This page exists as an archive to the post made on February 1, 2014 on the blog called “A Creation Care Conversation”; the conversation itself was posted to the FB page (it was long), and is here as well because over time, it will be hard to find on FB.
A CREATION CARE CONVERSATION:
Here is the conversation referred to on the blog which was in response to an invite to visit this site; Joan wished to have her real name kept confidential; thank you Joan for the lovely conversation!:
Joan: Hey! Thanks for the invite. The description is very eloquent and I respect it. But I am not a vegetarian and don’t intend on becoming one. I have crohns and sometimes-oftentimes-veggies, beans, all of the things that I am implored to eat…are my worst friend. It’s very frustrating to explain since I have done a lot of research and I know what my body needs when it’s sick. Anyway. I DO have a problem with factory farming for health reasons as well as issues of humane treatment of animals and while I don’t have a problem with hunting for food, I do have a problem with hunting for sport, or people who hunt who are not able to muster a clean kill and end up doing target practice. Just wanted to offer this disclaimer in case these views conflict with the aim of the group. Have a good night.
Kathy: Hi Joan, you are welcome! And, a person doesn’t need to be a vegan or vegetarian to follow the blog or enjoy the material, so no conflict!
Our main goal is to share the love of our Abba Father as those who follow His Son Jesus, and to bring this good news to people who perhaps have fallen to the fringes of the Christian faith, have become disfranchised with the Christian faith, and to perhaps bring new hope and renewal (we believe that this is especially true within the animal welfare movement itself as the church in general has not taken up this cause and perhaps has actually been hostile to it).
Our special calling is to do this with an emphasis on the animal kingdom, for God loves the animal kingdom, made us head over it (Dominion), but this dominion was intended to be in His Image which it is not (as you said very well in your message in regards to factory farming). Though we may recommend a plant based diet as a way to Honor the Father, the goal is to bring a faith based educational approach to the issues facing all of us including the church today in regards to our 1st mandate responsibilities, of which a plant based diet for those who can or feel the Lord directing them in that direction, is a way of reclaiming part of this responsibility. We understand there may be certain restrictions, such as in your case. You must, as we all must, follow the Lord’s leading for your life (and your health needs – see my blog resource page, I recently added some nutrition information; you may know about this already?)!
I too feel as you do about hunting for sport (my views for food would lean toward the only if absolutely necessary, but again, this is not a requirement of any kind to follow the blog!), and I am against animals in entertainment entirely. I will choose clothing whenever possible that is man made since we have that choice today. There was a time I would not have been necessarily against the use of animals for clothing, or even for food for myself, were it not for the way the world today has industrialized them, and treat them totally without mercy or concern for their welfare, as well as disregards their well-being while being raised. The Lord gave them to us. They are HIS. He did give us permission to eat them, though I am inclined by some recent study of scripture during that time frame (Genesis) to believe it was temporary.
But because we have done what we have with them, it is sort of like the “wheat and the tares,” (Matt 13:24-30) it is all mixed up now, only God can sort it out, we cannot escape or reverse what we have done, it may be impossible to fix in any real way until Jesus comes again to fix what is broken for good.
Joan: Surely! I do respect and understand why some see vegetarianism as the only way in terms of honoring animals, but especially as one who struggles health-wise, I find it condescending when others TELL me (not make suggestions based on what they have read) what works for me. I also don’t think people who eat meat are automatically unkind or unfeeling and even without my illness, I would likely eat meat. You explained your reason-it’s how animals are treated in the food process, not the actual eating of meat-that has led you to your belief that you need to be a vegetarian. I mean, Innuits hunt for food. Vegetables and fruits are not so plentiful. Lions eat small animals, as do cats. It’s in their nature to hunt. I’m not justifying people hunting. I’m just saying the issue is very complex. I guess I would say I’m closer to what some Native Americans traditionally feel is right when eating an animal: they thank the animal and eat just what they need. I have no problem with that. I am concerned that just being someone who eats meat puts me in a position to get multiple suggestions re: diet (well-intentioned, but I’ve already done a lot of research, have tried a lot of these things-has not worked) to the other extreme of going on the defensive. So, I will bow out for now on being part of the conversation. I’m already fighting for teachers so much (if you have been following my posting you’d see what drama is going on and would see why I had to change my FB name) and so I’m afraid that I may feel like a spokesperson instead of a participant. I know it’s done with love, but I know my body better than anyone else, so I know what has worked and what hasn’t. I almost had surgery, and I endured chemical therapy for years-kept me from going into chaplaincy because my immune system was so bad. Better believe I tried pretty much all options. So, when people make suggestions, while I appreciate the intentions, it makes me feel as if people don’t think I have done enough to heal myself. Which isn’t true. The frustration isn’t directed to you…you barely know me…it’s directed to people who know me a little better and know what I’ve gone through and instead of asking how I feel, they tell me what I should do. I appreciate your letter, though. It’s clear that you have a good understanding of what Christianity is all about. Peace on you!
Kathy: Thank you much for your kind and insightful response! My reasons for not eating meat are two fold: First I feel that God put it on my heart not to; Second because of the way food animals are treated as we both previously discussed.
Whether eating animals is Biblical, is another story. For there is plain text that says in Genesis after the flood that He did allow them for food. Yet when studying the entire Bible story, taking into account especially our mandate in the garden of eden, His perfect will for us vs. His permissive will, there appears to be cause for further study of the Genesis account. This is a huge subject of which I won’t get into here (I may be posting more about this as time goes on my blog). And, I am not saying any of this trying to convince you in any way that you should not eat meat – that is between you and God – and I completely understand your frustration with others telling you what you should eat. You’ve done and probably continue to do your research, about food, health, and what is optimal for yourself given your circumstances. I commend you for understanding the issues of animal injustices and being willing to partake in conversations like this about them!
I also like you don’t believe people set out to be unkind to animals necessarily; I do believe, however, that there is a lot of unawareness of what is taking place, a lot of deception on the part of the food industry, government, and others in a position to profit from what they are doing; because of this, our view on the blog is to take an honest approach at exposing it with truth. A good teacher does not tell people what to believe; a good teacher brings the truth and the facts forward, and lets them stand for themselves. For our blog purposes, prayerfully, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we hope to shed some of His light and truth on the issues and pray that peoples eyes and hearts are opened. It isn’t just about animals, though that is the focus. It is also about God’s love for all of creation, His calling all of us to Himself; He wants a relationship with us, to understand the truth about this experience we are all in, and the truth of our right-relatedness to Him. He wants to build His kingdom here on earth now; our goal before He comes is to reflect that right relatedness into the darkness of the world while we wait in anticipation of His return to set everything right. It is most likely impossible to live completely today in His perfect will; our ways are not His, we have built a system that we all must live and partake in, and do our best to sort out what of that we have to be a part of, what of that we can avoid to honor Him most fully given the circumstances of the world order as it is today.
Bless your heart in fighting for teachers! There is a cause we can each fight for. Each of us has gifts to bring to different issues for certain.
Joan: Sure thing, Kathy! I admire your aims and appreciate what you’re doing. …… [I]f my former school did not pull the low road, my former charter school would have been the first in MN to go union. I’m so frustrated by how teachers are treated, how students are treated. I respect animals and nature, but this is my focus since just working on this one exhausts me. So, we’re both spending time on two very important pursuits!
Kathy: Thank you Joan, and, I know what you mean about exhaustion – our causes can certainly do that. For me, I struggle with balance at times, I am trusting God to help me learn to do that and to take care of myself in the midst so that there is more to give when I am giving it my all. Take care, Joan.
End of conversation. I know it was long……for anyone that read through it, thank you. And I hope the point came across. We on this site hope that the love of Jesus shines through, and that it becomes clear He is the central point!
Thanks again! ~Kathy