Comprehensive Guide of the Biblical evidence for Veganism
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Garden of Eden diet
What was the Original Diet that was perfectly designed for humans in the Garden of Eden according to the Bible?
What was the very first sin?
- Genesis 1:29 - Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
- Genesis 1:30 - And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground--everything that has the breath of life in it--I give every green plant for food." And it was so.
- Humans were told to eat "fruit" and the animals were allowed to eat ANY kind of plant. All creatures were vegan, but humans in particular were fruitarians.
- The botanical definition of a fruit is the same as the Bible. "seed-bearing plant", so this not only includes fruit like apples and bananas, but also tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, avocado, nuts, seeds, peas, beans, eggplant, cucumber, corn, bell peppers, etc. These are all foods that can be harvested from without killing the host plant. Botanical vegetables are the "root, leaf, or stem" of a plant aka potatoes, carrots, lettuce, celery, etc. When vegetables are eaten, the entire plant is destroyed. Grains can be harvested without killing the plant, but you cannot eat them raw, so its questionable if they were part of the original diet or added when vegetables were added.
What happened immediately after The Fall to sin?
- Genesis 3:3 - but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"
- The very first sin was when our parents ate from the wrong tree! Even after being told by God it would KILL them if they ate it. God had a dietary restriction from the very beginning. "Eat this, not that", so why don't people take it seriously when they're told something is bad for them and they shouldn't eat it because they'll die or get diseased?
- Obviously there's more going on in this scene than just a dietary restriction. But it's interesting that the symbolism comes in the form of food. Good tree, bad tree. Good food, bad food. Man began to die when he ate something that God had told him not to eat.
When did meat get added to the diet?
- Genesis 3:17 - Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
- Genesis 3:19 - By the sweat of your brow you will eat bread until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.
- I specifically looked up the original hebrew word and it does mean "bread" or "grain type of food".
- "Plants of the field" were added to the Original Fruitarian diet immediately after Sin.
- "Plants of the field" are vegetables aka the root (potatoes, carrots), leaf (lettuce, brassica), and the stems (celery, asparagus).
- *Note: you absolutely can thrive on a raw vegan fruitarian diet to this day. The only food excluded from the diet are "plants of the field", so everything else (fruit,legumes,seeds,nuts) is included and eaten by fruitarians because the Bible's definition of "fruit" and the botanical definition of fruit are the same. But generally a raw fruitarian diet is not recommended because it is much more restrictive than a normal cooked HCLF vegan diet and fruit is really expensive unless you live in the tropics. (which makes me suspect that the Garden of Eden was tropical). Ultimately, no one has shown that raw veganism/fruitarianism is in any way superior to normal cooked HCLF vegan. So its safe to eat your veggies. But it is interesting that the original fruitarian diet still works to this day.
Did God give permission to eat ANY kind of meat?
- According to the Bible's timeline, Meat was added 1656 years after the Garden of Eden immediately after Noah's Flood had stripped the earth bare of greenery. They had to eat meat to survive until the plants could grow back.
- Genesis 9:2 - The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands.
- -- God made the animals fear us at the same time he gave Noah permission to eat them. God wanted to give the animals a fighting chance to run away from us and our merciless butchery.
- Genesis 9:3 - Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
- -- More proof that for the first 1656 years, humans were all vegan.
- Genesis 9:4 - But you must not eat meat that has its blood still in it.
- -- Now you see God start to explain the restrictions he has for meat-eating. Plenty of people like to point at the first quote and say "Look God said I can eat EVERYTHING" and they completely ignore the restrictions that follow it.
- -- From this we learn about "kosher" meat AKA cooking the meat until it is well-done and the blood is gone. How many people do you know that consume medium rare meat or raw sushi? Even though there are clear health warnings about bacteria from undercooked meats.
- Does The Bible Condone Meat Eating? Take a Closer Look at Genesis 9:3 - "God was clearly not smiling when he granted Man permission to eat meat. Indeed, it is a widespread view among rabbinic authorities that God granted this permission with profound reluctance, after sadly observing the flesh-eating ways of humans in the years before The Flood. If God were going to promise to refrain from wiping out humankind again, as he did in Genesis 9:11, He would have to lower his expectations and his standards."
- God specifies "clean" and "unclean" animals. He commands his people to NOT eat any of the unclean animals. In fact, Noah took SEVEN pairs of the clean animals into the Ark, but only a single pair of unclean animals! If they had eaten the unclean animals, those animals wouldn't have been alive to repopulate the earth! The only animals they could safely eat were the clean animals and still have some left over to repopulate!
- Genesis 7:2-3 - You are to take with you seven pairs, a male and its female, of all the clean animals, and two of the animals that are unclean, a male and its female; and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.
- Deuteronomy 14:3 - You shall not eat any detestable thing.
- Leviticus 11:42-43 - Whatever crawls on its belly, and whatever walks on all fours, whatever has many feet, in respect to every swarming thing that swarms on the earth, you shall not eat them, for they are detestable. Do not render yourselves detestable through any of the swarming things that swarm; and you shall not make yourselves unclean with them so that you become unclean.
- Leviticus 11:3-8 - Land animals that are considered clean are antelope, bison, cow, caribou, deer, gazelle, goat, moose, ox, sheep. Everything else is unclean, such as dog, fox, cats, donkey, horse, pig, rat, rabbit, monkey, kangaroo, beaver, bear, gorilla, camel, slug, snail etc.
- Leviticus 11:9-12 - Clean Water animals are any fish with fins and scales, such as anchovy, bass, cod, flounder, haddock, mackerel, salmon, sardine, snapper, trout, tuna, whitefish, etc. Unclean water animals are without fins and scales, such as catfish, eel, shark, squid (calamari), octopus, sturgeon (caviar), swordfish, shellfish (clam, crab, crayfish, lobster, mussel, oyster, scallop, shrimp), cuttlefish, jellyfish, dolphin, otter, seal, whale, etc.
- Leviticus 11:13-19 - Clean flying animals are chicken, dove, partridge, pigeon, pheasant, quail, sparrow (and other songbirds), turkey, etc. Unclean flying animals are bat, crane, crow, eagle, hawk, heron, magpie, osprey, ostrich, owl, parrot, pelican, raven, seagull, stork, swallow, swift, vulture, woodpecker, etc. *(Duck, swan, goose - There is some debate on these because of the loss of an exact meaning of a hebrew word, but I'm inclined to believe they (and any other birds with webbed feet) are unclean because of what we know about bottom feeders. Personally, it doesn't matter to me if they are clean or unclean since I'm vegan I won't be eating them anyway. But I want to present Bible Scripture as accurately as possible.)
- Leviticus 11:20-23 - Clean insects have jointed, jumping legs, which are some types of locusts including crickets and grasshoppers. All other insects are unclean.
Why are these animals considered unclean by God?
God feeds the Israelites a vegan diet for 40 years in the wilderness.
God forbids the consumption of scavengers and carrion eaters, which devour other animals for their food. Animals such as pigs, bears, vultures and raptors can eat (and thrive) on decaying flesh. Predatory animals such as wolves, lions, leopards and cheetahs most often prey on the weakest (and often diseased) in animal herds. When it comes to sea creatures, bottom dwellers such as lobsters and crabs scavenge for dead animals on the sea floor. Shellfish such as oysters, clams and mussels similarly consume decaying organic matter that sinks to the sea floor, including sewage. A common denominator of the animals God designates as unclean is that they routinely eat flesh that would sicken or kill human beings. When we eat such animals we partake of a food chain that includes things harmful to people.
God created these creatures to act as the "trash collectors" for the environment. God is asking you not to eat the flesh of the trash collectors because you are more likely to become sick from such terrible food.
Some Christians attempt to use a passage from Acts 10 to say "everything is allowed to be eaten." But they are misinterpreting and ignoring scripture yet again.
This page offers a great breakdown for what Acts 10 actually means: Did God declare all meats clean?
- Manna is a vegan food and it is what the Israelites lived on since it is what God provided for them.
- Numbers 11:8 - The people went about and gathered it and ground it in handmills or beat it in mortars and boiled it in pots and made cakes of it. And the taste of it was like the taste of cakes baked with oil.
- Exodus 16:31 - The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.
- Why am I thinking of vanilla wafer cookies now? lol
- Exodus 16:35 - The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan.
Daniel and his friends refuse to eat the King's meat.
- The Israelites hated Manna – God’s ideal diet – a totally vegan diet. They whined and complained about it, so God sent them quail to teach them a lesson.
- Exodus 16:4 - Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day."
- Exodus 16:8 - And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you flesh in the evening to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for the LORD has heard your grumbling. Your grumblings are not against us, but against the LORD.
- Numbers 11:4 - The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”
- They definitely did not like being monomeal vegans lol.
- Numbers 11:31-34 - Now a wind went out from the Lord and drove quail in from the sea. It scattered them up to two cubits deep all around the camp, as far as a day’s walk in any direction. All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than ten homers. Then they spread them out all around the camp. But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the Lord burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague. Therefore the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had lusted for other food.
- Kibroth-hattaavah translates to “the graves of craving.” Basically, God got tired of their whining for flesh foods and sent a TON of quail meat. Some of the Israelites went out and gorged themselves on this meat. The Israelites who didn't do this buried these morons in the Kibroth Hattaavah "graves of craving".
- When God Killed the Meat-Eaters
What will the diet in heaven and on the New Earth be?
- This is probably the most famous example of veganism in the Bible.
- Daniel 1:8 - But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the king's meat, nor with the king's wine, therefore he requested of the chief official that he might not defile himself.
- Daniel 1:11-15 - Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel and his friends "Please test us for ten days: Give us nothing but plants to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the King's meat, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see." So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard allowed them to continue eating only plants and drinking only water.
- Daniel 1:17-20 - To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. At the end of their training period, the chief official presented them to the King Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel and his friends; so they entered the king’s service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
- Because Daniel and his friends refused to eat unclean foods and defile themselves, God blessed them with excellent health and great understanding during their period of training and learning.
- Because there's so many poor translations of the Bible out there, you have to go straight to the hebrew source and look up the meaning of the word. I generally stick to the King James bible because it is the best english-translated version, but anytime I don't fully trust its terminology, I go straight to a Hebrew dictionary comparison.
- The Hebrew word (זרעים zēro‛ı̂ym ) is a reference to seeds of any kind - from זרע zâra‛ to disperse, to scatter seed, to sow. Therefore it refers to plants that bear seed, of all kinds, and would be by no means limited to pulse - (peas or beans).
Does God care what we eat?
- Newsflash: it will be vegan again just like the Garden of Eden
- Many Christians are "preparing" for heaven by becoming vegan RIGHT NOW on the earth. The Bible talks numerous times about casting off old sins and bad habits and preparing yourself for heaven. You can get a little taste of what heaven will be like by going vegan right now. How awesome is that!
- Isaiah 65:25 - The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain," says the LORD
- Isaiah 11:6-9 -
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
- What parent would look away while his child ate a box of sugary cereal topped with ice cream and chocolate syrup? All parents want their children to eat healthy so that they remain healthy in body and mind! So of course God cares what we eat!
- Isaiah 55:2 - Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.
- 3 John 1:2 - Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
- 1 Corinthians 10:31 - So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
- John 10:10 - I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
- The entire plan of salvation is to save our lives. So of course God cares what we eat and how we live. He wants us to live in a healthy manner and take care of ourselves: physically, emotionally, and mentally.
- Proverbs 23:1-3 When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.
- Basically, it's saying when you eat crappy food, it's the same as putting a knife to your own throat. Don't be deceived by how good it might taste. We all know how processed foods are deliberately engineered to be highly addictive. And look at how many people are deceived by it.
- Finally, for those who still think eating meats that are specifically marked as unclean like pork are ok:
- Isaiah 66:15-17 - For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For with fire and with his sword the Lord will execute judgment on all people, and many will be slain by the Lord. Those that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves to go into the gardens, those who eat the flesh of pigs, rats and other unclean things—they will meet their end together.
- This is speaking of the Endtimes judgement when God kills the wicked. Those who eat the unclean things of the world, and are aware what they do is wrong, are consumed by hellfire. "Sanctify themselves" means they justify it to themselves. They make up excuses to justify eating unclean (aka unhealthy) things to themselves, but God never sanctified/justified it. I doubt Oreos are as evil as eating meat, but it is something to think about. Treating your body like a trashcan and eating unhealthy foods doesn't make you a good candidate for heaven.
Christian "excuse-ology" aka the quotes that some Christians try to use to explain that the dietary laws of the Bible don't apply to them.
- This page offers a great breakdown for what Acts 10 actually means: Did God declare all meats clean?
- 1 Timothy 4:3-5 - They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.
- What usually happens is many Christians like to only quote Timothy 4:3-4, and they leave off the last bit "since it is sanctified by the word of God". If you take this quote by itself with no context, then that would mean EVERYTHING is good to eat. AKA poisoned food is good to eat. Cotton candy (which is just pure sugar) is good to eat and nutritious. Cannibalism (eating other human beings) would be good to eat. NOTHING is to be rejected! Even human flesh!! Which is stupid!! That's why the context of a quote is so important!! The only thing this quote is saying is that if the Bible says its ok to eat, then its ok to eat aka "sanctified by the word of God". AKA if you want to eat cow, you may, but if you want to eat pig, you may NOT. Pig is unclean and the Bible expressly forbids it. Ultimately though, vegan diets are still superior to the clean animals diet since it was the diet God originally intended for us. But the main point is, God DID NOT give you permission to just eat whatever you want. He wants you to avoid the things he has listed as unclean and to avoid things you KNOW are unhealthy such as cotton candy, oreos, etc. You won't find "Thou shall not eat oreos" in the Bible obviously, but God wants you to eat for your health, not your self-destruction.
- 1 Timothy 4:1-5: Does It Abolish the Law of Clean and Unclean Meats?
- 1 Corinthians 10:25-28 - Some Christians like to try to use this quote OUT OF CONTEXT to try to defend once again that we're allowed to eat "whatever we want". In context, this quote is only telling the Jews that they may eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols, unless someone actually tells them it has been sacrificed to idols. It is not giving permission to eat unclean meats. It's giving them permission to eat clean meats that happen to have been sacrificed to idols.
- There are numerous passages in the Bible just like 1 Corinthians 10:25 since the Jews were obsessed with being "pure" or "impure". None of these quotes in the Bible abolish God's laws about clean vs unclean meats. Christians are only looking for excuses so they can eat "whatever they want". Here's a great article on these passages in the Bible: Does Romans 14 Abolish Laws on Unclean Meats?
- Here's a comprehensive list of quotes Christians like to use to say the Old Testament isn't valid anymore: New Testament Teaching on Dietary Laws - Are they abolished or not?
- God gave man permission to eat very specific clean meats (with the blood removed) after Noah's Flood. But he has never given permission for man to just eat "whatever he wants". And the original vegan diet in the Garden of Eden remains the ideal diet to this day. God would prefer if we ate no meat at all because sin and death was never something he wanted in the world.
The Status of Humans and Animals according to the Bible
Are animals the equals of human beings? (aka "speciesism" as claimed by animal activists)
- Genesis 1:26 - And God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
- As beings created in the image of God and granted dominion over the planet Earth, we are the rightful rulers of the planet and its animal creatures. However, nowhere does God say to act like tyrants and destroy the environment and animals. We are meant to be good caretakers of the planet. "With great power comes great responsibility" is very true because God will eventually destroy those who destroy the Earth in the Endtime judgment.
- Revelation 11:18 - The nations were enraged, and Your wrath has come. The time has come to judge the dead, and to reward Your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear Your name, both small and great,
and to destroy those who destroy the earth."
Does God care about animal life?
- Genesis 9:5 - And I will require the blood of anyone who takes another person's life. If an animal kills a person, it must die. And anyone who murders a fellow human must die.
- -- God is making it perfectly clear that animals are not the equals of human beings. We do have the right to kill an animal if it takes a human life, but that doesn't mean you have to eat it.
- Absolutely he cares! He just wants people to understand that human beings do have a higher status than the animals. You should never sacrifice a human life over a dog, for example, because a human life is worth more than a dog.
- Matthew 10:29 - What is the price of two sparrows -- one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.
- God is all-knowing. He knows when every single creature of his creation dies and it grieves him that anything has to die. But that is the wages of sin that humans brought into the world themselves.
- Matthew 10:31 - So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
- God is stating how valuable human life is compared to animals, but at the same time he isn't giving you permission to go out and murder a whole flock of sparrows!
- Love the animals and your pets with all your heart. God created them for you to love. But don't get so attached that you lose all common sense and forget that a human life is worth more. Animals are to be treated with respect and love, but not to the point of worshipping them. Not to point of thinking they are the equals of human beings.
- Matthew 6:26 - Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
- This is a rhetorical question. Matthew is pointing out that God takes care of the animals, so he can certainly take care of you because you're even more valuable than the animals.
I am God, your God.
I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens,
for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine.
If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
Despite human life being superior to animal life, what are our duties in regards to the animals?
- God is pointing out that everything in the world was created by him and therefore belongs to him, regardless if they sacrifice animals to him or not. The animal sacrifices are not to "appease" him as if he were a pagan god nor does he have any need of them himself since he doesn't eat them or anything. It is simply used as a symbol to remind human beings about the sacrifice that must be made to cover their own sins (a symbolic foreshadowing of the coming savior). A reminder that death is in the world because man has sinned. After Jesus was sacrificed, animal sacrifices ceased. God knows that humans require powerful, constant reminders about their duties and sins because humans are so sinful and selfish, they forget extremely quickly. Case in point, many vegans will regularly rewatch animal cruelty movies etc to remind themselves why they chose their diet. They have to reaffirm their beliefs by re-experiencing it because the memories fade over time very quickly. No matter what you believe, constant exposure is the only way to constantly remind yourself WHY its important to you so you don't forget it.
- Genesis 1:28 - God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
- God declares us as the rulers of the planet. As rulers, we are expected to go out and use our resources and multiply our species. AKA "GO LIVE LIFE!"
Will all of the animals or our pets go to heaven?
- Genesis 2:19-20 - Though it was God who created every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens, he brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the animals; all the birds in the sky and all the beasts of the field. (I guess the aquatic animals were named later lol)
- Adam's very first task was to name all of the animals. I very much doubt he was naming them "whooper" or "big mac" or dreaming about how he would kill them all one day.
When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”
Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”
The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”
“No,” he said.
Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.
The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one. The donkey saw me and turned away from me three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared the donkey.”
- Balaam's life was saved by the donkey, even though he beat it three times. How many stories have you heard about animals saving the lives of humans? We owe animals a lot. They are only suffering and dying because we humans screwed up and brought sin into the world. And yet, despite the cruelties we perpetrate upon the animals and the earth, the animals still unconditionally love us and try to help us. It may be a simple-minded love, but it is love nonetheless.
- Unfortunately, the Bible never clearly addresses this issue. But I do hope the animals are all resurrected in heaven or on the New Earth, especially our beloved pets!
- Unlike plants, both people and animals have the "breath of life".
- Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
- The word soul in Hebrew is nephesh, meaning “an animated, breathing, conscious, and living being.” Man did not become a living soul until God breathed life into him.
- The word refers to the aspects of sentience. Human beings and animals are both described as having nephesh. Plants, as an example of live organisms, are not referred in the Bible as having nephesh. See where nephesh is used in the Bible
- So the Bible confirms that animals have the "breath of life" just like humans do. AKA they are conscious beings, they have emotions, and they experience physical and mental pain, unlike plants.
- However, animals are not created in the image of God, so although they are conscious and have free will, they do not have "moral free will" or "moral consciousness" like human beings do. Animals don't ponder their own existence and they don't need to be redeemed because they don't have moral consciousness. God blessed us with higher-level thinking to choose between right and wrong, which means we need redemption and we have a responsibility to do the right thing, unlike the animals. This is why God named us as the rulers of the planet and not the animals.
- This is also why people are not sure if animals will be resurrected in heaven or not. They do have the "breath of life" like a human, but they are not in need of redemption. While you and I can appreciate WHY we are in heaven and the struggle it took to get there, the animal doesn't. The animal just knows its alive and happy. If God resurrects all of the animals, it will be for our benefit and our peace of mind, not the animals. And despite the fact that the Bible is silent on the matter, I think there is a good chance he will resurrect the animals, especially our pets. I think it would be strange for God to allow us to love our animals so much only to take them away from us forever.
More info that may explain things that seem like contradictions:
Did God actually want Animal Sacrifices to occur in the Old Testament or did he "allow" them to occur because of the culture of that era?
Was Jesus actually a vegetarian? Answer: possibly
- Unlike the Animal Sacrifices, which I think have some pretty decent arguments and explanations from the Bible itself as to why they ever occurred, whether Jesus was a vegetarian or not is unclear. So take the following information with a grain of salt since it comes from sources outside of the Bible. Jesus may have been a vegetarian like some historical sources claim or he may have eaten fish/lamb occasionally in order to survive within the culture. It's not like Jesus had a supermarket down the street full of fresh produce. And having a standard meal (of that culture) with someone is a powerful way to forge friendships and get them to talk to you. Jesus may or may not have occasionally eaten meat as a way to open an opportunity to get his primary message across to someone. And then perhaps he and his followers saved the smaller details like vegetarianism for later. This is exactly what the Seventh-Day Adventist Church does. They highly, highly recommend and encourage vegetarianism, but they don't require it as that would exclude so many people from the church and from hearing the greater message of salvation. In other words, you have to pick your battles. You can't convert everyone on every single detail or you lose some people.
- As a vegan myself, the idea of eating dead flesh and making my body a graveyard for animals is sickening. So I can't imagine how sickening such an act would be for Jesus (aka God in human form) who created the animals. So my personal belief is Jesus was vegetarian. He probably sat at tables with meat and passed the dishes to people during Passover, but I have a strong feeling he skipped the meat himself. After all, that's what us vegans do when we socialize among the heathens too. ;)
- ---Like I said before, you will have to take these outside sources with a grain of salt. We just don't know for sure if the "fish stories" were added later or modified in any way. Regardless of a few "fish stories" about Jesus, the overwhelming bulk of the evidence in the Bible is for veganism or at the very least there's no way God gave people permission to eat "whatever they want". The Bible confirms that God has always had rules about which foods are best and how we should be treating the animals in our world.
- Was Christ a Vegetarian?
- Vegetarianism in the Bible
- The Biblical Basis of Veganism - I don't agree with everything said in this article, whether because of flimsy evidence or murky interpretation, but it is very thought-provoking nonetheless and shows how deeply the issue runs. The true answer to "Did Jesus actually eat meat?" probably has been lost to history.
- In conclusion, given what is described in the Bible about God's character, the status of humans and animals, the original diet, etc and the historical records we have of vegetarianism being a hotly debated subject throughout the history of the church, it is very logical to think Jesus was a vegetarian, even if we don't have any hard evidence for it.
The animal sacrifices in the Bible and the possibility of Jesus eating fish are the toughest issues to tackle since they go against what was "ideal" when God first created the world. But they may have been necessary at the time and so we should not use them as evidence that people in modern times should also be flesh eaters. Those of us who live in first world countries are in a glorious position to choose what we eat and we can choose the ideal food that God created for humans from the beginning before everything went so wrong.
Vegetarianism in Early Christianity
Although early Christian vegetarianism appears to have been downplayed in favor of more "modern" Christian culture, the practice of vegetarianism appears to have been very widespread in early Christianity, both in the leadership and among the laity. Origen's work Contra Celsum quotes Celsus commenting vegetarian practices among Christians he had contact with. Although not vegetarian himself and vehemently against the idea that Christians must be vegetarians, Augustine nevertheless wrote that those Christians who "abstain both from flesh and from wine" are "without number".
Vegetarianism in modern Christianity
The Seventh-day Adventists promote a health message that recommends vegetarianism and expects abstinence from pork, shellfish and other foods proscribed as "unclean" in Leviticus. A number of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, including Joseph Bates and Ellen White adopted a vegetarian diet during the nineteenth century, and Ellen White reportedly received visions from God regarding the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. More recently, members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in California have been involved in research regarding longevity due to their healthy lifestyle, which includes maintaining a vegetarian diet. The Seventh Day Adventist vegans in Loma Linda, California are the longest-living group of people on the planet.
Vegetarian vs Vegan?
Some of you are probably wondering why I keep flipping back and forth between the terms "vegetarian" and "vegan" so casually. It's because the vegetarians and vegans are mixed in together and it can be hard to separate them out as distinct groups. Many Seventh-Day Adventists are vegetarian, but some are vegan. Ellen G. White is always said to have promoted vegetarianism, but if you actually read her writings, she clearly promotes veganism. She spoke against butter, milk, eggs, and cheese. "Especially harmful are the custards and puddings in which milk, eggs, and sugar are the chief ingredients." "Butter is less harmful when eaten on cold bread than when used in cooking; but, as a rule, it is better to dispense with it altogether." "Cheese is wholly unfit for food." Ministry of Healing, pg.301-302 All of this information came from the visions she received from God. She was no doctor. But now all of our medical studies in modern times are confirming what she wrote down 150 years ago.
Another interesting piece of knowledge that God imparted to her is this:
Milk, eggs, and butter should not be classed with flesh-meat. In some cases the use of eggs is beneficial. The time has not come to say that the use of milk and eggs should be wholly discarded. There are poor families whose diet consists largely of bread and milk. They have little fruit, and can not afford to purchase the nut foods. In teaching health reform, as in all other gospel work, we are to meet the people where they are. Until we can teach them how to prepare health-reform foods that are palatable, nourishing, and yet inexpensive, we are not at liberty to present the most advanced propositions regarding health-reform diet. TSDF 41.3
Let the diet reform be progressive. Let the people be taught how to prepare food without the use of milk or butter. Tell them that the time will soon come when there will be no safety in using eggs, milk, cream or butter, because disease in animals is increasing in proportion to the increase of wickedness among men. The time is near when, because of the iniquity of the fallen race, the whole animal creation will groan under the diseases that curse our earth. TSDF 41.4
God will give His people ability and tact to prepare wholesome food without these things. Let our people discard all unwholesome recipes. Testimonies on Diet and Foods, pg.41
In other words, God warned Ellen White how bad things were going to get in the future and it was best to start acclimating people to a vegan diet 150 years ago when she wrote this. Can we not look around at our world today: the factory farms and the pollution and see how bad things have become? How unsafe animal products have become, even the "clean" meats of the Bible, due to the wickedness of men because humans are the creators of factory farms and pollution. Just imagine how bad it will be in another 30 years. Disease and pollution is only going to get worse, not better, unless a significant portion of the population stops eating animals altogether and becomes vegan. In the meantime, I personally will not be taking the risk of eating diseased flesh nor have a hand in destroying God's creatures because he never created the animals for us to eat.
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