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  #1  
Old Mar 16, '14, 8:37 pm
Lincat Lincat is offline
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Default Catholics and Vegetarianism

I recently became a vegetarian due to environmental reasons.
A lot of people slam me for this because they tell me animals were put on this Earth to be eaten. While I agree with this statement, I also believe that we are to be good stewards of the earth. Although God gave us animals to nourish our bodies, I believe we overindulge in animals and treat them poorly. I simply cannot partake in eating animals because of the way we treat our 'so-called' resources. Is this an ok belief to hold as a Catholic?

Again, I understand animals are for food, but when do we draw the line on being a good steward and using animals?
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  #2  
Old Mar 16, '14, 9:01 pm
bardegaulois bardegaulois is offline
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Default Re: Catholics and Vegetarianism

It seems to be that you're on very secure ground here. You're not stating that the eating of flesh-meat is morally inadmissable; if you were, I'd say that you're off-base, for there are no scriptural or traditional grounds for that.

However, the way in which livestock are farmed today is likely an example of poor stewardship of the natural world, particularly those parts of the natural world that are of most use to us. If you wish to have no part of that, or if you suspect that factory-farmed livestock are unhealthful to eat, then you have the freedom to abstain from flesh-meat. I personally tend only to eat organic and free-range animal products, so I can well understand your position.

I would, however, ask your parish priest about an alternate penance for the prescribed days of abstinence.

God bless.
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  #3  
Old Mar 16, '14, 10:18 pm
Petaro Petaro is offline
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Default Re: Catholics and Vegetarianism

I see nothing against Catholic teaching in your principled personal choice. Just ensure you obtain a sufficient and balanced diet. God bless.
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  #4  
Old Mar 16, '14, 10:35 pm
Joie de Vivre Joie de Vivre is offline
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Default Re: Catholics and Vegetarianism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincat View Post
I recently became a vegetarian due to environmental reasons.
A lot of people slam me for this because they tell me animals were put on this Earth to be eaten. While I agree with this statement, I also believe that we are to be good stewards of the earth. Although God gave us animals to nourish our bodies, I believe we overindulge in animals and treat them poorly. I simply cannot partake in eating animals because of the way we treat our 'so-called' resources. Is this an ok belief to hold as a Catholic?

Again, I understand animals are for food, but when do we draw the line on being a good steward and using animals?
Indeed, in the West our treatment of livestock is deplorable and is exploitation rather than stewardship, to refuse to eat meat because of that is quite acceptable provided you don't claim that eating meat is inherently wrong.
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  #5  
Old Mar 16, '14, 11:05 pm
grandfather grandfather is offline
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Default Re: Catholics and Vegetarianism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincat View Post
I recently became a vegetarian due to environmental reasons.
A lot of people slam me for this because they tell me animals were put on this Earth to be eaten. While I agree with this statement, I also believe that we are to be good stewards of the earth. Although God gave us animals to nourish our bodies, I believe we overindulge in animals and treat them poorly. I simply cannot partake in eating animals because of the way we treat our 'so-called' resources. Is this an ok belief to hold as a Catholic?

Again, I understand animals are for food, but when do we draw the line on being a good steward and using animals?
There seems to be a contradiction in your premises. You say you agree that animals are put on the earth to be eaten. Then you also believe we are to be good stewards of the earth.

Is eating meat, the flesh of animals put here to be eaten bad stewardship of the earth? Meat is for food. By eating what is for food are we bad stewards?

Saint Paul writes about people whose consciences are seared with a hot iron. What do you suppose he meant? Jesus says nothing you put in your mouth, food, can hurt you. It is what comes out that hurts us. That sounds pretty clear.

I know people who are very careful about what they eat. They think it is very important and if they eat the wrong stuff, whatever they tell themselves is bad they feel guilt. These same people take drugs, have multiple sex partners, had abortions, etc. No problem. They feel guilt over eating a slice of pepperoni pizza and worry about how animals are treated.

Their consciences are seared. We have hordes of people living depraved lives who feel guilty for eating a hot dog. I ran into a guy who was berating himself for drinking a glass of tap water as if it made him impure.

You can pore over centuries of theological texts by saints and doctors of the church on the intricacies of vice and virtue. You will not find one who will tell you to trouble your conscience over eating this or that food. There will be encouragement to fast, but not one will tell you to be worried about the things that trouble you about food.
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  #6  
Old Mar 16, '14, 11:25 pm
George Stegmeir George Stegmeir is offline
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Default Re: Catholics and Vegetarianism

I question those who corresponded to this thread that cited the poor treatment of animals used in the production of meat: How many of you have personally witnessed stockyards and the actual slaughtering and processing of meat, and how many of you are basing your belief on the propaganda literature and films of the Animal Rights people?
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  #7  
Old Mar 17, '14, 1:47 am
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Nelka Nelka is offline
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Default Re: Catholics and Vegetarianism

Don't forget we breed more animals than we consume.

It's up to you what you eat but the one thing that annoys me about vegetarians is if I cook a meal I have to cook a second meal for the veggie but when I visit a veggie it is just a vegetarian meal and no second meal for us.

The last thing I want to eat is tofu.

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  #8  
Old Mar 17, '14, 4:29 am
nhamm10 nhamm10 is offline
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Default Re: Catholics and Vegetarianism

I too have altered my diet. I only eat organic, grass fed beef and organic chicken. I changed after watching the movie Food Inc. I do have to say my health has improved and I have lost weight. It is not only the way the animals are slaughtered that sickens me but the way they have them live and eat and pumped full of hormones. It makes them sickly and unhealthy and is down right cruel. If anyone has Netflix please watch it. Get educated. I also watched Tapped about the bottled water industry. To the poster who said his friend drank tap water and felt unclean. He should watch it. I think he would switch from bottled to tap if he only realized that the bottled water industry has been brainwashing everyone into thinking their product is superior to tap water. Ha most of the times that is all it is tap water in a bottle!
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  #9  
Old Mar 17, '14, 6:56 am
Lincat Lincat is offline
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Default Re: Catholics and Vegetarianism

Quote:
Originally Posted by nhamm10 View Post
I too have altered my diet. I only eat organic, grass fed beef and organic chicken. I changed after watching the movie Food Inc. I do have to say my health has improved and I have lost weight. It is not only the way the animals are slaughtered that sickens me but the way they have them live and eat and pumped full of hormones. It makes them sickly and unhealthy and is down right cruel. If anyone has Netflix please watch it. Get educated. I also watched Tapped about the bottled water industry. To the poster who said his friend drank tap water and felt unclean. He should watch it. I think he would switch from bottled to tap if he only realized that the bottled water industry has been brainwashing everyone into thinking their product is superior to tap water. Ha most of the times that is all it is tap water in a bottle!
I too watched that movie. I will have to go watched Tapped now. I never drink out of bottled water because of the plastic waste. Again, trying to be a good steward of the wonderful Earth that God gave us!
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  #10  
Old Mar 17, '14, 7:03 am
Lincat Lincat is offline
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Default Re: Catholics and Vegetarianism

Quote:
Originally Posted by grandfather View Post
There seems to be a contradiction in your premises. You say you agree that animals are put on the earth to be eaten. Then you also believe we are to be good stewards of the earth.

Is eating meat, the flesh of animals put here to be eaten bad stewardship of the earth? Meat is for food. By eating what is for food are we bad stewards?

Saint Paul writes about people whose consciences are seared with a hot iron. What do you suppose he meant? Jesus says nothing you put in your mouth, food, can hurt you. It is what comes out that hurts us. That sounds pretty clear.

I know people who are very careful about what they eat. They think it is very important and if they eat the wrong stuff, whatever they tell themselves is bad they feel guilt. These same people take drugs, have multiple sex partners, had abortions, etc. No problem. They feel guilt over eating a slice of pepperoni pizza and worry about how animals are treated.

Their consciences are seared. We have hordes of people living depraved lives who feel guilty for eating a hot dog. I ran into a guy who was berating himself for drinking a glass of tap water as if it made him impure.

You can pore over centuries of theological texts by saints and doctors of the church on the intricacies of vice and virtue. You will not find one who will tell you to trouble your conscience over eating this or that food. There will be encouragement to fast, but not one will tell you to be worried about the things that trouble you about food.
I really like your response. However, when it comes to eating meat it is not what I am putting in my mouth that troubles me. It is the way the animal is treated prior to hitting the table. Is it true that Scripture tells us that animals are for food? A lot of people do not like vegetarians because "animals were put here to eat." Is this true? (I honestly do not know and have not done biblical research on it yet...I'm working on it) The thing is, we overindulge in meat, therefore in order to make up for the demands of meat, more animals, especially cows, have to be mass produced. This in turn hurts our environment. And beside the environmental aspect of eating meat, they are treated so poorly. My thought was that if God gave us animals to consume and to nourish our bodies, shouldn't we treat them a little better before we consume them? I feel that a lot of people are taking advantage of animals and reducing them to nothing. They are still living beings created by God and I feel they deserve better treatment, especially if we are going to eat them.

I know scripture tells me to not worry about that I will eat (Matthew 6:25-34), but where do we draw the line on not worrying and turning a blind eye to the cruelty of our God given resources?
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  #11  
Old Mar 17, '14, 7:05 am
Lincat Lincat is offline
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Default Re: Catholics and Vegetarianism

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Stegmeir View Post
I question those who corresponded to this thread that cited the poor treatment of animals used in the production of meat: How many of you have personally witnessed stockyards and the actual slaughtering and processing of meat, and how many of you are basing your belief on the propaganda literature and films of the Animal Rights people?
This is a good thought. A lot of people blindly follow a vegetarian diet based on propaganda, but there is some truth to that. Especially now that meat is so highly demanded. I have done a fair amount of research on it and my main issue is the environmental affect that our demand for meat has. I have always thought... "meat should be a treat!"

I really just want to sustain the environment. God gave us a wonderful Earth and a lot of us are taking advantage of it! We are over-indulging and simply not caring.
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  #12  
Old Mar 17, '14, 12:52 pm
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JimR-OCDS JimR-OCDS is offline
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Default Re: Catholics and Vegetarianism

There is nothing wrong with eating meat, just bad farming practices.


There are plenty of sources for grass fed free range cattle, chickens and eggs, but you have to do a little research and be willing to pay the high cost for these. Also, we have to keep in mind that the change toward better farming practices is going to take time. If the US were to ban feed lots and stockyards this year, the nation would end up in a vast famine. Low yield farming techniques have failed in the past, they would cause much suffering if mandated by government.


Being a vegetarian for the right reasons, especially spiritual reasons like many of the monastic orders, is a good thing.

Trying to impose vegetarianism on the rest of the wold is not.


Jim
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  #13  
Old Mar 17, '14, 12:53 pm
Joie de Vivre Joie de Vivre is offline
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Default Re: Catholics and Vegetarianism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelka View Post
Don't forget we breed more animals than we consume.

It's up to you what you eat but the one thing that annoys me about vegetarians is if I cook a meal I have to cook a second meal for the veggie but when I visit a veggie it is just a vegetarian meal and no second meal for us.

The last thing I want to eat is tofu.

When I cook vegetarian I don't use tofu, really, it isn't that hard.
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  #14  
Old Mar 17, '14, 1:52 pm
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Brigid34 Brigid34 is offline
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Default Re: Catholics and Vegetarianism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joie de Vivre View Post
When I cook vegetarian I don't use tofu, really, it isn't that hard.

Tofu is what is thought of as what vegetarians eat, but I haven't used tofu either.
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  #15  
Old Mar 17, '14, 1:59 pm
Joie de Vivre Joie de Vivre is offline
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Default Re: Catholics and Vegetarianism

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Originally Posted by Brigid34 View Post
Tofu is what is thought of as what vegetarians eat, but I haven't used tofu either.
Indeed and somehow Catholics managed to survive Lent back when meat, eggs and diary were off the menu before tofu was introduced to the West.
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