Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Have spent the day exploring the stands at this year's V Delicious vegetarian, vegan and meat reducer food and living show (held together with the Allergy and Free From Show) at Olympia, London. (just next door to where The Doctor Who Experience was last year)

Not that I exactly qualify as a veggie, but for decades now I have had vegetarian leanings. The slogan on one t-shirt on sale today pretty well summed it up - "Eat Your Own Babies, Buddy!"

I admit it - it's bugged me for a long time that many Christians talk about freedom and social justice, but don't believe in extending that grace to the rest of creation.

But then, where would that all end? Would we refuse to wash our hands if it killed bacteria?

I don't know, but deliberately breeding animal families specifically so that we can kill and eat them just seems like a massive double-standard, especially at Christmas to thank Jesus for coming to save us. I think of Jesus' parable about the man who, upon being cleared of his financial debt, immediately set about calling in his own debtors… to demand his payback from them.

It seems to subtract something from our humanity.

I do get why folks in the Old Testament would sacrifice the best of their livestock to God though - that was something they depended upon to live, and giving it up conmpelled them to depend upon God to sustain them instead. There were certainly other less extreme ways of giving this livestock away, eg. releasing them into the wild, but none quite so safe from getting twisted to our own advantage. (eg. arranging to release them where someone else could steal them, and vice versa) Alternatively, slaughtering them on an altar sure doesn't sound ideal, but we still aren't either.

What does bug me though are the records of Jesus helping to catch, cook and, yes, even eat meat.

They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.

- Luke 24:42-43 (NIV)

Just proving a point (that he was alive again) in a way that they would understand? Or did the account become corrupted by the time it was written down? Rather than a piece of broiled fish, was our LORD actually given something more akin to, say, a Veggie Delite® Subway? (perhaps ordering a 6-inch before miraculously transforming it into a footlong?)

I don't know, obviously. I'm not going anywhere with this. I'm just saying that I live with the question, and err on the side of vegetarianism, when I get the choice. I guess I'm more flexitarian.
Today, after sampling various freebies from more stands and companies than I can remember, you would think that we would have completed our lunch by accumulation.

Not so, so we went next door to Pizza Express.

After all that natural goodness, I was tempted to order an enormous meat extravaganza.

But I didn't, buddy.


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