Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Why are there carnivores?


  • Please log in to reply
91 replies to this topic

#21 Kris

Kris

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 383 posts

Posted 22 August 2007 - 07:50 PM

I do think of the penultimate line in the Psalms: 'Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord'. Does that include 'everything that hath breath'? If so, do we then kill and eat what hath praised the Lord?


The Book of Daniel likewise says "O all ye things that grow in the earth, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever."

#22 Father David Moser

Father David Moser

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 3,581 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Cleric

Posted 22 August 2007 - 08:09 PM

the proscribed animal sacrifices ...


Pet peeve alert
Picky note on spelling (but one which could have enormous consequences)

proscribed = outside the bounds, prohibited
prescribed = expected, demanded, recommended

Fr David Moser

#23 Kusanagi

Kusanagi

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 719 posts

Posted 23 August 2007 - 10:28 AM

I would also like to add that St Basil of Poiana Marului said that when God feeds his people it is never meat. Usually bread or fish. As in the examples of Prophet Elijah, St Paul the first Hermit, St Onuphurios.
Fish - a simple monk on Athos stretched out his hands and ask God for fish and he received a big fish.

#24 Katerina

Katerina

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 28 posts

Posted 23 August 2007 - 02:02 PM

Wow, this thread has certainly given me a lot chew on (pardon the pun!) :-)

I often think as to why people have taken animals into their homes as "pets", when all I have ever remembered from grandmothers from the old country was that they always lived outside the home, in barns, in the yard, didn't have special foods etc. They ate scraps and were healthy, they served a purpose to man like horses, cows, and the like. Nowadays, we have special pet foods and animals have diseases we have not seen before. Could it be because they have gone way off the scale as to what God meant them all to be for us? Society "humanized" them, and this leads people to have the attitude that animals "understand" us better than people! (when we should be turning to God for that understanding and fulfillment.) This may be why we have so many organizations dedicated to saving animals (I know of course, that there should not be abuse to anything God created but some of these organizations go above and beyond, and the ordinary human takes a back seat to the animal in some cases, KWIM?).

There are so many species of animals God created, and they all have a different place and use in nature. Some are food for others, while still others eat plants or bugs, and I think God intended for all this to be a sort of balance in His earthly world. My thinking is that as in everything we have been taught by the Holy Fathers in our Orthodox faith, we should be "moderate" in all things. This includes eating meat, no? I never even really gave a thought growing up, about eating/not eating meat. I just thought it was a normal part of the good things God gave us for food on this earth, along with herbs and seeds and greens etc., and that lent was given to us mortals for furthering our spiritual lives and helping us to repentence during this struggle....does it make sense that not eating meat, and lenting is akin to "if we didn't know evil (I don't know if what I am trying to say will come out clearly- sometimes my words don't explain fully what I mean!) how would we know what good is"? Lenting from meat and animal byproducts helps us to "rest" from the passions that meat and those types of food can bring out in us, and focus on more spiritual, inward movements of our soul. Does this make any sense, or is it just the muddled thoughts in my simple brain? I figure that lenting is giving us the right "balance" we need as Orthodox living in the world.

I also remember something about dogs in particular, being animals that are "dirty". If a dog enters into a church, Services are immediately suspended if they are going on, and the church MUST be blessed again. I know of this happening in my own childhood parish a few years back. If so, wouldn't that then be consistent in saying that animals need to be in their proper place, and we shouldn't make them our revered pets the way we have in our society nowadays? Animals are instinctual, and they seemingly do the "right" thing because they do not really know there is a "wrong" thing, while we as humans do. We have a will, they do not. Which is why we are ultimately all right in thinking that God gave us animals as work helpers, and yet other animal species as food for us.


Hopefully I have not strayed too far off topic, and that you understand what my thoughts are about. Forgive me if they are quite jumbled!

In IC XC,
Katerina

#25 Herman Blaydoe

Herman Blaydoe

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,157 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 23 August 2007 - 02:36 PM

I would also like to add that St Basil of Poiana Marului said that when God feeds his people it is never meat.


Sorry, but not QUITE true...I believe quail is considered meat.

“I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’” (Exodus 16:12)

#26 Kusanagi

Kusanagi

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 719 posts

Posted 23 August 2007 - 02:51 PM

Sorry, but not QUITE true...I believe quail is considered meat.

“I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’” (Exodus 16:12)


the whole passage i have is:

11 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’”
13 So it was that quails came up at evening and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay all around the camp. 14 And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is the thing which the LORD has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, one omer for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent.’”
17 Then the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, some less. 18 So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one’s need. 19 And Moses said, “Let no one leave any of it till morning.” 20 Notwithstanding they did not heed Moses. But some of them left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. 21 So they gathered it every morning, every man according to his need. And when the sun became hot, it melted.
22 And so it was, on the sixth day, that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 23 Then he said to them, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’” 24 So they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded; and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it. 25 Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.”

---------------

From what I understood they only ate Bread unless i misread it somewhere and I think like the Orthodox New testament bible the word meat does not actually refer to the flesh but to food in general.

#27 Father David Moser

Father David Moser

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 3,581 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Cleric

Posted 23 August 2007 - 03:41 PM

I would also like to add that St Basil of Poiana Marului said that when God feeds his people it is never meat. Usually bread or fish.


Not to contradict a saint - however what about the time when God fed the Hebrew people in the wilderness by raining quail (poultry) down upon them?

Fr David Moser

#28 Nina

Nina

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,149 posts

Posted 23 August 2007 - 03:49 PM

I do not understand... why can't we eat meat when we all know the story of Saul/Paul from the NT?

#29 Herman Blaydoe

Herman Blaydoe

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,157 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 23 August 2007 - 04:38 PM

From what I understood they only ate Bread unless i misread it somewhere and I think like the Orthodox New testament bible the word meat does not actually refer to the flesh but to food in general.


Read it again. It specifically says "...meat at twilight..." (evening) and "...bread at morning..." The quails came in the evening, and the bread (manna) arrived with the morning dew. And generally speaking, bread does not necessarily STINK as it rots, but meat certainly will. You might want to check out Numbers Chapter 11 as well.

#30 Father David Moser

Father David Moser

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 3,581 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Cleric

Posted 23 August 2007 - 04:46 PM

I do not understand... why can't we eat meat when we all know the story of Saul/Paul from the NT?


To which story about the Holy Apostle Paul do you refer? Are you possibly thinking of the vision given to the Apostle Peter in which he was shown a multitude of animals and told to "kill and eat"?

Fr David Moser

#31 Nina

Nina

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,149 posts

Posted 23 August 2007 - 04:58 PM

To which story about the Holy Apostle Paul do you refer? Are you possibly thinking of the vision given to the Apostle Peter in which he was shown a multitude of animals and told to "kill and eat"?

Fr David Moser


I need my 'blush' smiley here. Yes, Father, you are right. It was the story about Apostle Peter and Cornelius.

#32 Herman Blaydoe

Herman Blaydoe

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,157 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 23 August 2007 - 05:22 PM

If you do not want to eat meat, then there is nothing to say you have to eat meat. But if your brother thinks that PETA stands for People Eating Tasty Animals, then it is not right according to Holy Scripture to judge him, or so it seems to this simple mind.

#33 Kusanagi

Kusanagi

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 719 posts

Posted 23 August 2007 - 06:04 PM

St Basil of Poiana Marului says of old God sent manna but in the new to his saints he sends fish, wine and bread.
Jesus performing the miracles of the loaves and fishes, no meat was involved.

Meat was allowed to be eaten out of our weaknesses and St Basil the Great said during the 40 years in the desert those that wanted meat died as they seeked after it and was not satisfied with the manna from heaven.

Also meat was abstained for the reason that it feeds the passions.
But there is no canonical law forbidding eating of meat.

#34 Father David Moser

Father David Moser

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 3,581 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Cleric

Posted 23 August 2007 - 06:48 PM

St Basil of Poiana Marului says of old God sent manna but in the new to his saints he sends fish, wine and bread.
Jesus performing the miracles of the loaves and fishes, no meat was involved.


Is St Basil simply making a connection of the various miraculous provision by God for the people in various times (which is quite prevalent in the fathers in that all of these miracles lead us to the Holy Mysteries) or is St Basil actually saying that the eating of meat is not sanctioned by God. I'm very curious as to the context of these remarks by Basil of Poiana Marului. Also were these remarks made to monastics about the monastic life - or were they general pastoral remarks to monastics and laymen alike - or were they doctrinal statements?

Meat was allowed to be eaten out of our weaknesses


Context is king here - who said this and in what context??

and St Basil the Great said during the 40 years in the desert those that wanted meat died as they seeked after it and was not satisfied with the manna from heaven.


Ah yes, but does St Basil say that this is a general principle about the eating of meat or was he making a comment about being content with what God provides. I do not see that St Basil draws the conclusion that you seem to want to indicate here.

Also meat was abstained for the reason that it feeds the passions.


This is true - however, that does not imply that eating meat is a concession to our weakness or an inferior spiritual practice.

But there is no canonical law forbidding eating of meat.


Of course not.

Until the time of Noah there is no indication that the diet of Eden had been altered. In Genesis 3:17-19 we are told that God said to Adam:

... and thou shalt eat the herbs of the earth. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth...



There is no mention here of eating meat - not until Noah was the eating of meat sanctioned by God as it says in Gen 9:3

And every living thing that moveth and liveth shall be meat for you: even as the green herbs have I delivered them all to you:


This is God's instruction to Noah after he exited the ark. Now Noah was no spiritual "slouch" and in fact was the only righteous one to be found upon the earth. Surely if God were inclined against the eating of meat he would not have started Noah out as the first person to be given the animals (every living thing that moves and lives) as food and to eat meat. Remember Noah and his sons were God's "restart" of humanity. So I don't see how this giving of the animals to Noah as food can be construed as God's concession to our "weakness" for Noah "found grace before the Lord ... a just and perfect man ... he walked with God" (Gen 6:8-9).

It may well be that abstinence from eating meat has spiritual benefits - that is pretty much an established fact - but there is no indication that a meatless diet/vegetarian lifestyle is "preferred by God" or that it is necessarily a more spiritual path.

Fr David Moser

#35 Paul Cowan

Paul Cowan

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,064 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 24 August 2007 - 03:10 AM

In my heart of hearts, I had no qualms eating my roast beef sandwich with swiss on toasted white bread tonight for dinner. I also partook of macaroni and cheese. Both cheeses from cows made with animal renent. Oh yeah, and the chocolate milk was from the brown cows in the northwest Panhandle of Texas. (They give the best chocolate milk in the state.)

If God sees the heart (and He does), He knows I did not eat it out of disrespect. As a matter of fact, I am very careful and particular how I prepare the food He provides for me.

Paul

#36 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 24 August 2007 - 08:08 AM

Anyone been to an abattoir?

#37 Katerina

Katerina

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 28 posts

Posted 24 August 2007 - 10:33 AM

Never been to an abattoir, but I've been in the meat district of NYC, and read the absolute horrors of one! I read a novel all about the slaughtering of animals for marketing and consumption...suffice it to say for a good while, I didn't partake.

I now eat local grass fed meat (no cruelty, no antibiotics or hormones).

There are always horrors in this world, no matter where you turn. I daresay this is not enough to say you won't ever eat meat because of this...unless of course, you are Hindu where sacred cows wander the streets of Calcutta...

#38 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 24 August 2007 - 02:54 PM

Not long ago, there was a TV programme about the training of soldiers. To toughen them up, a small group was taken to the local abattoir. One trooper fainted, two were sick (and that's in England - what about other countries' slaughtering practices?). I think the link is lost between a tasty bacon sandwich (which I miss), steaks and sausages, and their origins.

#39 M.C. Steenberg

M.C. Steenberg

    Former Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,843 posts

Posted 24 August 2007 - 04:42 PM

Dear all,

I've enjoyed reading the posts in this thread from the past few days. I must say that I've a great deal of respect for Andreas' question, and look forward to further discussions about the topic.

A few things to bear in mind:

Firstly, there is a difference between abstaining from something (like meat) 'out of abhorrance of it' - which is the language used in the canon mentioned earlier in this thread - and abstaining for cause of concern, care, love, compassion, ascetic growth, etc. The canon condemns the abstaining of several things on grounds of an 'abhorrance', indicating above all a (wrong) belief that such a thing is intrinsically wrong or evil (this canon is most often quoted in reference to marriage and/or sexual relations, against those who argue that all such are evil). The point of the canon is that what God creates cannot be abhorred as evil, since God creates only the good. An so the apostolic canon:

'If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon, or anyone at all on the sacerdotal list, abstains from marriage, or meat, or wine, not as a matter of mortification, but out of an abhorrence thereof, forgetting that all things are exceedingly good, and that God made man male and female, and blasphemously misrepresenting God’s work of creation, either let him mend his ways or let him be deposed from office and expelled from the Church. Let a layman be treated similarly.'

The focus of the canon is clearly on the 'blasphemous misrepresentation of God's work of creation', rather than on the simple act of abstaining. In point of fact, the canon explicitly provides one context in which abstaining from such things is good and holy: namely, what it calls 'a matter of mortification' - since mortification, as part of the ascetical project, is ultimately an act in reverence of creation (through transforming fallen man into a true relationship with it), rather than a dismissal of it.

One might certainly ask whether abstaining from the eating of meat on grounds of the glorification of God's creation - of diminishing suffering, which ultimately is always caused by human sin; of regaining the intimate relationship with the animal kingdom that is evidenced in the lives of the saints and the patristic writings on Eden, etc. - is not in fact a perfectly reasonable justification for holy abstinence.

Secondly, the passage in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 10.11-15, etc.) regarding St Peter's vision of the many 'unclean' animals, needs to be read for its authentic message, and not as a tract on vegeterianism. The point of that vision, as seems to me very clear in the text, is that man is not to cast as 'unclean' (i.e. unholy, impure, untouchable) that which God has created, and which by his own self-sacrifice he has redeemed, as he redeemed the whole of creation. Man is not to take the ox which God has made and say 'good, clean', but then to take the pig which God has made and say 'foul, unclean'. So St Peter hear's God's voice: 'What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common'.

It seems to me that this speaks very much in the same vein as the apostolic canon: it's primary concern is that humanity not seek to debase God's creation by insisting that aspects of it are 'common' - debased, dirty, foul, evil, etc. All that God has made, all that God has redeemed, is holy. Which is precisely why - to refer to the psalm verse Andreas has already mentioned - we can sing at every matins service, 'All creation hymns thee...', 'Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord...'.

Thirdly, passages such as St Paul's comments on judging a brother with respect of what he eats, should be taken as just that: comments on judgement.

It seems that the real question is: why does one act? I rather do believe there is good evidence in the patristic and monastic contexts especially, for upholding a positive view of refraining from eating animals, if done for the right reasons.

INXC, Matthew

#40 Fr Raphael Vereshack

Fr Raphael Vereshack

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,420 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Monastic Cleric

Posted 24 August 2007 - 04:58 PM

The larger context then should be that we do not eat animals precisely because God created them good.

To eat them necessarily involves taking their lives which is the violation on some level of the fact that God created them as living creatures of a specific kind.

Fasting then is to take us on some level to a pre-Fall state in relation to God's creation. Monasticism according to its fasting rules goes one step further. And some who have a special blessing for this return almost to the state of Adam & Eve before the Fall in this regard.

In Christ- Fr Raphael




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users