Monday, May 23, 2005

More on animals and food for thought (ha ha):

Was your meat smarter than your pet?
Reminds me of some of the links that Joshua Snyder posted about the horrific practice of some Koreans (some Vietnamese and some Filipinos too): eating dogs. Specifically what’s cruel about the Korean practice is the traditional way they’re killed, by torturing/beating them to get their adrenaline up (they say it’s an aphrodisiac for men that way). Of course there’s no problem with killing an animal, whether by a butcher or by hunting, if necessary and efficiently using the carcass such as for food, so a hunter who’s a good shot has the right idea. Also the Korean way goes agaist halachah (Jewish law regarding things such as kosher dietary laws, also found IIRC in the Book of Leviticus): the kosher way, the animal is ‘gently’ (relatively humanely) killed, deliberately so the adrenaline rush doesn’t happen. That and the traditional practice AFAIK of some Native American tribes — acknowledging that this was a life (thanking and even asking the forgiveness of the animal in some of their religions), killing such only out of necessity and then efficiently using what they kill for food and clothing — sound good to me.

John Redmore, who runs an organic farm in England, disagrees (with giving up meat).

"We've been eating meat since we've managed to stand on hind legs," he said. "A natural part of being human is to eat meat."

It's natural to eat animals even if they're smart, he added.

"Yeah, they'd eat us," Redmore said.

But, he added, farm animals should be treated with compassion. After all, the research shows they may be able to recognize it.
A punto. Treating farm animals kindly is why keeping them is traditionally called animal husbandry: good stewardship of God’s creation.

Many monks traditionally never eat meat not because so doing is evil (the point St Paul made against the gnostic sects of his day) but because both physically and symbolically it helps and signifies mastery of the passions (in themselves not bad either but they need to know who’s in charge). Also, recalling how the meat sacrifices of Old Testament and pre-A.D. 70 Judaism are fulfilled/superseded by the Sacrifice of Christ, Catholics, East and West, famously don’t eat meat on Fridays* by immemorial custom (and in the Orthodox tradition Wednesdays as well, recalling the beginning of Christ’s Sacrifice with his betrayal and arrest).

And if I’m hypocritical for enjoying a few rashers of bacon (from something that might not have an immortal soul or at least not have a soul exactly like mine) how many militant vegetarians are pro-life?

*Nothing to do AFAIK with the silly story about the Pope ordering people to eat fish (never the rule) to help the Italian fishing industry.

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