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CVA Blog
Monday, September 6, 2010

Compassionate Stewardship or Ruthless Tyranny?

1. What is Behind Small Family Farms?

2. Famous Quote – Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)

3. The Meat Paradox

4. Bible verse – Galatians 3:28

5. Against In-Vitro Meat?

6. This Week’s Video – Egg Recall


1. What is Behind Small Family Farms?

There seems to be a growing concern in the population about industrial farms and the risk they pose to our health and the environment, and the undeniable cruelty on their animals. Because of these issues, more people in Switzerland are calling for and supporting small family farms, which in people's minds are still idyllic, paradisiacal places where there's a perfect balance between animals, nature and working families. However, Dr. Will Tuttle, author or "The World Peace Diet" reminds us that in small family farms suffering is common among farmed animals. To read the full article please search online for Switzerland - The Dark Side of Small Farms

Small family farms are in many cases much better than large scale industrial farms; however, in small family farms God's animals are still subjected to mutilations without pain-killers, mothers are separated from their offspring at a very early age and young, healthy animals are slaughtered. Very few people in the word need animal products in order to survive, so adopting a plant-based diet seems to be the right approach if, as stewards of God's Creation, we want to help end suffering and be examples of compassion and peace as Jesus was.

2. This Week’s Famous Quote

“After they had accustomed themselves at Rome to the spectacles of the slaughter of animals, they proceeded to those of the slaughter of men, to the gladiators.”

~ Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)

3. The Meat Paradox

"People who wish to escape the ‘meat paradox’ i.e. simultaneously disliking hurting animals and enjoying eating meat, may do so by denying that the animal they ate had the capacity to suffer" is the conclusion of a study led by Steve Loughnan of Kent University in the UK. It seems that it is thoughts and moral standards that people abandon first rather than changing their behavior, such as stop eating meat. By denying sentience to the animals they eat, they can rationalize their choice to continue eating misery.

To read the full article please search online for  "Oh, I know animals suffer, but I love my steak": THe self-serving resolution of the "meat paradox"

It’s sad to learn that human worldly desires can overcome ethics and compassion to such large extent. However, our Faith teaches us that by following Christ’s teaching we can manage these desires and instead follow God’s will, which in this case leads us to transition to a plant-base diet.

4. This Week’s Bible Verse

(RSV) Galatians 3:28

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

We are called to be obedient to God, which entails tearing down all diving walls, such as racial, social, and gender. In fact, as children of God, we are called to go a step further and and tear down the species wall so we can include all of God's creatures in our circle of love and compassion.

5. Against In-Vitro Meat?

Sustainable-farming advocates seem to be against synthetic or “in-vitro” meat, which in the near future might be widely available. These in-vitro meat would not only alleviate tremendous animal suffering but could help restore the health of the environment as currently factory farms pollute the air, soil and water aside of depleting Earth of resources. Why the opposition? James McWilliams on The Atlantic’s food blog says that "The politics of meat is the politics of self interest — no matter what side of the debate one is on — and, as is always the case, everyone’s interest is fiercely protected except that of the animals,"... "Without these small family farms, and without animals being humanely raised to be slaughtered, the movement’s turf would shrink." To read the full article please search online for Who's Afraid of Fake Meat 

Small-family farmers voice that they care about their animals; however, they still cause intentional suffering to them by mutilating their bodies without pain-relief (tail-docking, castration, etc.) and slaughtering them while young and healthy. Caring involves deep respect and compassion that should lead us to allow God’s animals to enjoy their God-given rights in peace and justice on Earth.

6. This Week’s Video: Egg Recall

On August 20, ABC World News reported on the nationwide egg recall of close to half a million eggs. Fortunately, ABC focused on the living conditions of hens on factory farms. Nathan Runkle from Mercy for Animals (MFA) was featured in the segment where he explained the unsanitary conditions these hens live in while undercover video taken by at a farm in Maine that is connected to one of the brands being recalled was shown. ABC's reporter said "Critics say it's likely not the case and that there are just a few rotten eggs in the poultry business. Conditions like these are fairly common."

Click here to watch this video Egg Recall Linked to Salmonella Grows.

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