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New Gender-Inclusive Translation Should Also Be Species-Inclusive, Says Group
For Immediate Release: March 22, 2011
Contact: Kristin Richards 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. -- After hearing about the latest translation of the New International Version of the Bible—which uses gender-inclusive language such as "he or she" instead of "he"—PETA has written to the Committee on Bible Translation to suggest that its next translation also remove speciesist language by referring to animals as "he or she" instead of "it." In the letter, PETA points out that many modern writers are using "he," "she," and "who" in place of the inaccurate "it" and "which" to refer to an animal.
"Updating the Bible's language regarding animals would not only reflect modern writing trends but also reinforce the idea that animals are living beings valued by God, not inanimate objects," says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. "Jesus taught us the importance of mercy and compassion, and this update would encourage mercy and compassion for all God's creatures—including those who have feathers, fins, and fur."
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA's letter to Douglas Moo, chair of the Committee on Bible Translation, follows.
March 22, 2011
Professor Douglas MooChairCommittee on Bible Translation
Dear Professor Moo,
I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to commend you for the use of more gender-inclusive language in the current translation of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible.
May we respectfully request that when the committee next convenes, you further extend this reflection of Christ's message of love to all by referring to non-human animals as "he" or "she" instead of "it" and as "who" instead of "which"? Doing so will go a long way toward helping readers identify animals as living beings valued by God rather than inanimate objects.
As you know, animals were created by God and deserve mercy and compassion; by their very existence, they honor and glorify God. Jesus recognized the unique nature of animals and their inherent value as individual creations of God when he used the love of a mother hen for her chicks to describe his own love for his people.
Christians are increasingly honoring this teaching by rejecting the systematic exploitation of animals as a stain on God's creation and instead treating animals with respect—both through their eating and buying choices as well as the words that they choose to speak. The Rev. Andrew Linzey gave voice to what we all understand to be true when he wrote that "[a]nimals are God's creatures, not human property, nor utilities, nor resources, nor commodities, but precious beings in God's sight."
The public now recognizes that animals are feeling, intelligent individuals, capable of joy and suffering. Thus, more and more, writers are using "he," "she," and "who" to refer to animals instead of the outdated and inaccurate "it" and "which"—terms that are best reserved for inanimate objects, rather than God's beloved creatures. Won't you consider making this transition as well?
I would greatly appreciate hearing your decision on this matter. Thank you for your consideration.
Bruce FriedrichVice President
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