Caring for God's Creation
Please seeGreen Lies and Amazing Truths
From Joetta Deutsch: A response to Gary Loewenthal's comment below on animals being raised in confinement buildings.
When I first heard about these buildings in 1978, I was shocked. Al explained that hogs don't like being in the mud and they are VERY clean animals. The reason they go in the mud is to cool off because they can't sweat well at all. When my family had hogs we thought they liked being in the mud!!
The confinement buildings are WELL ventilated. VERY expensive and complicated system run by computers so that each hog gets the correct amount of air. They're cooled in summer and warmed in winter!!! They are treated like no other animals on earth -- the industry wouldn't survive if they lost huge numbers of hogs to overcrowding or poor ventilation! Gary was speaking from emotion, not facts.
As far as overcrowding, each crate is scientifically formulated according to the size of the hog. The momma pigs aren't allowed to turn around alot because they would crush their babies, etc. They don't like poop in their crates so one end is like a toilet and the waste is flushed away on a regular basis!! Their feed and water and meds, when needed, come to them like clockwork.
If hogs are raised on dirt, they pick up worms. The American consumer does NOT want to eat dirty hogs!!!
From Gary Loewenthal: I read your review of "Under the Spell of Mother Earth (http://www.crossroad.to/Books/UnderSpell/3-Myth.htm). Thank you for pointing out that we should not be selfish in our relationships with animals, and that we should have the character to forgo some immediate desires if it puts an unfair burden on others, including animals.
Clearly, factory farms, with their intense confinement, deprivation, crowding, lack of fresh air, and well-documented abuses, are a flagrant violation of God's intention for us to be loving stewards of Creation. Yet I'll bet the vast majority of your readers willingly support such cruelty by buying the ill-gotten products of these operations. Do you think you could call upon them to stop supporting such a destructive and un-Godly treatment of animals? For boycotting the industries responsible for the widespread cruelty (and that are largely exempt from animal protection laws) is the quickest way to stop the suffering.
It is exceedingly difficult to find truly humanely-raised meat and dairy. Marketing scams and deceptive labeling abounds; anyone can put "free-range" on a package, but due to lack of regulation it means nothing. It is easier to find alternatives to animal food products, such as vegetarian chicken and GardenBurger Riblets; they are tasty, nutritious, environmentally friendly, and devoid of deliberate animal cruelty. Eating animals in the First World is discretionary, anyway. Millions of long-term vegetarians like my wife and me are healthy; much healther than the average person our age, in fact.
I guess the question we have to ask is: Does the fleeting pleasure of eating flesh justify a lifetime of pain and suffering?
Thank you Gary, for your thoughtful reminder. Andy and I are not vegetarians and I admit we have given little thought to the animal cruelty behind the meat and chicken we eat. God never intended that animals -- who can sense both pain and affection -- were to be confined in such torturous conditions until their slaughter. One might argue that the animal world is cruel as well. Many of us have shuddered as we watched videos of lions eating an antelope or a pack of wolves attacking its prey. But today's factory production of food which treats living animals as simply another lifeless piece of raw materials is totally wrong.
Even as I write this, I am praying that God show us what to do. Maybe I can just start by repeating what I wrote in Under the Spell of Mother Earth:
GOD'S PLAN FOR THE CARE OF HIS CREATION. God's prescription for a healthy earth opposes pagan myths and pantheistic beliefs on every point. First, He made people, not animals, in His image, so that our actions would reflect His divine love. (See Galatians 2:20; Genesis 1.26-27.) Second, He wants us to guard the earth according to His wisdom, not the spirit of Gaia. He told us,
"Fill the earth and subdue it.... I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food” (Genesis 1:2829).
To Noah, God said, "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you” (Genesis 9.3). But there was a condition added to the provision. God’s command -– to “subdue” and “rule” the earth and its creatures -– implied caring responsibility, not license to pollute and misuse. Our Creator intended to demonstrate His compassionate character through us, not give free reign to an undisciplined animal like nature in us.
The "image of God" in which man was created must entail those aspects of human nature which are not shared by animals -- attributes such as moral consciousness, the ability to think abstractly, an understanding of beauty and emotion, and above all, the capacity for worshiping and loving God. This eternal and divine dimension of man's being must be the essence of what is involved in the likeness of God.19 (Dr. Henry Morris in Genesis Record)
Throughout the Bible, God shows us that people are more precious to Him than all the other marvelous parts of His creation. He made us to be His own sons and daughters, friends with whom He could share His heart, disciples who would communicate His eternal purpose, and servants who would carry out His plan here on earth. Listen to what He told His loyal servant and friend, Moses:
"You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself. Now if you obey Me fully and keep My covenant, then out of all nations you will be My treasured possession. Although the whole earth is Mine, you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." (Exodus 19:4-6).
Even before He created the earth, our Father longed to communicate His love and values to His yet-to-be-born people. He wanted us to grow up to be mature in character, trained for responsibility, equipped to care for His family business -- the rest of His creation....
We are His vineyard. We are also His stewards -- the guardians of His trees, flowers, rivers, and animals. If we are willing to follow truth, He will bless the land and show us how to care for it. ...
God sets boundaries for animals and us. His kindness reaches out to all His creatures. To help us treat them as He would, He has instructed us to...
Share food with wild animals, Exodus 23:10-11.
Give domestic animals time to rest, Exodus 23:12.
Protect wild birds, Deuteronomy 22:6.
Don't burden livestock unfairly, Deuteronomy 22:10.
Share grain with livestock, Deuteronomy 25:4.
In an ideal agricultural setting, humans and domestic animals work together and fit into each others' lives in both personal and practical ways. Thus, a sheep may be a muchloved pet as well as future food and clothing.
In a more artificial setting, we can easily view God’s creatures from a narrow, self-centered perspective. I recall one day blurting out a wishful, thoughtless kind of statement like, "I would love to have a pet lamb." My boys heard it, did some research, found a sheep farm, and almost bought me a live lamb for Mother's Day. At the last moment (God must have nudged them), they decided to make sure I really did want a lamb that would transform into a sheep that would be confined to our back yard.
We discussed the probable needs of a lamb/sheep and my responsibilities as its shepherdess. "Would it be fair," I asked, "to bring it here just to satisfy my whimsical desire to love a lamb and to experience all the wonderful spiritual truths shepherd-author Phillip Keller communicates in his book?” We agreed it was not. My sons decided to settle for a low maintenance toy lamb.
From W. M.: [RE: Green Lies and Amazing Truths] You can continue with your belief in the God myth, I understand that some people need crutches to get through life, but with record breaking temperatures occurring consistently during the summers and winters year after year, with the highest atmospheric concentrations of carbon ever recorded in hundreds of thousands of years as evidenced by ice core data and the indisputable evidence of shrinking polar ice masses, unprecedented migrations animals, increasing acidity of the oceans, and pages of other hard evidence only the truly blind or stupid could deny the obvious, that the earth’s climate is warming.
The consequences of this fact are so horrific that every other event that has occurred on the earth since human existence is insignificant because climate warming threatens not only the viability even the existence of the human species but all other animal and plant species that currently exist. But then I realize that you also believe in the supernatural, (God), so how can anyone take you seriously anymore than one who believes in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
Thank you, W.M., for taking time to read our article. Since you, apparently, feel strongly that I am wrong, would you please follow some of the links in my article to the scientific evidence on which I based my conclusions? If you still disagree with me, would you send me verifiable scientific documentation that refutes that evidence.
Al Gore’s kind of sensationalism only causes confusion and deception. For example, if he was hones, he would balance his selective photographs of shrinking ice masses with the fact that many more glaciers, which he didn’t photograph, are growing.
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