Dominion

I “like” the Vegetarian page on Facebook and today there was an interesting post that started a discussion.  It stated that humans weren’t created to eat animals.  Of course one of the responses was that the “Good Book” says differently.  This was in reference to the idea that God gave humans dominion over the earth and creatures.  This is an idea that bugs me because I think that it is abused.

As human beings we have abilities that most animals do not.  We can think, reason, and make rationale decisions.  We have intelligence that allows us to adapt and invent in order to make life easier.  The fact that we can use our abilities to create makes us like God or “in his image,” and with that comes a degree of power.  But with this power or dominion also should come other qualities of God like respect and love.  Most of what is done and defended by “The Good Book” is lacking both of those.

Calves are taken away from their mothers and fed formula while their mothers are pumped full of hormones to provide milk for human consumption.  Cows are fed corn which they are not intended to eat and cannot digest so that we can eat Big Macs.  And because they are not built to eat corn they get sick and are pumped full of antibiotics so that we do not become sick.  What happens instead is we ingest these levels of antibiotics in the meat we eat and then become immune to them so that when we actually need antibiotics they don’t work.  Chickens are overfed and pumped full of hormones so that they will grow bigger, so big that they can’t even stand up.  Basically animals are tortured so that we can eat unhealthy levels of meat.  I looked at the passages in Genesis and from what I read it sounds like the Vegetarian FB people are right.  Genesis 1:29-

“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”

In my interpretation I’d say that if we are to eat animals it should only be as a last resort.

Dominion or not if we believe that it is God’s creation and we claim to be Godly people we should have respect.  For years we have been raping and pillaging the earth using the bible as our defense.  We hunt and kill animals for fun or to feel powerful.  We clear land and cut down trees to build new houses and shops while older houses and shops are left abandoned.  There is a balance in nature and we have a role in the circle of life.  We have been upsetting the balance for a long time and it is time to live more consciously and stop using The Bible to excuse ignorant behavior.

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9 thoughts on “Dominion

  1. Renee May 19, 2010 / 7:43 am

    This’ll be a two-parter.

    First, you know I’m a non-religious vegetarian, so what I’m about to say has nothing to do with the Bible. But, yes, biologically, humans certainly ARE meant to eat meat. We’re omnivores. Even our teeth are designed for tearing and chewing meat. This doesn’t excuse poor treatment of animals, but it is a biological fact. However, in this modern age, we have the knowledge to find non-meat foods that satisfy our bodies’ nutritional needs, so we can easily eat vegetarian (or even vegan) diets and be very healthy.

    On that note, I grew up most of my life with dairy and chicken farmers as neighbors. I don’t know about other farmers, but the animals I knew were treated very well.

    Now for the second part, which is kind of a funny and interesting story.

    A few years ago, I came across a message board run by an old friend and her husband. In high school, my friend was an ultra-liberal atheist. She grew up to be an ultra-conservative Southern Baptist. There was a discussion on the board about animals. She argued that one cannot truly be a Christian if one does not wear animals furs and skins and eat meat. She based that argument on the “dominion” passage in the Bible.

    I found it both scary and hilarious that someone would take that view.

    • lesleehorner May 19, 2010 / 7:55 am

      Yeah, this post could have easily turned into a book so I just kept it simple. But yes, although I am a vegetarian, I don’t believe that everyone is meant to be one. We adapted throughout history and learned to eat what was readily available. And that is why I’ve heard that people with certain blood types need to eat meat. Since people in that particular post on the FB page were using the Bible as a history book, I decided to stick with that theme.

      Along the line of your friend, I was super annoyed when one of my very Christian FB friends posted pictures of a hunting trip with a caption that he felt most at peace when he was hunting. I thought really…killing innocent creatures for fun brings you peace?

      It would help our health and our environment if everyone just ate LESS meat. Like Michael Pollen says, it is much healthier if your meals do not revolve around meat.

      • Renee May 19, 2010 / 8:13 am

        I don’t like hunting. I’d never go and I don’t think I could be with a man who enjoyed it. But I also get why it’s sort of necessary. White tail deer (at least in NY) have NO natural predators. In the winter especially, there isn’t enough food to go around and many of them would die of starvation due to overpopulation. So, in a way, hunting is good for the environment (to a point, which is why there are strict rules and seasons).

        Also, the hunters I’ve known always made use of the meat. What they and their family and friends didn’t eat went to homeless and battered women’s shelters. I can see how one would feel sort of primal and close to the earth and therefore peaceful doing it. Not me, but I can see it. For American Indians, hunting was a religious rite. I think it still is to many of them who still practice their old religious beliefs. But they honor the animals and thank them for their sacrifice — stuff like that. It puts it into a different perspective.

        I certainly think there’s an honor in eating the flesh of a wild animal you killed yourself than in eating a cow that was raised in confinement for no other reason than to be someone’s dinner.

      • lesleehorner May 19, 2010 / 8:23 am

        Well, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that the peace comes from the act of being in nature, in silence, sitting in a meditative state and waiting for an animal to come along. And I would also not argue if you are eating what you hunt.

        Also, Renee, has it ever occurred to you to go to law school? You are very good at making a persuasive argument 🙂

      • lesleehorner May 19, 2010 / 8:40 am

        Also wanted to add something to this comment. Have you seen Food Inc? It shows how there used to be thousands of meat packing plants but all (or most) of them (which were privately owned small businesses) have been bought out by big corporations. So I think that things would be different and better if people like your neighbor still had control over their businesses.

      • Renee May 19, 2010 / 8:50 am

        I agree! Smaller, local farms are the best way to go for the animals and probably the people who ingest the products that come from them. Unfortunately, economically, it’s tough. Upstate New York has the weather and land to support smaller farms that can sell their products cheap to local stores. Not everywhere has the right climate, enough grass, whatever. You can’t really have a dairy farm in the desert, I guess.

        I figure by just me going vegetarian, that’s a lot fewer dead cows and chickens, though.

        I will also add that veal is NEVER OK to eat. Even local, small veal farms are not nice places.

  2. Renee May 19, 2010 / 8:32 am

    I actually have considered law school, but decided against it a long time ago! There are already too many lawyers in my family.

    But, just look at how many lawyers are writers, anyway. I think, secretly, that’s what most of them really wanted to do. I’ll skip the high tuition and years of stress and go straight to the writing part. 🙂

  3. JennyDefx May 19, 2010 / 7:13 pm

    You two are cracking me up! Boy did your posts go all over the place. I had to chime in as Leslee was the straw that broke my meat-eating back with simple, yet heartfelt posts like the one above.

    I used to eat meat everyday at every meal. Most of my intake was the nastiness of McD’s, Wendy’s, In-&-Out, etc. I was addicted for lack of a better word.

    I always had that nagging ache in the pit of my soul that told me, “how could you love animals, especially cute cows and pigs and then eat them like nothin’ else?” After reading Leslee’s post (I don’t even remember which one it was), my meat eating days ending.

    Her post mentioned one or two sentences about how on chicken farms, hens are de-beaked so they don’t peck the eggs and when sexed at birth, male chicks are thrown alive into shredders as they are not needed. Their young birdie carcasses becomes what was once a favorite of mine – chicken nuggets – Mmmmm, yummy!

    Let me get to the point – I am a vegetarian today for animals. The abuse animals today (not back in the Adam and Eve days) have to endure because of the overwhelming demand is horrendous.

    Commerically, mass-produced meats and dairy products cause animals, living beings, trememdous pain. If you can eat and enjoy that without that nagging ache in your soul, bon appetit.

    We vegetarians do what we do to better ourselves, our health, our souls. I think most people that are on a growing, spiritual path do the same, meat eaters or not.

  4. JennyDefx May 19, 2010 / 7:14 pm

    Forgot to mention the HFA on FB (Humane Farming Association). Check them out…

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