How do I view the world and my relationship to the animals that are in it? Thru what lense do I filter all the ideas coming at me to determine what is "true"?
Some times the direct answer is the easy answer. This is especially true since the direct answer and the indirect answer will both need a lot of explaining. The direct answer would be, "I use the Bible as my authoritative source to filter all the information that is coming to me and to guide my steps when I must move without complete information."
Now let the explaining begin:
I believe that the world and all that is in it were created by God for his pleasure and to bring Him Glory. I would, of course, include man (humans) and the animals in that creation.
I believe that in this creation man has a special position that affords him special priviledges and responsibilities. Among these responsibilities/priviledges is to use animals for food and to provide for their proper care.
I believe that man's relationship to this creation has been dynamically changed once already in response to man rebelling against God's clear instructions and gracious provision. I also believe this relationship will dynamically change again in response to God's final resolution of the problems caused by this rebellion against Him and the extension of God's great mercy.
You can find the narrative that drives almost all these statements in the first 9 chapters of the Bible. That would be the book of Genesis, chapters 1-9. I would provide a "link" but there is something sentimentally sacred about the printed word that just doesn't lend itself to the electronic age. If you have no such sentiments a quick search will get you there.
This all relates back to the three possible views discussed in "how do I see the world" (part 1). I am saying that I view the world through a classical lense accepting the Bible as my authoritative guide. I choose this view because it has fit best with what I have observed (the modernist in me) and that it feels most reasonable to me (the post-modernist) part of me.
What have I observed that confirms my reliance on scripture (the bible)? Well, first off, would have to be that man is unable to resist simple temptations. That certainly fits with the people I know. How about you. This is illustratred by Adam and Eve seeing that the fruit, "was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom..." in the bible story. I struggle to resist a second helping of anything that is good for food. That is before we get to the pleasing to the eye and making me smarter questions.
Another observation comes from working with birthing animals everyday for years. Why is it that the normal birthing process in a pig appears to be relatively painless? At the duely appointed time a sow will lay down, appear to relax and sleep, and have a litter of piglets in an hour or two. That certainly is not how my wife experienced this event! I find the answer in our story when God says to Eve, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children." You have seen this too if the family pet has had offspring at your house. I would expect it to happen on a rug, or under a bed, or in the garage, or some other inconvenient spot. Where is the pain and the screaming for drugs?
Man's special position is seen when, "The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them." Why did man's first garments come from animals? Was there a shortage of fig leaves? Was skinning the poor beast easier than getting some cotton or silk? What does God care about easy or hard anyway? He is God. It is all a snap away.Why is it that man sins and some animal gets skinned? I would propose that it is because man has a special position in creation and God knew it.
Later in the story Noah gets off the Ark and God says, "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything." And so as societies advance in wealth and prosperity I observe people demand more protien from meat. It seems to be a desire of the humane condition. People measure their wealth with the size of their herds, and flocks, among other things. How many pets do you have? Is two more prosperous than one? Have you realised you were counting?
There are more examples that I can go into but this is enough for today. The idea of evolution needs to be addressed in this discussion at some point. Until then I appreciate you thoughts and attention.