Rod Dreher, an editorial columnist for the Dallas Morning News, wrote an article about how he was giving up meat and dairy for Lent.
The austere Orthodox Lent – no meat or dairy products for almost two months – reminds those observing the fast how blessed we are in ordinary time and how much we take for granted amid our prosperity. Lent draws us back from forgetting, from moral and spiritual lassitude, and teaches a lesson that most of us in this land of plenty could stand to learn.
Ok… I’m following so far…
He then talks about the cruel way in which we treat animals:
A church friend who had been reading Michael Pollan’s bestseller, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, said the book convinced him that the industrial way of raising livestock for human consumption was – his word – “evil.” I thought that a bit harsh, but then I read the Pollan book and had to agree.
It wasn’t simply the ordinary cruelty with which cattle, pigs and poultry are raised in confinement. It wasn’t simply the dehumanizing effect of mechanized mass slaughter (though we’re content to fob that grim labor off onto Mexican immigrants). It was the corrupted spirit that comes with viewing living creatures as mere products that can be folded, spindled and genetically mutilated beyond the bounds of natural limits, without troubling our consciences.
The vegetarian side of me appreciates that he at least acknowledges the cruelty… though it doesn’t really matter if he keeps eating the meat.
But Dreher has a solution.
A very strange solution:
Orthodox Easter is coming at the end of April, and meat will be back on my family’s table. But to the best I’m able to provide, it will be meat raised by Christian small farmers in the Dallas area or otherwise produced in a morally responsible way.
Can someone please explain to me how the Christian slaughter of animals is any better than the atheist slaughter of animals?
Glenn Hunter at Frontburner adds:
Does it taste better if the farmer prays the rosary or speaks in tongues?
[tags]atheist, atheism, vegetarian[/tags]