Once again, the Left is trying to appropriate the Bible for its own political purposes, this time with the help of artificial intelligence.
Yes, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals last week published a rather milquetoast rewrite of the book of Genesis entitled “The Book: PETA’s Version of the Creation Story.”
The result is inherently offensive, occasionally a tad funny, but ultimately rather underwhelming. Trust me: I suffered through reading it, so you, dear reader, don’t have to waste your time.
PETA—or the AI, which I’m convinced probably provided the best bits of this dilapidated drivel—decided to be slavishly derivative, repeating original locations and keeping the rough structure of Genesis, while simultaneously scrapping the main theological message of the story and the major plot points that give the inspired Word its emotional heft.
In this incredibly sanitized version of the Bible, Cain isn’t a murderer, Nimrod stops being a hunter, Hagar is a chef, a dog takes the place of Isaac on Mount Moriah and there is no sacrifice, Pharaoh’s butler and baker both live, and Pharaoh’s dreams involve vegan preaching, not the famine responsible for reuniting Jacob’s family.
Somewhere between the AI and the wokescolds at PETA, basic details got lost.
For instance, Rachel dies in childbirth with Joseph, rather than with his younger brother Benjamin (Genesis 35), and Benjamin miraculously appears as an elder brother to Joseph. Cain—still the villain of the story—sacrifices animal flesh to God while Abel sacrifices plants, which represents a reversal of the biblical story in which Abel sacrifices his prized sheep. PETA might as well have made Abel the villain, especially since it decided to scrap the murder, anyway.
Most of the main characters—who have rather tremendous flaws in the original version of Genesis—are all morally spotless priests of the vegan religion here, preaching the virtues of soy and almond milk. They go from place to place, spreading the gospel of treating animals like people, and occasionally the animals speak on their own accord. (At one point, camels decide among themselves to teach the uneducated humans, but then decide just to travel with them, instead.)
Joseph’s brothers still decide to kidnap and sell their brother out of jealousy, but they also wouldn’t dare harm a goat to dip his multicolored coat in goat’s blood. Instead, they use beet juice. Yes, they contemplate murdering their own brother, but God forbid they touch an animal.
Meanwhile, Enosh draws the short end of the stick. Rather than living for 905 years (Genesis 5:11), Enosh lives for a measly 50.
“Enosh consumed the flesh of animals and thereby committed the ultimate sin, leading to a shortened life of shame, weakness, ignorance, and illness,” the Bible according to PETA intones.
PETA’s extensive liberties with the biblical text lack any coherent rationale. While the animal rights group scraps the sacrifice of Isaac and Pharaoh’s dreams willy-nilly, and frequently uses extremely modern colloquial phrases such as “totally ripped,” it preserves small details such as obscure place names and archaic words to give the “modernized” text some biblical flavor. It strains to maintain the same chapters as Genesis, even while gutting so many story details that whole “chapters” amount to five paragraphs.
It seems that whoever at PETA rewrote Genesis lost interest after the first few chapters, letting AI do the rest. (By far the best part of the entire book is God’s quips during the six days of creation in which he says, “Let there be Meatless Monday!”) Yet even AI cannot explain how PETA managed to make a truly riveting book such as Genesis so darn boring.
Americans who actually read the original version of the Bible may marvel at just how little preaching it actually does. Genesis as we know it, in particular, narrates personal stories—often featuring rather embarrassing gory details. The story of how Jacob got 12 sons is downright disturbing, as is the idea that Sarah effectively would force her servant onto Abraham, just so he can finally have a son. Jacob tricks his father so he can steal the blessing from his older brother, and let’s not even get into how Judah finally ends up with a living son.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob don’t always come across as the most admirable people—and that’s part of the point. God makes these relatable, flawed characters into a great nation, and their flaws matter because they highlight God’s work through them.
The author of Genesis isn’t just trying to tell a good story, he’s trying to record how these people actually lived, and that’s one of the reasons Genesis turns out to be an excellent book.
Meanwhile, PETA packs its pseudo-biblical pages with nonstop, screechy preaching. How does Abel convince Cain to stop killing and eating animals? He explains that Cain “could become totally ripped by eating plants.” What do the people of Sodom do that leads God to destroy them? They try to force Lot’s guests to eat “our carcinogenic meats and cholesterol bombs.” Why does Sarah laugh with incredulity by the oaks of Mamre? Not because she doubts God’s promise that she will have a son in her old age but because she doubts that “she shall being forth many more [vegan] feasts.”
While the stories in Genesis focus on various struggles with God and with others, PETA’s version reads like a broken record. Many chapters follow the heroes—Abraham, Sarah, Rebekah, Jacob, and Joseph—as they go from place to place, preaching that vegan food tastes better, that plant-based clothes feel better and don’t smell, and that animals such as chickens and sheep have complex emotions. Few of the characters grow beyond a surface-level conversion from eating animals—a change that only requires one or two heroes preaching at them for a couple lines of cringey “dialogue.”
Perhaps the most galling theological change centers on a “fur baby,” an animal that Abraham treats like his own child. Chapter 21, which mimics the structure of Genesis 21, focuses on Abraham and Sarah adopting a dog named Herbie. The text suggests that the patriarch and his wife love Herbie more than their actual son, Isaac, whose promised birth to Sarah in her old age is a cornerstone of Judaism and Christianity.
“Who would have said unto Abraham and I that we, being blessed with a child, would find even more joy in providing a loving home for this wonderful dog, Herbie?” Sarah asks. “As they walked with Herbie, Sarah and Abraham thought about the importance of adopting dogs from shelters or rescue organizations rather than purchasing them from breeders or pet shops. … And verily, the slogan ‘Adopt—Don’t Shop’ blossomed in Sarah’s heart, and she and Abraham repeated it to each other.”
This subversion continues in the next chapter, where PETA scraps the entire story of God’s asking Abraham to sacrifice son Isaac on Mount Moriah, only to save him at the last minute—a central passage that Christians believe prefigures the crucifixion of Jesus. In PETA’s version of Genesis 22, God asks Abraham to take Herbie to Mount Moriah, and then only introduces them both to a lamb named Leroy, which they befriend.
These two chapters explain why PETA’s animal rights ideology differs so strikingly from Christianity. The original Bible clearly contrasts animals from humans, who are made in God’s image and to whom he gives dominion over the living things on Earth. God promises Abraham that he will become a great nation, but that nationhood becomes possible only through Abraham’s promised son Isaac, and God tests Abraham by asking him to sacrifice that promised son.
PETA’s preaching can’t compete with the richness of this inspired story, and in doing so, the animal rights wokescolds reveal just how empty their ideology truly is.
I asked PETA for a response to criticism about its decision to rewrite the Bible, and the animal rights group provided the following statement:
Over the years, there have been many editions and versions of the Bible, of course, but The Book: PETA’s Version of the Creation Story is simply a modern version of Genesis, updated to reflect society’s new understanding of animals as feeling, intelligent individuals, capable of joy, love, fear, and suffering, who exist for their own reasons and not for humans to exploit. We’re delighted that it’s sparking discussion—we believe it will resonate with young people who might be puzzled, confused, and even discouraged by certain old uses of language that no longer reflect our sensitivities and knowledge today and will offer some food for thought about treating all living, feeling beings with dignity, kindness, and respect.
If the Bible according to PETA is “a modern version of Genesis,” modernity is very sad indeed.
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