The following is part of a piece by Kathy Freston that originally
appeared on The Huffington Post:

A
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?

And
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.

Back
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?

I
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.

Read the full
article here.

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Article source: PETA Files

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