An issue of harm for animals and humans

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Learning more about healthy meats led me to become interested in what California voters had on their ballot this month. Here is what they had to vote on in Proposition 2:

STANDARDS FOR CONFINING FARM ANIMALS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

•    Requires that calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs be confined only in ways that allow these animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely.

What is sad but not all that surprising, is that thousands of animals on a daily basis cannot “fully extend their limbs and turn around freely.” Farms are under more pressure than ever with the dwindling economy and rising cost of farm operations to do whatever neccessary to make a profit. Farms that produce food for the general public are businesses when it comes to it and money is the bottom line. With that said and understood, I believe people (especially Christians) need to start looking at farm operations and whatever they profit in a different way- for two reasons. The first reason is that while in Genesis 1:28, God says: “Have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” He didn’t say do whatever you want with them, any treatment is okay treatment.  I think God created animals to show his amazing creativity and also as a source of food for humans. Obviously we have to kill animals to eat them. What I don’t think is okay and not in God’s plan is how most currently most farm animals are treated while they are living (definitely not all farms, I am speaking of the major American cattle and hen operations). As God calls us to have compassion on people in miserable circumstances, I think God calls us to have compassion on these animals that are:

cramped in pens where they can’t move, sitting in their own feces for their entire lifetime, weened off of their mothers too quickly, unnesecarily injected with growth hormones and antibiotics for the sake of faster growth, and have no fresh air.

All of these reasons lead to the second and main reason why I think these farm animals need to start being treated more humanely while living. HEALTH OF HUMANS! I just feel  like it is almost a “duh” statement! With cancer being something pervasive in my family– my brother and dad beat cancer last year, I can’t help but think these sickly animals we have been eating have to be a contributing factor to the disease we experience. Many non grass fed and non- cage free animals are so far from how God intended them to be when they go to the slaughter house…they are weak from not being able to run around in open spaces, have been fed foreign foods their stomachs cannot digest and are just plain sick. I think for most Americans who rely on a heavy diet of beef, veal and chicken, ignorance has been bliss. The reality isn’t so blissful though. The animals we consume are sick because farmers need to make a profit. We in turn eat those sick animals and become sick ourselves. Something has to change and it has as Proposition 2 has passed. Do I think it will make a dramatic difference for the health of our animals? No.  With how much beef and chicken Americans consume, it is not possible for that many animals to get the excercise they need and eat the food they were designed to digest. Another foot in the gestational crate for the pig and cow, and room enough for the hen to spread their its is obviously not adequate, but it is a step in the right direction. Their is not the funding nor the space for animals to live as God intended before their death and our ultimate consumption. Because of this, Darren and I have made a decision to invest in healthy animal products. I think eating meat is how we were designed, but our bodies weren’t designed to eat these sickly animals.
The other hotly contested proposition voters had to vote on was Proposition 8 which said:

Prop 8 ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME–SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

* Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.
* Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

This was the other proposition I was glad that passed. I do believe marriage is to be between one man and one woman, not one man and one man or one woman and one woman. Being married (still newly married) I understand why God designed it the way he did. I do think it is still important to love, be respectful and care for gays and lesbians and to wrestle with these issues that are increasingly a part of our culture. I recently came accross this quote which made me think about what it would be like to be someone voting against Prop 8, Samantha Ronson said,  “I guess people care more about farm animals than they do their fellow man, that’s really sad to me,” Ronson, 31, blogs on her MySpace page. “Yes, I am glad that the chickens will have more room and better conditions as they wait to die, but I just think it’s frightening that people show more compassion for tomorrow’s dinner than for the chef.”

By Proposition 8 not passing and Proposition 2 passing, I think less harm will be done to animals and humans. Animals need to have space and people need to come to grips with the fact that marriage needs to be between a man and a woman for our good. God isn’t against us, he is for us in all things….we just need to be alert and aware of these issues. As Christians, God calls us a step further to be concerned and active.

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~ by rachellovesfood on November 8, 2008.

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