In Which We Continue Questioning

This is for any thoughtful vegans who might be passing through:
Why is it morally impermissible to remove a calf from it’s mother (to be slaughtered, we’ll assume) and to continue milking her for our own consumption. Let’s assume, for the sake of simplicity, that the cow (and calf, up to the moment of being killed) are treated with great care and compassion; the care more typical of the small farm or family operation than a large industrial dairy (which is another problem to be discussed at another time). Why might this be wrong?

Conversely, for those on the opposite side of the fence, what arguments might one make for this practice being morally appropriate and even desirable (not merely permissible), eschatologically speaking?

For those who want a little background on where we’ve been so far in this discussion, check out the posts below:

In the beginning
Rights vs. Duties
A Vegan Church?
A Vegan Church? II
Or Maybe a Vegetarian Church?

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4 comments on “In Which We Continue Questioning

  1. should i have just said “vegans”?

  2. Kelly says:

    Something I thought of that might touch on this, but I don’t think I can summarize it nicely since it was such a long, drawn-out thought process sparked by reading I Corinthians 15. Verse 40 mentions “bodies celestial” and “bodies terrestrial.” Just before that verse, Paul has mentioned that “by man came death,” and “in Adam all die,” so of course we know that there was no death prior the Fall.

    But we also know that the whole soil system thrives on death. Plants die, and that feeds the microbes that die, and their dead bodies as well as their byproducts during their life cycle, nourish the living plants, that in turn nourish us and the animals. And seeds must die so that the new plants can grow from them.

    Since there was no death prior to the Fall, does that mean that there was some other way that this worked prior to the Fall? Or is it possible that this plant/microbe/soil cycle doesn’t fit the Biblical definition of death – thinking here about the Flood, where God says, “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. (Gen 6:17)”

    Plants and microbes don’t have “the breath of life,” like people and animals do, so maybe their death isn’t the same sort of death that we experience – after all, they don’t even have any kind sentience as we do. (So where do bugs fall in this scheme? I hope with the plants and microbes!)

    So what I’m wondering is if Adam and Eve, though they were created from the dirt and had bodies terrestrial, when God breathed the breath of life in the man and he became a living soul, was he given a celestial body at point? It’s clear by the kinds of food he was given to eat that he didn’t need to feed off of death – it looks almost like he was not even a vegan, but a fruitarian.

    And when God said, “Dust thou art and to dust though shalt return,” was it a kind of death that Adam descended back into terrestrial (dirt) bodies, that would eventually turn back into dirt?

    And is the resurrection body a celestial body? The only food specifically mentioned in Heaven is the fruit from that tree of life, so these bodies don’t need to feed on death.

    After the flood we are given the animals as food in addition to what had been given in the Garden. Nutritionally speaking, I’m convinced that our bodies need animal products to thrive. I don’t know how vegans manage to have healthy babies, since the unborn child and the infant needs so much animal fat in order to develop a healthy brain.

    So, what all this musing has led me to, is to think that so long as our bodies are terrestrial we need to eat terrestrial foods, including animal products. Once we have our glorified bodies, we’ll thrive on fruit, but I don’t see how we can expect to get the point of thriving on a diet restricted to “celestial” food as long we’re in these terrestrial bodies.

    HTH.

  3. huh. not an angle i had really thought through. thanks for the comment, and i’ll get back to you on that.

  4. […] II Veganism and the Fulfilling Lives of Chickens Veganism and the Fulfilling Lives of Cows I Veganism and the Fulfilling Lives of Cows II Paedobaptism and Coco the Talking […]

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