Don’t Invoke God in Alligator Torture; Honor His Creation Instead, PETA Tells Alabama Hunters

Group Offers to Send Bible to Family Who Laughed and Cheered as They Stabbed and Tormented Alligator for Five Hours Before Animal Died

For Immediate Release:
August 22, 2014

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Montgomery, Ala.

The Stokes family, who publicly credited God with helping them impale a 15-foot-long alligator with five large hooks and shoot him twice with a shotgun, is in need of a refresher course in how Christians are to treat God’s creation. That’s why PETA has offered to send the family a Bible to remind them of Jesus’ message of compassion, which is summed up with His words “Blessed are the merciful.”

“Surely, Jesus would find it reprehensible to torment, stab, shoot, and kill any living being,” says PETA Director of Christian Outreach and Engagement Sarah Withrow King. “PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that ‘animals are not ours to abuse in any way’—agrees, and I hope the Stokes family will open their hearts and realize that as Christians, we have a sacred duty to protect God’s creation, not to torture and kill animals for ‘sport.’”

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PETA’s letter to the Stokes family follows.


August 22, 2014


Amanda Klug Stokes
John Stokes


Dear Mr. andMs. Stokes:

As a fellow follower of Jesus, I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters, including thousands across Alabama and countless Christians, to urge you to extend Jesus’ teaching of mercy to all of God’s creation and stop hunting animals for sport. Please open your hearts and reread the Bible so that you can refresh your memory about God’s messages of compassion and responsible dominion of all His creatures.

You are probably aware that a growing number of Christians (myself included) view humans’ God-granted dominion over the Earth not as authorization to exploit other beings but as a sacred duty to protect them. As you know, when God gave Adam “dominion” over the animals in Genesis 1:26–28, He intended for Adam, and for each of us, to be loving stewards of His creation. Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:40, “[A]s you did it to one of the least of these, my brethren, you did it to me.” We were created in God’s loving image (Genesis 1:27; 1 John 4:8), and thus we are called to show love to the world and all His creatures. Certainly, Jesus considered our treatment of animals when he said, “Blessed are the merciful” (Matthew 5:7).

Torturing and killing animals for sport or to possess trophies shows a lack of respect for God’s creation and for Jesus’ teachings of mercy and compassion. You tormented this alligator for five hours—repeatedly stabbing him with large, sharp hooks and shooting at him several times until, in your words, “fear had taken hold” of the animal—before you finally managed to kill him. Surely, Jesus would find these actions reprehensible, not “glorious.”

Please let me know the best address for mailing some Bibles to, and feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to discuss other peaceful ways to honor His creation. Thank you for your consideration.


Sarah Withrow King
Director of Christian Outreach and Engagement

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