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At one time, after decades of no church attendance, I thought I had found a church home when I discovered Unity Church (Christian, but not by conventional definition). (I haven't attended any church for many years now, which suits me fine.) I was so excited to learn the founders of Unity had been staunch vegetarians from a perspective of compassion. But as I soon learned, that part of their religious beliefs had been lost along the way. The Unity churches I attended (three of them over time) had the same old barbecues and fried chicken picnics and steak house after-service luncheons.
That experience went a long way toward strengthening my understanding of the power of human appetites, and the lengths to which humans will go to rationalize almost anything that gratifies them. Which of course also explains how the teachings of Jesus have been lost in today's churches, and why vegetarians/vegans also tend to get lost in them.
Humble opinion here, but I'm convinced that, while we do need to honor our principles and be examples to the best of our ability, no earth-bound approach is ever going to change things on a grand scale.
The best we might do is reach a few individual hearts with the right kind of persuasion, even if it is only by example. But I think beyond that, it will take a complete shift in human consciousness, an evolution of the human spirit, which will require Divine intervention.
Whether it's the called the Second Coming of the Christ, the Shift of the Ages revealed in the Mayan calendar, the return of the White Buffalo Calf Woman of Native American prophecy, I feel that kind of radical spiritual shift in the paradigm is the only hope for animals here in the big picture. I don't believe human intervention will ever be enough to make the changes along these lines that we'd like to see.
That doesn't stop me from being openly true to my own principles, and willing to discuss it with whoever might wish to. It's just that not many wish to discuss it who aren't already on the same path, and the walls the others put up aren't likely to be tumbled by pushing against them. So we can only live our truth, hope people might take note and reflect, and the rest of it flies on a wing and a prayer.
Anyway, I must say, reading all the anguished stories about church membership from people who would truly like to belong to a church congregation makes me very thankful to be a blissful recluse!
Go on to: Comments by Elyse Bell - 8 Apr 2008
Return to: The Dilemma Caused by Being Vegetarian in a Christian Church
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