “guns and God,” probably does not have a lot of vegetarians in its ranks.
An informal Reuters survey of a few attending the meeting turned up none.
One major nationwide survey in 2006 found that 50 percent of licensed U.S. hunters and anglers were evangelical Christians — hardly rich fishing grounds for coverts to the PETA cause.