Knowing the Standard American Diet By Its Fruits: Is Unrestrained Omnivorism Spiritually Beneficial?

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Abstract
My aim in this article is to challenge the standard North American diet’s (SAD) default status in church and among North American Christians generally. First, I explain what is at stake in my guiding question—“Is unrestrained omnivorism as typified by SAD spiritually beneficial?”—and then I attempt to allay some common skeptical concerns about the suitability of food ethics as a topic for serious Christian discernment. Second, I develop a prima facie case that SAD is not spiritually beneficial, drawing on five traditional sources for Christian moral deliberation, including and especially general revelation and discernment of the fruits of the spirit. I conclude that, in the absence of a rebuttal vindicating SAD, the church should actively encourage Christians to adopt more redemptive eating habits, and Christians who are able should take action toward this end.
Keywords food ethics  animal ethics  environmental ethics  Christian ethics  philosophical theology  meat-eating  vegetarianism  animals and religion
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DOI 10.1177/0020964313495790
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