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I was discussing with my mum today why Christians have all the love and kindness morals yet they casually go to the supermarket and buy their daily doses of meat? I find this very mind boggling, as surely they don't believe slaughter houses are an act of love and kindness...

I was also talking with my friend at school who is a Christian and a meat lover and was sharing my new knowledge of veganism. She was like "I couldn't imagine not eating meat... I need my meat... Where do you get your protein?..." I was like "...but as your a Christian surely it's wrong to kill..." And she was like "animals are there for us to eat..."

I know that humans can 'survive' eating meat, and if you're starving and meat is the only thing then it would keep you alive. But, when there is fresh fruit on a tree or bush sitting their so juicy and delicious there seems no moral point killing those poor innocent animals.

This was so frustrating so thought I would ask you all your thoughts. Thanks.

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Hi Robyn; welcome! My pastor quotes 1 Tim. 4 to try to show that veganism is evil and that its rise is a sign of the end times. Of course, the reason for veganism isn't to follow some alternate religion that forbids marriage, but instead is done to promote health and out of compassion which, last time I checked is approved by the Bible. Oh well, I usually agree with the other things he preaches; I guess I can overlook this. I try to convince people to try eating vegan for just 3 weeks. I fugure that if they stick with it that long, they'll feel so good that they won't want to go back. Have a great weekend Robyn and once again, welcome!

"They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth."

God created plants for food, according to the Bible. Animals weren't created for the purpose of being eaten, according to the Bible, because everyone was vegetarian at the beginning. So if you look at it that way, the "certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving," wouldn't those "certain foods" be plants?

Would you throw your body in front of a truck to be run over and killed, if it saved the life of a stray dog standing in incoming traffic?

I just posted this response on your original post, but I'm copying it here since the discussion has moved. Sorry for the duplicate:

I also do not understand Christians who think eating meat is OK in the world we're living in now. Eating meat today is nothing but gluttony. Like you, I think it's different if you're eating animals to survive, but this? This is done purely for the pleasure of taste at the expense of the billions animals that suffer needlessly every year, at the expense of our own health and at the expense of the environment. 

There are parts of the Bible that support eating meat and parts that support not eating meat. There are contradictions about different things in the Bible, and words of the Bible have been twisted to suit different agendas throughout history. But I don't think you even have to go as far as finding passages in the Bible that support veganism although I believe there are plenty. If you feel in your heart that something is morally wrong, then you shouldn't do it. God gave us a conscience, and we know the difference between right and wrong. It's hard to imagine that God would want us to choose cruelty over compassion.

My argument where the Bible is concerned is this:

1.) In the beginning, Adam and Eve were given plants for food. In the end, in Heaven, animals are there and everything is once again completely peaceful. The animals do not kill or harm each other or people and vice versa. 

"The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD." Isaiah 65:25

So that's the initial perfect world to the end perfect world, and killing of animals is allowed in neither.

To me, the Lord's Prayer, the part that says "Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven," makes a case for veganism.

2.) Consumption of animals now cannot be compared to consumption of animals thousands of years ago. The large-scale factory farming practices that torture animals, sicken people and pollute the Earth did not exist then. The gluttony that is the First-World/SAD diet today did not exist then. All you have to do is ask yourself this: If Jesus were standing in a slaughterhouse where cows are dismembered alive, or at a poultry farm where chicks are ground up alive in the equivalent of a wood chipper, or next to a row of veal crates that don't provide enough room for calves to stand up in, or any number of torturous situations that livestock is subjected to, do you think he would approve? Does it honor God to willfully cause mass pollution to and ruination of rivers with the blood, manure and entrails of tortured animals? Does it honor Him to over-fish the world's oceans to the point of losing species and ecosystems, all this for the pleasure of taste?


If someone uses the simple "animals are there for us to eat" argument, I'd like that person to explain how the mass slaughter and consumption of animals makes us good stewards of the Earth that God created, or how it enables us to treat our own bodies with respect or how it makes us good shepherds to the animals on Earth, which God clearly cares about.

Also, animals were not put on Earth for us to eat. In the Bible, animals were created before people, and all were given green plants for food, living in harmony with each other.

i believe there is ample evidence for vegan diet in the Bibe, i wrote it here somewhere

Genesis 1:29

Yes to everything you said-and the other variable to include here is that animal products are very addictive...and there are people who would go vegan, but quitting meat is hard for them (like quitting cigarettes). We can help!

Hi guys,

I completely agree that Christians should be vegans, but after the fall God gave mankind the freedom to eat w/e he wanted except for blood (Gen9) which was then amended by moses for the Jewish people (lev 11) but then in the New Testament we came out from under the law and now its up to us. Amanda is essentially correct

except that scripture in Isaiah refers to the EARTH (my mountain being mt zion.) during the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth after the Great Tribulation and just before Armageddon.

 

Anyway, people are creatures of habit and most "Christians" grow up in a culture that promotes meat and dairy consumption so they simply go along with it and they mistake the liberty given to them in the NT for God promoting meat consumption. The Apostle Paul who penned wrote 1 Tim 4 also said in 1 Cor 8:13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

Which I think indicates that Paul was a vegetarian/vegan. Obviously the vegan diet is the best for health and there are many prominent vegans in the Bible for e.g Daniel. Sadly most Christians don't think about the cruelty inflicted by their diet and as Paul Cohen said Pastors often preach against veganism. I was told by a pastor when I first started the Vegan diet that I would literally die in 3 months... well its been a year and I feel great + I've lost 20 kg while the same pastor is still obese.

I'll copy and paste an email I sent to my Uncle about this topic last night.  He originally asked me if I thought eating animals was animal cruelty. This was my first response:

You know, for years I did not consider eating animals cruel. I have been vegan for 7 years but for 6 of those years my only reason was for health. I knew eating a plant based diet was the healthiest option. But for the past year I have become awakened to the realities of the animal meat industry. And so when someone asks me if I am vegan for the animals, I say, "yes, but also for my health." I do consider eating animal meat animal cruelty. I don't only think of the one animal that had to die for someone's meal, but I also consider the entire process of the slaughter. The way they are raised and the way they are killed are horrendous and disgusting. But to be honest, there is no such thing as "humane slaughter." Meaning, even if a wild animal is killed by a hunter, that means of killing an animal for consumption is much cleaner and less cruel, but the animal still did not need to die. We do not need animals to survive. (In fact we are much healthier without them.) God had blessed us with an abundance of plant food (fruits and vegetables). So when we take a non-human animal's life for our consumption, it is not only unnecessary, but cruel. 
That said, my friends and family eat animals in front of me all the time and I don't think they are evil people! Same with all of my other family and friends who eat animal meat. Everyone is in a different stage in their life. I, too, once at animals. How can I judge?
Then he responded with a long e-mail saying that the reason he eats meat is based on scripture.  He used all the typical verses to defend his position (God showing Peter all the animals he can eat, Jesus feeding people with fish, etc.)  This was my response:
When God created the Earth, and before the Fall of Man, Adam and Even ate a raw vegan diet. In Genesis 1:29 God said he gave all the fruits and vegetables on the earth for them to eat.  He said nothing about giving them the animals to eat. In fact, when God gave Adam and Even dominion over the animals, he was giving them the responsibility of stewardship.  (Some people misunderstand this and think we can do whatever we want to the earth and rape it of its resources.  But once some logic is introduced, it's pretty clear God would never be happy about that.)  And the animal meat industry is doing just that.  It is incredibly harmful to the environment to produce animals for human consumption.
Fast forward hundreds of years later, and people are eating meat!  What happened? Humans dispersed and had to live in places where fruits and vegetables don't grow in abundance like in the tropics where it all started.  Luckily, God made our bodies extremely adaptable so we are able to survive off of animal meat, which is a denser source of calories.  By the time Jesus comes around, animal meat is part of the culture.  There is no way he's not going to eat it!  He was already marginalized as it is.  So just because Jesus ate meat is no reason for us to.  Would we also wear the clothes and shoes he wore?  Probably not.  
The reason God said it's ok to eat animals (like the story of Peter you mentioned) is because after Jesus's sacrifice, there was no reason to adhere to the letter of the law.  As you know, some Jews were extremely pious and would continue to follow the Old Testament law and judge those who did not.  So God was saying, look, it's not about that any more!  It's not about what you eat!  It's not what enters your mouth that makes you unclean, it's what comes out of it.  I know being vegan does not make me a holier person.  Not at all.  I am merely taking responsibility for my health, making informed choices about how I treat my body, how I treat God's creatures, and how I treat God's planet.
That being said, I do believe it's no news to God that a vegan diet is the optimal one for human animals. Let's go back to the OT again.  To the Book of Daniel.  Do you remember when Daniel asked the king if he and his men could eat a vegan diet? WHAT! Yes, a vegan diet.  No meat, no delicacies, no wine.  They ate that way for 3 weeks (I believe) and became healthier and fitter than the king's men. For some reason many people forget about this!  It's clear that there is such a thing as a healthier diet, and the Bible even spells it out for us: But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, 10 and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” 11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king's food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” 14 So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king's food. 16 So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
 
One of the most important things to think about when talking about the subject of eating animals in the Bible is culture.  I believe, like you, that God's Word is truth.  However, there are some things in the Bible that are there because that was the culture of that time and place.  I don't believe the husband is head of the wife and "has the last word".  I don't believe women can't speak in church. In Leviticus, God even forbids shaving and associating with women who are menstruating! There are some things that we have to understand within the cultural context, and I believe eating animal meat is one of them.  Of course Jesus fed the 5,000 with fish and bread. If he fed them with apples and a salads people would say "what the heck is this??!!"

Hope this helps!

if they are not vegan they are not true followers of Christ. The bible is something that man wrote no matter how hard God breathed it. It can be interpreted any way you want, in my opinion it has been changed to fit those interpretations over and over for the last 2013 years. In my opinion God wants us to be vegan and eating flesh was the original sin. We are God's children, but every other creation of God is his child. your pet dog is his child. your cat is his child. the cows, sheep, chickens, turkeys, fish, pigs, along with all creation, are his children. All creatures are God's children. Everything created by God is God's child. Look in the first and last chapter of the bible to find the food for mankind. The tree of life is just our category of food, which is described in the first and last chapter of the bible, the Alpha and Omega of the bible, the beginning and the end of the bible. Christianity was called the way, or the old way before it was Christianity. This way was before Adam and Eve, before the fall of man, before the original unhealthy thing/mistake/sin. Jesus the Christ came because there was something wrong with the old testament, either with the way it was written or the way that it was interpreted. the same thing has happened with the new testament. people just don't believe that the message could be as simple as diet. we at 30bad know, but others just can't believe it. if the whole world ate only fruit and green leafy vegetables there would be peace on earth. if you look to Paul's letters where he writes of the flesh and of the spirit, it means of the eating of flesh and of the eating of spirit the only time Christ is in the spirit is in Revelations where he calls himself the first and the last, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. Vegans are Christians and no one else is. here is my book also, let me know what you think.

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Hey Robyn :)

I know this is an old discussion, but I thought I'd get stuck in anyway as it is an interesting question!!

I firmly believe that everything we need to know is in the Bible. The Bible does not give commandments to be vegan, and therefore I do not think that either vegans or meat eaters can consider themselves better or worse christians. Romans says:

One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. (Romans 14:5-6)

Therefore, the Christian is free to eat or not eat meat according to his own conscience. However, all eating should be done giving thanks to God!

Also, in Biblical times, the mass production of meat and dairy would not have been as large scale as it is now and so the issue of animal rights may not have been culturally relavent while the Bible was being written. Now, in the present day, I think most Christians (in fact, most people in general) are unaware of the torture that animals go through for us to eat them! I think even more people are unaware that even the dairy/eggs industry contributes to animal suffering as well as just the meat industry!

Hey there! Interesting, have you ever considered the word 'meat' being translated incorrectly? I.e. Meat meaning meat of a fruit? Like the word flesh is used for fruit also? Just a thought.
I was thinking the other day that in heaven surely everyone is vegan?

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