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The Blessings of Factory Farming
Patrick Poendl / iStock

Whenever somebody claims that one activity is more spiritual than another, I give due diligence to determine whether I should adjust my spiritual life to encompass the claimed benefit, or if the claim is nothing more than, "I like my secular tradition more than your secular tradition." After substantial research, I think your recent article "Would You Kill a Chicken with Your Bare Hands?" (November 2013) belongs in the latter category.

I do not begrudge author Bret Mavrich any spiritual benefit from using small tools to kill a chicken in his hand. And he should not deny my spiritual benefit from using larger tools to kill many chickens one thousand miles away. We both thank God for providing chickens to eat and for farmers to grow them, whether on small farms like Lamppost Farm, or in factory farms like the kind Tyson Foods runs.

Make no mistake: Christians around the world have derived substantial spiritual and financial benefit from factory farms and processed food. Those scorned links in the global food chain have freed up millions of people to do other things to create wealth in the United States and beyond.

Some people squander their share of that wealth and freedom in "riotous living." But many have invested a portion of it to pay a smaller number of the same people (also not needed to grow food) to preach the gospel in countries where the population remains preoccupied in growing and processing their own food in the manner recommended by the owners of Lamppost, and who therefore cannot afford to pay for their own pastors and missionaries. Other people freed from food preparation used their time to invent computers and to program them to publish articles, so that Christianity ...

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The Blessings of Factory Farming
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December 2013

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