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Morality of Animal Agriculture

To the editor: I appreciated and learned from Joe Snyder’s fine essay on the bonds of animal agriculture (May/June 2013). We have in many ways lost the balance of care, responsibility, and stewardship in our relationship with animals in what Joe calls the “monetization” of agriculture. He warns us that a simple rejection of the animal side of our food system, as some vegetarianism involves, may cause still more harm to nature, and even more death to living things. We need to hear this and develop a food system that respects our covenants with nature and sees the hazards of a simple “industrial” vegetarianism.

On Love (September 2013)

The Bonds of Animal Agriculture

Since biblical times, humanity has lived by an ancient contract: We the first party (animals) give you our wool, milk, hides and meat, draw your plows and carriages, guard your houses, control your vermin, and fertilize your fields.  We the second party (humans) promise to keep you safe from predators, bind up your wounds and treat your diseases, provide you shelter from the elements, feed you even in times of famine, and provide you with a quick and humane death.  Our own human relationship with God has long been expressed in similar terms. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.”

On Consumption (May 2013)

The Bonds of Animal Affection

This article is in dialogue with “The Bonds of Animal Agriculture” by Friend Joe Snyder in the May-June 2013 issue of Western Friend. I commend Friend Snyder for highlighting the destructive aspects of the prevailing system of plant and animal agriculture, which fail to respect God’s creation. To my mind, Friends cannot overemphasize the seriousness of such threats to our health and global sustainability.

On Love (September 2013)

Nuclear Waste and States Rights

On March 17, 2023, the last evening of the state’s legislative session this year, the New Mexico House passed Senate Bill 53 (SB 53), sponsored by State Senator Jeff Steinborn and State Representative Matthew McQueen. This bill concerns state oversight of a private company – Holtec – and prevents state agencies from issuing permits for a “temporary” nuclear-waste storage facility in southeast New Mexico, a facility that Holtec wants to build to hold all the nation’s high-level nuclear waste, even though zero nuclear energy plants are sited in New Mexico.

On Dignity (July 2023)