The Dilemma Caused by Being Vegetarian in a Christian Church

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The Dilemma Caused by Being Vegetarian in a Christian Church
Comments by Brenda Wiley - 7 Apr 2008

Betty (and everyone who has responded),

I have been greatly uplifted and supported by today's discussions, and have so appreciated everyone's input.

Mike ... I LOVED your idea. Thank you for a creative, non-confrontational idea that I would be SO very comfortable doing.

Robin, your comments are very much on target, IMO. I deeply, deeply need the body of Christ and its communion, fallen though we all are. To not attend church because no one there considers veganism as part of their spirituality is not an option for me, as I would lose much more inwardly on a spiritual level.

Juli, you touched on an area that my veganism includes, which is respect for and protection of ALL LIFE (the "seamless garment" concept). As much as it pains me to see churches ignore needs among life other than human life, it pains me equally, if not more to see them do this with human life. As another person mentioned, there are not a vast number of Biblical verses that deal directly with care for animals, but there are over 2000 or so that deal with how we are to deal with "the least of these" ... the poor, the weak, the powerless. Whether this is an animal raised for food, or a minimum wage worker trying to feed a family, Christianity as a whole does a very poor job of following Christ's commands about protecting and nurturing these of his creation.

My own approach is similar to what Robin shared .... I realize I have as many, if not more shortcomings as the omnivores with whom I worship. I set limits about conversations on hunting, etc that occur in my earshot, usually with a lighthearted "Hey ... there's a vegan around .... time to change the subject!" Folks have heard that often enough from me by now, that they are actually "thinking ahead" and I almost never am subjected to any such conversations anymore. Once when 3 guys who were fairly new to the church (and therefore didn't know me) started in on such a discussion, I just asked if they could take their conversation somewhere else, motioning to another room nearby. They did, and to my complete surprise, another woman next to me thanked me for doing that.

Potlucks and such .... I do what I do with all potlucks (like at work or in our neighborhood) ... I bring one of my absolute best tasting, best looking, best smelling recipes and watch everyone devour it!!

Frank and Mary, thank you for providing such a forum as this for those of us to share our hopes and fears!


Go on to: Comments by Elyse Bell - 7 Apr 2008
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