People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has made Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen its latest big-name target in a bid to promote veganism and end animal cruelty in light of the Easter holiday.
The animal-rights organization apparently sent a letter to Osteen with a large "Go Vegan" banner featuring a photo of a piglet at his Houston, Texas megachurch. In return, the animal rights activist group has offered to "prepare a delicious Easter Sunday faux-ham meal with all the trimmings for his parishioners," a press release revealed.
"Thank you for encouraging your parishioners to eliminate pork from their diets," PETA wrote. "We would like to reinforce your message by offering you a banner – which features the image of a little pig and reads, 'Blessed Are the Merciful: Go Vegan' – to hang inside or outside the church in time for Easter."
The letter continues: "I think you would agree that Jesus would be horrified by the cruelty that is inflicted on animals to satisfy people's taste for meat, especially when so many healthful vegan options are there for the taking. We would be pleased to send you free copies of our 'Christianity and Vegetarianism' pamphlets, vegetarian/vegan starter kits, and children's stickers showing a baby chick declaring, 'Jesus loves me too!'
PETA has identified Pastor Osteen as an important religious figure who might share its sentiments at least when it comes to eating pigs – the Lakewood Church leader has been known to warn people against pork consumption, highlighting passages in the Bible that talk about the uncleanliness of pigs.
While PETA's mission to end cruelty to animals may not align exactly with the biblical reasons behind Osteen promoting cutting off pork consumption, the organization saw it fit to try and spread their veganism message to the 40,000 weekly attendees of Osteen's church and his many followers worldwide.
Lakewood Church has not yet announced a response to PETA's request, and did not return a call from The Christian Post by the time of publication.