Dominion over the animals and the earth, was given to Adam and Eve. All mankind has dominion over the Earth, according to most religious denominations. But what does that mean?
In my life, as I've learned, dominion means to churches a lot less than it seems to have meant when this edict was issued. From the very beginning, after this, the creation was completed, there needed to be a care-taker. After all, there is a lot of stuff here on Earth; a lot of animals, mountains, fish, cattle...a lot of THINGS, and ANIMALS, and STUFF!
Adam named most things right away, and was happy. Then he wasn't, became lonely, God made Eve, everything was great, then it wasn't. They got themselves evicted for misbehavior, went about living, everything was great, then it wasn't...all of this, and it was never enough.
When God gave Adam dominion over the earth, to name things, to over see things, I really don't think He, meaning God, meant factory farming. I don't think He meant genetic modification of seeds, that when they were given to Adam, were good enough. I don't think He meant slaughter of animals on such a huge scale, and with so much suffering.
As we know, whether or not Christ was vegan, doesn't mean he meant kill everything, en masse, just in case someone was hungry. It also didn't mean to change the landscape to such a degree, that someone from the 1860's West Virginia, wouldn't recognize the landscape due to the removal of the mountain tops today. Seriously, dominion over the Earth does not mean to lay waste to the land, just because we can.
To me, being vegan offers more responsibility to the animals of the earth, including people. It means to try to feed all people. To take care of the poor, to mitigate pain and suffering wherever we find it, how ever it is dealt. It means taking responsibility for our actions on this earth, so that there is an earth to leave our children, and grandchildren, into perpetuity. It means to take seriously the pain and suffering of all animals, especially those we kill for food.
How much does it hurt for people to take two days, and eat no meat? It does not. How hard is it to adopt a pet from a shelter, over buying one from a backyard breeder? Which one is closer to it's death because the backyard breeder took that person and sold them a dog or cat, or horse? How hard is it to recycle, reuse, and reduce our purchase of goods we may not really need or want? It takes effort, is all. Just a bit of thought.
As vegans, we can spread the word to our friends, and family, to start. Meatless Mondays, Recycle Tuesday, Water conservation Wednesday...we can make a difference, through education, and fun. This is dominion over the earth, and the air we breathe, wind, and waters. This is responsibility we should all get behind.