"Environmental Stewardship in the Judeo-Christian Tradition" is a slim volume about caring for the Earth as drafted by Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant leaders. It's a surprisingly accessible read. It's from the Acton Institute, and the book comes across as a collaborative effort--because it is. With the current debate on global warming, soaring gas&food prices, and drilling in ANWR, "Environmental Stewardship" is quite relevant. How can one rightly balance human needs with care for the environment? While some radical environmentalists are ecstatic at high gas prices, there's the issue that it's unduly causing hardship to the working poor.
"Environmental Stewardship" is fascinating in that it looks at the issue from three viewpoints- Jewish, Catholic and Protestant. The rabbis discuss, among other things, that eating meat is morally obligatory, since animals that eat other animals are superior to those that eat plants. One can imagine how this would be handled at VegNews. Eating meat, per se, isn't a mitzvot (good work). There are the kosher laws forbidding pork&shellfish, so eating meat isn't always objectively good from the Jewish standpoint. Since lions,tigers&bears eat other animals, does that make them equal to humans? Then again, the Jewish arguments on the environment are interesting because they're so open to debate. The Catholics argue from a more authoritative standpoint. They discuss fortitude, temperance, justice, and prudence-- virtues missing in the current debate. Of course, they speak of artificial contraception as a poor answer to dealing with global population. Finally, the Protestants discuss stewardship mainly from a Calvinist perspective. Many Protestants are emergent and non-denominational, so this article is in a sense anachronistic.
"Environmental Stewardship" makes a fascinating read, discussing inconvenient truths about balancing care for the Earth with human needs.