A Vegetarian Diet is an interesting and sometimes controversial subject. Even though I’m not a vegetarian, by faith I follow God’s laws – so what does He say about it?
God intended man to be vegetarian according to 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.” So we were designed for it.
Originally the world had a different climate structure. It was only after the Flood that God said, “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.” Genesis 9:3. I suspect it was not only due to climate change, but the fact that animals multiply faster than humans and would over-populate the earth and mankind itself.
Vegetarian diets can be plant-based only, or one which allows eggs, cheese and milk products. In this matter, God gives you choice, conscience and the desires of your heart. He only wants you to be self-controlled, healthy and to honor your personal temple. Isn’t it gluttony to devour that advertised 72 oz. rib-eye monstrosity which creates a dangerously acidic pH? Meat’s a side dish.
A vegetarian diet makes sense:
- What are the most common diseases today? Heart ailments, kidney disease, cancers, hypertension, high cholesterol. A true Vegetarian has fewer health concerns. Since cholesterol is only found in the liver, many of these diseases could be eliminated or reduced through a vegetarian diet.
- When one consumes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, one is ingesting a healthier, higher fiber diet. This naturally lowers the risk of colon cancer as well as the diseases already mentioned. (There is no fiber content in meat no matter how tough it is!)
- A vegetarian diet is extremely colorful, containing more complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals (like lycopene) and flavonoids which boost our protective physiology.
- I grew up on a dairy farm where cows were raised pretty much organically back then. Today however, animals are raised with so many growth hormones, consuming meat products are causing a rise in the puberty rate at a much younger age . . . another health concern.
- Beneficial Omega 3’s can be found in nuts, avocados, flaxseed, canola, olive oil and other plants, nuts and seeds.
- In the book of Daniel verses 1: 1-21, he not only survived but thrived on a diet of vegetables and water.
- A vegetarian diet is a very controlled one which, if practiced correctly, creates a well-disciplined individual.
- Vitamin B12 access is primarily derived from animals. However I believe that vegetables grown in organic soil (manure based) would hopefully produce enough B12 to sustain a healthy vegetarian diet. Otherwise a supplement is needed.
- Beware: A vegetarian diet doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. Saturated fat is found in whole milk and cheese. I’ve counseled several vegetarians who were well over 200 lbs. primarily because they ate mac and cheese, creamy pasta sauces, French fries, butter and trans fat items such as potato chips and cookies.
- Your balance awareness is essential! Not ingesting macro and micro nutrients could produce depression, hair loss, anemia, lethargy . . . so listen to your body signals.
So then why shouldn’t we all adopt a Vegan lifestyle?
- Because God advised us to consume meat after the world-wide Flood. See fourth paragraph. Unless the world’s animal production was drastically curtailed, animals would overrun the earth. Just look at countries where animals are considered sacred and what happened to the environment there. That’s man’s choice.
- God told the Israelites to eat lamb, bitter herbs, unleavened bread to remember the Passover. Exodus 12:8-9
- God laid out strict dietary laws in Leviticus 11 for health and sanitary reasons.
- Jesus offered fish to others and being God, He wouldn’t offer anything that would harm His people.
- In order to derive enough B12 in a vegan diet, purchasing organics would be the most beneficial. That usually means additional expenses.
- It’s difficult to dine out at restaurants or with friends who aren’t vegans.
- It’s challenging to find recipes (seek WordPress food blogs) which adhere to a vegan lifestyle and one must constantly combine (ex: beans and rice) to ingest the proper balance of nutrients.
So What does God Want? . . . Obedience and Common Sense
- He laid out strict laws as to what animals to consume in the Old Testament Deuteronomy 14: 3-20 and the New Testament in Acts 10:10-15.
- Jesus ate fish. Luke 24: 41-43
- Jesus ate the Passover feast while on earth. Luke 22: 14-15
- In Acts 11:5, Peter was told what he could now eat and it included meat. “”The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’
Should one consider a vegetarian diet? Although I don’t adhere to one, I would highly recommend it!
“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer” 1 Timothy 4: 4-5