As a meat-eater, the easiest people for me to judge are the non-meat eaters.
Because vegans are wrong… right?
You see, the other day I heard a friend tell another friend that they would not attend a friend event because other friends there would be eating meat.
And oh my, my, my… for some unexplained reason, I was the most offended I have been in a long time!
“What the freak is wrong with her?”
“What a bunch of first-world entitled-brats these people are…”
And on and on, my burger loving heart judged.
But all of a sudden, like the sweet whiff of bacon being cooked in the morning, the Holy Spirit stopped me on my tracks, “Why are you judging someone I love so much?”
Of course, my first response was to roll my eyes and think, “Whateverrrrr”.
But then I started to think about it, and sweet Jesus pushed me a little harder towards love.
“Why are you so angry with her? What has she done to you?”
I had nothing.
Zero excuses for my terribly well done judgments.
I was discriminating against a friend for being herself, standing up to her convictions and for making a decision based on her well-being.
I don’t know, maybe eating murdered animals is what makes me so angry?
Listen, I don’t know where it all started, but somehow, someway, I was made to believe that vegans were intentionally telling the rest of us, we are better than you!
And for some reason, judging vegans became cool.
It’s like permissible criticism.
Especially in Christian circles.
We rave about bacon and steaks and burgers and pork, while we rage against those who don’t.
I know this might sound silly or unimportant to you. But honestly, when we give ourselves permission to judge anyone who is different to us, then we will find a lot of reasons to judge even more.
If we make excuses for any kind of judgment, then any kind of judgment could be excused.
Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Romans 14:3
I’m not here to declare my newfound vegan ways. God knows I love me some meat. But the fact of the matter is, the more I eat fruits and veggies, the better I feel.
So, good for you vegans who like to feel better.
Also, the more vegans we have, the less pressure there is on the whole system to breed and kill and feed people meat.
So, good on you vegans for making the world a better place.
And lastly, who cares why they decide to go vegan? We are all empowered by God to use our free will and make decisions based on our principles.
So, good on you vegans for being vegans.
There are Bible verses that encourage the lifestyle. But I will let my vegetarian and vegan friends write that article for next time.
Seriously, I have a lot of vegetarian and vegan friends. I don’t even know what the difference is really, but I know these people matter to me and my family.
One of my best friends in the world is a new-found, Netflix-inspired, legit-vegan.
However, I have been a jerk to him while he’s been trying this new way of life. I keep pushing him to eat meat, like somehow if he fails, I win.
Maybe it’s because I feel so insecure about my own dietary choices and I wish I had his courage to do something about it.
Food is such a huge part of being in community, so I know this a big deal for him. And maybe this whole conversation seems comical to some, but this is a legit (life-altering) commitment for my friend.
Seriously, he loves cheese burgers (like the super dirty, cheap kind of cheeseburgers). It’s got to be hard to quit (I know, because I also love those cheeseburgers).
So today, I’m choosing to support him instead of mocking him.
Veganism is a statement of ethics. It’s a value attached to the life and death of a living being, in this case animals.
I’m proud of my friend for extending the reach of his values. Maybe I could learn a thing or two about attaching greater value to those who eat different from me.
I’ll now go eat some kale and bananas for moral support.
And I’ll start seeing my vegan friends through the eyes of the loving God who made animals and trees, vegetarians and carnivores.
“I will make for you a covenant on that day with the wild animals, the birds of the air, and the creeping things of the ground; and I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land; and I will make you lie down in safety.” Hosea 2:18
+ Share the love with your cool vegans friends. And maybe learn a few things from them.
++ A good read for those who care (and even more for those who don’t) – Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet by Jonathan Merritt.