The Fellowship of Life
Hugh Montefiore's criticism of a booklet which gives biblical
suppport for a vegetarian lifestyle is most disconcerting: particularly
in the wake of BSE; and even more so, in the light of the starving
Doesn't the retired bishop know that in advocating a vegetarian diet
enough food would then be provided for every mouth? As things are, the
waste that exists through converting nourishment from vegetable to meat
protein is at enormous waste.
Admittedly, the biblical record reveals that, following the fall,
carnivorism became the permitted practice. However, whether we interpret
Genesis literally or figuritively, the message is clear: within the
Edenic state nothing that harms or destroys is allowed to enter!
Consequently, long before Christ's birth amongst the animals,
prophets envisaged a greater paradise restored than was ever lost
through man's sin; and in it, even the lion eats straw as does the ox.
We repetitively pray: "Thy Kingdom come", yet we envisage this
greater paradise restored as confined to our own predatory species. I
ask: who in their right mind would want to go there?
St Paul - hardly an animal rights advocate! writes about the
restoration of all life through the Greater Adam. Indeed, he was
conscious of the whole creation being in travail and looking for
liberation through God's children; while John envisages the worship of
the redeemed being led by representatives of the animal kingdom.
Much, admittedly, is figurative. Nevertheless, the message is clear:
wheras there was room in the Old Testament ark for the salvation of
animals, the Church - a large part of which claims to be the New
Testament ark of salvation - blatantly casts them out!
If this is the way we exercise our guardian stewardship over creation
then Heaven help us!
An unpublished letter to the Church Times by Rev James Thompson, 7th April 1998.
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