Thursday, December 07, 2006

Don't Hate Me Because I Don't Eat Meat

A heated discussion about the moral and practical implications of being a vegetarian is going on over at Nashville Is Talking. In the seven years that I've been a vegetarian, I've been asked on several occasions to defend my dietary choices. I choose not to eat meat because of sympathy for/solidarity with animals and concerns about how animals are treated on factory farms. I realize that my actions are doing very, very little for the animals I am concerned about it; and I don't insist that others become vegetarians.

For me, not eating meat is a matter of discipline and a reflection of my values. It's a spiritual practice—a way to show reverence for God's creation. I would never suggest that God doesn't want people to eat meat (though God may not approve of how we treat certain food animals). But the Bible isn't entirely silent on the matter. Paul actually writes about vegetarianism in Romans (kind of, if you don't dwell too much on the historical context):

Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them.

—Romans 14:2-3

"Go Vegetarian" by Sue Coe, 1999


Post a Comment

<< Home