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O Burger King, Yield Not to Temptation

I think they do it on purpose. On one corner of a very busy intersection near my home sits a fast-food hamburger stand. Cycling through the traffic light can take forever, and while we sit and wait, the smell of hamburgers frying wafts through the air, a clever marketing ploy that I’m sure they exploit on purpose.

I’m not a vegetarian, but I seldom eat at such places anymore. In part, it’s a matter of prudent dieting: you reach a certain age, and the idea of “fat grams” takes on a different meaning, if you catch my drift.

More, though, I find that these establishments raise serious economic, environmental, and animal rights issues. On the economic front, wages for fast-food workers are minimal to begin with and then adding further insult to labor, limiting their hours to part-time status removes any consideration of paying benefits.

Second, getting beef to market raises a host of land and water use issues and connects to the broad question of sustainability in general. Food scarcity is already an issue for many of the world’s most vulnerable people and will grow in severity unless globally we are able to mitigate the worst effects of climate change and put more sustainable farming and agricultural practices in place. Increasingly, it is becoming apparent that the world cannot afford my local hamburger joint: it just takes too much land and water. Instead, we need to make major lifestyle changes that we have not even had the courage to begin discussing, not the least of which is what we eat and how it gets to our tables.

Finally, in the last few years, we have become increasingly aware of our appalling treatment of animals in the beef and poultry industry. We’ve seen the videos and read the reports of undercover investigators. Driving by a feed lot alone is enough to make vegetarian converts! One need not be a pet owner to recognize the interconnectedness of all participants in the created order and for those who recognize the sacredness of creation, how we live toward one another cannot be divorced from how we relate to all members of the world around us as well.

2 thoughts on “O Burger King, Yield Not to Temptation”

    1. Consistency, connecting the “doing” and the “saying,” is the hard part, that’s for sure!

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