Eating Mercifully… Christians and Animal Rights (Video Features Greg Boyd and others)

Eating Mercifully… Christians and Animal Rights (Video Features Greg Boyd and others) July 20, 2011

Here is a video that features many Christian Leaders, including Greg Boyd. Its about 26 mins long, so I encourage you to carve out some time and consider its contents. Very challenging…

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  • Tucker M Russell

    I appreciate Boyd’s point immensely.  It isn’t actually about the animals, or about saying that animals have the same rights as humans.  It is about us, and the character we shape for ourselves.  Do we want to be the kind of people who are completely unaware of where our food comes from? Who depend on a faceless system rather than practice consciousness?  And do we want to be people who ignore pain and suffering? 

    “There is, then, a politics of food that,
    like any politics, involves our freedom. We still (sometimes) remember
    that we cannot be free if our minds and voices are controlled by someone
    else. But we have neglected to understand that we cannot be free if our
    food and its sources are controlled by someone else. The condition of
    the passive consumer of food is not a democratic condition. One reason
    to eat responsibly is to live free.”
    -Wendell Berry

  • First, I will confess that I did not watch your video, because I have watched many videos on agricultural practices and specifically deadline with what we eat.  It has become emotionally draining, so I have decided to spare myself that task.  All that said, I do not know what the ideologies are reflected in this video, but I will share mine. I am actually considering giving up meat because of inhumane butchering/agricultural practices.  When the bible talks about giving us “dominion” over the world, it is not referring to dominate but to care for, which is one of the problems with translation of the Word.   While I am not condemning anyone who eats meat, I don’t think I can continue to promote consumerism that causes agriculturalists to inhumanely treat their livestock.  Like anything, the demand causes the need for supply to grow, and when farmers become preoccupied with supply, they will use the quickest practices for butchering instead of the fairest ways.   I have always been a lover of God created things, and I am heartbroken when even an animal experiences pain.  I have time and again been criticized for ignoring that the law is gone and there is no more sanctions on eating meat, but at the heart of it, my issue is more with Eating Mercifully as your titles says than with the actual eating. 

  • Why I don’t buy grocery store meat. It’s been hard at times because buying meat that was raised ethically, and butchered ethically is very expensive…it has been a discipline in cost cutting other areas of our lives, way less meat, less processed food. Although some of the benefits are that I now personally know the farmers who raise my meat! I always appreciate Greg’s perspective!

  • Thanks for posting, Kurt. This video almost moved me to tears. Like Greg Boyd said in this video, I too love meat. Nothing like a big juicy steak or hot chicken breastmeat. But, if this entails violence and cruelty in order to enjoy these things, then I must give serious reconsideration to this. Because, as a Christian I have given up all forms of violence whether directly or indirectly. Animals are a part of God’s creation. And all of creation must be respected simply because they are fashioned from the very hands of  a holy God.

    So, the question is begged… what is the answer? Do I and my family of five now become vegetarians? If not, how do we know what farmers are humane and actually care for their livestock? Where do we go to purchase food that is produced with loving care?

  • Anonymous

    The meat market really has gotten out of control. What I would suggest to those who still want to eat meat, is to go to find a farmer’s market where a rancher may sell his meat, or a butcher who usually buys local. Most of your local small-time ranchers are not going to be treating their animals cruelly. They usually are quite fond of their animals, and take very good care of them.

    The other choice is to hunt, or befriend someone who hunts. Offer to pay them to shoot you a deer or elk or doves or turkey, etc. Down here in Texas we have a breed of deer that is legal to hunt year-round. So it makes it pretty easy for those of us who can get our hands on it to get cruelty-free (even free-range!) meat.

    Also, if you don’t know anyone who hunts, your local taxidermist or meat processor does. Often times you can buy meat from them directly as well. It often is meat that was processed not according to the hunter’s wishes or the hunter decided not to pick the meat up.

    • Very good information. Thanks.

      • Anonymous

        No problem. Hope it helps somebody.

  • Braden Mogler

    Thanks for the post. I had watched Food, Inc. a few weeks ago & been thinking a lot about changes I could/should make based on my conscience as a follower of Christ (or more trying to avoid thinking about those hard questions). The perspective in this video really has pushed me over the edge & I am going to commit to changes in what I buy and what I eat as a direct result. 

  • I have a lot of issues with the way humane society videos are shot and produced when it comes to factory farms.  First off, the only way people can generally get on a modern farm (due to bio-security measures put in place by the industry and the USDA) is to be employed by that company.  Believe me when I say the conditions shown in the video are not conducive to good animal husbandry or producing meat.  To ultimately eat an animal, it needs to be kept healthy and happy right up to processing.  If the employees fail to alert the company of bad conditions, how else can they police themselves?

    This video is produced by Smithfield Foods – one of the largest hog/pork producers in the world.  Naturally, it has a “pro-industry” slant to it – but if nothing else it provides a counter point to how “factory farming” is portrayed.