Saturday, June 12, 2010

All God's Creatures

Then the Lord said . . . "But Ninevah has more than 120,000 people living is spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn't I feel sorry for such a great city?"             Jonah 4:11

Last year, one of my New Year's resolutions was to be a more socially and environmentally conscious consumer. It's a daunting task, because so much of what we purchase exploits some part of God's creation. One place where I've made progress (if you don't count eating out) is with the purchase of meat products. When I saw the news clips of "downer cows" being prodded along with the blades of forklift trucks at a slaughterhouse in California a couple of years ago, I resolved to purchase fewer meat products and, as much as possible, purchase only products from animals that were allowed to live their lives as God intended.

This past Thursday, I participated in a viewing of the movie "Food, Inc." One of the most profound points presented in the movie was that when animal processing facilities treat the animals inhumanely, they generally treat the workers that way too. I suppose that isn't such a surprise. If you can't look at a cow or pig or chicken as a fellow creature, it's a pretty good chance you won't see people that way either.

God may have given us dominion over the animals, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't mean that we get the right to treat them inhumanely any more than we have the right to treat the people who work in the processing plants that way. Jesus told us how much God cares for the animals. Matthew 10:29 says, "What is the price of two sparrows--one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it." What must God think about chickens that spend their entire lives in complete darkness, that never get to see the sunlight and cannot run around and scratch like chickens do, because they are shot full of drugs to make them grow faster and out of proportion, and their legs cannot carry their weight.

What God created is good. I am ashamed for my part in destroying my fellow creatures. As a Christian, I cannot turn away from this inhumanity.

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