28 February: Choose compassion

 

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Frank Molteno, South Africa “Factory farming causes billions of God’s creatures extreme pain and suffering every year. Factory farming is also a major driver of climate change and environmental degradation. God assigned us dominion over our fellow species to help care for and protect them and to look after our common home.”

Choose compassion. All of God’s creation deserves respect. Choose meat, eggs, and dairy that were farmed ethically and sustainably.

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The Episcopal Church’s Statement on the Merciful and Humane Treatment of God’s Creatures says that “The Christian Tradition holds that God has created the earth and all that lives herein. It teaches that all God created is ‘good’, and further, that we are held accountable for the right stewardship of God’s creation.”

Likewise, Catholic teaching emphasizes our God-given mandate to care for all of creation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “Animals are God’s creatures. He surrounds them with His providential care. By their mere existence they bless Him and give Him glory…It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly.”

Choosing ethically farmed meat, dairy, and eggs can bring spiritual reflection to your mealtimes. Before eating, consider saying a prayer of blessing like this:

O God, you have done all things wisely; in your goodness you have made us in your image and given us care over other living things.

Reach out with your right hand and grant that these animals may serve our needs and that your bounty in the resources of this life may move us to seek more confidently the goal of eternal life.

May God, who created the animals of this earth as a help to us, continue to protect and sustain us with the grace his blessing brings, now and forever.

Amen.

 

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