Saturday, August 8, 2015

Vegetariansim and Christianity: Part II Background and Opinion

From the blog "Nature and Life Notes

Where I grew up in the Eastern US, I was surrounded by farms; as a matter of fact, my family bought meat from a farmer that we knew; collecting the half a steer and one whole hog, from our local butcher once a year or so. We also raised our own vegetables and I recall many hot, sweaty hours helping in the kitchens when it was time to get the yearly surplus canned (put into jars,) or bagged for the giant chest freezer in our basement.

I was a member of 4-H, I had friend in the FFA (Future Farmers of America), and nearly everyone in my small home town attended the county fairs, complete with all the animal barns, food-tents, and tractor displays.

I could ride my bike down the road to the farm with the glass-front milking parlor; I watched while the cows would line up from the pasture to be milked (twice a day), patiently waiting their turn.  Our family bought milk from the dairy in big glass half-gallon jugs that I watched being filled from the huge stainless steel vat.

Growing up I learned not only the care of horses (as I was a horse "nut",) but also I learned from other friends how cows, pigs and chickens were cared for. I knew what good animal husbandry looked like. Everyone knew…

If you wanted good meat, or eggs, or milk you had to take good care of the animals.

But today it is not the same.

In the need for more and cheaper animal products, fewer farms are locally owned or family run: this is now an industry.

An industry set up to produce animals and animal products as quickly and efficiently as possible.

It is about numbers.

It is about production.

It is about cost-benefit analysis and efficiency.
And it is not about either proper animal husbandry or humane treatment.

It is about getting meat, milk and eggs to market, in order to turn animal products into cash.

And it is certainly not about quality. If you don’t believe me, ask around to your acquaintances who talk of back-yard chickens. Ask to try one of the eggs that their hens produce.

By consuming the meat, milk and eggs from your local supermarket, you are supporting an industry that raises trapped, mistreated animals, in horrific conditions, in order to give to consumers the lowest cost, largest amounts of the lowest quality protein.  

Do you really want to eat meat that’s only $.99/lb ?

And because of our disconnection from the source; when you purchase meat, eggs and milk you are supporting this industry. 

Do you understand that all the meat you eat has to be treated (brined or otherwise “minimally processed”) in order for it to be palatable. If you do not treat the meat produced by chickens and pigs standing in their own feces, the meat tastes like sh**. 

Now, do you really think that meat from animals raised in factory farming conditions is healthy for you to eat?
Christians have a pretty good track-record of standing against the mistreatment of people, helping to end slavery, standing against segregation, lobbying to help children, helping the poor and rallying against human trafficking.

Why would you want to support an industry that makes our food from suffering? Why would you want to eat animal products from animals mistreated and abused?

Christians may be able to eat anything, there are no biblical food laws we have to adhere to; but with the knowledge of factory farming, the question should be “Why would you want to?”

In the coming weeks, I will be hosting two guest writers to give all of us more information about factory farming and why one should consider veganism.

Many people that I know take the time to find out where and how their clothing is made, who builds their electronics, assembles their car; perhaps it is time to find out how the food we eat is produced.

Next time:
 "But don't we need animal products to be healthy?"