My post on this topic from January 16, 2016 has been my most viewed blog post – indeed, my highest traffic web page since the start of Really Nourish. It has been so much so that I expound on the topic in my forthcoming book, Securing Our Birthright, and felt compelled to take a couple of aspects of this topic and give them a deeper treatment in these next couple of posts A Biblical Case for Veganism Part 2, and later this week, Part 3 (see link below).
A Biblical Case for Veganism Part 2: Why Should You Abstain from Animal-Based Foods?
This excerpt from Chapter 6 of the book takes on a scripture that some have been known to use to dispute the idea of abstaining from consuming animal flesh:
Everything God created is good, reject no flesh
(1 Timothy 4:4)
Here is another context discussion where the question one needs to ask is this:
What subject matter was the Apostle Paul addressing in this body of scripture?
The context from verse 1 is regarding a prophecy about what will happen in end times. Some will depart from the faith, because they’ll start listening to the “doctrines of demons” that will tell them that they should reject the food that God set apart for us to receive with thanksgiving. The context here is the REASONING for your abstention from food that was ordained by God.
In other words, if you abstain from eating even “clean” animals because you want to play your part in reducing the harmful impacts of animal agriculture on the environment in 2017, this is not the same as if you joined some cult whose doctrine required that you stop eating what the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ordained in Genesis 1, Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. This is why veganism cannot be characterized as an act of obedience to God in and of itself, but indeed it can be characterized as an act of self-sacrificial, dutiful stewardship of the Temple and this planet. Here, then, is a biblical case for veganism you can make to this end.
Animal Flesh IS Good, BUT…
There is another point to this end: what God created IS good. Animal flesh the way God created it is fine to eat. But there are limits to how much of it we should eat it that we have far exceeded in modern food culture. We now know that what is considered a normal level of consumption is, compared to old and even new testament times, excessive. God speaks about gluttony directly related to eating animal flesh in Proverbs 23:20-21. We are paying the price in the form of a health pandemic that just some restraint could bring to an end.
Also, the animal flesh that we have today is defiled, just as Ezekiel prophesied at the end of Chapter 4 in his eponymous book.
Livestock – that includes cows for beef and dairy, pigs for pork and chickens for meat and eggs – is kept in concentrated animal feeding operations where they reside shoulder to shoulder with other animals that may be sick and deceased animals are not removed right away. They are fed unnatural, genetically modified feed that is laced with unregulated amounts of antibiotics and dosed with synthetic hormones. Even the diary cows, although they are not slaughtered for meat, are forcibly inseminated relentlessly (the actual term for the machine used is a “rape rack”) so they are constantly making calves and, consequently, milk. Their babies are taken from them and tethered so they don’t move a lot to keep their muscles weak – the appeal of veal is tender flesh.
The fish is either coming out of aquatic farms where they too are packed way too close together and also fed GMO, antibiotic laced feed and residing in close contact with sick or dead fish or they are pulled out of polluted waters in drag nets that catch and kill more unintended catch than targeted fish. The animals are horribly mistreated.
The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.
In 1 Corinthians 10:31, scripture says whether we eat or drink, whatever we do, do it all for the glory of God. Does participating as a consumer in this system glorify God?
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