There is an interesting side to blogging, in that you truly open up your life for others to see. And while I attempt to keep this blog light-hearted and entertaining, it's inevitable that somewhere out there, among the hundreds (ahem, I mean thousands…er, millions!) of readers, someone is bound to disagree with me.
I received a comment a few days ago that caught me off guard. It wasn't light-hearted or entertaining – but rather… hmmm …. abrasive? It was about the fact that we eat meat. This anonymous commenter went so far as to call me a murderer for eating meat. And in response, I thought it best to direct my thoughts to my entire audience of readers. Because it's an interesting topic that I think is worth looking into. And that's how we roll.
Why We Eat Meat:
1) It tastes good.
I think in order to understand this issue, we have to take a step back. One of the great benefits of living in America is the wonderful freedoms we get to enjoy. If you want to eat meat, great. If you don't want to eat meat, that's great too. If you choose to wear only yellow socks, more power to ya. If you want to spend the rest of your life in a Tell-A-Tubby costume, that's your prerogative. My point being this – each of us have the individual liberty to make personal choices about how to live our lives (within reason of course). I know there are a million lifestyles, and/or hobbies, and/or food choices that are different then mine. But this blog is simply a reflection of life on our homestead. That being said, should someone wish to address the moral issue of eating meat (ie: labeling the eating of an animal murder) well, then that opens up another can of worms entirely.
Moral issues (and how you answer moral questions) is an outworking of your underlying worldview. As for our home, we serve the Lord. Each and every one of our “views” come from the Biblical worldview. We use scripture, and scripture alone, as the standard for what is right and what is wrong. All of our moral beliefs stem from Biblical principles. Period. So if someone wants to label me a “murderer” for eating a delicious steak, as this commenter did, then that begs the question – is eating a delicious steak wrong according to the word of God?
And according to the word of God, the answer is no.
So that's what I believe. (To be fair, saying I believe it because it is in the Bible in and of itself does not justify that belief, but going into Christian epistemology is beyond the scope of this post.)
Not only does the Bible not prohibit the eating of meat, but it is referenced and condoned throughout.
“Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things” Genesis 9:3.
Yes, I believe that God called us to be good stewards of that which he has given us reign over (including the animal kingdom). We should not exploit, mistreat, or abuse that power. And I do feel it best for our family to find out where our meat comes from – and how it has been raised, treated, killed, and processed. But in mankind having reign over the animal kingdom, there is nothing wrong (Biblically speaking) with us being able to utilize them for nourishment.
Obviously, this commenter had a different eating philosophy than me (and I suspect an equally different worldview)! So ultimately, the real and much more interesting question is how do either of us justify our basic beliefs. This commenter, in order to be rational, has the same burden of proof that I do. In their worldview, it is morally wrong to eat meat. But based on what? On what principles? What morals? Who says? Them? Their standards?
Those are not my standards.
And if they'd like to draw the conclusion, as they did, that I am a murderer for eating a living thing, well, then according to their own standard, they would be a murderer as well. Are vegetables not living things, as they have flesh… produce offspring… live & die? And fruit? And water? Does the carrot not die when you eat it, so that you may live? According to this “living thing” standard, we should all quickly die of starvation.
They were right about one thing – in eating meat, I do condone the death of that animal. Of another “being”? Well, in our worldview the Supreme Being only made man in His image and not animals. And thus, I do not believe them to be another “being” like human beings, but rather just what they are – an animal.
To turn the choice that our family has made into a moral issue is not only inconsistent with our biblical beliefs (which is, again, the final standard of right and wrong that we utilize), but it is also self-refuting (as an argument can be made that much of this world is made of “living” things, even the vegetables that we all enjoy). There are obviously deeper issues than this comment can address but it should be made clear that simply stipulating your own definition of murder, being and moral obligation does not justify them.
And I am grateful to God for all of his blessings. Including meat.
(As usual, I will now step down from my soap box).
Phew! That was a mouthful.
And that's all.