LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (CNS): Catholic leaders in America’s Bible Belt have disputed a claim by a group calling itself People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that Jesus was a vegetarian.
A spokesman for Little Rock diocese, Msgr Francis I. Malone, said it was believed that Jesus fully participated in Passover rituals and ate lamb.
He added that Jesus cooked fish on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and multiplied the loaves and fishes in the Gospel accounts.
A PETA billboard – erected last month on Interstate 30 in Little Rock – proclaims “Jesus was a Vegetarian”. The campaign features an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus with an orange slice behind his head with the words “Show respect for God’s creatures – follow Him” and the group’s Website, www.JesusVeg.com
The billboard also went up in Lousiana, Tennesee, Wyoming and South Dakota, but was declined in Alabama.
Director of the renowned Little Rock Scripture Study program, Catherine (Cackie) Upchurch, said there was no evidence that Jesus was a vegetarian.
“Mr Friedrich uses the Scriptures to support his views, but his interpretation of Scripture is shaky at best,” Ms Upchurch said.
She said, however, the campaign could be successful if it got Christians to look at the sacredness of all of God’s creation.