I wrote a blog post sometime ago on a book I had to read for my Old Testament class, and I’m not going to lie it changed my life… Well let me rephrase that, it continued the process of change that the love of my life started. This way my wife gets all of the credit and I score points with her!
The process has been quite a challenging one. It’s just a preference for me that I want simply because it sounds nice… its far more theological for me, I guess you could say its more of a conviction that I think I, as Christian, should eat organic. It’s more than just nicer and cleaner, it’s also more “right.” That is, I think Scripture points towards a more ethical, not economic, treatment of the earth and Creation. (notice the globe… it means my view is holistic and cares for the earth… you know, typical)
The fact that its a conviction is what makes it such a struggle. I feel like I am doing wrong if I don’t do it… not only to the world, but to God and to myself. But then there is also the problem of feeling like I am not being a steward of my finances if I do eat organic; what’s worse is now I am looking to ethically treated meat primarily because of the same conviction.
As I look back at Scripture, the only time I really see people eating good meat are at big, once-every-so-often events, like Temple sacrifices, some extraordinary encounter with God or when a lost son returns home. I’ll admit I haven’t really dug much into the idea, but, as it stands now, meat seems like it was reserved for a “big deal” and not simply a commodity; an idea quite contrary to your back wall meat aisle in the supermarket.
The benefit of treating meat, along with food in general, as a commodity, however, is that it allows it to be produced incredibly cheaper, primarily because you don’t have to worry about anything except the final product and not the process. Organic and cruelty free food are, needless to say, considerably more expensive.
Thus, you can see my conundrum. I want to serve God by being a good steward of my finances, but also a good steward of Creation… and these two things are rather in conflict with each other. I think I am even going to have to travel further to actually find cruelty free meat… thus more money spent on gas as well as greenhouse gases.
This is a difficult path to follow. I somewhat reneged recently on buying organic milk, primarily because I am going through about 2 gallons a week (I love milk by the way). 2 gallons a week at 6.50 a gallon gets expensive (but Alison, thankfully, hasn’t reneged). Not to mention that I am finding it incredibly difficult to actually figure out where cruelty free meat is sold.
However, I think I am coming to 2 conclusions:
1) Sacrifice. This I believe is a sacrifice, and a sacrifice that I am Alison are willing to make. I do not believe it is being whimsical with our finances, but actually being stewards of it so long as we are stewards of it in other ways… such as clothes, luxury items, etc. It is also a sacrifice of time and effort; I do believe it will be hard to actually go out to wherever and purchase, not to mention find a place to purchase, cruelty free meat.
2) Faithfulness. If this a true and honest conviction, it will be met with faithfulness from God. It might seem out of my reach, however, I do believe God will enable such a conviction that seeks to glorify him, in some way, shape or form. I do not doubt that it will be filled with its struggles and trials, but I do believe that this is not simply a more honorable way to live, but a more godly way to live and I know God is faithful. So it is safe to assume that God will enable this in some way… and who knows it might require more sacrifices than I thought.
It’s hard to do the right thing sometimes, especially if there is no “real”, “good”, reason to back it up. I don’t think I would ever attempt to be organic or cruelty free if it was just a nice thing to do.
But it is much easier to do the right thing when more than just preference or temporal ethic is backing it up. The divine and eternal reasoning motivates me far more, as well it should.