Throughout this year of being vegan, I have also done a lot of spiritual growth: I've looked into a lot of different belief systems, religions etc. At one point I was heavily Christian, until I studied more into it and the beliefs of the people within the church. In my head, the God they were talking about would definitely be pro-vegan, because he is all-caring, merciful and about love... but when I would speak up about this I was shot down by everyone around me. I couldn't understand how this was not a logical progression, and how people who claimed to be about love were happy to slaughter animals.
Anyway, what I noticed was that no matter where I looked, there was no religion, no belief system that incorporated the level of love, care and empathy that veganism, which is not even a "religion" just a lifestyle and common sense belief, did. I had Christians telling me that atheists would go to hell, when I know atheist vegans that are a lot more compassionate than they are.
I suppose what I am trying to say is, the only belief, the only truth I know, that has never swayed is being Vegan. And after everything, I'm coming to the conclusion, that being Vegan, and what it means for the way it transforms your body and soul, that although it isn't a religion, I think that it is the Pearly White Gates that opens up to the only beliefs that we need as humans and as spiritual beings.
I was just wondering if anyone else had noticed this? And what are your thoughts?
I'm a passionate Christian and a passionate vegan. My vegan lifestyle fuels my faith, but veganism is not a belief system. I've read the Bible cover to cover...there is no conflict between the two. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that being a Christian means you have to eat animals.
Veganism is a diet, or at most a lifestyle. What isn't veganism? Veganism is not an explanation for how the universe came to exist.
Christianity is a belief system, but at its core, are simple and fundamental questions. Does a personal God exist? Do I believe in Bible inerrancy? Were the claims of Jesus to be the son of God true?
Either God exists, or he doesn't. As disappointed as you may be in the behavior of Christians, Christians are just people who believe in Christ, not people who are perfect like Christ. We don't claim to be perfect people, quite the opposite, we accept ourselves as fallen. Even if every Christian you've ever met disappoints you and you find to be a hypocrite, that does nothing to prove or disprove the existence of God.
Thank you for replying, I really appreciate the insight :) I've read the bible too, and I also haven't seen anything that contradicts with veganism, unless it is interpreted in that way to favour meat eating (i.e. what do you classify as dominion?).
I completely agree with you in everything, but what I struggled with as a Christian, was Jesus eating meat, the animal sacrifice etc. I just don't understand why Jesus wouldn't make all this plentiful fruit rather than an abundance of fish? Then there is the question of if the stories are literal or metaphorical... but even if they were then why were those examples used? That's where I have an issue with the bible and the teachings because there seems to be a level of contradiction?
I'm not against Christianity at all, I am just searching for an explanation to those questions ... so I can understand Christianity in a different way than was taught to me.
What do you think? :)
Do you mean "How can Jesus be sinless if he encouraged people to eat fish? If we are focusing on animal suffering, why stop there, why not include ALL suffering?
One of the main arguments against Christianity is the existence of evil.
Is there a contradiction between a kind and loving God who allows suffering?
I don't think so...
Just stepping back for a minute: Genesis 1: 26
"Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
It is very important in life to be able to draw lines of distinction and not to get caught up thinking in extremes.
Believing that human's are uniquely created in the image of God, is not the same as believing that animals should be mistreated. I do not believe in animal murder. I do not believe in animal abuse. I do not believe in animals being used for pets, or otherwise mistreated. I have a love for all animals. At the same time, I do believe that human beings are uniquely designed in the image of God. There is no contradiction here.
"I know a Christian who told me they eat meat because they believe that God gives them a right to eat animals, so Christianity must be wrong!"
This sort of thinking makes no sense. The words and actions of Christians do not prove or disprove the claims of Jesus Christ or the existence of God. The same way that Mao, Stalin, and Polpot, do not "prove that Atheism is wrong". We have to think critically about these important ideas, and challenge ourselves to try to find answers to the big questions in life.
Condoning animal slaughter? You mean animal sacrifice? That's in the OLD testament, before the death of Christ. When Jesus sacrificed himself the need for animal sacrifices, or sacrifices of any kind, was no longer needed. This is a topic you can easily search for online, and listen to sermons about if you are interested.
There aren't any mainstream Christian churches that practice or condone animal slaughter, or animal sacrifice, so I'm not really sure why you would think that is the case.
The overarching point, is that veganism doesn't prove or disprove Christianity, any more than veganism proves or disproves the existence of God.
I'm NOT saying that we shouldn't question the existence of God, or ask big questions, I actually gave some possible reasons of why God would allow suffering. There is a great deal of evidence for the existence of God, it doesn't rely entirely on whether or not suffering, pain, or death exist in the world. Again, would we have free will in a world with no sin, no pain, no wrongdoing, no death? Maybe not. Etc.
We're sort of getting to the topic of the existence of God...so obviously people are going to weigh in saying "Yes, God exists!" or "No, I hate God!" and lots of extreme opinions on one side or another. I was more trying to stay on your topic of how veganism relate to Christianity, and I would just say to that question, there are Christian vegans like myself who find no conflict. I used to be an atheist for many years...I read the Bible from front to back, nothing in the Bible conflicts with veganism, and nothing related specifically to veganism in any way has conflicted with my beliefs at any time.
If god doesn't exist, then there is no absolute morality. A lion kills, it doesn't murder. A dog can have sex with another dog, it cannot rape, a monkey takes, it cannot steal. I love animals, but if God doesn't exist to you, then neither does rape, murder, or theft. We're just animals, and there are no ultimate values that apply to all of us. We can just make our own, good or bad.
In that point of view, we have evolved to have certain values, such as love, cooperation, compassion, but without God, these are simply chemical reactions in our bodies, that evolved in us over time, as survival mechanism...ultimately whether or not we live by these values is totally irrelevant.
That is the atheist worldview that I can't live by anymore. There are moral and philosophical implications to saying that we are the highest form of life on earth, plus we have to go against all the historical evidence.
You'll find this topic and many more related to faith in this active group:
My dearest Olivia,
Ditto, you have told my story. I finally come to composting my bibles 3 months ago. I am not saying all is bad with what is recorded there only grossly distorted and not a culture or standard I wish to be associated with, which includes sexism, racism, slavery, animal and human sacrifice, the condoning of war and murder, land invasion etc... and the list of horrors goes on. Like you, as a committed vegan, I cannot see how yeah 'Dominion' is not licence to enslave, sacrifice and exploit animals, insect and sea creatures and then to move onto human sacrifice - Abraham instructed to sacrifice his own child and then we move onto the unfortunate hanging of a great teacher of 'The Way' and then attributed to this 'God's' price for the Salvation of all mankind.
To be honest veganism was the catalyst for my search for 'truer tales' to answer the bigger questions, like how did we get here and what does my life mean and how am I supposed to live. And search I did until I found the history of the Essenes. There is abundant evidence that Jesus and his family of origin were devote members of this ancient peaceful spiritual community who were strict raw fooders. They practiced communal living, sharing and caring for all, right livelihood, a common purse and each given to according to need, nil possession, hands on healing, hygiene, 5 daily prayer observances, a day of rest and interaction with community, gifting education to the poor and the sick, along with proving themselves to be skilled horticulturalist who grew abundant fruit in rather harsh desert conditions.
Here below is a link to all the Gospels of Peace that just might save you from throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.
The only religion i follow is truth, but that's not a religion in the terms of religare (to bind; to thwart from forward progress) it's just the truth...
check this out:
Taka, I have watched this, via a recommendation from within another post. Truly excellent stuff. Those who are interested, it's long, but worth it.
The Christian view of God doesn't make sense to me. Even though I was raised Catholic the idea of a personal God just seems so unrealistic. I prefer the Buddhist worldview and "god". It also strongly promotes veganism with the ideology of minimizing suffering.
God created us because of love. And love is personal.
In the beginning of the Bible it says we are supposed to eat vegan food :)