Thursday, October 14, 2010

What Does The Bible Say About Being Vegan?

Wow! If that title didn't scare you off let me say you're doing great and please stick with this and give it a read.
Believe it or not this is a question that I get a lot. Normally I don't respond to it publicly because religion/God is such a touchy subject for most people. However, I've been getting this a lot so here goes.
Do I think God would want us to be vegan is the question. My answer is I can't speak for God. I can however tell you what I've read about how God views animals and animal consumption and most of you if not all of you (yes, both meat eaters and vegans) will be upset with what I'm about to share, but remember this is just my humble opinion.
So let's go back to the beginning. Even before The Garden of Eden.
God created earth, plant life, animals, then humans. In that order. That alone says a lot but let's move on. Animals were probably on earth for hundreds if not thousands of years before Adam and Eve. So as some of earths first inhabitants I think they deserve some respect.
When Adam was created he was surrounded by peaceful animals who had no fear of him, and why would they have fear? Adam wasn't killing them or eating them.
Now as I see it Adam had a pretty sweet life. He lived in paradise, had God as a best friend and as a result was assigned a pretty cool job - naming the animals. God arranged it for the animals to approach Adam. Adam would study them and name them. Everyone was living in peace.
The Bible does says that Adam would have dominion over the animals and that the animals would be in subjection to him. Now before you say well there you have it! God said the animals were to be in subjection to man that means we can eat them, wear them and do what we want with them. Note this. We as humans are in subjection to God as well and how does he treat us? Just something to ponder.
So having the animals in subjection to him meant Adam was accountable to God for how he treated them.
Then as you might know from Sunday school things went terribly wrong. Adam and Eve ate fruit from a forbidden tree and were kicked out of paradise to the harsh conditions outside the Garden of Eden.
So then no longer living in perfect conditions Adam and Eve and their offspring started to kill animals for clothing to keep warm and dressed.
Things continued to get worse on earth and God got rather ticked off and said he was going to cause a flood killing all animals and humans not in the ark that Noah would build. If God didn't care about animals he wouldn't have arranged for them to be saved. Instead he arranged for the animals to go to Noah so that he could preserve them along with Noah and his family.
Now keep in mind Noah and his family and the animals were in the ark for over a year. Many people think because it rained for 40 days and 40 nights that was all the time that was spent in the ark. Wrong. Over a year because the flood waters were that high! It was a global deluge and it too a long time for the waters to recede.
Prior to the flood as far as we know animals were not eaten. It was because of no produce being available outside of the ark because everything was under water for a year that God said he would allow humans to eat meat. To protect the animals God at this time also put fear and terror of humans into animals, since God was now giving them up to humans.  Right after saying that Noah and his family had permission to eat animals God then says something interesting. That they were not to eat the blood of the animals and that he - God would ask back the soul/life from the human eating a living creature. Now you can interpret this how you'd like. For me I think God is saying to Noah you can eat animals for necessary food but needless slaughter was wrong. I come to this conclusion because a little later Nimrod (yah can you believe being called a Nimrod comes from the Bible?!) was a huge hunter and God disapproved strongly of what he was doing.
Wow, I feel like a preacher here, but let me go on a little further to show why I think God is against animal exploitation. Later in the Bible God instituted a law that protected animals. This was called the Mosaic Law and talked about proper care of animals both domestic, wild and stray. In fact it even said that crossbreeding was wrong and forbidden!
So there you have my thoughts on animals and God from just one book of the Bible (Genesis) maybe another day I can go on with other examples and stories, but for now my fingers are tired. I'm sure this much alone will fire up another heated discussion on eating animals and the Bible. Maybe the best suggestion is for you to crack open your own Bible do some reading and see what it says for yourself.
Until next time. 
Vegan Peace & Love

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