Diet in the Bible and the Vegetarian Journey of Sunforged

I am writing this as a reaction to a hub by the eminent sunforged in which he discusses several reasons he embarked on the vegetarian journey.

He mentions the fact that he worked at McDonalds and more or less leaves his personal horror story to the readers’ imagination but shares:

Interestingly, the same year my path crossed the McDonalds conglomerate, Rolling Stone published a two part article expose into McDonalds, fast food and the meatpacking industry. The writer of this article went on to write the muckraking novel "Fast Food Nation" many years later.

I remember being absolutely horrified at the photos that showed the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses. But, I was even more horrified by some random blurb that was highlighted. Apparently, McDonalds gets some really high quality meat! As one of the largest purchasers of beef in the entire world they get great prices on high grade meat.

In examples after examples sunforged confesses that he still did not stop eating meat. The article describes the various other influences such as being exposed to Buddhist thinking.

As a freshman pre-law major with a years credits completed via high school Ap tests, I was free to select from a lot of Minors and extra credits. I ended up taking Minors in both Religious Thought and Philosophy. I was most drawn to Buddhism and eastern thought, not just in regard to religious texts but as a result of the American art and literature movements that were significantly impacted by other searchers of Buddhist thought. For example, the Beat poets and Abstract expressionist movements were highly influenced by a selection of American individuals who were exposed to the writings and lectures of Suzuki. To this day, I still greatly enjoy works that show how modern physics parallels ancient Buddhist theories.

A lot of these individuals had made a transition to a vegetarian lifestyle. These were highly influential, very masculine, very creative western men who also were drawn to cutting their support of cruelty and death from their lives. The idea rang very true.

He went to substantiate his argument with quotations from great authorities such as Thoreau, Leonardo da Vinci, and this gem from Einstein:

Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. ~Albert Einstein

When I was finished with the hub I was left thinking that sunforged has not stated in this article that he is a vegetarian, only the title suggests that he is one. The journey makes for interesting reading and will inspire others to check his sources and ideas.

My second and perhaps most fundamental reaction, however, is that sunforged is from the culture which has the Bible, and the Christian Bible is an authoritative source for the original diet given to man. It could very well be that the beastly high consumption culture of the Christian west has strayed far from the dietary and ethical ideals of the ancient texts.

God’s concern with what we eat begins in the first chapter of Genesis where the diet was specifically vegetarian.

And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food (Genesis 1:29).

Following the entrance of sin the Genesis diet expanded to include herbs but the diet remained vegetarian. Only after the flood was man given permission to eat animal meats. With restriction against blood and fat. Of course God already had a distinction from as early as Genesis 7:2 between clean and unclean which the Levitical code explored in details.

Although God did not insist that man should eat vegetarian diet in subsequent narratives we find that in Daniel the test of health showed victory for vegetarian young men.

Based on the biblical and other evidence which I am prepared to adduce in future articles the modern ideal then is a vegetarian diet as given in the Eden. With respect to other religious traditions I invite persons living in countries where the Christian bible is available, to study the diet of the Bible. You may discover ancient yet powerful arguments for the journey to vegetarianism.

Yet I too, like sunforged must make my confession. Even with the knowledge that I have, I am not yet a vegetarian. I eat mostly vegetarian! But I’m getting there, at the time of writing this article I have been on a special health project of abstaining form meant for three months.

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Comments 6 comments

aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 5 years ago from Malaga, Spain

The fact remains that God did open our diet up to include meat, but (as you say) not the blood or fat.... which our society ignores.

The essence seems to be the matter of blood, which God exclusively claims the rights to.

I have thought about this matter for years, and concluded very little.... the addition of meat meant that there was a blood 'sacrifice', because when we kill animals, we are sacrificing their lives to continue ours. OK, we don't give them the option, it's not as if they volunteer to become hamburger steaks, but the fact is that to eat meat, we need to kill the animal first.

So I see some analogy in that with the blood sacrifice of Christ.

On the other hand vegetarianism as a statement seems to lean towards rebellion against Gods directions concerning diet.

It's one of those areas where we are free to choose, and choosing not to eat meat for personal choice seems to be no problem, whereas making it into a political agenda would.

Scripture specifically states that in the end days men would make prohibitions against certain foods...

1 Timothy 4:2-4 (Amplified Bible)

Through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized),

Who forbid people to marry and [teach them] to abstain from [certain kinds of] foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and have [an increasingly clear] knowledge of the truth.

For everything God has created is good, and nothing is to be thrown away or refused if it is received with thanksgiving.

and more specifically related to this subject;

Acts 15:19-21 (Amplified Bible)

Therefore it is my opinion that we should not put obstacles in the way of and annoy and disturb those of the Gentiles who turn to God,

But we should send word to them in writing to abstain from and avoid anything that has been polluted by being offered to idols, and all sexual impurity, and [eating meat of animals] that have been strangled, and [tasting of] blood.

Which is pretty much all the dietary laws stated in the new covenant.

Finally we are told...

Romans 14:2-4 (Amplified Bible)

One [man's faith permits him to] believe he may eat anything, while a weaker one [limits his] eating to vegetables.

Let not him who eats look down on or despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains criticize and pass judgment on him who eats; for God has accepted and welcomed him.

Who are you to pass judgment on and censure another's household servant? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he shall stand and be upheld, for the Master (the Lord) is mighty to support him and make him stand.

Apologies, I seem to have written another hub in your comments, but your original article was sufficient that another hub was unnecessary, but some definition did seem worth adding!

Feel free to delete, or add to your own hub, if you so desire!

John


glendoncaba profile image

glendoncaba 5 years ago from Somewhere in the hubverse Author

@aguasilver:

Never mind the length, I appreciate that you took the time to read and respond.

Meat eating, like polygamy, though permitted, was not prescribed. Same human body in OT is same digestive organs in NT.

A familiar figure of speech for health reformers would be the concept of a car manual which states the best engine oil. This would be the original diet. I suppose meat eating etc would be like stranded in the desert and coming upon a fuel station with inferior grade oil.

The NT texts you have cited are not discussing diet per se but heretical and legalistic problems which impinge on dietary rules.

Adam Clarke explains Verse 5. For it is sanctified by the word of God] dia logou qeou? By the command of God; probably referring to Gen. i. x19: And God said, I have given you every herb-and every tree-to you it shall be for meat; and to chap. ix. 3: Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things; i.e. I have given you every animal that is proper for food, as I have given you every herb and fruit proper for nourishment. Therefore, all this was sanctified, set apart, and appropriated to this use by this command. And when man is about to use it, he is to sanctify or set it apart to that use by prayer to God, 1. That it may "answer the end to us for which it was designed; 2. That we may use it with gratitude and moderation; 3. That all the strength derived from it may be devoted to God, in filling up the duties of those situations in which his providence has placed us.


salt profile image

salt 5 years ago from australia

I got to the point of wanting to be fruitarian where you wait until the fruit drops from the tree before eating. I figured, if plants have feelings, I may as well eat meat!


Browneesorchids profile image

Browneesorchids 4 years ago from United States

Do not forget that we are not to have the habits of the Old testaments but we are to interpret it in historical, cultural, and literary contexts to fully understand not to mention have a ordained pastor to guide you. With that said reading in the New Testament you will find that God's only Son Jesus made things anew and washed things clean for us, and meat is one. Back in the 1st century the Lord was shaping in a different way, circumstances were different. Not that God has changed, Ho never changes, but He does do new things for us. Much as in sacrificing, we no longer have to offer our healthiest cattle or farm animal or our riches, as we no longer are required to eat vegetables only, meat is not only healthy for us the Lord Jesus said, in the OT it says "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything".Genesis 9:3.

In the NT, it says, "who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer".1 Timothy 4:3-5

There are more Scriptures I could post for further knowledge of what God says about meat in the Bible and humankind.

Holy Bible

English Standard Version (ESV)


glendoncaba profile image

glendoncaba 4 years ago from Somewhere in the hubverse Author

brownee please see my reply to agua silver above. The Timothy text not contradicting healthy plant based diet but dealing with heresies such as gnosticism etc. I will post a sermon I have on the health and lifestyle topic. Our body is the temple of God so it is wise to listen to and obey his health laws.

Strange that Christians are dying from diet and lifestyle illnesses and contradicting the very health laws that God gave Israel for health and happiness. Not the purification codes now; talking about dietary laws. Even the codes on quarantine apply to modern medicine.

You may also find it instructive that Adventists are listed in the bluezone research. Adventists promote vegetarian lifestyle. From http://www.nutritionist-world.com/blue_zone_diet.h...

Loma Linda California Seventh Day Adventists

Loma Linda California is located in the smoggy orbit of greater Los Angeles California. Loma Linda is a Seventh Day Adventist community located at the top of a hill, (Loma Linda is actually Spanish for lovely hill). The Loma Linda community has built its own Medical center (LLUMC) and University (LLU). The Seventh Day Adventist religion is a Christian denomination which is distinguished by its observance of Saturday, as the Sabbath, and an emphasis on the imminent second coming of Christ. The church is also recognized for its emphasis on diet and health.

Loma Linda’s Blue Zone Secrets

1) Find your own “time of rest” – A break from the demands of every day life, the 24-hour Sabbath day provides valuable time be with family, friends, God, and nature. Adventists believe this time relieves stress, strengthens social networks, and provides peace.

2) Maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI) – Adventists tend to have healthy BMI’s (meaning they have an appropriate weight for their heights). This is attributed to keeping active, and eating meat sparingly, if at all. Adventists with healthy BMI’s have lower blood pressure, lower blood cholesterol, and less cardiovascular disease.

3) Get Moderate Exercise Regularly – The Adventist Health Survey (AHS) shows that you don’t need to exercise excessively to maximize your life expectancy. Getting daily, low intensity exercise appears to helps reduce heart disease and certain cancers.

4) Birds of a feather flock together – Adventists tend to spend lots of time together. They find social support by sharing values and habits with like-minded friends.

5) Snack on Nuts – Adventists who ate at least five servings of nuts per week, cut their risk for heart disease in half. They also lived about two years longer. At least four major studies have confirmed that eating nuts has a positive impact on health and life expectancy.

6) Give Something Back – The Seventh-day Adventist Church promotes volunteering by providing individuals with opportunities to contribute within their community. This encourages members to remain active, discover sense of purpose, and ward off depression by uniting to help others.

7) Eat Meat in Moderation – Many Adventists, like the Okinawans, follow a vegetarian diet. The AHS illustrates that consuming fruits, vegetables and whole grains seems to protect against a wide variety of cancers. For those Adventists who prefer eating some meat, only small portions are recommended, and served sparingly, as a side dish.

8) Eat An Early Light Dinner – “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper,” American nutritionist Adelle Davis recommended. A light dinner early in the evening helps to avoid flooding the body with calories during the inactive evening hours. This Adventist principle seems to promote better sleep and lower BMI.

9) Put more Plants in you Diet – Nonsmoking Adventists who ate 2 or more servings of fruit per day had about 70 percent fewer lung cancers. Adventists who ate legumes such as peas and beans, 3 times per week, had a 30 to 40 percent reduction in colon cancer. Adventist women consuming tomatoes at least 3 times per week had reduced chances of getting ovarian cancer by 70 percent. Eating lots of tomatoes also seemed to reduce cases of prostate cancer in men.

10) Drink Plenty of Water – The AHS (Adventist Health Study), suggests that men members who drank 5 to 6 glasses of water per day had a 60-70% reduction in fatal heart attacks.


glendoncaba profile image

glendoncaba 4 years ago from Somewhere in the hubverse Author

:)

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