Moo-ving people toward compassionate living
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Comments on Human Nature -
By: C. Sparkie
Commentary By: Alex Chartrand
Submitted 24 April 1999
I share your frustration.
The way I answer "WHY do people resist" is with this:
People are relational beings. Meaning, that they define themselved in relationship to other people they encounter. One of the things which has marked the way we interact is the dinner table; and for many, they still do - especially Christians. (There is a sense especially in what has been called "conservative" Christianity to have more time together as a family and of those is the dinner table. - the dinner table is also the scene of the last supper as well!) So, Christianity has a tradition of making relationships around the table.
Now, if they are flesh eaters (usually the practice of flesh eating is passed from one generation to the next, and hence by and through the famiy) certainly aspects of the relationship have to do with the food involved in the community.
Now, if in addition to this we celebrate religious/cultural holidays within this familial structure of eating cojoined with flesh eating, we have an entire system of belief about identity, family and religio-cultural-selfhood which is interwtined with meat. You see, Christianity often creates the image that "family" is its greatest asset, barring the Gospel. But, the problem is that the family will also act as a facist enforcer of certain values.
So, if a person attempts to become vegetarian, they are accused of betraying the family, and hence the religion and culture. The family is only as good as its individual parts. Ignorance is ingorance, no matter how close the family is. And, it can make change more difficult. I wonder how many of us who are vegetarian also had a markedly distinct relationship with our parents. I know that certain influencial people coupled with a sense of disconnectedness from the larger group caused me to make the transition more easily.
In His Service,
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