There’s now a new Book of Genesis that centers animals in the Story of Creation, thanks to animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). PETA used artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT to rewrite the Bible’s Book of Genesis into a modern, cruelty-free version filled with vegan teachings.
The message in the original Book of Genesis is that God created every sentient being, he saw that they were good, and he gave them greens for sustenance. In the new version, PETA includes updated moral lessons and modern-day applications fit for the 21st century.
Animals are respected from the beginning
In THE BOOK: PETA’s Version of the Creation Story, animals are referred to as “beings” rather than “beasts” or “creatures”—and plant fibers, like hemp and bamboo, are used in place of animal skins for clothing. In PETA’s version, no one with any fashion or moral sense would wear animal skins in the 21st century.
Among other new interpretations, in Genesis Chapter 22, Abraham travels to the land of Moriah and befriends a gentle lamb to show his reverence and respect for God’s creation, rather than slaughtering a ram to demonstrate his faith. This was updated because it is a form of oppression much like human sacrifice, which was once a reality and is now outlawed all over the world.
“The Bible has long been used to justify all forms of oppression, so we’ve used ChatGPT to make it clear that a loving God would never endorse exploitation of or cruelty to animals,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement.
“It took God only six days to create the entire world, but we realized it would take us years to rewrite the whole Bible, which is why we’ve started with just the first book.”
Abraham and Sarah adopt a dog
Another revised passage is in Chapter 21, when Abraham and Sarah add to their growing family by adopting a dog named Herbie. According to the original Bible, Abraham and Sarah were 100 and 90 years old, respectively, when they conceived their child, Isaac.
“As they walked with Herbie, Sarah and Abraham thought of the importance of adopting dogs from shelters and rescue organizations rather than purchasing them from breeders,” PETA’s version reads. “They spoke of how buying a dog or cat from a breeder or a pet shop contributes to the companion animal overpopulation crisis, as countless dogs and cats in shelters await loving homes while breeders continue to produce more puppies and kittens for profit.”
PETA hopes the new, cruelty-free Story of Creation will appeal to Generation Z, 73 percent of whom identify as animal-rights activists, and remind readers to treat every being with love, kindness, and respect.
PETA draws attention to veganism
PETA is infamous for its stunts to bring more attention to animal rights and veganism. In 2022, vegan actor James Cromwell—of Babe and Succession fame—joined PETA in demanding that Starbucks stop charging extra for plant-based milk substitutions across its stores.
A video released by PETA of the protest shows the actor sitting at a Manhattan Starbucks with his hand super glued to the counter. In the video, Cromwell points out that Starbucks has recently dropped its vegan milk surcharge at its more than 1,000 United Kingdom locations and urged the coffee giant to extend the policy to other regions, particularly the United States.
“All over the world, in Great Britain, in France, they give these things away, no charge for it,” Cromwell said in the video.
“Here, there’s an exorbitant charge. Why? Why, when it’s so important now to address climate change? There’s no reason for it except greed.”
In another unique move following the rise of the zoonotic disease COVID-19 in 2020, PETA made a strategic purchase of shares in a number of meat companies, including Tyson, Hormel, Sanderson Farms, Maple Leaf Foods, Kraft Heinz (parent company of Oscar Mayer), and Chinese-owned WH Group (parent company of Smithfield).
World Animal Protection
PETA said it would use its stockholder position to attend annual meetings, correspond with other shareholders under Securities and Exchange Commission rules, and directly urge CEOs to convert all slaughterhouses to produce and pack only vegan meats. “This crisis has shown that raising and killing animals in filthy factory farm conditions and butchering them in ill-regulated slaughterhouses creates breeding grounds for infectious diseases,” Newkirk said in a statement at the time.
“PETA is pushing major meat companies to shut down the slaughter lines and switch to plant-based meats that never cause a pandemic,” Newkirk added.
A number of meat companies in which PETA now holds shares already produce plant-based meat products, including Smithfield and Hormel.