Tag Archives: holy days

What if Jesus had been a chicken?

What if Jesus is Lilac?!

By Michelle Kretzer
It’s the most important day in the Christian calendar. Easter Sunday is the day when we celebrate the fact that Jesus conquered death and darkness so that His followers could have eternal life, and it is the foundation of our faith. We go to church to hear the Easter story every year, and we shake our heads in disgust as our pastors describe the extreme barbarism with which religious and government leaders tortured and killed Him. But what if similar abuse were being meted out to this very day — every day — to others who are just as innocent?
The similarities between the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and the ways in which animals are raised and killed to be eaten are uncanny and undeniable.
Jesus was killed because people refused to believe that He could truly be the son of God sent to save the world from sin. Animals are killed by the billions every year because people refuse to believe that they could be thinking, feeling, intelligent, emotional beings whom God created and blessed and whom He loves very much.
The soldiers who were responsible for guarding Jesus after He was arrested mocked and beat Him. Numerous PETA investigations have exposed farmworkers who mocked and beat the animals for whom they were responsible. PETA’s eyewitness investigation of a New York state dairy farm found that workers routinely jabbed and struck cows in the face, udder or hindquarters with a pole or a cane. A manager electro-shocked at least one cow in the face repeatedly and called a downed cow a “dumb bitch.” At a pig factory farm in Iowa, PETA’s eyewitnesses documented that workers beat pigs with metal gate rods and a herding board, jabbed clothespins into their eyes and defended their own violence by saying things like, “You gotta beat on the bitch. Make her cry.” Similar abuse has been revealed at farms across the country.
Jesus’ broken body was nailed to a cross, and He was left hanging there to die. In slaughterhouses, animals are routinely strung up by their legs, their throats are cut—often while they’re fully conscious—and they are left hanging there to die.
The soldiers stripped Jesus of His clothes and cast lots for them. Animals are skinned and cut into pieces, often while still conscious, and their body parts are sold for profit. One worker at a cow slaughterhouse told The Washington Post, “They die piece by piece.”
The major difference between the Easter story and the fate of animals who are killed for food is that while Jesus didn’t want to suffer and die, He nevertheless offered Himself up as an innocent sacrifice in order to save God’s children from death. Animals value their own lives, too, but they have not offered themselves up and don’t want to die just to give humans a fleeting taste of their flesh.
At the Last Supper, Jesus commanded the apostles — and all of us — to “love one another.” The name of the day on which we remember the Last Supper, Maundy Thursday, even comes from the word “mandate.” But there is nothing loving about the ways in which animals are abused and killed for our plates. Each animal is God’s perfect creation, an individual with the ability to feel pain, joy, fear and love. And thus, each human has a choice to make three times on Easter Sunday and every day when sitting down to eat: Shall I contribute to suffering, or shall I extend mercy?
Michelle Kretzer writes on Christian issues for the PETA Foundation.

Easter eggs!

By Edith Morgan
(photos: R.T.)

Just eating eggs is the very least we can do with them! Their perfect oval shape, their size and their great availability, make eggs ideal arts and crafts vehicles! And since their price has gone up lately, the plastic, wooden, and even balloon-shaped ones can be used for projects at this time of year.

Edith’s eggs!

It seems that eggs are featured in the rituals of several major religions in the spring – at Easter time, on the Seder platter, and in various recipes.   For this particular article, I will just comment on their decorative uses.

At the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, you can see exquisitely decorated eggs, in the style of what we here call “Ukrainian,” done with beeswax and dye, using raw eggs that are put in the oven at 200 degrees, to melt down the wax once the designs are put on them. It is a very time-consuming  process, and I will not take time to give all the directions – they are available, and if you have lots of time and ambition, give it a try. If you are lucky, the eggs will last many years. I have had only one or two “go bad,” emitting an awful odor which you will recognize.

One of my favorite sources of inspiration is a little English book, published in 1997, called “The Decorative Egg Book,” by Deborah Schneebeli Morrell.


Beautifully illustrated in color, it contains “twenty charming ideas for creating beautiful displays.” It also shows in words and pictures each step for achieving the beautiful effects  desired.

Another great resource is the March 2016 issue of “Living” which has ideas and how-to pictures to help you design speckled eggs (and a lot of other ideas for Easter décor and food).

And if you are a “collector,” as I am, you will have cut out from newspapers and magazines, lots of ideas for doing things with eggs, or egg-shapes. I attended a workshop to learn to make chicks and rabbits out of plastic eggs, using multi-colored fleece! Those cuties are soft and fluffy and last forever, unlike the decorated eggs using REAL eggs. I always feel a bit guilty using real food for these projects, but maybe I can justify this by remembering that art is  food for the soul and lasts much longer and “feeds” many more people.

You do not need expensive tools to produce beautiful results: you can wrap eggs with ribbon, metallic thread, bits of lace – whatever odds and ends you have around the house. And since you are not eating these eggs, you can use Elmer’s glue if you did not buy the special art glue.

I recently saw a short video showing how to create beautiful designs on eggs by using old neckties, cutting them into squares, wrapping each egg, tying the top, and boiling them in water with vinegar in it, for about 30 minutes. Apparently, the vinegar and the heat cause the color from the ties to transfer to the egg shell.

And, of course, if time runs out, there are always the egg-coloring kits that you can buy everywhere these days. They make it almost foolproof to turn out lovely, colorful eggs. For eating, better use your regular food coloring – you can do a lot with Q-tips and pastry brushes. Let your imagination go!

Edith’s dining room table will look so pretty for the spring holy days: gather ’round!