God, Christianity, and Meat
The following is part of a piece by Kathy Freston that originally appeared on The Huffington Post:
A while back, I began considering my diet as a way to practice my spiritual beliefs, and as I weighed what would be right for me, I came up against so much inner turmoil. As a Southern gal, I grew up going to church and enjoying various get-togethers with other parishioners over BBQ dinners and Sunday brunches of eggs with grits. It all seemed lovely and warm at the time, so I struggled many years later with the question of how eating meat, dairy, and eggs could be ill-advised when so many (good) people do it daily and with gusto. If long-standing faith traditions hold that eating animals is acceptable, why in the world was I questioning those traditions?
And yet, especially after watching behind-the-scenes video of what happens to animals as they become our food, I remained troubled, on a spiritual level, at the thought of eating them. These are the questions that kept gnawing at me: If I am someone who wants peace in the world, how can I make peace with my part in the system of institutionalized cruelty and misery toward animals? How could I feel peaceful inside if I continued to collude with this bringing of suffering? The more I meditated on it, things began to clarify in my mind: Choosing to move away from eating animals is not just about my physical health, it’s about the well-being of all creatures on this planet. It’s a vital part of an awake and aware spiritual practice as well. It’s not just that I don’t want to contribute to the suffering of animals; my choice to move away from eating animal products would also allow me to become more the person I want to be.
Back to the traditions, though: How could a religion that has endured for thousands of years not have reflected on so fundamental a question as how we relate to these fellow creatures? Animals are so totally in our power, after all, and isn’t spirituality in part a matter of how we choose to treat the powerless?
I decided to do some searching—both soul searching and researching the Christian tradition to find out what’s really suggested about the question of eating animals.
Read the full article here.
If your comment doesn't appear right away, please be patient as it may take some time to publish or may require moderation.