I wanted to address the discussion many religious folk have about the good shows like Duck Dynasty do and I disagree.
3) Christians, Muslims, Americans, the American Government, and American Farmers are contributing to this problem of over consumption because in the religions of the west we are taught that we should "populate" and then we are taught "animals are our food". This demand for meat grows and grows partly because of these two reasons. Now, I realize many non religious people contribute to this as well, but I'm concerned about those who profess to love god, to love life, to want to practice compassion. Should we be hypocrites? We should expect more out of ourselves, from those who profess to care.
In America this demand has been met with a supply that is corrupt by our government, media and forced pressure on farmers. The government gets loads of profit from this and so they promote this eating meat on television and by forcing farmers to mass produce.
How can such a huge demand for meat be supplied? Whenever we have a huge demand for something, the care involved of that supply becomes less, because it just is not feasible anymore to take care of it properly. This is WHY chickens went from the ground to cages, because there were just too many of them to manage. This is why their treatment now, even in Europe, is disgusting!
Until our mass consumption and demand lessens, the supply will also have to be met and this inhumane range of care will be a problem.
To counter this we have to take multiple steps.
1) If you are religious, We should be teaching about the "paradise" of the Bible and that period was vegetarian. If we are going to look at the Bible for our source of answers, then we should know well enough that Biblically speaking it was God's "plan" for us to live in paradise. People screwed it up and our nature is weak, and this is why we started eating meat and "God" allowed this, just like "God" found grace over divorce. It clearly was not God's "Intention" to have us eating meat in paradise. (Find Biblical references at end of blog)
2) We have to stop demanding so much meat. If we want to look at evolution or the Bible, our ancestors did not consume this much meat. They ate meat maybe once a week at best. They may have had fish more often. If we look to our Eastern Buddhist or Hindu friends, they don't eat as much meant and they are healthier, thinner. Let's learn!
3) Health reasons tell us we should only have red meat once a week.
4) We need more education on the ill and inhumane treatment of animals in captivity and for our "food".
5) We need to talk about this to people, about buying locally and from fresh markets. NOT from mass produced meat places like Publix, Winn Dixie and other grocery stores which simply store the meat from mass farmers which have mass supplies of cows and chickens in inhumane conditions.
BUY ORGANIC or FREE RANGE chicken instead.
Our government doesn't care!
Below is my discussion with another Christian.
While hunting on an individual basis is not completely offensive to me (more humane than keeping animals locked in cages, and allowing them to grow in their natural habitat at least) ,promoting it on television is offensive to me. Promoting hunting and popularizing hunting will only make the use of guns more popular, causing many more gun problems. More accidental shootings, people not knowing how to use a gun properly and having more guns in the house causing not only hunting accidents, but home accidents as well.
In paradise "Adam and Eve" ate from the trees and fruits. There was no meat eating until after the fall. Now whether you take this literally or symbolically, the spiritual lesson here is clear. Our spirit benefits from a vegetarian diet. Our NATURE is what is weak, our flesh, our bodies have evolved to eating meat and has lots of weakness. We like lots of things not good for us. But like Paul tells us in scriptures, the spirit and flesh (nature) are always in opposition to each other. "What I want to do, I do not and what I do want to do, I don't do."
God by His grace overlooked Divorce and allowed this too, it doesn't make that God's ideal and should not be our ideal either. Likewise though we love eating meat, that should not be our ideal.
We also see the soul given to all animals in Day 5 when bara is used for the creation. Rosh Hashanna also shows this in Judiasm with the 2nd blow of trumpet remembering the creation of the soul of all animals. Rosh Hashanna has 3 trumpet blows. The 1st for the creation of all things. The 2nd for the creation of the soul of animals and the 3rd for the creation of the spirit of humankind. We see this reflected in the creation story when the Hebrew word Bara is used for creation, not asah.
According to some interpretations of the Bible, raw veganism was the original diet of humankind in the form given to Adam and Eve by God in Genesis 1:29, "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat"
There is strong scriptural support for ALL animals having a soul. We see this in the 7 days of creation and also in Genesis 2.
When people bring up Peter and God telling him to "Kill and Eat" they forget some important information that this was a specific lesson for Peter to learn, to go out and convert the unbelievers. This was the purpose of the dream, not to tell him to kill animals. This was not the purpose at all. It is the question of unclean meat and clean meat being used as a symbol for gentiles versus Jews and (early Christians).
I'll also post here from wikipedia
Luke's Acts of the Apostles portrays a story where the Apostle Peter has a vision where God declares previously unclean meat as "clean"[Acts 10:7-16] and orders Peter to "kill and eat". Christian vegetarians maintain that "Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the dream might mean".[Acts 10:17] John Vujicic argues that "In the sheet were also so called CLEAN animals. Peter could have at least selected some sheep or cattle and killed but he didn’t. Simply because he considered all flesh defiled and unclean. Peter was vegetarian as he himself states in Clementine Homilies. […] Peter would not kill any of them because he knew that this vision had another meaning […]. Any animal which is slaughtered is defiled and its meat defiles. Peter explains this in Clementine Homilies." He recognized its meaning when the gentile Cornelius invited him to dinner. Peter realized that the dream was instructing him not to go out and eat meat, but to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. The Jewish dietary laws should not prevent the spread of Christianity, and, at Cornelius' dinner, Peter related to his hosts, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit any one of another nation; but God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean."[Acts 10:28]
On the other hand we do have Christ giving fish to the people. However, I would argue that fish and mammals are very different and mammals have emotional capabilities whereas fish do not. Fish do suffer physical pain though and should still be killed humanely and live a natural life.
In my opinion fish are healthier to eat as well, than compared to chickens or cows. But this giving of fish again, needs to be taken into context. The fish were not kept in water pools for the sole purpose of being our food. They lived in the oceans, as a mutually beneficially part of nature.
But again, this is after the fall and "God" is being gracious with our natural weaknesses.
I truly do not think that God wants us to live on meat and in the paradise hereafter I really don't think we will be eating meat either, just as "Adam and Eve" did not in Paradise. This stage after the fall and before heaven is an in between place, where our nature is with us just as much as our spirit, and so we will constantly stubble between the two...and that means have all our natural weaknesses as well (which to me symbolically came from the fall, but literally came from evolution).