“And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” Gen 1:30 (NRSV)
Creator. What does that word inspire? An artist, bringing a scene to life on a dry wooden door, thus making a cathedral? A poet, making the words come alive with only paper or ink? A chef, turning the most basic of food and spice into an elaborate feast? Or is it something greater?
The act of Creation, as mentioned above, involves breathing life into something with none, whether that’s an artist creating a scene or God creating the earth. In fact, the Hebrew word for breath is “ruah,” which also means spirit. Thus, it means the spirit of God resides in every living creature, as we all have been brought to life by the Creator’s breath. All living creatures, from humans to fish to birds to cows to every other animal, are sustained by this breath, this spirit.
As we are linked by this kick-start of life, God has provided for us the plants of the earth to food. Every plant. Some may benefit some animals, while others benefit others, but it is all the same. As this God is Creator, it means there is always enough, enough for all who are in need.
The lies of the earth are that there is scarcity, that there is enough for some but not for all. In fact, we comfort ourselves with these lies, using them as an excuse to feed all our grain to livestock, turning against fellow members of created beings for less efficient food. We use it to justify destroying Creation with pesticide and with misusing lifesaving drugs to produce as much as possible. We use it to turn against those who would be our partners, not allowing them to trade with us and turning them to waste, drugs and violence for refusing to treat their part of Creation as equal to ours.
For today’s Vegan Friday devotion, I recommend a salad for lunch. Use the freshest vegetables you can find, with a light dressing for flavor. Say grace beforehand, thanking the Creator for the food provided. And take some time today to learn about how we treat the animals we expect to eat. Is this what our Creator, our Spirit, our Breath had in mind for us?