The following is part of a piece by Kathy Freston that originally
appeared on The Huffington Post:
while back, I began considering my diet as a way to practice my spiritual
beliefs, and as I weighed what would be right for me, I came up against so much
inner turmoil. As a Southern gal, I grew up going to church and enjoying
various get-togethers with other parishioners over BBQ dinners and Sunday
brunches of eggs with grits. It all seemed lovely and warm at the time, so I
struggled many years later with the question of how eating meat, dairy, and
eggs could be ill-advised when so many (good) people do it daily and with
gusto. If long-standing faith traditions hold that eating animals is
acceptable, why in the world was I questioning those traditions?
yet, especially after watching behind-the-scenes video of what happens to
animals as they become our food, I remained troubled, on a spiritual level, at
the thought of eating them. These are the questions that kept gnawing at me: If
I am someone who wants peace in the world, how can I make peace with my part in
the system of institutionalized cruelty and misery toward animals? How could I
feel peaceful inside if I continued to collude with this bringing of suffering?
The more I meditated on it, things began to clarify in my mind: Choosing to
move away from eating animals is not just about my physical health, it’s about
the well-being of all creatures on this planet. It’s a vital part of an awake
and aware spiritual practice as well. It’s not just that I don’t want to
contribute to the suffering of animals; my choice to move away from eating
animal products would also allow me to become more the person I want to be.
to the traditions, though: How could a religion that has endured for thousands
of years not have reflected on so fundamental a question as how we relate to
these fellow creatures? Animals are so totally in our power, after all, and
isn’t spirituality in part a matter of how we choose to treat the powerless?
decided to do some searching—both soul
searching and researching the Christian tradition to find out what’s really
suggested about the question of eating animals.
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Article source: PETA Files