Love All The Animals
v87 Jesus said 'Wretched is the body dependent upon a body and wretched is the soul dependent upon these two'
v87: Stop Eating Animals
It is staggering is it not that Christianity, a religion fully acquainted with the torture and sufferng of the innocent, is itself complicit in the suffering and torture of the innocent. Thomas sits firmly on the side of the animals. Harming a creature is harming the One itself. This is why in v87 Jesus rebukes those who are dependent upon a body (those who eat meat).
In a Thomas context when we are told to love our brother then we are told to love 'all' our brothers irrespective of gender, colour or species. When we extend our love to all species, then we love the One in its entirety. Mystics throughout the ages have understood this. That every aspect of creation is as deserved of reverence and kindness as we ourselves are. This is why the likes of Rumi, Einstein. Da Vinci etc were all vegetarian.
I can hear many of you already. Jesus ate fish! What about the 2000 swine despatched to their death! In my forthcoming book I address all of these protestations. For now hold on to the core idea that abstention from the eating of meat, is a strong and common thread of the early Jesus movement.
v87: The Apostle Thomas was Vegetarian
The Acts of Thomas desibe the events of Thomas's mission to India. He set out in A.D 52 almost 20 years after the death of Jesus. The man himself is described thus:
'He continually fasts and prays and abstaining from animal flesh and drinking wine, he eats only bread with salt and drinks only water......'
It's easy to construe this as an exception but there is evidence that at least 5 of the Apostles were in fact vegetarian, including James the brother of Jesus. Moreover there is further evidence that Jesus himself did not partake of meat. Given what has been previously described none of this should be a surprise.
Thomas tells us that the earth is not just a collection of resouces for us to exploit. That rather than being separate to us then all creatures are us, as is the earth itself. In being kind to all species we are kind to ourselves and in turn kind to the unity itself. Thomas encourages us to put aside the distinctions between us and all other beings, learning to alove all our brothers not just those in human form.