So we are vegetarians now. Not full vegans. Not yet. There. I said it.
Now. As soon as I tell someone we have become vegetarians, they start forming opinions. Just minutes ago, I commented about how happy my kid was going to be, because the party he is attending has barbecue. The guy closest to me immediately goes into a dissertation about how God gave us carnivorous teeth and what he believes about meat.
Fine. I don’t care. I didn’t tell him it was wrong. I didn’t tell him why we did it. I didn’t get to tell him anything. He just decided that whatever made me chose that, he was about to get indoctrinated. He assumed I was about to tell him all the logical or moral reasons that humans are not supposed to eat meat. Big assumption. And incorrect.
Want to know why we did it? We are concerned about some health issues attached to certain types of food, including most commercially available meat. We also watched a documentary called “Vegucated.” It challenged us to seriously consider how we eat. We decided we didn’t want it anymore. Our choice. That’s it. Eat whatever you want. I don’t care.
Why would I tell this guy, who I hardly know, what he should eat?
I am not even telling my own kids what they are supposed to eat. I don’t care if they eat meat or eggs or cheese or milk. They are old enough to make their own decisions. If they want to know why we aren’t eating it, we tell them. I am not making moral or ethical decisions for my own kids. I am not telling them what they can or can’t eat.
Here’s the dilemma of the week. Why do we feel that it’s not enough to have our own morals and convictions without imposing them on everyone else? It’s so common, people assume it’s going to happen whenever they meet someone different.
We are also Christians. There’s the other big one. Religion. Naturally, since we believe in God, we are going to accept the scriptures and believe that our faith is the only true faith. Yes. I do believe that Jesus is the only way to God. I do believe similar to most evangelical Christians. Same faith, same God.
But, every other religion in the world also believes that theirs is the only true faith. It’s kinda normal. If we didn’t really believe it, then we aren’t really believers. Right?
Stay with me. There’s a point coming.
The part of any moral or religious decision and conviction, that causes problems, is the part where you stick it in someone else’s face. When I believe that my life will Improve by becoming a vegetarian, it doesn’t require me to demand everyone else do it, too. Like my faith. Becoming a Christian doesn’t require us to become the morality police for the universe.
My convictions are mine. My life is the only one I am supposed to impose them on. I don’t have the right to force my beliefs on anyone else.
I believe in Christ, therefore I will follow His teachings to live and love like Him. I will use the wisdom and teachings of Christ to become Christlike. My convictions do not require me to tell you that yours are wrong. If my life impresses you, and you want to know what is different about me, I will tell you. If my faith has made me into a person you want to be like, then become a Christian. If not, then maybe I am not someone you want to be like. Jesus said people would know we are Christians by our love. He didn’t say bracelet, hairstyle, clothing, choice of bible translation or dietary choices. Love is our ID.
I believe that the food produced in America is not the same as it was when I was a kid. The chemicals and processes used to mass produce food is something I don’t want to be a part of. The modern way of handling livestock is something I just don’t want to support. Again, my convictions. If my health and life improve dramatically as a result of these changes, then maybe I will have an influence. If not, then that’s all there is to it.
There are some things that our moral convictions demand we get involved with. If we someone hungry, we should feed them. If we see someone hurt, we should help them. If we see someone being attacked, we should defend them. Simple basic morality. Interpret it how you see best.
My dad taught me that my freedom extends as far as the next guy’s nose. Meaning, my freedom shouldn’t hurt or offend others around me. My freedom is for me to enjoy. Not everyone else to endure.
So, before you hammer out an email telling me what you believe, read this again. I don’t care what you believe. If your beliefs make your life wonderful, great. If your morality makes you a highly respected and admired individual, wonderful. If you dietary choices have given you excellent healthy and peace of mind, I am very happy for you.
If not, then maybe you need to do something different.
I didn’t become a Christian because someone told me my life was wrong and demanded I become like them. It happened because a good man taught me that God loved me. I didn’t become a vegetarian because someone told me I was wrong for eating meat. I became a vegetarian because someone taught me something that made sense to me.
If you email me an opinionated rant about how you are right and I am wrong, you still don’t get it. That’s my opinion. And. Before you type it, remember one thing… I might immortalize you in my next article. That’s all. Have a nice day.