Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A New "Bible"

The Environmentalist's Bible
Contributed by Amanda Greene - Posted: September 15, 2008 12:00:00 AM

The Humane Society of the United States says a new release from HarperOne, The Green Bible, will offer readers a revelation, not just about caring for the Earth, but about caring for animals.

The Green Bible highlights in green, soy-based ink, more than 1,000 references, verses and passages related to the Earth. The Book also contains essays contributed by Brian McLaren, Matthew Sleeth, N.T. Wright, Desmond Tutu and others, and includes a detailed index and personal study guide.

The HSUS, through its All Creatures Great and Small campaign, provides ways for people to practice stewardship on behalf of animals and the environment. Read More

The anti-animal agriculture groups have been trying to work their way into using religious groups to push their agenda. The Green Bible is their latest attempt to pit religion against agriculture. Doesn’t it seem strange that HSUS is interpreting the bible for our religious leaders and they seem to be buying it? The bible tells us to eat all manner of four legged beasts and the fowl in the air because if God made it, it is good. I doubt that will be the message that HSUS will be putting in their “bible”.


Anonymous said...

You seem to be misinformed on several points. First of all the Green Bible is not written by the HSUS. It is an actual “green” copy of the New Revised Standard version of the Bible printed on recycled paper with soy based ink and a cotton/linen cover, with a forward by the Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It also includes inspirational essays from N. T. Wright, Barbara Brown Taylor, Brian McLaren, Matthew Sleeth, Pope John Paul II, and Wendell Berry.
I’m just guessing here – but I’m pretty sure that the Pope does not need the HSUS to interpret the Bible’s teachings for him.
The HSUS is also not pitting religion against agriculture. Rather, religious leaders from many faiths are coming together to talk about faith and food and what our faith tells us about how we should treat animals.
No one is saying that you must give up meat, but rather, that you should consider where you buy it and what you are supporting. Factory farms treat animals as products – millions of animals are raised in tiny cages for human consumption.
Even the Pew Commission has come out against this practice:
“In a landmark two-year study released by the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, a panel of renowned experts concluded that factory farms pose unacceptable risks to public health, the environment and animal welfare.The Commission's recommendations include a phase-out of "the most intensive and inhumane confinement practices"—gestation and veal crates and battery cages. A pending anti-cruelty California ballot initiative seeks to phase out the same three abuses.Just a few weeks ago, the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act officially qualified for the ballot after nearly 800,000 Californians signed petitions in support of considering the initiative on Election Day. This modest but important measure will provide the most basic protection to farm animals: that they merely have the ability to turn around and extend their limbs.” – from www.hsus.org information on factory farming
Anyone with a pet cat, dog, or horse knows animals feel pain and suffering just as we do.
I believe God would be appalled at this treatment of his creation. We have become selfish, greedy and fat in this culture. There is no reason why we should support the conditions of animal suffering and inhumane treatment on factory farms. If you choose to eat meat – please support your local farmer – small farms, with free-range chickens and pigs. They need your help to survive and they treat their animals far more humanely than the giant corporate farms – who not only raise animals in deplorable conditions, but treat their human workers in the same way. I know a Chinese immigrant who worked for Perdue and complained of the horrible conditions there. I also know many folk who live in West Virginia who keep having to re-dig their wells when another Tysons chicken farm comes in and uses up all the ground water.
There is so much we could do to be more socially & ecologically responsible – support small farms, demand better working conditions and take better care of the one home God gave us – the planet Earth and all it’s creatures.
From Pope Joun Paul II’s own words, “Respect for life, and above all for the dignity of the human person, is the ultimate guiding norm for any sound economic, industrial or scientific progress.”“
You can find out what other religious faiths have said about humane treatment of animals at: http://www.hsus.org/religion/profiles

Troy Hadrick said...

“My goal is the abolition of all animal agriculture.”
— HSUS grassroots coordinator John “J.P.” Goodwin


You are very obviously connected to HSUS, and while I appreciate your enthusiasm, you seem to have little knowledge of agriculture. I am a rancher. I have worked with animals all of my life. Ensuring that livestock are well cared for is the only way to produce healthy animals. Modern production techniques have allowed us to produce more and safer food, all the while making it the least expensive food supply in the world. If these production techniques were harmful to the animals, they would not be used. To cite the PEW Commission is a joke. They refused to include research from land grant universities that went against their agenda. If you look at what the PEW Foundation spends their money on, it was easy to know what they expected the report to look like when finished. I said to everyone what was going to be in the report before they held their first meeting over two years ago.
I am sorry that you think my family is inhumane. It's too bad you couldn't see what family farmers and ranchers do everyday to make sure you can eat. And we do this by taking care of our animlas.
You have quoted the Pope, but God says that if he has made the creature, it is good to eat. He doesn't say it's good to eat if raised in a particular production method. Read Acts 10: 11-13.
I treat my animals humanely, I do what's in their best interest. Living all my life around livestock, i seriously doubt that I am the misinformed one in this debate.

Troy Hadrick

Anonymous said...

I agree with Troy. I think the Bible says it clearly that God put the animals on earth for humans to eat and make clothes. The bible says in Genesis that God made man clothes from the animals. It also says in Genesis that God told man to reproduce and fill the earth with his children, and take care of the creatures for their use.

Anonymous said...

Troy - you seem to have misunderstood me and apparently you missed my comment about supporting small farms and people who treat their animals humanely. If this is you - then you are not part of the factory farm abuse. On the other hand, I have seen pigs who live their whole lives in gestation crates and can barely move - I know this abuse exists. I also know of many other abuses to employees of these large factory farm companies - like the ones I previously mentioned. I do not work for HSUS, though I do support their work. I was also part of Farm Aid and I support small farmers trying to make a living in a way that is consistent with God's love for all mankind and nature.
Pardon me but I belive the Pope and Desmond Tutu are probably more able to interpret the Bible's teachings then either you or I.

Troy Hadrick said...

Here's the thing. No one has ever been able to tell me what a factory farm is, so i can only assume that i may be one. So answer this for me. What is a factory farm? Is it determined by the number of animals? Is it determined by the methods they use to raise livestock? Is it deteremined by how many acres they have? What is a small farm? How big is too big? Can't big or small only be determined by comparing it to something else? Would you support a small farmer if they wanted to expand their operation to include a son or daughter that wanted to return? If a family farm forms a corporation because of the benefits that business structure provides, are they no longer a family farm? If workers or animals are being abused, then this is against the law. How were these workers being abused? If they are just looking for employees that will work more than eight hours per day then welcome to my world.
We finish cattle in a feedlot and use modern production methods. Our cattle have never been healthier and the beef we produce has never been of higher quality.
I have been going to church all of my life. I am very capable of reading and comprehension. God created a perfect church, but it is run by imperfect humans. When God says what he has made is good and to kill and eat, I will listen to him rather than a human beings interpretation.

Anonymous said...

Sows housed in gestation stalls are kept there to protect their unborn pigs. Pigs are dominate by nature, and they have a pecking order. They are mean and they will fight til death. Our family raised our sows in a group housing setting for years and we watched the bully sows starve out less dominate sows. Many times, the bully sows would attack the weaker sow and even fight her to her death. The stalls keep the sows from eating too much feed. A Sow who eats too much feed produces a pig that is too big to pass through the birth canal. If the sow's pigs are too big, many times she will die trying to deliver the pigs. For the sows that didn't get enough feed, her pigs are too small and many are born dead or die immediately after birth due to weakness and failure to thrive. The gestation stalls provided needed protection for the pregnant sow, the unborn pigs, and the less dominate in nature sow. By housing these sows individually, we know immediately if one isn't eating, drinking or needs to see the vet. This is a humane way to care for our animals. Our sows are content, protected and healthy.

Anonymous said...

You bring up some good points, and let me just say to both you and Anonymous – I don’t know your farming operations – if you are treating your animals humanely then you are like the local family farms from whom I purchase most of my food.
Only you know the answer to that.
But don’t pretend that all farms are the same. I’ve been around pig farms and chicken farms (not cattle) on the East Coast. I lived in Perdue country for a long time and saw with my own eyes how they raise their chickens.
There are several points to address here, and then I’m off, as I too work very long hours.
First, concerning factory farms. There are probably many definitions to this. According to Wikipedia, “factory farming is the practice of raising farm animals in confinement at high stocking density, where a farm operates as a factory”
Often these farms are owned by big business like Smithfield (pork), Perdue & Tysons (chickens) and are involved in the inhumane treatment of animals, humans and inefficient ways of dealing with waste products.
I would never buy food from any of these companies. All you have to do is look at the legal charges brought against them to see their history of animal and/or human worker abuse. Working long hours doesn’t necessarily constitute worker abuse, but not paying those employees for time worked or giving them sufficient breaks to urinate, etc. DOES. For instance, Perdue agreed to pay $10 million in back pay according to one class action suit in 2002.
The Tysons situation I previously referred to happened in West Virginia where they would come in and set farmers up with their own chicken operations (leaving the farmers indebted to them) – ground water levels would go down and the community suffered, having to re-dig their wells with each new chicken operation. My own friends had to redig their well twice at the tune of $3,000 a pop thanks to these chicken operations, which brings me to my next point, which is the environment.
I worked for the Dept. of Agriculture entering data for a grant program the government operated some years ago after the pfisteria scares in Maryland. The pfisteria epidemic raised awareness of the detrimental effects of pig, cow and chicken manure run-off into our streams and rivers. The grant program was put in place to help farmers plant buffers along nearby waterways and learn to compost their manure.
Animal husbandry by nature uses a great deal of the earth’s resources. We can’t argue that point, but we can try to adjust to make farms as environmentally friendly as possible.
I also worked on an organic farm and learned many of the methods available to raise not only our animals but plant food sources in a more environmentally friendly manner as well. Having seen with my own eyes the kinds of chemicals that can be sprayed on crops, has made me far more aware as a consumer of what I put into my body.
Finally, back to the humane issue. I don’t believe allowing animals room to be able to move around is asking too much. Allowing them to live as GOD intended is not too much to ask. For instance, pigs were created with snouts to root around – why would we not allow them to do this? DO we think we know better than God? Pigs attack each other when several males are housed together in small confinement.
I do know that giving more space requires that we change the way we farm, and it may cost money, but I think raising them in inhumane ways is a much bigger cost, not only to them but to us and to the earth.
Lastly, Troy I do not doubt that you, as I, can read and comprehend the Bible, and that was not what I meant to imply in my previous post. I only meant that the Pope and Bishop Tutu have studied the Bible their entire lives and can not only give accurate interpretations to their people, but are in positions of respect and influence. I do not believe we need to go through priests to connect to God, but you are also interpreting the Bible in the way you see fit to do so. I believe God cares for all his creation and as such, wants us to at least treat his creatures with respect – as he would.
“A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast.” – Proverbs 12:10
“The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.” Psalm 145:9

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know how long ago you worked for the Department of Ag "Anonymous" because many improvements have been made in the technology of protecting the environment in the last 5 years. Your side of the arguement always uses outdated information to scare people into believing your ideas, and our nation's food security is at risk because of it. We can not produce enough food for this nation using organic methods, plus it is extremely expensive to raise food this way and only a handful of rich American's can afford to buy it. Also, you are ill informed, we do not house male hogs in individual pens or zones because they are not pregnant. Only pregnant animals are in individual pens or zones. As for the hog's snout, they are still able to root around in their feed trough, which is why God gave them the snout, to eat their feed.