God Is a Vegetarian
Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.— 1 John 3:18
In this article I will debate against the idea that humans are meant to dominate God's creatures; that killing innocent creatures is okay because God says so; and that God is two-faced by being benevolent to some and callous to others.
I will debate these things because each of them is against God's truth, though you may not realize it.
- Realizing the law of compassion is the key to realizing God
I'm sure that the title of this article alone will get many people fuming. How could God be a vegetarian?
Preposterous! Uncanny! Why.. that would throw my whole understanding of things into doubt. Not me; not me. God eats meat just like us. He keeps slaughterhouses in heaven, and tears flesh from bones just like the devil in hell.
There is absolutely no logic in that at all, and certainly God does not believe such things.
- For what is God but love, compassion, mercy, and kindness? And we are to follow his example and live a life of love, compassion, mercy, and kindness
So very simple, yet somehow this message--this law--has turned to selective hypocrisy.
The highest realms of thought are impossible to reach without first attaining an understanding of compassion.— Socrates (469-399 B.C.)
AND GOD SAID: "Let us make man in our image, after 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. And God created man in His own image" (Genesis 1:26-27).
Meaning: As God is the benefactor and protector of man, showing infinite love, mercy, and kindness to us, so He commands us to be benefactors to all of the creatures of the Earth; to protect and love them as He protects and loves us; and to show infinite mercy and kindness to every living thing. God has dominion over us, and He allowed us dominion over His creatures. Does God's dominion over us mean that He will raise us in pens, inject us with hormones, steal our young, butcher us, and then eat us? Of course not, and the same applies to our dominion over His creatures. We are to protect them as He protects us.
If God is good, generous, kind, compassionate, and merciful, what makes us think that we're not supposed to be the same? He, after all, made us in his likeness. Despite this, many claim that the word "dominion" means that humans are to "dominate" all of God's creatures. But anyone who knows God even a little bit will know that this cannot be true. God is not a tyrannical, callous creature--nor does he expect us to be. If you want a further biblical study, note that in Genesis (1:26-27) sin does not yet exist, and therefore there is no concept of "domination" here as some would and do claim. Why this is claimed and argued over, I cannot say. But keep in mind that the word dominions is also used in the celestial hierarchy, the hierarchy of angels.
It is our obligation to build a culture of life, in which the strong protect the weak.— Pope John Paul
AND GOD SAID: "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has breath of life, I have given every green plant for food. And it was so. And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good" (Genesis 30-31).
I don't think God could be any more clear as to what he intended our diets to be. Somehow, over time, the word "meat" has become something other than its original definition, which is food. Here is the etymology: "The first meaning of the word Meat was solid food in general, in contrast to drink. This was the meaning in the first citation in the Oxford English Dictionary ~900. It was not until ~1300 that meat was used to denote the flesh of animals and not until even later the definition in the dictionary was changed" (On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen; Scribner, 2004).
Some will argue that yes, that's fine, but later on in the Bible God says that eating and even offering flesh is fine. Keep in mind, however, that God's intentions were betrayed by Adam and Eve, and evil entered the world. It's quite clear that a vegetarian diet of an herbivorous nature was God's ideal diet for man, and as we will see later on, the diet He chose for His son, Jesus Christ.
The gods created certain kinds of beings to replenish our bodies.. they are the trees and the plants and the seeds.— Plato (428-347 B.C.)
"AND THE FEAR OF YOU and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. Then God saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. And God was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain." (Genesis 9:2-3; 9:5-6).
This denotes a great change in God's tone and demeanor. Good and Evil have now entered the earth, and He knows that instead of protecting the weak, now man will take advantage of it; destroy it; and use it. The way it's said, it is a curse upon mankind, not an invitation to a barbecue. He is our angry Father saying, "Now look at what you have done! I know where this will lead. You've destroyed my gorgeous plan for you, and now the animals will surely suffer." And surely, as we look around, we see that it is so. Though you hide it from your eyes, still it is there. We heartlessly take advantage of their weakness rather than using our strength to show them God's mercy and love. In essence, we have turned a blind eye to compassion, and verily to God.
The animals share with us the privilege of having a soul.— Pythagoras (582-507 B.C.)
LATER JESUS APPEARED to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. And he said unto them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:14-15).
Jesus Christ, son of God, has just risen from the grave, and what does he do? He commands the apostles to preach God's law to every creature. Many, many Christians argue that animals have no souls; however, why would Jesus tell them to preach to animals unless they are sentient, soulful beings? God is not dumb, and nor was or is His son. He knew exactly what he was saying, and He knew exactly why. There it is in the Bible for all to see; yet, somehow there is some confusion. It is by "believing" animals to be soulless that we have come to hide our atrocities under the guise of "God's word." God's word, however, clearly states that the eating and killing of animals pains Him. How could it pain Him if animals were empty, with no soul? Why would Jesus command the most holy of his disciples to go preach to every creature? There is but one conclusion: Animals have souls, and we don't want to admit it; that would be to admit the sin of killing them to please our own lust.
The moral duty of man consists of imitating the moral goodness and beneficence of God, manifested in creation, toward all His creatures.— Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
GOD SAID, "For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives, and cut down and take away the spreading branches.They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey and to the wild animals; the birds will feed on them all summer, the wild animals all winter" (Isaiah 18:5-6).
The moral character of God is not to be debated. He even thinks to feed all of His animals with stray cuttings in the spring. God is indeed beneficent to all of His creatures, as indeed we should be, as He wished. What is a greater good than imitating God's perfect nature? There is nothing more that we are supposed to do with our lives, yet we create doubt amongst ourselves, and needless hypocrisy, and commit great evils against ourselves and others. Why?
The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.— Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
"THEREFORE THE LORD Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good" (Isaiah 7.14-15)
Again, God ordains specifically what is to be eaten by "the good." He does not mention making an offering of burnt flesh; nor does he mention any type of impurity for his Son. For, to be pure, Jesus (Immanuel) must surely obey God's law and eat of the land "flowing with milk and honey," and nothing "that has [the] breath of life." It follows that to refuse evil is to refuse doing harm to God's creatures. To refuse evil and do good is to embrace God's mercy, compassion, and love for all creatures--as He intended from the very beginning.
The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.— Buddha (563-483 B.C.)
QOHELET SAID: "As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?" (Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:13).
Though Qohelet's mood is of a somber nature, he divulges here many truths. All creatures who have the "breath of life" indeed come from the same dust, and shall return to the same place in God's heaven. How could it not be so, when God has explicitly said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Certainly the smallest in God's creation has no less worth than His greatest.
The soul is a spiritual particle present within any living entity whose presence causes the entire body to be pervaded by consciousness, the symptom of the soul. The soul is eternal, it has no birth, and it never dies.— Lord Krishna (3228 B.C.)
JOB SAID: "But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of God has done this?" (Job 12:7-9)
Animals are here referenced as equals in their knowledge of God. In fact, not only do they know God, but Job declares that any man can ask the birds, the earth, or the fish for proof of their knowledge of God.
There is an interesting undercurrent here, almost saying: "Look around you people, look at God's glory and rejoice. Every animal knows His power, every plant--but do you not?"
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.— Matthew 13:43
"THE TREE YOU SAW, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth, with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the beasts of the field, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds of the air-- you, O king, are that tree!" (Daniel 4:20-22)
Providing food for all, and sanctuary to beasts of the field and the birds of the air, God extends his love and compassion to all of His creation. The bird is not less than the beast, and the fruit is not less than the shelter. All are equal in God's eyes, for He "saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good." For God there is no distinction between man, beast, earth, or tree; it is all His, and it is all good.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.— Matthew 5:5-14
"PRAISE GOD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. Let them praise the name of God, for His name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens." (Psalm 148:7-149:3)
This Psalm says it all: All of us, everything existing on Earth, is in the same boat. We are ALL dependent on His love, beneficence, and compassion. We are all equally at His mercy and depend equally upon His devotion toward us all.
A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?— Jeremiah 5:30-31
JESUS SAID: "Seek not the law in your scriptures, for the law is life, whereas the scripture is dead. I tell you truly, Moses received not his laws from God in writing, but through the living word. The law is living word of living God to living prophets for living men. In everything that is life is the law written. You find it in the grass, in the tree, in the river, in the mountain, in the birds of heaven, in the fishes of the sea; but seek it chiefly in yourselves. For I tell you truly, all living things are nearer to God than the scripture which is without life. God so made life and all living things that they might by the everlasting word teach the laws of the true God to man. God wrote not the laws in the pages of books, but in your heart and in your spirit. They are in your breath, your blood, your bone; in your flesh, your bowels, your eyes, your ears, and in every little part of your body. They are present in the air, in the water, in the earth, in the plants, in the sunbeams, in the depths, and in the heights. They all speak to you that you may understand the tongue and the will of the living God. But you shut your eyes that you may not see, and you shut your ears that you may not hear. I tell you truly, that the scripture is the work of man, but life and all its hosts are the work of our God. Wherefore do you not listen to the words of God which are written in His works? And wherefore do you study the dead scriptures which are the work of the hands of men?" (Essene Gospel of Peace; Dead Sea Scrolls; Book 1)
Seek not the law in your scriptures, for the law is life, whereas the scripture is dead. I tell you truly, Moses received not his laws from God in writing, but through the living word.— Jesus, Essene Gospel of Peace (Dead Sea Scrolls)
The mission is different for us than for the birds and the beasts; we have free will. We have the choice to do good or evil; we have the choice to ignore His instruction and subtle guidance in all things. That is our distinguishing characteristic; not that we are greater souls than the rest, but that we have the ability to fall from grace; to do evil; to turn our backs--yet also the ability to accept all that God created as equally deserving of His infinite love, and ours.
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:5-14)
© 2010 Kate P