How should a Christian view taxidermy?


Clarify Share Report Asked April 17 2014 Stringio George Adams

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Mini Shanna Duck "Let a search be made in the royal archives..." Ezra 5:17 NIV
I never thought I'd seen a question with the words "Christian" and "taxidermy" in the same sentence. I think the most any of us could do is give you our opinion, as the Bible says nothing about this. 

We have a lot of freedom in Christ to follow leisure pursuits. I suppose some people might question taxidermy because it involves the death of animals. 

God is concerned about animals, and the "righteous man" must care for his livestock (and pets). God even made provisions for the Jewish people to help their animals on the Sabbath, when few types of "work" were allowed. But hunting, killing, eating, and sacrificing animals was the norm in the Bible. Even Jesus cooked fish for the disciples, and apparently He ate meat. The Bible does NOT teach that killing animals or eating meat is always wrong; this is a modern politically-correct idea promoted by certain groups. 

So, back to the taxidermy. Ask yourself...

a) Did the animal die a normal death? 

b) Was the animal killed for food, or was it given a sporting chance according to the laws of your state? 

c) Was the animal harvested to prevent overpopulation? 

d) Was the animal a pet that someone wants preserved?

In many cases, animals used for taxidermy fall into one of these categories. 

Once finished, taxidermy mounts can be extremely educational and can show the beauty of God's creation without, say, having to actually encounter a mountain lion or a bear. Some are incredibly realistic (as was the "fierce bobcat" mount my great-uncle told about. It fooled a skunk, who then proceeded to spray everything in the vicinity...but that's a story in itself.) 

A man (Sam Touchstone) near where I grew up had an entire museum of exotic mounts made from deceased animals obtained from zoos. He arranged these in life-like poses and scenes. As we didn't have a zoo in our area, at least children got to see rare antelopes and other unusual species, and I believe Mr. Touchstone was considered a pioneer in some aspects of taxidermy. Many older museums also have the obligatory bison or native species, often a bit frayed around the ears, but still interesting to visitors.

Pet taxidermy is getting to be a big business in some areas, I think. You'd have to make up your own mind about this.

I know that there may be some people on TV who make taxidermy into something morbid and dark, but I think these are a far cry from most of the guys I've known who make the normal deer-head, championship bass mounts, "Jack-a-lopes", or deer backends with eyes attached (a common joke). 

I think, too, consider your area. If people are extremely offended by taxidermy, then you might (out of Christian love) not display it to the general public or NOT discuss your latest project. Where I live, lots of restaurants even have deer heads, often worn from where children have been lifted up to "pet" them, and these bother few people.

April 21 2014 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

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