Our Meat Supply and The Bread of Life

Eat grass-fed cattle for better health.

Eat grass-fed meats for better health. (Photo: Smith Meadows Farm)

The cattle industry is taking the heat for livestock feed-additives that increase weight gain. Hormones, antibiotics (which also combat disease), and newer beta-agonist drugs added to cattle feed can increase the final weight of an animal at slaughter time. Since fatter cattle result in more money, the temptation to do this is great and, as you might suspect, the practice is common.

Aside from these additives, corn-fed beef, which also results in fatter cattle than grass-fed, contains genetically modified corn which is able to withstand more pesticides. This logically results in more pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and, now, beta-agonist drugs in our meat supply. None of this is good for us and our cattle are showing signs of stress and are showing up at the slaughterhouse in less than optimal health.

Organic, grass-fed beef has none of this and it contains healthy omega 3s that corn-fed beef does not. If there is an opportunity to buy products from grass-fed livestock, it is a far wiser choice than conventional meats and dairy products. The milk takes some getting used to but the other grass-fed products are more tasty than conventional products.

When it comes to money, both the buyer and seller have a choice, and it seems like the demand for grass-fed products is growing. Consumers are becoming wiser about the healthfulness of grass-fed livestock. The more healthful food we buy, the cheaper it will become and the healthier we will all be, including our livestock.

Like the food industry and all the different choices we have, religion offers a smorgasbord of worship opportunities and belief systems. Some folks enjoy traditional church services while others want a more contemporary setting with upbeat music, light shows and Powerpoint presentations. Walking into a traditional Catholic church is a different experience than walking into a traditional protestant church or a contemporary community church. Some Christian religions center on the death of Christ and dress in black for mourning Him as we all await His return. Others focus on the life-giving Holy Spirit and dress the church in red carpets and beautiful handmade tapestries. Still others eschew all decorations as distractions, even words are rarely used. How can one Christ be the orgin of such diversity?

The understanding of who Christ is and how to worship Him is a very personal journey. The call to evangelize the world can become a conflicting command where one form of Christianity simply evangelizes the other. Divisions, arguments, and bitter resentments can form in a church and cause painful splits, broken friendships, and closed minds. St. Paul says in his letter to the Corinthian church: I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided?”

Today, Paul might say “I follow Wesley,” or “I follow Calvin,” or “I follow St. Peter.” In fact, we are all following only one: Christ. If one interprets scripture with a different understanding than we do, whichever one is right shall be made known in the end. It is a sincere contrition that Christ seeks more than who is right about this or that. For now, all the great Christian fathers know the same thing: Christ loved us and gave himself up for us that we might live with Him forever, and in this understanding, we participate in a communion service of all our brother and sisters. When we partake of the bread and wine of Christ, we must examine ourselves, our motives, and our faith that Christ in his future coming will be able to unite us all just as He promised. For there is no one that understands completely.

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12

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