Was Jezus een dierenvriend ?

De nu komende paasdagen wordt opnieuw stilgestaan bij de wedergeboorte van Jezus op aarde. Velen kiezen ervoor om dit te doen met de zojuist klaargemaakte kalkoen of ‘wild’ op tafel. Maar, wat zou Jezus doen of zeggen als Hij bij hen aan tafel zou zitten? Wat vindt Jezus van de bio-industrie of dierproeven?

Er zijn verschillende verhalen bekend over Jezus die het voor de dieren opneemt.
“Toen Jezus op weg was naar Jericho, kwam Hij een man tegen met een kooi vogels die hij gevangen had en enige jonge duiven. Jezus zag hoe ze leden door het verlies van hun vrijheid en hoe zij bovendien door honger en dorst gekweld werden, en Hij zei tot de man: “Wat doe je met deze dieren?” En de man antwoordde: “Ik verdien mijn brood met het verkopen van deze vogels die ik gevangen heb.” En Jezus zei: “Hoe zou je het vinden als een ander die sterker is dan jij je zou vastbinden, of je vrouw of kinderen, en je in de gevangenis zou werpen, om je dan voor het eigen voordeel en zijn levensonderhoud te verkopen?
Zijn dit niet je medeschepselen, alleen zwakker dan jij? En heeft dezelfde God, onze Vader-Moeder hen niet even lief als jij? Laat deze, je kleine broeders en zusters, in vrijheid gaan en zorg dat je deze dingen niet weer doet, maar voorzie in je levensonderhoud op een eerlijke manier.” De man verbaasde zich over die woorden en de macht die er van uitging en liet de vogels vrij. Toen de vogels hun vrijheid teruggekregen hadden, vlogen ze naar Jezus toe, zetten zich op Zijn schouders en begonnen voor Hem te zingen. De man luisterde verder naar Zijn leer, ging zijns weegs en leerde het vlechten van korven. Door zijn werk verdiende hij zijn brood, maakte zijn kooien en vallen kapot en werd leerling van Jezus.” (Evangelie van de Heilige Twaalf 41:1-6 )

In Psalm 104 worden ‘onze broeders en zusters’ als volgt bezongen: “Hoe talrijk zijn Uw werken, O Heer, Gij hebt ze alle met wijsheid gemaakt; de aarde is vol van Uw schepselen.” Wat zou Jezus ervan vinden dat de mensen de dieren vervolgens ‘in alle wijsheid’ doden en/of opeten? Was Jezus vegetariër? Het boek ‘Adversum Jovianum’ (1:30) van Hieronymus lijkt dit wel te bevestigen: “Tot de zondvloed aten de mensen geen vlees. Jezus Christus, die verscheen toen de tijd vervuld was, heeft het einde met het begin verbonden, zoals in Genesis (1:29) staat, zodat het ons niet meer geoorloofd is om vlees te eten.” Jezus en de eerste christenen zouden, zoals staat geschreven in een brief van Plinius aan Trajan, alleen ‘onschuldige spijzen’ (cibum innoxium, L.) hebben gegeten. Ze aten niets waarvoor het leven van een dier werd gegeven. Jesaja predikt liefde,
een paradijs waarin zelfs de dieren elkaar niets meer zullen aandoen, laat staan de mensen elkaar – en de mensen de dieren: “Overzadigd ben ik van brandoffers van rammen en het vet van mestkalveren, en aan het bloed van stieren, schapen en bokken heb ik geen welgevallen … Uw handen zijn vol bloed. Wast u, reinigt u, doet uw boze daden uit mijn ogen weg … Men zal geen kwaad doen, noch verderf stichten op gans Mijn Heilige Berg, want de aarde zal vol zijn van Kennis des Heren, zoals de wateren de bodem der zee bedekken.” (Jes. 11:9)

St. Johannes Chrysotomos verwoordt het zo: “We doen slechts de wolven en de luipaarden na, of eigenlijk zijn we zelfs slechter dan zij, want voor hen heeft de natuur beschikt dat zij zo gevoed worden; maar aan ons heeft God de spraak en het rechtvaardigheidsgevoel gegeven.” In die zin zou je kunnen zeggen dat ook de dieren de levensadem van God hebben ontvangen en de mens als ‘rentmeesters van Gods aarde’ eerder verantwoordelijk zijn voor het behoud en beheer van de aarde. Zou ‘de Hof van Eden bewerken en bewaren’ (Genesis 2:15) dan niet een beter passende omschrijving zijn dan ‘heersen over de dieren?’

“Dieren hebben geen ziel en voor hen is er geen leven na de dood. Daarom hebben ze ook geen waarde waarop ze hun rechten zouden kunnen baseren,” zo verklaarde de bisschop van Hildesheim in 1949. Naar aanleiding van het spreken van deze bisschop schrijft filosoof C.A. Skriver: “Dit is het einde van het evangelie voor alle schepselen. De kerk heeft de dieren volkomen vergeten. Niemand van ons zou willen ruilen met het lot van een dier. De dieren zijn in deze wereld onder de rovers gevallen. Geen mens weet wat een dier is, waarom zij er zijn, waar zij vandaan komen en waar zij heen gaan. Zijn zij betoverde broeders, achtergebleven mensen? De dieren zijn het vergeten deel van de dogmatiek, ethiek en praktische theologie!”

Dat Jezus de dieren niet vergeet blijkt onder meer uit Zijn uitspraken (‘Gij zult niet doden’) en Zijn houding tegenover de dieren: ‘En wat ge aan de minste van deze van Mijn kinderen doet, dat doet ge aan Mij. Want Ik ben in hen en zij zijn in Mij. Ja, Ik ben in alle wezens en alle wezens zijn in Mij. Ik verheug Me in al hun vreugden en in al hun droefenis ben Ik bedroefd. Daarom zeg Ik u: Weest vriendelijk voor elkaar en voor alle schepselen van God.” …en … “Toen Jezus naar Jeruzalem reisde, kwam er een kameel aan, zwaar beladen met hout – en de kameel kon de last de berg niet opslepen en de drijver sloeg en mishandelde hem wreed, maar kon hem geen stap van zijn plaats krijgen. En Jezus, dit ziende, zei tegen hem: “Waarom sla je je broeder?” En de man antwoordde: “Ik wist niet dat hij mijn broeder is. Is het niet een lastdier, gemaakt om mij te dienen?” En Jezus zei: “Heeft niet dezelfde God deze kameel gemaakt van dezelfde substantie en je kinderen die je dienen en heb je niet dezelfde levensadem die je beiden van God ontvangen hebt?” En de man verwonderde zich zeer over Zijn woorden en hield op de kameel te slaan en hij nam een deel van de last af en de kameel liep de berg op terwijl Jezus voor hem uitging en hield niet meer stil vóór het einde van de tocht. En de kameel kende Jezus en voelde de liefde van God in hem.” (Evangelie van de Heilige Twaalf 31:12-16)

Maria, moeder van Jezus, was Esseense, en de Essenen waren allen vegetariër. Jezus, zoon van God, was dus ook vegetariër: Jezus is een dierenvriend!

Echte vrede op aarde begint op je bord met een diervriendelijk Paasdiner. Kijk voor suggesties bij de heerlijke kerstrecepten.

Een greep uit verschenen boeken over religie, levensbeschouwing en dieren

 

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