Friday, January 28, 2011

Life/Philosophy/Theology: Why I am a Vegetarian

Yes, for those of you who don't know, I am now a vegetarian. It's something I've considered before, and rejected. Rejected because I didn't want to be a burden to my family. But now I'm on my own, and it's a real possibility.

But why do it?

There's many reasons to give up meat - health, protesting the killing of animals, the price of meat, the desire to feel superior to others, etc.

I suppose there's a mix of all of those in my decision, but there are two specific things I wanted to share.

First, there is the matter of respect for life. Of all of the things in God's creation, life is perhaps the most incredible. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with killing and eating animals, but I do think it needs to be done with respect. I don't think we do that anymore. We've industrialized the consumption of animals, and have thereby turned life into pure product. I think this is a problem, and I've chosen, as much as I can, not to participate in it.

Of course, there's a certain hypocrisy here, since plants are also life, and I do continue to consume them.

I have further chosen to make the giving up of meat into fast dedicated to God, and thereby a prayer. We typically think of prayer in mental terms, and that's a very important part of prayer, but it isn't everything. God is the creator of matter as well as thought, and just as we can direct thoughts to Him, we can direct actions. A little bit of discipline is a good thing in a life, and I have dedicated this discipline to God.