[Editor's Note: This is adapted from Charles Camosy's book, "For Love Of Animals: Christian Ethics, Consistent Action"]
The overwhelming majority of meat that most of us eat--whether in a fast-food sandwich, on a frozen pizza from the supermarket, or even in the stock of your homemade soup--comes from factory farmed non-human animals. In light of the ideals just mentioned, how should Christians think about factory farms? I want to argue that factory farms are absolutely reprehensible institutions, particularly from a Christian perspective. If we care about justice, Christian should not only do all we can to refuse to support factory farms with our money, we should work to undermine the values and social structures which make it possible for them to function and flourish in the first place.
From the perspective of the Bible, our Christian Tradition, and current Church teaching, non-human animals are cared for and valued by God independent of the interests of human beings. But it is precisely because most of us do not see non-human animals as objectively valuable--and have an important interest in seeing them as mere objects and products to satisfy our desires--that they area vulnerable population which has been pushed to the margins of our culture and society. Those of us who follow the example of Jesus Christ, therefore, should give them special moral consideration and attention.