As some of you know I’m a vegetarian. I’ve been a veg for over two years now. The process wasn’t easy but it was something I knew I must do. My convictions tend to get the better of me from time to time. In the beginning of this journey I read several studies, ridiculous amounts of research and a few books that convicted me. I will tell you that I don’t believe everyone must become a vegetarian, but for my spirit it was the right step for me to take.
People always ask me why I became a vegetarian, especially because I’m in the south and you know what we southern folks do well – barbecue and southern food. Even the vegetables in southern food have a ham hock in them at some point in time. There is no getting away from meat down here. One of my favorite things to eat before making the shift was a slow smoke brisket, potato salad, beans and some greens. I love food. I love every facet of the cooking world. One day I will attend culinary school, even if it’s when I’m 65 – I’m going. This transition wasn’t easy on me physically, but spiritually it just made sense.
The deeper I get into this journey, one reason for my shift stands out to me over the others. I feel God asking me to treat the world as everything is sacred. The idea of all things being sacred was what inspired one of the shots for my Bokeh photo project.
To the creator, His creation is good. It is resplendent. It is sacred. But, when others objectify, when they abuse creation, they transform the very thing that was once purely beautiful into nothing more than an empty vessel.
All sacredness and spiritual significance has been pushed to the far edges of reality. The sacred then becomes an object with no purpose. The purpose for which it was once created has been befuddled in the selfishness of the abuser.
Ancient scriptures reveal to the us that the creator holds all creation as sacred. When we create, we are actively participating in showing the world the Divine sacredness of all creation.
Today, may we be part of the story of creating. For all creation is good. Resplendent. Sacred.
To me, this pint of Guinness was something that was once seen as sacred and yet it, as anything in our world, can be abused and turned into rubbish.
Abusing creation goes against every fabric of the Creator.
I was once a supporter of this abuse by what I chose to eat. I was choosing products that are produced in a way that has nothing to do with treating creation as it should but rather the process is an abuse on all fronts. The process of producing food, especially in the states, has become about the bottom line. It’s all about profit – forget integrity, we love money. In all of this greed we are not only supporting the mistreatment of God’s creation in relation to the animals themselves but the earth as well. Factory farming is also a large producer of pollution. This mentality is tragic to me. It’s the mentality that I once had. I once thought, “I don’t care about this stuff because it doesn’t really effect me, plus I want to do what I want to do.”
On the front of meat production, Factory Farms have become the “way we do things”. Factory Farming is a grotesque environment for any living creature and I don’t think it’s what God had in mind for his creation. There is something disgustingly depraved about the way meat is produced. I don’t want to dive into the explanation of factory farming, the meat industry, and the like, so if you would like further research here is a great read and here is a video of a wonderfully balanced documentary. The more educated you are, the better suited you will be to make a decision for yourself because as I said in the beginning, I don’t believe everyone should be vegetarian. I do believe that there are ways for meat to make it to your table in a way that actually treats animals with respect and dignity.
If you’re not convicted to stop eating meat – Great! but please choose the products that are cultivated in a manner that builds up creation, rather than tearing it down.
I hope that you hear my heart in all of this. My purpose isn’t to point fingers because we are all guilty. It is rather to encourage you to search what God is moving in you to do. Everyone is at a different place and that’s the beauty of our relationship with Jesus. I have hope for our future. I have hope for what’s to come because of people I see in the world living in a manner that supports the well being of creation. There are even corporations taking steps to be “clean”. When I see companies making these changes, I’m incredibly inspired and I want to support them even more.
On that note, there is a terrific stop motion video that Chipotle created. Take a few minutes and watch. It does feature a little Willie Nelson covering a Coldplay song that is brilliant. Who doesn’t love Willie?
Today, may you fall in Love with Creation.
May your heart break for injustice.
May your life be lived by the conviction within your soul.
Living by your convictions is the easiest way to live in the Freedom of the Gospel.
Grace and Peace