Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Food. Again. But Not Really Food Blogging, As Such. Just Read It, OK?

Here's my latest revelation about my eating habits. Do I have the right to cheap food? I was standing in front of the meat counter at Whole Foods the other day, mentally grousing about the prices, when that question popped into my head, followed quickly by, define cheap.

Does "cheap" simply mean the price per pound? Or does cheap mean that the animals were raised, pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, on a factory farm, at whatever cost to the environment and to the health of the livestock itself, then inhumanely slaughtered by poorly-trained and -supervised hourly workers in a massive plant?

It's been something for me to ponder -- as a Christian, how does my God-given responsibility to live with an eternal, Kingdom perspective even now effect how I think about the welfare of creation?

I read a fantastic article a while back, by a woman who buys her meat directly from the "growers" whenever possible, even visiting the operations herself. She wrote about coming to terms with being an omnivore -- recognizing that, every time I bite into a hamburger, I am putting into my body something that was once alive. Ultimately, she's OK with that, and so am I. But the least I can do, she says, is to "look my food in the eye," so to speak -- to know where it comes from, how it was raised and slaughtered, and not simply purchase it in "nuggets" at the drive-through. That really resonated with me.

Any other thoughts?

3 comments:

Jonny said...

I have no moral problems with eating meat or keeping chickens in cages. Animals tear each other apart in a much more horrific way in the wild.

Cheap is cheap if it has a low price per pound. But also consider how much bone it has and quality or fat content.

For the sake of health, avoid hamburgers and mince. Better to get chicken breast or lean meat where you can see what your getting.

Cabernet Leather said...

I think, if given the option, it's always better to buy free-range and/or fair trade products. I wouldn't judge anyone that doesn't, and it's often much more expensive, but lately my conscience has been pricked.

Laura said...

Sure they do, Jonny, but does that mean that we, too (being sentient, moral creatures and Christians), have the right to inflict unnecessary pain on the animals we eat? Dominion over the earth doesn't have to entail cruelty. The question I try to ask myself is, "Would this happen in the new creation? If not, why do I think it's ok now?"

Der, that's why I don't eat much meat. If I can't afford meat that was raised and slaughtered humanely, I don't buy it. The big issue for me is stewardship of creation. Stewardship doesn't mean exploitation or cruelty, but care.