According to a relative of mine.
I’ve just come back from visiting relatives down in Cornwall, mainly because my Grandparents are getting older and more fragile and I wanted to make sure I saw them again. But I stayed with other relatives, and at the dinner table on the first night, one of these relatives asks me why I’m vegetarian. I say that it’s mainly due to environmental reasons – I’ve done a fair amount of reading around the subject, and eating meat considerably increases your carbon footprint. I’m not going to demand that anyone else turns veggie, but that is why I chose to become vegetarian. He, in response to this, claims that the bible tells you that you must eat meat, so therefore, by not eating meat I am defing the bible. I was quite taken aback by this accusation – I am quite aware that I have sinned against the bible, but vegaratism was not on my list of ‘sins’! I resisted saying ‘What?!?! That’s *%$^£*!!!!’ and instead formed a rational argument back. I stated that the bible tells us to take care of the world, and because meat has such an effect on your carbon footprint, then not eating it is one of the small things that I can do to help protect the environment. He replied that the bible doesn’t say anything about carbon footprints, so he doesn’t believe it. Well of course the bible doesn’t say anything about carbon footprints – humans hadn’t destroyed the world by then, I replied. Science, I explained, has proven meat consumptions impact on the environment, since the bible was written! My relative simply stated that he believed the bible, not science. I could see I was never going to change his fundimentalist viewpoint, so I replied with ‘well, I take both the bible and science with interpretation’. And we agreed to disagree.
He just made me so annoyed. I did my best to control my anger, mainly because he’s someone I love and I didn’t want to get into a blazing row with him, especially because it was obvious he was never going to alter his views. But for the rest of the evening, there was a little ranting voice in my head. He took one of the Christian-based decisions I have made, and declared I was defing Christianity by doing it!! Maybe I should have told him that at SCM events there are more veggies than non-veggies – are they all heretics?! Don’t answer that question – SCMers maybe heretics, but not for being *%&^$ veggie!!!
Ok, rant over. For the rest of the weekend I avoided any religious discussions. After attending their church on Sunday and biting my tongue throughout the 50 minute sermon, I was asked at the dinner table what I thought of it, and I simply said ‘it was ok’. Which I feel slightly ashamed of, but there were two kids at the table and considering I disagreed with something in every minute of the sermon, I just didn’t want to start that inevitable argument.