Saturday, November 6, 2010



As one who lives a plant-based nutritional life, I don't eat animals. But neither do I object to intersecting with their natural lives in a healthy, mutually-beneficial way. "Mutually beneficial" suggests that animals might get something out of doing good—like some sense of satisfaction or purpose. The fellowship (commonality) of man and beast in the photo* above is a good example of a healthy relationship, it seems to me. Horses are amazingly strong animals—and why so? Perhaps to help till the earth and grow food.

In Chariots of Fire, Scottish sprinter Eric Liddell said he could feel God's pleasure when he ran. If horses could talk, I wonder if they would say they feel God's pleasure when they pull? Absent an answer from them, I choose to believe they would. Man's calling is to have dominion over animals which means to honor them, care for them, treat them with respect, and create environments in which they can express their creature-ness. (Which, of course, excludes eating them—something seemingly missing from their created design in Genesis.) When strong horses are allowed to do their pulling-thing because they are healthy, not stressed, and well cared for, their symbiosis with man seems wholly good and natural; benefitting both man and beast, redeeming something out of the fallen landscape on which we live.

*The picture is of Ryan Foxley (and his horses), a horse-powered small farmer who also writes wonderful articles about farming with horses for Small Farmer's Journal. Ryan's blog chronicles life on Littlefield Farm, from which I lifted the picture. There's not an email link for contacting Ryan on the blog so I wasn't able to get his permission to use the picture. Hopefully he won't mind.

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