An Effect of Evolutionary Thinking -- By: Austin Robbins
BSpade 14:3 (Summer 2001) p. 90
An Effect of Evolutionary Thinking
The society in which we live is overwhelmingly influenced by evolutionary ideas. This is in spite of the fact that most of us do not subscribe to the belief that the world came into existence all by itself. Most Americans believe that there is a Creator who made us. Yet there is an increasing tendency to accept beliefs which are based squarely on evolution. This article will examine one of those beliefs in some detail.
There is, in our culture, a rather vocal minority that claims it is wrong to eat meat. Vegetarians seem to be all around us. People give many reasons for being vegetarians. Some of these reasons are quite valid and some are not.
In the forefront of these reasons is the health issue. Dietitians and others in the health care professions frequently warn of the danger of eating too much fat and the wrong kind of fats. We eat, they say, insufficient fruit, nuts and vegetables and complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice and other cereals. They insist that milk, eggs and meat should provide only a small portion of our dietary intake. It is not hard to document the validity of such claims. Populations whose diet consists of high cereal (grains, pastas, etc.) intake, adequate vegetables and fruits with low or no intake of meals, consistently show lower levels of heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure than those eating the typical American “junk food” diet. It is possible today to maintain the right amounts of protein, iron and vitamins without eating meat. However, if one should omit milk and eggs from the diet there is at least a theoretical (and probably a really practical) chance that the diet will lack other elements essential to proper nutrition.
The health issue therefore is a valid reason for one to be a vegetarian. This is especially true if one would take the time to study carefully the nutritional components of various fruits and grains and adjust the diet accordingly.
The other predominant reason that vegetarians often give for their belief is the moral or ethical one. There are organizations devoted to the propagation of ideas and concepts opposed to the use of animals for food, clothing (leather), etc. The basic premise behind these philosophies is that man has no moral right it) take the life of another creature. This view assumes that all animals (man included) are essentially the same. It is the logical outgrowth of an evolutionary concept of origins and is a “new age” pantheistic concept. If, as they say, all that exists is “god,” then there is no essential difference between a rock, a tree, a squirre...
Click here to subscribe