Letters from You’uns

Book List?

If you were to create a list of books to equip men who are not able to attend seminary but yet have a desire to know God, to enjoy Him, and to help others do the same, what would it include? I’m thinking of a list along the lines of Dr. Eliot’s five foot bookshelf of Harvard Classics, except for theology only. Assume the list is for mature Christians who are familiar with reformed theology. Assume also that the readers of the list will have a similar level of comprehension as your average seminary student. 

Drew

Drew, putting a five-foot list together would be a project in itself. But off the top of my head, I would start with Calvin’s Institutes, Turretin’s Elenctic Theology, Harold O.J. Brown’s Heresies, Schlossberg’s Idols for Destruction, and Beale’s We Become What We Worship.


All Natural

I have just finished your book, Confessions of a Food Catholic. Thank you for this instructive read, which put words to and clarified many vague, unformed thoughts I had. I have a further question. If you feel like you did address it in your book, or perhaps in a blog post, please direct me where to look.

I was intrigued by your thought that nature itself cannot indicate what is beneficial, that “natural” doesn’t equal “best.” My question regards the fear in which some Christians view “unnatural” adulteration of our food, whether the substance or the processing of it. This fear is the fear of the arrogant atheist scientist. If in the name of “science” we have recommended to us sex change surgery, designer babies, and cloned humans, what mightn’t they be doing to the food? When you don’t fear God, why should the long-term damage caused by chemical pesticides give you any pause or slow down the great march of Progress (or profits)? . . .

Also, regarding alternative medicines, the same fear applies to atheist doctors. If they can ignore the holes in evolution, won’t they ignore the holes in modern medicine? Surely they are some of the worst people we could give the responsibility of correctly reading the evidence about what does and doesn’t heal.

Thanks.

Kaylie

Kaylie, when it comes to decisions like this, nature alone cannot provide the standard. Cooking food is unnatural, but so is putting poison in it. Sex change surgeries are unnatural, but so are braces for the teeth. We have to learn how to read Scripture so that we might learn how to read nature. Faithful Christians who submit to the plain word of God are able to tell the difference between playing God in the realm of nature and exercising dominion in the realm of nature.


Communion Wine Question

This clip is old https://youtu.be/IwfSt6FbzYs so you may have already addressed this, but is there a context where using something other than wine for communion is not a sin? For example, when I was in Iraq, I led the Lord’s Supper with my fellow Marines using Dr Pepper and crackers. Alcohol is illegal in Iraq and even if we could get it smuggled in, our unit had banned its consumption. Thanks for thinking this through for me.

Jordan

Jordan, two things. First, in a situation like that I am sure the Lord received it according to the intent. But second, I would have preferred to celebrate the Supper in just one kind, just using the crackers.


Emoting Like Pelagians

Head of nail, meet hammer.

I know that isn’t history’s most loquacious letter to the editor, but I’m not sure what else there is to say.

Andrew

Andrew, thanks.


Unfair to Mohler?

While I agree with the larger point in “Murder on the Orientation Express”—that many of the brainy sort of evangelicals have an appeasement problem—I think you’re being unfair to Dr. Mohler, who emphatically has not left room for the Revoice heretics, as you suggest. Just recently, at a PCA event of all places, Mohler unequivocally rejected the Revoice project for its embrace of intersectionality and critical theory, its twisting of the biblical teaching on celibacy, and its reversion to the thoroughly un-Protestant doctrine of concupiscence. The video of his talk is available here. Though I share virtually all of your criticisms regarding squishiness among the evangelical leadership where those criticisms are warranted, it does no good to stir up the rank and file against those leaders where it isn’t warranted.

Chuck

Chuck, I sincerely hope that events will prove that I was being “unfair” to Mohler. I really do believe him to be among the good guys. But I think events will actually show that the intersectional woke are more dishonest than many assume, and have gotten embedded in the woodwork of many conservative bastions. As in, at Southern.


The Nepotism Thing

Rando query, Mr. Wilson,

My family thoroughly enjoys your ministry, as well as the ministry of your wife, children, sons-in-laws, etc. I’m sure it must be very rewarding to have your family closely involved in the church. But do you worry at all about Christ Church ever being too Wilson-centric? We are wrestling with that a little bit in our local church, so I’d be curious on your thoughts.

Roger

Roger, reasonable question. Let me begin by showing my cards with a book recommendation—In Praise of Nepotism by Bellow. That said, I think everyone should acknowledge the problem of turning the control of a ministry over from a talented founder to the blockhead of a grandson simply because he shares the last name. That is a problem. But it is also the problem that everybody and his dog guards against. The other problem occurs when someone with the same last name has to clear three times more hurdles to get the same recognition. But, with all that said, the ministry here in Moscow is governed by elders, trustees, board members, etc. who have no family connection to me. The success my kids have had, with thanks to God for it, has been largely independent of my realm of influence.  


Theological Question

Random question. Jesus is both God and man. But, mysteriously, the two are not mixed. That being the case, how did Jesus not sin? How was he able—or willing, as a man, to mature and become “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing,” when Adam and Eve, also created without sin, couldn’t—or wouldn’t? Along these lines, could God have created Adam and Eve in such a way that they wouldn’t have sinned, but didn’t do so for His glory? Or is there something inherent about being a creature that would not allow us to avoid sin, and thus only when we are united (mysteriously) with Christ are we able to not sin (once we have passed through death, of course)?

Bill

Bill, Christ in His humanity was in the same position as Adam and Eve—able to not sin, which He did not. The fall of our first parents was not necessary because of their finitude. In the decree of God, it was settled that Christ would stand, but this was not because His soul was somehow temptation proof. Take the example of Christ’s bones. They were breakable, just like ours are breakable. But the Word of God cannot be broken, and it was settled beforehand that the Messiah’s bones would not be broken. But God didn’t accomplish this by giving Him stainless steel bones.


A Helpful Suggestion

Tishbite Calvinist preachers: Perhaps you are that one…no?

Malachi

Malachi, the barrier to entry for me is the grasshopper casserole part.


Plodcast 98?

I appreciate the work you do. This email isn’t directed toward any one particular blog post. I just wanted to let you know that Ep. 98 of the Plodcast was never published. You think you’ve got us fooled thinking we’ve listened to 100 episodes? Ha! Think again! If there’s any way the episode could be posted, I’d be very grateful as I’m sure others would be as well. Thanks.

Tony

Tony, we don’t know what happened. Either we recorded one and lost it, or I counted wrong. The reason this might easily happen is that I record once a month, doing four at a time. That involves higher levels of math, which is a challenge for me.


Housekeeping

First of all, thank you responding to my question re: Beth Moore. I will do my best not to be an empty bucket.

Second, in the comments section of that post, I tried to respond to the question of one of the other commenters yesterday and my posts said “pending moderation.” I still don’t see the comments posted yet. Is there something I need to do to bring my responses into conformity for the moderator? Or just wait longer?

JD

JD, no, nothing wrong with your comment. It is just that WordPress sometimes throws comments into moderation for some reason, and I don’t always notice.

Theonomic Hodge Podge

First I would like to acknowledge that the Lord Jesus Christ is ever so merciful and gracious to have provided the Evangelical world such a man as yourself Pastor Wilson. I appreciate you and find much of what you write to be compelling and simple for minds like mine to understand. Thank you.

I have a question regarding theonomy as a standard by which we, both as a nation and a world ought to live by. Specifically as matter of case law.

You mentioned in the article where you were responding to Steve found here that executing homosexuals is not the only punishment found in the old covenant.

As someone who has come to believe that we ought to model the justice system by God’s law, I am often confused by the many theonomic positions held by theonomists regarding this topic. What would you recommend as reading to get a complete perspective on this topic? Would you consider writing a book on such a topic? Has it been exhausted by anyone else that you agree with? Thank you in advance for your guidance and time.

Respectfully your servant in Christ

Robert

Robert, no, there is no one book that puts it all in one place. My position is a collage of things I have gotten from all over.

Boycott Amazon?

So—now that Amazon is censoring Christian books is it time to cancel our Prime memberships and stop buying from them?

David

David, I don’t think so. See below.

Barton and Ben

I don’t know if you’re aware of this video or this guy’s ministry but I just wanted to it to get as much exposure as possible. Maybe it make your next Content Cluster muster. Texas boys makin’ noise!

Rope

Rope, thanks.

P&P

You guys are gracious to take the time, but I’ve become convinced that the only response needed to a P&P accusation is the eye roll emoji.

Miya

Miya, that’s a school of thought, certainly.


And I don’t believe Klavan has ever argued that homosexuality is wonderful, normal, or natural. His position seems to be if that’s what people think they are or want to do, whatever.

Mike

Mike, right. He is a libertarian, which has a different set of (very serious) problems.

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Jane
Member

I don’t quite understand why Kaylie appears to believe that food science and medicine are the exclusive domain of “arrogant atheists.” Yes, there are arrogant atheists in those fields; there are also humble Christians. Rather than mistrust entire domains because atheists are involved, it would seem to be better to find those within those fields who can be trusted. There are plenty of Christians in the sciences who are not “ignoring the holes” out of arrogance; they simply don’t see the weaknesses of evolutionary theory as central to questions like, “Is this food product safe? Is this medical therapy effective?”

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Can you point to the point in food science where the humble Christians have come to a different conclusion than the arrogant atheists who dominate the field?

The most obvious one is Wendell Berry and the many Christians who follow in his example, some of who comment here. But Pastor Wilson has spoken with quite remarkable vitriol against him already.

So who were you thinking of, and on what issues do they differ?

Jane
Member

I’m not saying they differ, I’m saying there are humble Christians who agree with “arrogant atheists,” so the fact that they’re arrogant atheists is largely irrelevant to the question of whether they’re correct. There are Christians and atheists who agree on many things, on both sides of nearly every question subject to scientific investigation, so the place to look is not the plus or minus level of sanctification of some number of scientists, but at the information they provide. I’m not sure what Wilson’s view of Wendell Berry has to do with my comment to Kaylie about whether poisoning the… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

There are plenty of humble Christians that agree with the scientific consensus on climate change and evolution, but that doesn’t seem to keep that anti-science trope from being used in those cases. When a debate is on ethical grounds rather than factual (or when the factual has a high likelihood of being misinterpreted due to the ethical), then the background of the dominant majority does matter. It is worth at least looking at whether the status quo beliefs of the dominant majority are misguided, and the mere fact that the dominant majority is not a monolith isn’t a sufficient defense,… Read more »

Jane
Member

I honestly don’t know what argument you think you’re having with me. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with my point that being an arrogant atheist does not inherently make someone’s scientific evaluations automatically unreliable, particularly when those evaluations are shared by many faithful Christians.

I think you must be having an argument not with anything I’ve said, but with some mythical person whose posts I’m not seeing, who just keeps posting, “Everything Wilson says about everything is right!” under my name.

Kaylie
Guest
Kaylie

Jane, I’m sorry for not making my question clear–I was asking Pastor Wilson what his thoughts are to answer a Christian who is suspicious of the safety of non-organic food or standard medical care because of their fear of the atheists who dominate those fields. In his book, he had addressed other reasons for food and medicinal fear, but not that particular one. I take his answer to be that we can question the conclusions in those fields, but that our standard should be biblically-informed wisdom, not “nature” or reactionary credulity. I am not one who currently has these fears,… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Some thoughts on “playing God” with food. I think of the Biblical commands to treat our livestock well, to allow the land to lie fallow, to be concerned with even the welfare of the wild animals when managing one’s crops, the principles that ensured the land was evenly divided among all and the condemnation of those who added field upon field. There is quite a bit the Bible has to say about proper farming. Virtually all of it is ignored and downright despised by modern agribusiness. Each one of the following actions has a large number of damaging consequences for… Read more »

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB

The picture you have posted, if I am not mistaken, is of a milking carousel. The cows get on, the milkers are hooked up to their teats, the carousel rotates and when they’re empty the cows get off. It is a clean, efficient machine for relieving the cows of the pain and infection risk of full udders. The cows do not live in the milking carousel full time. For one thing, as you probably didn’t notice, there is no place for food in front of the cows. If you are going to make points against factory farming, do yourself –… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

There are the vegan activists who think that only the baby cows (and their brothers) have any right to the milk. Even if I agreed with that (which I don’t), I don’t see how the widespread adoption of that view wouldn’t lead to a mass slaughter of cows. Which seems far worse from an animal lovers’ point of view.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’m not very familiar with the arguments of ideological vegans. However, a much larger swath of people oppose the immediate cow-calf separation (typically within 24 hours of birth) that occurs on most farms, not just for ideological reasons but for data-based ones as well. It has been shown to negatively effect the mental state of the calves and cows both and is likely associated with immunodepression and potentially some other health issues. Plus most people when polled just feel that it is cruel.

lndighost
Member

When people are polled about it, does the poll take into account whether they know anything at all about cows? Plenty of farming practices can seem cruel if you attribute human needs and feelings to animals, or even if you are unfamiliar with the care of them. In fact this separation leads to improved health outcomes for the calves and lowers their mortality rate. This from a conversation with a Christian dairy farmer, so unfortunately I can’t link a written source, but he takes his stewardship responsibilities seriously and is not in the business of making animals suffer for the… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I encourage you to Google cow calf separation – you will see that a great number of people who know a great deal about cows have found damaging effects in the process, many of which are confirmed empirically. Of course, empirical data alone is never enough to make a moral decision – there is no equation for “how do we weigh increased milk production vs. increased mental distress vs. decreased infection rates vs. increased immunodeficiency vs. increased irregular social behavior?” Of course, there are some aspects of factory farming which are unambiguously worse for the animals, like rearing in close… Read more »

lndighost
Member

I can’t speak to factory farming – cattle in NZ are not in factory conditions – but calves are invariably separated from their mothers on day 1 for a few reasons. One is that calving always seems to happen in the worst possible weather, and the calves are taken to a covered pen where they will be warm and dry. For another, dairy cows produce around 25 litres of milk a day and a calf can only drink around 5 litres, so a cow left unmilked during this time is at risk of mastitis and other infections. The newborn calves… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I think that was all a wise addition to the conversation. I too rely generally on the wisdom of moral farmers on most of these questions, though biologists can inform many aspects. In my neck of the woods cattle rearing their calves can also be milked on the same day, for as you note there is plenty to go around. One major concern in the USA at least is that economic incentives, many of which are driven by crony capitalism and government subsidies, have driven the vast majority of traditional farmers out of business and off their land. Thus a… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

What do you think of Demo’s suggestion that cow-calf operations (where optimization of milk profits is not the factor) don’t separate away the calves?

lndighost
Member

I like the idea but don’t know enough to make a useful assessment. I think it would be difficult to translate to a dairy operation. Environmental factors would be a barrier. We have a generally temperate climate and no inside dairy operations as far as I’m aware – the cows are outside their whole lives except for those first couple of weeks when they’re under shelter. Calving season is in the middle of winter (is that normal? Necessary? I don’t know) so newborn calves are vulnerable to exposure. To keep them 1. alive and 2. with their mothers, the farmer… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

A couple of quick things about milk sharing: 1. It works much better with non-Holsteins, Holsteins are milk producing machines but mich has been lost in the process; they are generally regarded as poor mothers. Most small direct market dairies use Jerseys, or Guernseys, or Dexters, or Shorthorns, or anything else except Holsteins. 2. Milk sharing requires labor. The calves have to be separated daily for 6-12 hours prior to milking. The whole point of modern ag methods is to reduce labor inputs. Also, on birth season, calves were traditio ally birthed in winter for a number of reasons –… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

“The whole point of modern ag methods is to reduce labor inputs.”

Yes, that is near the center of virtually every problem with modern ag.

lndighost
Member

Interesting, thanks. Holsteins didn’t sound familiar to me but I see they’re what we call Friesians, which are common in NZ dairy herds. The Kiwicross, which is a mix of Jersey and Friesian (recognised as a separate breed in 2005), makes up around 45% of the national herd and pure Friesians around 33% – so that would explain the high rate of poor mothering. I discovered the proportion of Friesians is on the decline in NZ, maybe due to the resurgence of the Jersey’s popularity now that animal fats are no longer quite so frowned upon by the health gurus.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I was thinking how to align what you said about uneven maternal ability with what Demo said below: Calves are removed from cows for convenience and disease prevention (due to close confinement). Due to the terrible conditions at most dairies calf mortality is very high (often over 50%). On a grass based dairy where the calf stays on its mother (milk sharing) mortaliy is near 0. I have always calf-shared, it works great but it isnt efficient. The calves are healthy and happy. It reminded me of a common issue in zoos, where hand-raised animals are sometimes socially maladaptive. In… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Also, if polluted indoor factories and profit were not part of the equation, it seems well beyond plausibility to me that cow-calf separation would even be under consideration. Immediately taking a baby animal from its mother as a general rule, especially in a social species like cows, seems impossible to justify on the basis of the cow’s welfare unless God just made cows wrong.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

If I am not mistaken, the cows in these industrial megafarms do indeed spend their time in close quarters in tightly enclosed indoor pens without access to pasture or even sky, and do have to be shot up with antibiotics as a result. I can’t capture every part of the process with one photo but I don’t believe I’m allowed to post more than that in one comment with disappearing into moderation.

Here is feeding.

http://www.thebigcowblack.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/17-Peter-Willes-Jim-Wileman-e1448579425974.jpg

Now, to the actual points?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
Jane
Member

Yeah, who cares if the picture is used to make a point that it doesn’t make? We must stick to THE POINT! I’ll remember that next time Jonathan latches onto a tangential aspect of what someone said while ignoring the larger argument.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The picture makes the exact point I was making. Just a single picture wasn’t sufficient to absolutely prove it. I hope two pictures and the article were sufficient?

Now, let’s proceed to debating the argument and not the nan…

Jane
Member

I’m just saying own your mistake. Because it was a mistake, and a big one — you posted a picture that purported to be the living conditions of cows, when it was a picture of the way cows spend about five minutes, two or three times a day. (Roughly the equivalent of showing someone in a public bathroom stall to make a point about how people are “housed.”)That does nothing to establish the fact that cows on some farms live out their lives in bad conditions (which I don’t dispute.) Debating the argument, not the man, would be a good… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I posted the picture to show the close quarters in a constrained and unnatural indoor environment as well as the machines. I could post other pictures showing close quarters and unnatural indoor conditions and machines throughout their day, but you’re right that that one is more striking.

Here’s another:
comment image

Of course, arguing about the pictures does nothing to address my point about close quarters and antibiotics or anything else I said.

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

The photo is of an automatic feed dispensing robot. Here’s a short video on how it is used on one farm:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTWxDt00-T0

While the indoor environment may appear to be constrained and unnatural, it is considerably safer and more comfortable than a winter outdoors in freeing mud with little vegetation to eat.

In Holland, the Spring day on which cows are released from the barn back onto newly growing grass is a major national tourist event:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_tGqoLW-is

Jane
Member

You showed “close quarters in a constrained and unnatural environment” for something that literally cannot be done without close quarters in an unnatural environment, and affects the cows for literally minutes in a day. So that proved, what? That picture could well have been taken on the kind of farm that is most common in Pennsylvania, where the cows spend all mild or hot weather outdoors, and the rest of the time indoors in barns with room to move around, except for the few minutes a day during which they are milked. And what is the value of showing a… Read more »

Jane
Member

On the topic of antibiotics, I wonder what you want to discuss. Do you want to discuss the fact that dairy farmers have every incentive to avoid the use of antibiotics, since antibiotics are banned from milk? Any sick cow that is given an antibiotic has to be taken out of the milking rotation until the antibiotics are cleared, and should a mistake be made and the cow be milked that day, the entire day’s milk supply must be dumped.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Because despite “every incentive” to stop mass treatment with antibiotics once they reach the milking stage, 16% of milk cows were treated with antibiotics in a given year, 1% of factory milk samples contained banned antibiotics (ones that milk typically isn’t even tested for because dairy operations aren’t supposed to be using them), and the majority of meat that reaches slaughter above FDA approved levels of antibiotic contamination is coming from slaughtered dairy cows. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S074301671730178X And that’s all in addition to the mass use of antibiotics before the milk producing stage, which may not directly introduce antibiotics into our food… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

This is an article on how industrial farming is helping wipe out family farms: https://www.farmaid.org/blog/fact-sheet/dairy-family-farmers-in-crisis/ When looking that up I also found that the average dairy cow only lives 4-6 years now (natural was 15-20). An industry site explained why quite bluntly. The average productive lifetime of the dairy cow in intensive milk production is decreasing around the world, with averages like 2.4 lactations in the US and Denmark. This shorter lifespan is mainly a result of what has generally been considered as sound economic decisions on profitability. However, much of the decrease in dairy cow longevity is mainly the… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I mean, if you think that attacking my statement over and over again is of greater value than discussing any of the points, that’s your prerogative. You seem more concerned with winning the internet than with the topic. I proposed that mass production in close indoor quarters with machines, necessitating enormous quantities of antibiotics, was both unnatural and demonstrably problematic. I have provided a lot of pictures and links to demonstrate that. In fact, of all the points I made, that is the only one anyone addressed, and most of them addressed the actual point with several helpful additions. So… Read more »

Jane
Member

So here’s the source of my irritation, really: none of this has a single thing to do with the comment I originally posted. You are the one who raised all this stuff, and it’s completely irrelevant to what you were responding to when you wrote it. So I don’t think I have to follow your parameters of what’s important to discuss in this conversation, when you just dumped a bunch of unrelated stuff on my comment. Pictures of cows, whether accurately representing the point they’re intended to represent or not, and descriptions of agricultural abuses have literally nothing to do… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Ah. Looks like it was all a miscommunication then. None of this was in response to your comment, I started a completely separate comment thread in response to the idea of “playing God” in the original letter. I only made two responses to your comment and they are nested under that comment.

JP Stewart
Member

“You seem more concerned with winning the internet” – Says the serial commenter who absolutely has to have the last word on every single discussion. How many comments have you made in this thread already?

JP Stewart
Member

Yeah, that looks like something right out of Cowspiracy. But who needs an explanation when a picture is there to appeal to emotion? This podcast is a great antidote to misinformation you hear from PETA, vegan climate alarmists, etc.
https://www.peak-human.com/home/part-41-dr-frank-mitloehner-corrects-every-myth-you-ve-ever-heard-about-cows-methane-climate

JP Stewart
Member

Whether grass- or grain-finished, cows spend 2/3 of their life in a pasture. Grain-finished cows spend their remaining life in a feed lot.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

We’re talking industrial indoor dairies, you seem to talking meat production.

Though 1/3 of a life in a cramped indoor industrial factory probably sounds worse to me than it does to you.

demosthenes1d
Member

I don’t have much time right now, but I wanted to add a few things. I am a small scale producer. I run a pretty standard cow calf operation (in a part of the country that it optimized for it) and i have milked a few head off and on. A few comments: 1. The beef industry is a bad target if you are concerned about animal welfare. Cow-calf beef operations are pretty natural places, calves stay with the cows until weaning and the cattle are generally able to behave like cattle on an open pasture in a herd. Most… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Thanks Demo for that addition.

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB

Due to the terrible conditions at most dairies calf mortality is very high (often over 50%).

Y’know, logically speaking, since 50% of calves are male, this makes perfect sense.

You keep the female calves to increase your herd, and slaughter the male calves for their meat.

Voila, 50% calf mortality.

JP Stewart
Member

“We’re talking industrial indoor dairies.”

No, you just posted a picture, apparently for shock value. There was zero context or explanation. Can you own up to that? Or are you going to continue going the cowardly route and accuse someone else of shifting the goal posts?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I was referring to dairy production, which is what is happening in both pictures as well as the article and why I referred to the machines specifically. As Demo points out, industrial beef production has its problems but dairy (and he seems to say chickens and hogs too) is much worse.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I am not pro-vegan, but meat production is probably more resource-intensive than plant production by a large degree. What that means for our discernment process depends on many other factors and is different from one situation to another.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That was supposed to be “provably”, not probably.

JP Stewart
Member

“I am not pro-vegan, but meat production is probably more resource-intensive than plant production by a large degree. ”

That’s an oft-repeated talking point that’s not necessarily true. Some of the science and studies used to “prove” this are extremely problematic, as Frank Mitloehner has pointed out.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Because you’re jumping a full level on the food chain, at least so long as you’re producing industrially it’s almost impossible for it not to be true. You need all the space and inputs required in growing the cattles’ feed, which is then fed to cattle rather than humans with the vast majority of calories and nutrients in that food not making it to the final product which is only harvested much later. It takes a couple orders of magnitude more food and water to make a cow than you get from a cow. Now, if you have a mixed… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

Nonsense. He’s dealt especially with the water use claim and problems with the data and how it’s tallied. How about your rather hysterical claims like “to the point you have to shoot every one of them up with antibiotics to keep them alive.”

Every dairy cow (outside of small-scale farms) is shot up with antibiotics? So this dairy farm veterinarian is lying?
https://www.metroparent.com/daily/health-fitness/childrens-health/hormones-antibiotics-udder-nonsense/

Convenient how you worship at the altar of science, peer review an experts…until they disagree with your bohemian-progressive worldview.

dchammers
Member

Check out last two lines:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2014 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals (2015), http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForIndustry/UserFees/ AnimalDrugUserFeeActADUFA/UCM476258.pdf. Data on antibacterial drugs used on humans in the U.S., 2011-14, are from IMS Health (now QuintilesIMS), obtained April 12, 2016. The total volume of medically important antibiotics sold for use in food animals based on 2014 FDA data was 20,890,979.7 pounds. The total volume of antibiotics sold for use in humans based on IMS calculations was 7,704,435.8 pounds.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That’s disturbing. And as the USA has been exporting such systems to the rest of the world it’s now global – 3/4 of worldwide antibiotic use is for farm animals. It’s led to tension between the USA and Europe (even within Europe use differs dramatically from country to country).

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/08/huge-levels-of-antibiotic-use-in-us-farming-revealed

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

JP, you are linking to people who are working to do things the right way, in explicit contrast to the industrial operations I have been referring to. Wisconsin and Michigan are responding to one set of public demands and limiting their antibiotic and hormone use. The industrial megafarms (most concentrated in the drier regions of the southwest and lower Midwest) are trending in the opposite direction – and unfortunately, tend to be driving the more ethical farmers out of business. There are a lot of industrial operations that really do give antibiotics to every cow (or every fish in the… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

And JP , you’re really going to have to quote the specific claim you think he’s making which shows that industrial-style meat production isn’t far more resource intensive than plant production. Until you demonstrate a specific claim then you’re just making an argument from authority when the vast weight of authorities is on the other side. And I doubt that even your authority makes the particular claim you attribute to him.

JP Stewart
Member

I’ve already posted a link where he goes into great detail in studies, water usage, etc. But since literally half the comments here are from you, it appears you’d rather engage in posting diarrhea than deal with it. But the first order of business is admitting you were wrong in the the early comment with an unexplained picture and random, unsubstantiated bullet points. That was some PETA-level stuff.

demosthenes1d
Member

Typical hog and chicken farming is just pushing corn and soy through and animal until they are large enough to slaughter. This is obviously more calorie intensive than just eatinf the corn and soy (though that would get quite boring) almost all beef grazes part or all of its life, so the comparison is different. I run cattle on an area where no one in their right mind would plow, and where humidity makes large scale fruit production difficult. This is where mush beef cow/calf growing is done. Most of those steers and heifers eventually go to lots where they… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Exactly Demo. That’s why I took pains to distinguish the impacts of industrial meat from the impacts of other options.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The take-home from all that discussion: * Industrial farms and others do certain things for the sake of profit which are not good for animal welfare (overcrowding, indoor rearing, cow-calf separation, extreme breeding for production, winter birthing, etc). * These issues can be extreme to the point that, as Demo put it, it would be “depressing” to a decent husbandman * Scripture makes clear that we should be concerned with our animals’ welfare, though how we weigh it is up for debate * Overcrowding is probably worst with chickens and hogs, then industrial dairies * Overcrowding often leads to higher… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

When concerning ourselves about animal welfare (which we should) one thing we want to be careful of is erroneous assumptions that the animals care about everything we care about. Animals apparently feel pain, and distress, – though animal is a very broad category and I don’t know if pain and distress register with every species the same as it does with humans. Anything (e.g. food, water) the lack of which will lead to an animal’s death obviously matters to it’s welfare. However, it is possible that certain circumstances that look awful to us are things that not every species is… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That’s definitely a fair point. It wasn’t too relevant to the things I was discussing (as I was mostly talking about clear negative impacts on health), but should always be part of the consideration. Two of the main ways that scientists try to measure the reality of how an animal is affected is by testing stress hormone levels and by monitoring for atypical or anti-social behavior. If you’ve ever been to a zoo and seen a leopard that incessantly paces the same 30 feet of its cage repeatedly for extended periods of time, you’re witnessing what’s known as “stereotypical behavior”… Read more »

adad0
Member

Have not read much of this string. It does seem like it is being milked for all it is worth!😏

demosthenes1d
Member

Just to be clear: I think modern agiculture is often pretty brutal toward animals, but I’m not totally opposed to it. The modern ag system has also produced the longest period of food surplus in history. Famines today are entirely a matter of food distribution, not production, and many millions of people have access to meat products that would have formally been out of reach. I’m a critic of modern ag methods such as low light battery cages with beak clipping, and gestational crates for sows. I would never raise animals in that way myself – but I also see… Read more »