The Immorality of Eating Meat

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The Immorality of Eating Meat

A Sermon Delivered at the
Compassion Internet Christian Church

23 October 2011

By Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References:

Genesis 8:21
    9:3
Leviticus 19:18
Deuteronomy 6:5
Proverbs 12:10
Micah 6:8
Matthew 7:15-20
Galatians 5:22-23

For more than 30 years, my wife Mary and I have recognized the immorality involved in meat eating and in the exploitation of animals.

Unfortunately, this is something that the world largely ignores.

Most of what we have been working on can be found in the more than 75,000 documents on our web site: www.all-creatures.org 

Today, we are going to limit our discussion to the immorality of meat eating as it applies to both the animals and human beings.

More than 2,700 years ago the prophet Micah told the straying Israelites how God wanted them to live morally. Note what he said in 6:8…

8. He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
NAS

When it comes to the treatment of animals who are raised commercially, justice, love, and kindness have for the most part been removed from our sense of human morality.

And, it effects every aspect of our lives.

Most Christians claim to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and Paul tells us the characteristics of how this should be displayed in our lives. Note what he wrote in Galatians 5:22-23…

22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23. gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
NAS

According to the Bible, Christians and Jews are to love God with all their heart, soul, and might (Deuteronomy 6:5); and if we do, we also should love the whole of God’s creation.

Where then is this love, and the rest of the fruit, when it comes to the animals that God lovingly created?

Where is their morality?

It simply isn’t there.

Note what Jesus says about this by comparing this kind of human fruit with the fruit of trees in Matthew 7:15-20…

15. "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?

17. Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

18. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

19. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
NIV

We certainly don’t see this moral fruit of the Spirit when it comes to the billions of animals who suffer and die every year, and this lack of moral values is also seen in other areas of most of their lives.

We believe that they have confused or incorporated worldly ways into God’s Word, and hijacked the Christianity that Jesus set in motion.

Let’s look at the ways of the world and the ways Christians live in it.

We believe that all of us understand that meat eating is legal; but do we also understand that it is immoral?

Why? Let’s go on and see.

In Genesis 9:3 God even granted a concession to eat animal flesh, because of the evilness of the human beings (Genesis 8:21); but it was still against His creation and heavenly will, and thus it still remained immoral.

Why? Let’s continue and see.

To begin to answer this question, we need to take a look at the source of our morality.

Almost all of our moral standards are rooted in our religious teachings which true believers try to follow, either in whole or in part.

And these moral standards are part of every major religion; however, for this discussion, we will limit ourselves to Judeo-Christian morality.

But even here there is separation.

The Jews believe that hunting is immoral, because humans are not to take pleasure in killing any other living being; thus, we will never see a rabbi who is a hunter.

However, Christian pastors have no such moral conviction in their hearts, and many of them engage in the sport of hunting.

Many of these moral standards have also been incorporated into the law of the land, but not all laws meet these same moral standards, as we can see when it comes to hunting.

Let’s take a look at a few more examples:

In Proverbs 12:10 we are told:

10. A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal,
But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.

Since righteousness and morality go hand in hand, we know that the Bible is teaching us that we are to care about the welfare of all animals in our care and keep them in good health and contented.

To not do this is cruel and immoral, even if these people seem to be compassionate in other areas of their lives; and according to this passage, such people are still wicked.

On the other hand, it is legal to raise animals on factory farms where chickens and turkeys have their beak tips cut or burned off, where cattle are branded and castrated, where pigs are castrated and tail-docked – all without anesthesia, because it is considered standard practice.

These horrors only increase as the animals are transported and slaughtered; but for the most part, they are still legal.

Nevertheless, according to the Biblical moral standard we just discussed, these practices are totally immoral.

The immorality of meat eating doesn’t end with what humans do to animals; it also involves what is happening to our fellow human beings because of eating animals, including their eggs and milk.

We have also read many accounts of how the human beings who work in these facilities work under horrible conditions and have poor or no health coverage.

These practices surely are not moral or loving, because the second greatest Biblical commandment (Leviticus 19:18) tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

So, if the boss of any of these companies wouldn’t do any of the things that the employees are required to do, and doesn’t supply them with the same health benefits as he or she has, then it is not moral.

Since meat, dairy and egg eating requires people to buy the products of this immorality, which in essence is paying others to do things that are immoral acts for them, the act of eating these animal products becomes immoral.

But, the immorality doesn’t end here.

Organizations such as the United States Department of Agriculture, the National Institutes of Health, and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have presented facts that positively show that almost all cases of so-called “stomach flu” are really food poisoning caused by fecal and and other animal contamination of our food supply, including meat and fruit and vegetables.

And in recent days we heard of this happening with cantaloupes.

And while some of the contaminated food is recalled, which is a moral act, the source of the problem is not addressed, which is immoral.

Physicians such as Michael Greger have repeatedly spoken out about the fact that almost all of our viral diseases such as flu, measles, and chickenpox come from the commercial raising of animals; yet nothing is done about eliminating the source of the problem before there is an outbreak of the disease. This is immoral.

Now, let’s take a look at the disease of type-2 diabetes, which has been on the rise for many years and which, according to many physicians, has its root cause in meat eating.

• Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and others have reported:

- that animal protein is linked to increased diabetes risk.

- that vegan diets treat diabetes.

- that low-fat whole plant food vegan diets cure diabetes.

If our government knows these things and does nothing to inform and educate the public about these facts, but instead continues to subsidize and promote the animal foods that cause diabetes, isn’t it immoral?

If the farmed animal products industries know about these problems, but continue to market their products as being healthful, aren’t they being immoral?

If the pharmaceutical industries continue to market their diabetes products, and know full well that the disease can be cured through a change to a whole plant food diet, aren’t they also being immoral?

And what about the religious communities who are to set moral standards?

We believe that the answer to all of these questions is, YES, they, too, are acting immorally.

There are many Biblical example that took place prior to the Jewish people being carried away into captivity by the Assyrians and the Chaldeans, because they had turned away from following God and His will for their lives.

They turned away from His moral standards, and followed the ways of the world.

We strongly believe that a root cause of this tragedy is centered on humans raising and eating animals, for it hardens the human heart to the suffering of animals and, in turn, even of our fellow human beings, which is exactly the opposite of what God desires.

We also see a resulting parallel from the ways humans are causing this kind of injustice, violence, and immorality:

• The violence and suffering inflicted upon animals on factory farms, in slaughterhouses, and in laboratories has hardened human hearts until they are carried away to being indifferent to the suffering of animals.

• The damage to our environment caused by the emissions and runoff from factory farms, stockyards, and slaughter houses has deprived us of much of this good earth.

• But instead of having the Assyrians and Chaldeans come upon us, as happened to Israel when they turned away from God and His moral standards, we get most of our chronic diseases and have our wealth siphoned off by the disease care medical and pharmaceutical industries.

• And because the government subsidizes these animal agricultural businesses and our Medicare program, we have additional wealth siphoned off through higher taxes.

• However, if we ate a plant based diet, according to God's creation intent, we wouldn't have any of these problems, or at least relatively few of them.

The immorality of meat eating goes beyond the things we have been talking about.

Millions of people have left their churches and synagogues because of the ridicule and hardness of heart they have received because they care about animals and because of their compassionate vegan lifestyle.

People who have lost a beloved companion animal, and seek the comfort of their religious community, are most often met with hard of heart, indifferent statements such as: “It’s only a dog, get a new one!” And they are heartbroken.

When pastors glorify hunting and fishing and meat eating from the pulpits, these sensitive people are crushed and they no longer feel comfortable in church.

Our ministry reaches out to about a million of these people around the world, and we know that many of you fall into this area.

May God bless us all to be the loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God that we are called upon to be, so that we may free creation from its present corruption and once again have a moral and peaceable kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.

Amen.