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Comments by Rod Preece - 31 Jan 2003
It is highly improbable that any human group in Biblical times - or at any other time since the discovery of methods of starting fires some three-quarters of a million years ago - ate flesh raw on a regular basis (i.e., other than in some rare ritual circumstances). Those who pretend there were such groups can only be inventing anthropology to justify their own behaviour. Their intellectual dishonesty appalls me.
I doubt that kosher killing is ever humane. Nonetheless, it is no worse than the ineffective use of stunning equipment in most abattoirs.
If one reads the reference to lifeblood in Genesis it is absolutely clear that the suggestion is that the life of the animal really matters, and that the blood, the physical principle of life for Biblical societies and most societies since, is precious and is not to be consumed. (In many other societies the idea of the universal spirit is used in the same way).
Those who read the passage to mean that the animal needs only to be dead in order to be consumed are merely rationalizing their self-interests. I find it difficult to imagine - in light of simple logic as well as a myriad of similar cases, e.g. the belief of the Cheyenne that the buffalo has a small piece of flesh near the throat which is inviolable - that a person who is looking for anything other than a rationalization for their self-interests can so read it.
Ask your friend whether she believes that Christian compassion for life is a principle she would wish to live by. If so, that must mean that, as the devout William Blake and the equally devout Albert Schweitzer emphasized:
"all life is sacred...all life is holy."
Does she imagine that God would be so inconsiderate as to throw away as worthless most of the life to which He gave existence? Does she imagine that God was so much less than universal in His love that He gave everlasting life to the most wicked of the creatures He had created, and consigned to annihilation and oblivion all the innocent life He had created.
If your friend believes that, she believes in a Christianity I would repudiate (and, I am convinced, so would God).
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