My first piece at the Bible-centered site Romans One focuses on one of my favorite subjects: food!
If we’re to rule over the fish and birds and livestock, it’s up to us to determine the character and nature of that rule, aided by the Bible. The earth and all that live upon it belong to God. We’re rulers, we’re governors, we’re stewards, but as God says in Leviticus 25:23, “The land is mine.” So we’re to take good care of the earth because it doesn’t belong to us. This care includes stewardship of both land and beast.
An old joke goes something like this: “There’s plenty of room for all God’s creatures…right next to the mashed potatoes.” We were no longer enjoined to live as vegetarians since the day Noah landed on Mount Ararat. Which is good, because animals from chickens to pigs to cows are really quite tasty, and they provide us with nutrients that can be otherwise difficult to acquire.
Currently, the way we produce the majority of livestock is through CAFO farms. CAFO stands for Controlled Animal Feeding Operation, and it’s as awful as it sounds. In a CAFO, animals are confined to tiny cages for much of their short, miserable lives and fed substances to artificially increase desirable qualities that have nothing to do with nutrition. They’re pumped full of antibiotics to keep them from dying of illnesses contracted through standing all day in their own waste and mutilated to prevent them from injuring themselves. Chickens, for example, will occasionally tear out their own feathers when under stress, so the CAFO solution is to de-beak them.
Read the entire piece! You’ll dig it, I swear.