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PETA and Milk

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) made another of their over the top statements - this time about milk.  They have found one Swiss restaurant, Storchen, that uses 75% human milk and 25% cows milk.  They wrote a letter on 23 Sep 08 to Ben & Jerry's (the very large US ice cream producer) pleading with them to do the same thing:  "The breast is best! Won't you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow's milk to breast milk in Ben and Jerry's ice cream?"
   There are several problems with this ludicrous proposal.  Practically, one objection is price.  Human milk makes gasoline or diesel look cheep.  Chef Hans Locher desires human milk and will buy it at $4.30/pint (3 euro for 14 ml for my European audience). Thus, in America at least, it is eight times the cost of cows' milk.  Further, it is impossible for mothers to produce all the milk required. 
     This is obviously a publicity stunt, but their entire attitude is that animals are more important than humans.  Thus, they write about cows being forcibly impregnated, produce milk, and then "their exhausted bodies are turned into hamburgers."  Their solution is to use human milk!  Another example of this backwards view is that on 26 Jan 03 a donkey was used to carry explosives and was blown up by the Palestinians as it neared the checkpoint in Bethlehem.  PETA does not come out and protest against the Muslims who use suicide bombers.  In the last nine years, there have been 29 suicide attacks by children (under 18) in Israel, and in Iraq, the Muslims even resorted to a Down Syndrome child (31 Jan 05).  PETA is strangely silent when children are used to blow themselves up, but are in a tizzy when a donkey is blown up.
    Their arguments against using cows' milk is theologically unsound.  They have on their website statements like humans are the only animals who drink another animal's milk or milk is only used in animals for the first months of life.  Humans should do the same.  They have fundamentally missed the point that humans are created in God's image, and animals are not.  God has placed humans to rule over nature.  Thus, humans raise cows for milk, and meat.  And their hides are used to make shoes and jackets, and their manure is placed on plants so they grow.  Humans are also the only ones that plant vegetables.  Logically, PETA would say that is wrong as no other animal intentionally fertilizes plants.  Humans not only plant vegetables, but also weed gardens and fertilize gardens with manure so that the plants produce lots of fruits and vegetables.  PETA makes no distinction between man and animal and therefore makes mistaken judgments.  In the above example, they wrote about "cows and their babies."  No, no, no.  Cows have calves, and humans have babies.  The Bible says that humans are made to rule the universe.  Only humans are created in the image of God.  We are not animals.
   

My Boss, Prayer, and God

Have you ever thought of to whom you are praying and what a the privilege it is to be able to pray?  Let me give you an example.  My boss knows me, but the only thing he can effect is my working conditions and pay.  If I am sick, I go to a doctor, not my boss.  He is an excellent guy to work to work for, but he is not God, and I don't worship him.  My boss's boss is also a good guy, and my boss's boss's boss knows me as well.  But that is all.  I don't know his boss and he does not know me.  I have met his boss once at a party last year for five minutes, but she does not know me from Adam.  And I have never met her boss and he has never heard of me.  Even if he had heard of me, the only thing he can take care of his pay and work - an important part of my life, but certainly not all of my life.  Further, when I retire, they won't care about me. 
   Yet we get to pray to God the Father, Who knows us by name, Who loves us, Who even knows the number of our hairs on our head,  Who knows what is best for us, and Who has the power to make that happen.  He also has loved us before the creation of the world, and will love us in the future.  What a God!!  And what a privilege it is to be able to pray to Him.  But do we pray?  Do we worship Him with our prayers?  My bosses are good guys and I enjoy working for them, but they do not have any qualifications that would make me worship them.  But God is worthy of our worship.  We need to spend time praying to Him.  Just think, you get to talk directly to God Who is in charge of all the world and you don't have to ask permission to talk to Him.  You can talk directly to Him.  There are no scheduling conflicts.  Not only is He in charge, but God is love.  But do we talk to Him on a daily basis?  If not, you are indeed missing a golden opportunity.

Air show, planes, geese, and God

     Last Friday I took my two sons to the air show out at the Oceana (Virginia Beach) Naval Air Show.  The show was spectacular to see - all the planes zooming around and the stunts they did - the fireworks coming from the plane, cutting a ribbon twenty feet of the ground while flying the airplane upside down, etc.
     The announcer pointed out how difficult it was to fly six airplanes in formation - how much practice it took, because most of the time these pilots are concentrating only on the plane they are following, not where they are in relationship to the ground.  These pilots were experienced, and these stunts could not be done by the average pilot.  It takes years of experience and a steady hand to fly in a formation, and the larger the formation, the harder it is. 
    Just then a flight of about 15 geese came flying along, all in perfect V formation, flying about 30 feet off the ground.  There were several amazing things about this formation.  First, the geese did not have hundreds and hundreds of hours flying solo before they embarked in flying in formation.  Second, all the geese can fly in formation.  It is not just the select few.  Third, the geese can fly longer than airplanes, can land in the water, and require far less maintenance.  Then I realized that man is just trying to mimic what God has already created.  That is why so many airplanes are named after birds, e.g., Falcon, Eagle, Raptor, etc.  God is great!  We should worship Him who created the heavens and the earth.

Too Much Pay?

John McCain is right on the money when he blames some of the financial problems on greed.  Some Chief Executive Officers (CEO) are paid excessively, and there is no accountability.  One specific example:  Richard Fuld, CEO of Lehman Brothers, salary is $145,000,000, yet he bankrupts the company and drives it into the ground and causes a financial crisis.
  The Standard & Poor's CEO's average pay in 2007 was $14.2 million dollars, which was 364 times the average worker's pay, not the lowest pay! In 1980 the ratio was 42 times.  The average increase in pay for the highest paid executives CEOs increased 20.5% while revenues went up 2.5% and most workers did not receive a 20% increase in their wages.   There is indeed something rotten in Denmark. 
   That is why when the stock voting proxies appear, I always vote that the CEO pay should be 100 x the lowest paid full-time worker.  So if a worker is getting $30k per year, the CEO can only get $3 million per year.  If the CEO wants a raise, then he raises the lowest salary to $40k per year, and then he can get a million dollar increase. 
  As Christians we have to treat our employees correctly.  One example of a righteous employer is Boaz from the book of Ruth in the Bible.  When Boaz meets his employees he calls to them, "The LORD be with you!" and they answer back "The LORD be with you."  (Ruth 2:4)  That type of concern and friendly greeting should be common between employers and employees, but I dare say that if Fuld walked into his office, he would not ask the Lord's blessing on others.  CEOs have exceptional responsibilities, but in the words of Tolstoy, "How much land [money] does a man need?"  In my mind, one hundred times the lowest paid worker seems very reasonable.  If he wants a pay increase, he has to first take care of his own employees.

Data from CEO pay came from http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/paywatch/pay/index.cfm

Work and Family and God

Last week I wrote that work is important.  We were made to work.  We were also made to take care and enjoy our family.  If your work crowds out family time, then you need to reorder your priorities.  Your family is more important than work.  Will your family be there for you when you retire?  There is an (anecdotal?) story of ADM Rickover and work.  Rickover was the father of the US nuclear propulsion navy and he was, to put it politely, eccentric.  He personally interviewed every single officer who wanted to join the nuclear navy and his interviews were terrifying.  The story goes like this:  He asks this up and coming officer if he is engaged.  The officer says that he is.  Rickover tells him that his nuclear navy must come before the family.  Then he hands him the phone and tells him to call his fiancee and tell him that the engagement is off.  The officer, desiring to be a nuclear reactor officer, calls his fiancee and tells her that the engagement is off.  After speaking to her, he hangs up.  Rickover looks at him and says that he does not want such a man in his navy.  He has wrong priorities and is too compliant. 
   Whether the story is true or not, the point is that the family is important.  Work will come and go, but you should not spend so much time at work that you do not have time to be with your family.  Your family needs you.
    Worshiping God is also more important than work.  I know some who can not make it to church on Sunday because work has taken precedent over worship.  There is a difference between some jobs that require work on Sunday, e.g., jobs of necessity and mercy - firefighting and police, doctors and nurses.  However, some jobs, being a waitress or working at a store are not works of mercy, and when those interfere with your Sunday worship, then you have your priorities wrong.   When I was the executive officer and the operations officer, I was able to set the ship's schedule.  And Sunday morning was sacrosanct.  Nothing, except an exceptional case, could be scheduled Sunday morning.  The ship's daily routine was broken so that the sailors could sleep some and go to church.
      So there must be a balance between work and family and worship.  You should work, and work hard.  But work should not become the all consuming portion of your life so that it crowds out your family and your devotion to God.