If someone told you about a product banned from the European Union, China, Taiwan and Russia, what would you do with that information?
Ignore it? Probably not.
Except that we do ignore that information. In fact, we consume that product. At astronomical levels.
U.S. meat, to be exact.
What most of us eat two times a day is most likely a meat product that has been banned from being sold in Russia, China, Taiwan and the European Union.
If you want a good overview of why, read this article from NBC News. You know how we get all high and mighty on our athletes for taking hormones and steroids to try and enhance their performance? Well, most of us aren’t trying to hit home runs, but we’re ingesting hormones and steroids anyway.
In David Kamp’s book, “The United States of Arugula,” he explains simply what’s gone wrong with the meat industry in our country.
“Feeding on grain before they were fully capable of digesting it, the cattle often developed stomach abscesses, diarrhea, and bacterial infections. On top of this, the immune systems of the calves were weakened by the stress of being separated from their mothers and carted off to feedlots without proper weaning. To stave off gastrointestinal-tract ailments, (Orville) Schell explained in Modern Meat, commercial ranchers took to preemptively feeding their animals antibiotics.”
As Christians, we can’t ignore what is happening in the meat industry in this country. We have too many laws from God, Old Testament and New, about how meat should be treated.
Whether you believe we need to adhere to these dietary guidelines or not, the concept obviously mattered to God. Check out Leviticus chapter 11. He seemed to have some super specific ideas on this subject.
If you’re a person that believes God created the world and that we should be good stewards of that gift, that quote from Kamp’s book probably disturbs you. It disturbs me.
If we believe we should be doing what God designed us to do, that needs to apply to animals too.
And I’m not in any way suggesting that we should all become vegetarians. Some people want to go that far, and that’s great. I love bacon and burgers too much to go that far personally.
But as Christians, we need to be people who ask questions. Who read labels. Who eat less meat, so we can save that money and buy higher-priced meat that goes to farmers or ranchers that treat and fed these animals as God designed them to be.
Truly, this should make us (Christians) more upset than anyone. We should be leading the cries to make livestock treatment more humane. God did not intend for these animals to be injected with hormones and antibiotics.
And I’m pretty certain He didn’t intend to have us eat it.