View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Killing animals for food (and abortion by any other name)

While out driving I was listening to a local talk show. The host had on a woman who was encouraging not eating animals - as a vegetarian I agree - and pointing out that raising animals for food as we do it now actually causes more pollution than industry and cars.

I've heard that argument before.

But that's not what struck me about what she was saying.

She noted that as part of the animal production industry they give the food different names - you are eating a hamburger, not a cow, for example. Renaming them makes it easier to stomach (sorry) because it creates some distance from the animals we are killing. To call the food by its real name makes it too familiar, and we are less likely to kill and eat them.

I couldn't help thinking about the abortion industry. We can't call it a baby, because that would make the little victim too close, too familiar. So the child becomes a fetus, or a product of conception. And abortion becomes choice.

I wondered if the guest had ever made that connection. Maybe she has, and she's pro-life. But I know so many vegetarians and animal lovers who would agree with her pro-animal arguments who are also pro-abortion.

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