June 15, 2024

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June 15, 2024

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‘Ecological Equity’: UK Medical Journal Calls For Shift Away from ‘Human-Centered Health Care’

“Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator . . .” (Romans 1:25). When mankind worships creation, ignoring the Creator and his revealed Word, they will never have a proper perspective on life and the universe. Instead, they will “[become] futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts [will be] darkened” (Romans 1:21). And that’s exactly what we see in a recent article in the UK medical journal, Lancet.

This article, introducing an upcoming series of articles, argues for “One Health,” a term described by Breitbart as a “‘revolutionary shift of perspective’ away from human-centered health care in favor of ‘ecological equity’ attributing equal value to all life” (emphasis original). What does this mean?

Well, One Health is “an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimise the health of people, animals, and ecosystems,” because “the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and inter-dependent.” This is in contrast to the “traditional” approach which is supposedly “purely anthropocentric,” meaning humans are the primary focus of medical concern.

Based on the view that “all life is equal, and of equal concern,” One Health proponents believe we need a “complete change to our relationship with animals,” including shifting to a plant-based diet, which they say, “not only benefits human health, but also animal health and wellbeing.”

Equal and Equal Concern?

How should Christians think about all of this? Well, we must first expose the wrong thinking underlying the entire philosophy of One Health: “all life is equal, and of equal concern.”

Christians need to ensure they have a truly biblical worldview based on God’s Word. All life is not equal (and humans inherently know this—after all, we don’t prosecute a fish for eating his neighbor!), and all life is not of equal concern. Now, notice I didn’t say all life isn’t of concern. Humans have been given dominion over creation (Genesis 1:28) and are to care for creation, acting as stewards entrusted with a gift from the Lord. So, we are to be concerned about creation if we are to steward well and wisely.

But all of life is not of equal concern—only human beings are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and therefore have value that nothing else in all of creation has. No animal or plant or body of water is made in God’s image—only people are. So from a biblical perspective, while we care for creation for God’s glory and our good, we should never give it equal value to humans or have equal concern for the environment as we do for people.

From a biblical perspective, we understand the entire underlying philosophy of One Health is totally flawed and is contrary to sound biblical teaching on mankind and the environment.

All Life Is “Closely Linked”?

The authors state that they believe we need a health care approach like One Health because “the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and inter-dependent.”

Now, God created this marvelous world and designed interdependent systems that work amazingly to sustain life and allow it to flourish. Humans should study these systems, not so we can achieve whatever is meant by “ecological equity,” but so we can understand, preserve, and protect these systems for the glory of God and the good of mankind for generations to come. For example, implementing more sustainable farming practices may not be bad in and of itself (though, of course, we must be careful not to jump on any and every popular ecological bandwagon!).

But what’s wrong in this view of health care is the perspective—and how that perspective will play out. You see, the authors of this series and those involved with One Health don’t believe that humans are the crown of God’s creation or that we’re anything unique or special. In their view, “all of life is equal,” so humans have the same value as blackbirds, cows, and sunflowers. And that will impact their policies and what they prioritize and value when it comes to protecting and preserving human life as they provide “health care.”

Do we need “ecological equity”? No—for the simple reason that all life is not equal. Humans have a unique place in creation no other life has. So, yes, let’s care for the earth, understanding these things:

  • God created our universe and systems here on earth to be finely balanced, and we must understand those balances as part of having dominion.
  • We’re dependent on everything else God has made to be able to survive and thrive. For example, we need food, and the vast majority of our food directly (e.g., plants) or indirectly (e.g., creatures that eat plants) relies on insects to survive and reproduce, which means we need to protect insect populations for the good of mankind.
  • Man will not ultimately destroy creation (for example, by climate change) because God has promised that “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22) and that he himself will destroy this earth with a judgment of fire (2 Peter 3:7).
  • Mankind is unique in his status before God as an image bearer—no other creature holds this title or the responsibility of stewardship and moral accountability that comes with it.

Don’t Eat Meat?

One Health, for the sake of human and animal health, encourages a plant-based diet. Now, plants are certainly healthy to consume and most of us understand we should be eating lots of them, but is it the “equitable approach,” as One Health suggests, to eat only plants?

No. We don’t need to worry about “equity” when it comes to meat-eating because God, our Creator, has given us permission to eat meat.

You see, originally everything was vegetarian, including humans (Genesis 1:30). But after the global flood of Noah’s day, God gave Noah and his family and all generations after them permission to eat animals.

Genesis‬ ‭9:3‬ ‭KJV‬‬ – “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”

So now mankind can eat, or not eat, meat to the glory of God, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

A Foolish Perspective

Yes, the authors of “One Health: a call for ecological equity” have had their thinking darkened because of their worship of creation rather than the Creator. They have a secular worldview (based on man’s words).

Ultimately, their ideals of making an “ecologically equitable” world will fail to help humans because they aren’t operating with a biblical perspective and biblical priorities of care for mankind and creation. If we want to understand the world rightly and truly help mankind, we must start with the Bible, not fallible human reasoning.

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“Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator . . .” (Romans 1:25). When mankind worships creation, ignoring the Creator and his revealed Word, they will never have a proper perspective on life and the universe. Instead, they will “[become] futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts [will be] darkened” (Romans 1:21). And that’s exactly what we see in a recent article in the UK medical journal, Lancet.

This article, introducing an upcoming series of articles, argues for “One Health,” a term described by Breitbart as a “‘revolutionary shift of perspective’ away from human-centered health care in favor of ‘ecologic