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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 ...

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Rose Tingle

January 03, 2014  7:37pm

Mathew Scully stated "When animals are concerned, it seems there is no practice or industry so low that someone, someone somewhere, cannot produce a high sounding reason for it.The sorriest little miscreant who shoots an elephant lying in wait by the water hole in some canned hunting operation is just "harvesting resources, doing his bit for conservation. The swarms of government subsidized Canadian seal hunters slaughtering hundreds of thousands of pups...hacking to death these unoffending creatures, even in sight of their mothers....offer themselves as the brave and independent bearers of tradition. With the same sanctimony and deep dishonest, factory farm corporations still cling to countrified brand names for their labels to convince us and no doubt themselves too that they are engaged something essential, wholesome and honorable. C.S. Lewis's description of animal pain....."begun by Satan's malice and perpetrated by man's desertion of his post".

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Tom Pittman

December 13, 2013  5:08pm

(Part 5 of 5) Some of my critics celebrate their increased labor in food preparation, and I do not begrudge them how they choose to spend their God-given 24/7. Instead I thank God that other people, freed from the previously necessary burden of working in the food chain, can use their time productively creating wealth we all -- including my critics -- benefit from. Some people (and I) can use some of that wealth to benefit people of other countries not so blessed. Maybe those people in less-wealthy countries also thank God for our generosity, maybe not, but I can thank God on their behalf. My point was not to promote "a Christian vision of all things" (which I believe in) because it would require commenting on Gen.9:3 and Luke 24:43 and 1Cor.10:27 and other texts, mostly all outside the scope of my remarks. Part of the 1Cor.10 context is about giving thanks to God for what He has provided. That was my point at this time of the year.

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Tom Pittman

December 13, 2013  5:06pm

(Part 1 of 5) It is always gratifying to see my remarks so well received. When I touch somebody's religion (what they believe on faith, not facts), it is normal for them to want to "kill the messenger," and I take their lack of substantive criticism as confirmation of what I said. There were also some substantive remarks I now address. My original text was restricted to American factory farms and processed foods, which benefitted both us and (indirectly) other countries. That restriction was removed by the editor over my objection. You cannot blame Americans for what bad governments and false religions did to poor people and their farms in other countries. I'm sorry for the misunderstanding. (more)

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Ceejay Evans

December 06, 2013  6:22pm

I am a nutritionist. To the author of this article: Please carefully consider the stewardship of your God-created body temple, and take better care of your health by eating real food. The "cheap food" you are choosing are empty calories, with close to zero vitamins, minerals, or enzymes. And please reconsider your views of factory farming as well, with the overuse (abuse?) of growth hormones and antibiotics that put human health in jeopardy.

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Liz T

December 05, 2013  1:10pm

Rick Dalbey, thank the Lord for store-bought clothes that were probably made by children getting paid less than a dollar a day? Not that that is where all of your clothes are coming from. I think it's just important for everyone to know where their food, clothes, and everything they use comes from, because there is a lot of corruption in most industries. How can we thank the Lord for something that can be so corrupt? I am not exempt from eating food from the grocery store or wearing clothes made in other countries, but that's because there is really no other way I can get clothes or food given the place that I live in and the money I have.

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Jason Whittington

December 04, 2013  9:38pm

Is this article a joke? Is the author ignorant of the health 'risks' involved in eating produce that's doused in poison and animals that are fed antibiotics in order to 'offset' their unsanitary living conditions? Please research.

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Rick Dalbey

December 04, 2013  5:16pm

Thank the Lord for factory farming. During the 1970s I managed a communal garden and small animal farm for a Christian commune. I raised and butchered sheep, goats, chickens and geese. What a stinky, long job for a small tough and gamey tasting bird. We spun wool, dyed and knit heavy, misshapen sweaters with the sheep's wool. We fed the kids unpasteurized goats milk…Thank God no one got sick. Plus the farm was inefficient and required acres. Its a stage I went through. I'm glad I experienced it, I still keep a vegetable garden today in a small way as a hobby, but I would much rather shop at the grocery store and buy well made clothes at the department store.

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JOHN BUSMAN

December 04, 2013  4:45pm

As a "factory farmer" (corn, soybeans and pigs) who grew up on a family farm, I do miss some of the community efforts that were an essential part of midwest agriculture while I was growing up. However there are many benefits to the changes I have seen in my 60+ years in agriculture. It is much safer for those directly involved due to both regulation and changes in technology. It is also much more efficient in use of inputs and byproducts such as manure and crop residue. The little refinements that were not worth the hassle when I was a kid now create jobs and have significant environmental benefits that make sense only with economies of scale. The food supply chain for consumers is in many ways safer and more reliable because of the many changes in modern agriculture since WWII. Modern agriculture certainly in not without fault, but assuming that "little" and "organic" are good and everything else is bad is far too simplistic.

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Stefan Stackhouse

December 04, 2013  8:55am

For me, the issue that leads me to buy organic when I reasonably can (and I don't obsess about it) is the impact on the farm land and surrounding ecosystem. Yes, organic is more labor intensive and thus more expensive. It also protects the land upon which it grows and the web of life - from the smallest micro-organisms all the way up to the largest wildlife - much better than does modern mass-production factory farming. My concern here is ultimately for the innocent people that eventually suffer harm from degrading ecosystems and despoiled farmland. There are places in the world today that used to be highly productive but are now barren because of exploitative farming practices that did not protect the soil, and those places have in the ground the bones of peoples who died because the land could no longer support that population. As a Christian, I dare not be indifferent to this prospect.

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Roland Halpern

December 04, 2013  7:04am

I sincerely hope Pittman is being facetious when he wrote this article. God never intended for his creation to be treated with such cruelty and disregard. Not one sparrow falls and we cause God pain whenever we abuse that which He has created, even if it means we have cheaper and more convenient “eats.” Similar claims to Pittman's were used in Nazi Germany to justify the Holocaust and when one really thinks about it, the conditions in concentration camps concentrated feeding operations is not all that different. Yes, one involves humans, and the other non-humans, but in the eyes of God both are worthy of our care, protection and respect.

Amy Rouse

December 03, 2013  11:55pm

I cook whole, organic foods from scratch because I care about the health of my family. I try to buy local foods or at least foods that aren't laden with pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, or genetically modified. My grocery shopping takes exactly the same time regardless of whether I shop healthy or stupid. I typically spend just 30 minutes preparing a complete dinner from scratch. I find much pleasure in serving my family this way. I don't take lightly God's command for His people to care for His creation. Big Ag is not serving that cause. Maybe a cookbook on simple cooking would help this author, or a short study on serving others. Anyone with any inclination to research the links between our "modern" dead or dangerous foods and the rise in a plethora of health issues can see the direct correlation. God invented good food, not canned soup and TV dinners. Pretty sure.

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Tinia creamer

December 03, 2013  9:52pm

That article is an embarrassment in so many ways. . .and makes me ashamed I have ever picked that magazine up, though I haven't picked one up in many, many years. It isn't worth being used as anything beyond fire making material. Why am I surprised? Frankly, with what I find in the modern Christian movement anymore, the opinion of this author should NOT surprise me. It goes along with the excess, humanism, disconnection, consumerism, carelessness and commercialism that "feigned" Christianity is so famous for. It isn't real. It isn't worth anything. The attitude espoused in article sums up a lot of what is wrong with the non sense too many people call Christianity. What a mockery of a life that is supposed to be Christ Like.

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Patrick Antos

December 03, 2013  8:24pm

Wow this was a terrible article and premise. I think he needs to go back and spend some more time with the bible and try to understand what he is reading and not subjecting others to his vision what he is reading in the bible through his ego.

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Liz T

December 03, 2013  6:40pm

I don't really understand what this article is trying to achieve. You say that God provides you with the convenience and low cost of processed foods, yet you failed to mention how unhealthy those processed foods are. Why would God want you to eat something that is unhealthy? If this causes you health problems later in life that inhibit your ability to share the gospel, then is it not important to pay attention to your health now? Also, why does eating more natural, non-processed food take you so long that you spend less time on your computer work? Paul, Jesus, Peter, Moses…and all Biblical figures did not eat processed food and yet they had the time share their message. The idea of factory farming is awesome. What actually happens at these factor farms-not so much. Just like the idea of fast food is awesome. It's there, cheap, and ready-to-go when you need it. But the employees who work at fast food places are often treated poorly, and the food is unhealthy.

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David Buchanan

December 03, 2013  2:09pm

Thank you so much for this thoughtful article. I found the previous article to be misleading in several ways. Too many people assume that words like "local", "organic" or "natural" etc automatically mean something good while "factory" or "industrial" farming is automatically bad. The scriptures certainly say that we need to be good stewards in all that God provides. In the case of agricultural land, being a good steward frequently means doing things in a large way. Sometimes it means raising the food in a place that is well-suited to agriculture and shipping it a long way to where people need to eat it. We must consider the entire ecosystem, including the people in that ecosystem, when we consider being good stewards of natural resources. The points raised by this author are important but really only scratch the surface of the reasons that we need to apply the best science possible to the raising of the food necessary to provide nutrients to an ever-increasing world population.

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Laurie Hurshman

December 03, 2013  12:01pm

I agree with Kyle. This article doesn't provide a comprehensive and cohesive picture of food justice. It assumes too much. Being against "factory farming" doesn't usually mean being against large-scale food production. I guess we have to be careful about how much we mean by certain phrases. But what I mean by it is the horrific abuse of animals entrusted to our care. Eating less or no meat is better for our bodies, better for the environment, better for the animals being raised for food, and promotes social justice for the poor in our world. But nobody said you couldn't eat tomatoes raised on a big farm. However, there is also an issue of the working conditions for farm workers. Those working with animals may have it worst, as they have both physical and psychological harms, but farm workers in general are paid very little for very hard work. Since many in the US are illegal aliens, they also have little protection from abuses. This should all be taken into account too.

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Kyle King

December 03, 2013  11:24am

I understand the approach, but this article does little to comment on a Christian vision of all things. It's like saying, "I won't recycle, because it takes too much time away from my Bible reading and door to door evangelism." I however believe the Scriptures and a Christ saturated worldview causes us to think differently about society, culture, the environment, and the poor. I find it great that you translate the Bible, but the cultures and societies that receive it, may want to consider how the Biblical narrative translates into their own stories. There is a good amount of research to show that we should all be eating alot less meat and that meat in its healthy, sustainable form should be expensive. I mean come on, how long does it take to steam some broccoli with a side of rice and beans? I think that a hurried life style can still accommodate a more ethical approach to eating that can change the world for the better.

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