Guest Author - Linda Heywood
Sunday 29th May 2011 is the day I decided to stop eating meat and fish. I made this decision after watching a video about the way some of the animals, reared for the meat on our dining tables, were treated. I witnessed the horrendous way that animals are kept and grown to feed the swelling population of human beings. I witnessed the wasteful and painful deaths of hundreds of baby chickens and pigs because they were the wrong sex. I watched in horror as a farmer repeatedly smashed his fist into the face of a baby cow. I felt sick as I watched farmworkers castrating screaming baby pigs before cutting off their tails and throwing them back in the pen. This was for our viewing pleasure on camera phones. And I watched thousands of fish suffocate in a huge pile as dolphins, caught up in net, were beaten and stabbed until they died.
God created some of the animals for us to eat. I do not have a problem with that and I am not saying everyone should stop eating meat. I also understand that the human population needs food but it needs food in proportion to its bodily needs. We do not need to consume such vast quantities of animal flesh. Look at our societies, they are eating their way into obesity and meat is a contributing factor to the fleshy mass of human beings that inhabit the planet today.
I know that eating meat makes us fat because since I stopped eating meat I have lost nearly eight pounds of my own body fat. Other than cutting out meat from my diet I did not change the way I eat at all.
Chapter 80, verse 24
Let the human consider his food!
Do we stop to think about where our food comes from and how it gets onto the plate? Do we remember when we eat our food that God sends the rain to water the crops and that He tends to the soil and grows in it whatever He wills. The same applies to the animals that we eat. God says in verse 32 of the above chapter that He ‘provides life support for us and our animals’. The animals were given as much consideration as the humans.
Humans are responsible for the care and compassionate treatment of the animals given to us for our needs by God. They are here to serve us but do we appreciate this? We consume far too much meat and animal fat and to supply this demand to the human race animals are suffering. They live in appalling conditions, they are fed food that they are not designed to eat and they are pumped full of chemicals in order to produce more meat on their bodies than is necessary. This is bad husbandry. God did not intend for us to treat the animals in such a brutal and cruel way.
I respect the farmers who look after their animals as God intended and I will buy organic eggs and milk products. As long as I know that the animals producing these products are kept in healthy conditions and are treated with respect, then I feel I can eat what they produce. I do not have to eat their flesh, someone else can do that.