The celebration of the birth of Jesus is the high holiday for Christians. We are told in the Gospels that he was born to a virgin mother and that he received gifts from three wise men. Also according to the accounts, Jesus was placed in a manger, in the presence of farm animals.
As Christians throughout the world celebrate his birth this week, it is custom to gather around the table for a feast. Indeed, food has a central role in this celebration.
Farm animals have a visible part in the original birth narrative, and they should not be forgotten now during the celebration of that event.
Sadly, much of the food on our tables at Christmas comes from animals confined on factory farms, and most celebrants hardly give thought to the conditions they endure.
The Humane Society of the United States’ Animals and Religion program calls upon people of faith to account for the animals. And this accounting cannot omit how our food choices affect their lives. At the very least, it calls upon religious people to reject meat, milk, and eggs from factory farms.