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Catholicism, Environmentalism, Veganism

There’s only one question: Does it honor God?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to approach these topics that I’m both interested in and feel are crucially important: environmentalism, Catholicism, veganism. Putting those three words together can be somewhat controversial. My approach is not arguing about whether it’s ‘right’ or ‘ethical’ to eat meat or whether environmentalism is just some ‘leftist conspiracy theory’ that should be ignored. My approach is simple: does it honor God?

Over 90% of meat in the United States comes from factory farms.*
Does the factory farm system of production honor God?

We increasingly value convenience in the form of plastic bags over conscientiousness. There are 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of ocean.**
Does using the oceans as a dumping ground honor God?

We have the opportunity to honor God every time we sit down to eat, every time we choose something to drink, every time we go grocery shopping. I think that’s pretty darn amazing.

*calculation based on U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2002 Census of Agriculture, June 2004. **http://www.statisticbrain.com/plastic-bag-statistics/
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Discussion

4 thoughts on “There’s only one question: Does it honor God?

  1. Thank you! We need to ask ourselves whether things are for God’s greater glory in everything we do…endeavour to make a difference, starting with ourselves, to treat creation with respect…I am glad you brought this up. Most people don’t mean any harm at all when they eat cruelly farmed meat or use carrier bags…they are just not really aware of the implications, and see everyone else doing it, don’t you think? We ought to encourage veganism in the so-called developed world, though, yes, because of the animal friends, and very much because of doing our bit regarding the hunger problem (the concept of charity, love thy neighbour), because of how many more kilograms plant food it takes to produce one kilogram of meat…

    Posted by prayers4reparation | June 8, 2012, 11:38 am
    • I see it going both ways. Yes, there are people who just genuinely don’t know about where their food comes from, how problematic carrier bags are, etc. On the other hand, there a whole lot of people who just plain do not care. They know, but they’re never challenged by anyone that has enough clout to make them think about taking action, even in just a small way. Sometimes even when they are challenged they choose to attack that person straight away instead of taking time to pray and reflect. For example, this article on a US Bishop linking the pro-life cause with an environmental cause solicited some of the following comments from our fellow Catholics.

      Sorry I can’t see the connection………….Saving babies can’t be equated with taking care of the environment. It seems to me that the church needs to worry more about aborted babies and less of the environment. The government is already driving all of us nuts with all the regulations., making it harder for small business to survive. They have to cut down on hiring to use use the money to implement the regulation

      The problem with the Catholic Social Justice crowd is that they are Hell-bent (pun intended) in linking abortion opposition with “social justice” issues. While faithful Catholics are the most generous of Christians, they understand that without life, there can be nothing else. Life issues are on a different plane and, by the way, are not equal to, but superior to, any other issue. The hope of the social justice crowd is to confuse this incongruence to the listener. Bishop Blarie would make better use of his time if he understood that until life is protected, our attention must be narrowly focused on making this happen. Then, and only then, can we address issues of clean air and “enviornmental stewardship.” To a child never born, neither matters.

      I find these comments and others like them very telling. The overwhelming approach is that until the abortion issue is solved that nothing, and I mean NOTHING (clean water, poverty, food justice, you name it), matters. The Pope himself does not take this approach so I guess I find it problematic that the Catholic community continues to feel and approach the world in this way.

      There’s almost this myth that by being pro-life you can’t decide to give up water bottles, or commit to using reusable bags, or consider your food choices. The fact remains that as Catholics we don’t have the luxury of being single issue. That’s not to say that we all feel equally called or inspired by each cause out there, but merely that we should not completely brush everything else off the table.

      As always, thanks for stopping by and commenting! 🙂

      Posted by Amy | June 8, 2012, 8:24 pm
  2. Very good post! One in which we must think about daily. Thanks for the reminder. God Bless, SR

    Posted by SR | June 8, 2012, 2:04 pm

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