Sunday, April 29, 2007

Just because you can

I am an animal lover, and also a meat eater who occasionally feels guilty about the slaughtering of animals for consumption.

Then I think, if God hated animal cruelty, why did he make some of these animals so darn edible and in some cases very very very tasty when properly marinated? He would not have created them that way if he wanted us to restrict our diet to the Plant Kingdom only.

But then.

Think about God created plants - tobacco, cocaine, marijuana, just to name a few. No, I have never done drugs, but apparently they are very smokable and snortable.

But we place that particular life style under the 'just because you can doesn't mean you should' category, do we not? Recreational drug use is just one of many tantalizing vices under that category and self control and moderation are important virtues which we should all strive for.

Then shouldn't that principle apply to meat eating as well? Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Why should we limit that principle to just smokable and snortable plants, but not to edible animals?

If you are familiar with the Genesis account, you know that when God created Adam, he allowed him to eat from any "tree of the garden," except for the forbidden fruit. As to animals, he told Adam to name them, not eat them. I don't know about you, but to me, when you name an animal, you are effectively personifying it as a companion. When was the last time you named the hamburger meat before gobbling it up?

You thought I was about to tell another stupid joke about dog meat, didn't you?


At April 29, 2007 3:38 AM, Blogger Amber said...

Good point. I am an aminal lover too and have wondered about giving up meat for the same reasons you mentioned. I had never thought about the point you made about the garden though. My family tells stories about how I became uncontrollably distressed one Thanksgiving because my uncle was going to kill the turkeys. They had to call my mother to come and get me and take me home.

At April 29, 2007 7:04 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

Well, Jesus ate fish.

At April 29, 2007 12:25 PM, Blogger David Cho said...


I still remember vividly the scene of a cow being dragged into a meat plant kicking and screaming as a child. It was horrible.


Good to hear from you. Well, Adam was never asked to name the fish and bugs, just "birds of the sky and every beast," so Jesus ate fish and John the Baptist ate bugs since they had no names. :)

At April 29, 2007 2:47 PM, Blogger San Nakji said...

Just don't touch stuff that messes with your mind. That's my motto.

At April 29, 2007 4:01 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

The more pressing question is, who would eat one of these?

At April 29, 2007 5:49 PM, Blogger Just Rannin' Around said...

I don't think that God told Adam to call the animals "Lassie" or "Poodles" or other such names as we call our pets, rather I think that God was actually instructing Adam to name the animals, such as lion, cow, dog, ect. Just a thought and the way that I read that passage.

When it comes to eating meat, I think that the answer is moderation. Your body doesn't need or even deal well with a whole lot of meat, yet there are health benefits of eating meat in small proportions.

There is my two cents.

At April 29, 2007 11:14 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

@Nathan, does this mean you only eat meat from cute animals? Is that for real?

@JRA, you may be right, but naming them I think involved more than just Adam being the first biologist. Naming them always involves personification. Why wasn't he told to name the plants as well? oak, pepper tree, onions, cucumbers, etc.

At April 30, 2007 1:33 AM, Blogger Brian Buriff said...

My uncle Bob's farm - 1979 - we're sitting down for a family reunion meal - roast beef - and one of his daughters just had to ask the question, "Is this Hazel?" Recalling the name of the cow just did something nasty to the meal.

I'm okay with the question "Where's the beef?"
But I'm not okay with the question, "Who's the beef?"

At April 30, 2007 7:56 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

Totally for real. It's a Sphynx cat, also known as a Canadian Hairless. Here's the wiki on it.

At April 30, 2007 8:14 AM, Blogger Gretchen said...

Remember that in the story of Cain and Able, Able was more righteous than Cain because he sacrificed an animal. Also there was the story in the NT where God tells Peter in a dream that all animals are good to eat. If you are going by scripture alone there is plenty of evidence that eating meat is pretty much expected.

At April 30, 2007 11:19 AM, Blogger J.OTIS MERSTER said...

Good meat to chew on . . . er, you know what I mean.
Careful and thoughtful reading of Genesis changes your perspective on a lot of things.

At May 01, 2007 1:47 AM, Blogger David Cho said...

@Brian. LOL!

Rest in piece, Hazel. Or should I say, rest in pieces?

@Nathan, that cat creeps me out, but there are creepy looking hairless dogs as well.

@gretchen, I agree and I really was not arguing for vegetarianism. But I do think however that meat eating came after the Fall.

@merster, agreed.

At May 01, 2007 8:31 AM, Blogger SUPER said...

My aunt and uncle live on a farm...they lease out their land for others to plant. The raise animals..but all our pets. They have the normal: horses, cats, dogs. But at one time they had quite a few cows...all of which had names such as Elsie, Flower, Bette, etc.
I'll never be a vegetarian...but if I think or even look at meat for more than a brief moment...I'm done. I can eat no more. I can't think about it. It does seem a bit wrong and barbarian-like to me at times!

At May 02, 2007 12:38 PM, Anonymous Susanna said...

Aha, I found it (God talking to Noah post-flood):

"The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

That said, I'm a vegetarian, though I do eat seafood (which makes me not consistent?)

At May 03, 2007 1:25 PM, Blogger rubyslipperlady said...

So, David, are you going to become a vegetarian? Thank you, God, that chocolate cake is safe!

I do love beef though, I admit it. yum-my! As long as I don't think about it. I also can't take the skin off of chicken. If it comes raw with skin on it I must cook it that way because it just creeps me out otherwise. I'm all about the boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

At May 06, 2007 4:46 AM, Blogger L-girl said...

I'm an animal lover with major ethical quandaries about eating meat - yet I eat it.

I actually have no problems with humans eating animals per se. I think it's perfectly natural to do. Animals kill and eat other animals.

My problem is with the way animals are treated in their short lifetimes, and how they are killed - the cruelty of the factory farm. The more you learn about that, the less good you feel about being an omnivore in the modern world. They are truly horrendous.

I was a vegtarian for a few years, but my health really suffered. I eat much more healthfully and feel much better when I eat meat. (My experience was unlike what most vegetarians attest to.) I also enjoy it so much!

This is a serious ethical dilemma in my life. It remains unresolved, just something I live with.

As for the bible, I always thought it was so convenient that some people gave themselves a religious excuse to eat (and mistreat) animals. Hindus and Buddhists don't give themselves that out.

I'm glad you posted about this! And I did think it was going to be another dumb joke about eating dog. :)

At May 06, 2007 2:52 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

Surprised to hear about your vegetarian experience. I seem to be doing better since I drastically cut down on red meats.

I agree with you about inhumane ways of killing animals. It's horrible.

At May 06, 2007 7:24 PM, Blogger L-girl said...

"Surprised to hear about your vegetarian experience. I seem to be doing better since I drastically cut down on red meats. "

I never ate a lot of red meat. I do sometimes, but not often. (I do love it!)

I had cut out all animal flesh - chicken, fish, everything. But I didn't do a good job at getting alternative sources of protein. (Too much work.) I was really protein deprived.

Plus I think my system just does better with some animal protein.

I just wish there was some other way. They are sentient creatures. They feel pain. They deserve better.


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