Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Debating Animal Agriculture

I came across an interesting conversation today about animal agriculture. What started in the "comments" section of this article moved over to the comments section of this blog post about said article.

On a side note, I participated in one of the training seminars described in the above linked Capital Press article. In fact, you can read my evaluation of it in a previous entry, "Telling the REAL Story".

Now, back to the issue at hand. As a dairy farmer, it's probably wouldn't be too hard for you to figure out where I stand on animal agriculture. I believe wholeheartedly that our ultimate human purpose is to serve and glorify our Creator. I also believe He has made us the stewards of the rest of His creation. There are many of us that believe these basic truths but disagree as to what our actual responsibilities as "stewards" involve. Here's what I'm convinced it means:

I believe that we have a responsibility to USE the world around us in a manner that will best enable us to serve and glorify God both in the present and future. A significant part of our duty is the production of food, both plant and animal. When I lay down at night, I know that what I do for a living contributes to the health and well-being of hundreds of people, thereby extending their opportunities to be of service to God (whether they choose to or not is up to them). And I treat my animals and the environment around me the best I can so I can continue to make this contribution efficiently and for many, many years to come.

In closing, let me say "Merry Christmas" to both those who share my beliefs and to those who vehemently disapprove of what we in animal agriculture do for a living (and everyone in between). We're all God's children and look forward to the day that the issues that presently divide us will be totally inconsequential in the presence of His glory.

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