OK, so PETA have offered money to help the archdiocese of Minnesota if they'll erect an image of Jesus stating "go vegan".
Now, I am fully in favour of veganism, and would be very happy if everybody became vegans. However, there's no evidence that jesus ever suggested that we should be vegans, in fact there's good evidence that he did not do so at all. Also, animal rights proponents often accuse christianity as being at least partly responsible for unacceptable treatment of animals. Therefore, I find it annoying that PETA would propose such a thing.
However, as a utilitarian (primarliy), I can't see why I should oppose such a thing, even though I find it bothersome. It comes down to me as "the ends justify the means".
So, my question is not whether you agree we should be vegans, nor whether jesus thought so. My question is whether you think I'm right to be in favour of the move, despite the fact that it annoys me very much, since it's not likely out of kindness, but purely as to push their own agenda.
I don't think PETA is interested in changing Christian's minds about God or Jesus. I think they are solely interested in getting people to think about how they are supporting needless cruelty to animals every time they sit down to eat meat, dairy or eggs. PETA's tactic is to get free publicity through media exposure. The corrupt media in this country is usually only interested in sex and controversy because that's what sells. So, in order to get mainstream media coverage, PETA gives the media sex and controversy. It's a successful and sound strategy, which is why PETA is the largest animal rights group in the world. But if you don't like their tactics, support another group instead.
In my opinion, Mercy For Animals is by far the most effective animal rights group out there. http://www.mercyforanimals.org/
There is some evidence that Jesus was vegan (if he existed at all). Here is some info: http://www.jesusveg.com/
I read a great book a couple years ago (can't remember the exact title or author now but will check when I get home) that makes a strong case using some of the gnostic gospels that Jesus was a vegan and animal rights activist. It notes that some of the gnostic gospels have Jesus's brothers and some of his disciples get in a fight with Paul because they refuse to eat at the same table with a meat eater. The book also makes the case that Jesus' tantrum in the temple in Jerusalem was about the selling of animals for sacrifice in the temple.
Also, there is a group called the Christian Vegetarian Association that makes the case that even if Jesus ate meat that he would be strongly opposed to the ways in which animals are raised and slaughtered for food in modern times. They have a slogan that says something like "What Would Jesus Eat Today?"
Found the book: The Lost Religion of Jesus by Keith Akers.
some of the text can be found here: http://books.google.com/books?id=7LfL6E50ZWgC&pg=PA166&dq=j...
He'd eat Kosher.
BECAUSE HE WAS JEWISH.
With the end of the world (supposedly) right around the corner, I doubt people will care about a vegan Jesus.
Jesus' message is one of love and compassion, yet there is nothing loving or compassionate about factory farms and slaughterhouses, where billions of animals live miserable lives and die violent, bloody deaths. Jesus mandates kindness, mercy, compassion, and love for all God's creation. He would be appalled by the degree of suffering we inflict on animals to indulge our acquired taste for their flesh.
Christians have a choice. When we sit down to eat, we can add to the level of violence, misery, and death in the world, or we can respect His creation with a vegetarian diet.
The next 'smart' move would be for atheists to pay for the 'Atheist Jesus'. You can support any idea you like, but, in my opinion, this is a dumb one. Not to mention the fact that it is a big waste of money.
And it's kind of funny that you want a zombie to promote veganism.
I'd say it would undermine PETA's credibility, but it's not like they have any. I take them about as seriously as I take most religions. The irrationality and hypocrisy are at about the same levels.
So really, it's up to you.