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Friday, 15 November 2013

"A horse, a horse, my dinner is a horse"

Apologies to the English Bard and, if you are a vegetarian, you might wish to read something else!

I am, of course, making reference to the news that the Princess Royal has dared to even suggest that there may be nothing wrong with the human consumption of horse-meat!  I can only agree.  It was a few years ago, while my wife and I were on holiday in France, that we noticed that particular commodity on special offer at the local supermarket.  We knew that horse-meat was considered to be a delicacy by the Belgians, but had not realised that it is also eaten by the French.  It is somewhat expensive but, with the special offer, we decided to 'give it a go'.

It was delicious!  So much so, that we are forever looking out for a similar special offer, as we would be delighted to have it again.  Lean, tender, and full of flavour, I would recommend it to any human carnivore.

There is, of course, an element of controversy with regard to the human consumption of animal meat.  In Gen.9:3, we read these words of God to Noah, after the Flood: "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and, as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything."   That seems clear enough.  The prohibition of certain animals (and fish, and fowl) came later and may be seen as very wise hygiene regulations as all of the creatures that were declared to be terefah (forbidden) are 'dirty eaters' that would, particularly in a nomadic, desert, culture, be more likely to carry bacteria that would be harmful to the human body.  However, there are those, even from within the Christian culture, who maintain that the next verse effectively forbids the eating of animal flesh.  It reads: "Only you shall not eat flesh with its blood."  It is true that meat that is totally cleared of blood would be somewhat insipid, and I have even read that this verse shows that the preceding verse actually refers to animals like lizards, and that Noah was being given permission to eat reptilian eggs!  This interpretation is based on the Hebrew word remes which does refer to reptiles - but which also refers to other creatures as well!   Lesson - don't use so-called 'proof texts'!

Jesus taught that it was permissible to eat all foods.  In Mark 7:19, the evangelist records His rebuke of certain Pharisees, and comments "Thus He declared all foods clean" (i.e. kosher = permitted).  Dr Luke tells us of a vision given to Peter, in which he was convinced that "What God has cleansed, you must not call common" (Acts 10:15).  Now this vision was not primarily a lesson on the acceptability of animal meat for food, but was preparing Peter for his visit to the Gentile centurion, Cornelius.  However, the lesson is implied that, under the New Covenant, all meat is available to us to eat.

So, when I have the opportunity to do so, I will enjoy some horse steak - and will give thanks to the One Who provides for all of my needs, and so much more besides!

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