Good News For All Creation
Stephen R. Kaufman
PREFACE: NATHAN BRAUN
My wife and I, both Christians since childhood, started the path to vegetarianism while attending Bible school. While we were never explicitly instructed to avoid eating meat, we now feel Christian values strongly encourage vegetarianism.
I have found vegetarianism spiritually, as well as physically, fruitful and enjoyable. I continue to reap the benefits of a plant-based diet, and meet many interesting people. Each vegetarian, it seems, has a unique set of motivations for choosing the diet, but all have in common the tendency to ground their dietary choices in both reason and emotion. In listening to their stories, I am impressed by how, cumulatively, the arguments for vegetarianism are very powerful. Furthermore, I find nearly every argument, including those expressed with secular language, has strong support from the Bible and Christian tradition.
I have been motivated primarily by a core Christian ethical principle - stewardship. I believe that God calls upon us as stewards of Creation, to take care of what God entrusts to us-our lives, our health, and all the world around us, including animals. Christians understand this call to stewardship, though many fail to acknowledge its full implications for our lifestyles.
It seems that most Christians don't realize that plant-based diets help take care of animals, the Earth, and our bodies. In addition, vegetarianism helps free up economic and natural resources to assist the world's poor. Significantly, Jesus specifically directs us to take good care of the hungry, naked, and poor (see Matthew 24); and vegetarianism is an important step in that direction. In the following chapters, Dr. Kaufman and I will show you how and why.
We live in a world with much suffering among humans and animals, and we must recognize that, as Christians, we can do a much better job as stewards of the world and everything in it. Eating less meat-or even better, no meat-helps heal our ailing world. A more healthy, peaceful, and truly prosperous world awaits us, if only we have the vision to see it and the faith to grasp it. It is the world foreseen by Isaiah, who prophesied, "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the lion shall eat straw like the ox. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain" (11:6-9).
We invite you to join Christian vegetarians in our prayer that this divine dream will soon be realized. Indeed, Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10).
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