Boycott, Climate Change, food, Global Warming, God's word, non-gmo, Organic

Food Sovereignty Defined in a Biblical Context

With more than 2 billion Christians worldwide, food sovereignty defined in a biblical context will shed some light on the lost connection between our beliefs and our day-to-day choices.  Let’s begin by breaking down the term Food Sovereignty:

From Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language

Food, noun

1. In a general sense, whatever is eaten by animals for nourishment, and whatever supplies nutriment to plants.

2. Meat; aliment; flesh or vegetables eaten for sustaining human life; victuals; provisions; whatever is or may be eaten for nourishment.

Feed me with food convenient for me. Proverbs 30:8.

Food Sovereignty Defined in a Biblical Context
St. George Greenmarket, Staten Island, NY

3. Whatever supplies nourishment and growth to plants, as water, carbonic acid gas, etc. Manuring substances furnish plants with food

4. Something that sustains, nourishes and augments. Flattery is the food of vanity.

Based on this definition, much of what we choose to eat today cannot be truly considered food because it does not nourish.

Sovereign, adjective

1. Supreme in power; possessing supreme dominion; as a sovereign ruler of the universe.

2. Supreme; superior to all others; chief. God is the sovereign good of all who love and obey him.

Sovereign, noun

1. A supreme lord or ruler; one who possesses the highest authority without control.

Food Sovereignty Defined in a Biblical Context
Judah loves Food Sovereignty! #FoodSovereignty

Some earthly princes, kings and emperors are sovereigns in their dominions.

2. A supreme magistrate; a king.

How Do We Support the Concept of Food Sovereignty Defined in a Biblical Context?

The knee jerk reaction for many Christians reading this is that God is sovereign over all, God provides, and He is to be implicitly trusted in His provision.  All of that is biblically sound, but it is incomplete.  By this simplistic version of doctrine, we neglect the fact that He gave us dominion in Genesis, then after the fall, restored that dominion in Christ.  That dominion is over all things.  He is King of kings.  He is King with a capital K, but indeed, we are lower case k kings.  This is the basis for the concept of our sovereignty over our food supply in this world.  As kings, we are not only in charge, we carry responsibility for it as far as how God’s provision is stewarded and distributed among mankind.  Let’s first take a look at some scriptures that establish our food sovereignty.

In Genesis 1:26, God created man and gave him dominion “over all the earth”.

Then, in Genesis 2:15, God put man in the garden of Eden to cultivate it.

After Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit in Genesis 3:17, God says “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.”  This indicates that although the gardening work will be harder, we are still free to cultivate and eat of it as much as we need.  Verse 18 says Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you (but nonetheless He restates) “And you shall eat the herb of the field”.  The right to cultivate and eat from the land as we needed to was still ours.  Food Sovereignty Defined in a Biblical Context

Fast forward to Genesis 6 & 7, as God is giving Noah instructions on what to bring onto the ark, He instructs Noah to stock the ark with food for the humans and animals on board.  It was under God’s instruction, but the actual decisions of what and how much to bring were in Noah’s hands.

Generations later, in Genesis 41, we see Joseph in Egypt laying out a plan to manage the food supply to provide for the seven years of famine predicted in Pharoah’s dream.

Certainly there are more examples like this throughout the bible, but this is enough right in the first book to lay the foundation for a biblical case for man’s sovereignty over food.  While there were appointed leaders at different moments in the biblical story who made decisions that affected the rest of mankind, their decisions were always based on making sure that EVERYONE could still partake in God’s bounty even in a huge disaster scenario.  None of the food decisions had anything to do with financial gain for anyone involved.

Why Is it Important to Examine Food Sovereignty Defined in a Biblical Context?

Now that you understand the position God gave you in His Kingdom, you must see your individual daily choices as a function of that role.  Every food purchase you make counts.  Every time you sit down to dinner, you make a statement about where you stand on this issue.  Even if you have not been conscious about it, you have been participating in it on one side or the other.  Either you have been unaware that you are contributing to the transfer of food sovereignty to the enemy or you have become a change agent.  There is no middle ground.

Your choices at the supermarket count more than your votes at the ballot box do.

Here are the facts:

  • By 2011, 10 companies controlled 75% of the world’s commercial seed supply.  (source: Genetic Literacy Project GMO FAQs) This list includes Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer and Dow (see definitions below).  They also operate in the pharmaceutical industry, own “food” packaging companies and market GMO technology.
  • Since the 1900s, some 75 percent of plant genetic diversity has been lost as farmers worldwide have left their multiple local varieties and landraces for genetically uniform, high-yielding varieties. (a)
  • Today, 75 percent of the world’s food is generated from only 12 plants and five animal species. (a)
  • Of the 4 percent of the 250 000 to 300 000 known edible plant species, only 150 to 200 are used by humans. Only three – rice, maize and wheat – contribute nearly 60 percent of calories and proteins obtained by humans from plants. (a)(a) Source:  FAO. 1999b

As you can see, in the last 100 years, we have shifted from “every tree and plant that is beautiful to look at and good for food” (Genesis 2:9) to a very limited number of nutrient sources that Big Ag can easily control, manipulate, import, export and monetize.  This has been the pattern of mankind’s loss of sovereignty over our own food.

Some Definitions

Big Ag (Agriculture), Big Food, Big Pharma (Pharmaceuticals) – Those of us born before 1980 will likely have some memories of Big Tobacco.  This was the moniker given to the tobacco industry in reference to the power and influence it wielded.  It was a group of large, wealthy corporations that marketed cigarettes and other tobacco products.  They used their wealth in every attempt to protect their product’s image, although numerous studies were showing undeniable links between tobacco use and lung cancer, throat cancer, emphysema and other diseases of the respiratory system.  They marketed to children, in medical journals and at doctor’s offices.  Their political lobby was extremely powerful.  Eventually they lost their battle, but for years they were able to retain the right to market to children and make fallacious claims about benefits attached to tobacco use.

Today, we have a similar phenomenon.  The three interlinked industries – agriculture, food production and pharmaceuticals – are using vast wealth to protect their image, although their products and their corporate practices are implicated in a multitude of problems in today’s world.  The largest corporations in this group are Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow and BASF.  They are the R.J. Reynolds Co. and Marlboros of today.  These problems include but are not limited to

  • Loss of biodiversity (refer to the facts above)
  • Climate change due to emissions from the livestock industry and other unsustainable, fossil fuel-dependent practices in agriculture
  • The health epidemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other lifestyle diseases (see definition below)
  • Deaths from properly prescribed and administered pharmaceutical drugs (these deaths surpass those from heart disease)
  • Soil depletion due to heavy use of chemical pesticides and herbicides, largely exacerbated by the unbridled release of GMO seed into the market
  • Increased malnutrition worldwide

Notice that today, smoking is widely and correctly perceived as a bad practice.  Children are cautioned against it and it is banned from most public spaces around the world.  Because we stood up against it, our lawmakers could no longer uphold Big Tobacco’s rights over ours, and the victory in that war is sealed.  We face a new war against a new “Big” enemy.  It is important that we recognize it and take the whole armor of God in it.

Lifestyle Diseases, aka Metabolic Diseases. These are sometimes referred to as Diseases of Affluence. – This is the category of diseases that are directly linked to eating patterns.  The “Big” industries finance scientists and universities to produce studies that link these diseases to factors other than diet, such as genetics and specific chemicals.  Nonetheless, an overwhelming amount of research in the field of diet and health that is not financed by the Bigs shows undeniable links between what individuals and populations customarily eat (their lifestyle) and their likelihood to develop these diseases.  The concept of diet and health appears often throughout scripture.

The reason these diseases are also referred to as Diseases of Affluence is that in these studies, correlations between diet and wealth also became clear.  The fact is that one of the strongest correlations discovered was a link between consumption of animal protein and incidence of diseases in this category.  Just as in biblical times, only the very wealthy and royalty could partake in animal flesh often, today it is wealthier societies and the wealthiest of the poorer nations who can afford to consume animal-based foods every day.  So we see more of these diseases in the more affluent members of the human family.  Here are some of the diseases in this category:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes Types 1 & 2
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Kidney and Liver Diseases

These diseases are largely attributed to what we in the western world consider to be a normal level of consumption of animal protein, free sugars (added to packaged foods and beverages and extracted from fruits as juice) sodium and animal fat.  To put this into perspective, in biblical times, the average person only ate animal flesh a few times a year when an animal was slaughtered during festivals.  Today, we eat animal protein three times a day and don’t consider it gluttony – that is deception.

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (or Centers, aka CAFOs or CAFCs) This is what livestock farming has become in modern times.  Gone are the days when a shepherd tended sheep in green pastures and cattle languished all day in grassy fields chewing their cud.  To support ravenous global demand for animal flesh, dairy and cheese and eggs, CAFOs have redesigned livestock agriculture to produce more animal products faster and cheaper.

The conditions of these operations is horrendous for both the animals and, to a lesser degree, the people who work in them.  Animals are crammed (concentrated) together in tight spaces, fed medicated, usually GMO grain feed.  There are too many abusive details about the living conditions and the practices employed to maintain the animals until slaughter to list here, but it is horrific.  The slaughter is a painful process that is usually frightening for the animals and dangerously unsanitary as well as perhaps mentally disturbing for the people who do it.   Also, the large concentration of toxic waste from these centers is a major contributor to greenhouse gasses and global warming, and land and water pollution.

This is all hidden from public view, because if you really saw what was happening, you would think very differently about your choice to eat animal-based foods at every meal daily.  In Earthlings,  a documentary by Joaquin Phoenix, these and other sad realities are exposed.  You have a right to know.  Have a look.

Now That We Have Examined Food Sovereignty Defined in a Biblical Context, What Can We Do?

OK, this is not going to be complicated, my friend.  Like most of God’s solutions to our problems, it is simple.  Also like many of His solutions, it is difficult.  The truth is that your individual daily choices make a much bigger impact on the world than you thought they did.  Every single day, every dollar you spend on what you choose to eat is a vote for or against the food sovereignty of mankind.  Let me explain:

This morning, you gave your kids a bowl of Big Brand cereal with dairy milk for breakfast before they went off happily to school.  Here’s how that impacted food sovereignty

  1. Your Big Food Brand cereal was produced by a company who is a subsidiary of Monsanto.  You didn’t know when you bought it, but basically your purchase supported GMO technology, which is a major part of their business.

    Food Sovereignty Defined in a Biblical Context
    Post is a subsidiary of Monsanto
  2. That cereal was made from Big Ag corn that came from a monoculture farm in the mid west planted with GMO seed (they don’t legally have to tell you that on the box) and was grown using Monsanto’s Round Up weed killer.  That weed killer is made from glyphosate, a known carcinogen (a chemical that is known to contribute to cancer in human beings), is also known to destroy soil quality, and is implicated in the loss of bee populations worldwide.  Indeed there had been an outcry against the continued use of glyphosate, so Monsanto is now marketing a newer, not necessarily safer version containing a chemical called dicamba.  But I digress.
  3. The cereal contains about 15 grams of sugar per 2 oz serving.  You gave your child about 4 oz of it, so you have now given them more than the World Health Organization recommended daily limit of sugar in one meal.  They will definitely have more free sugar during the remainder of the day – lunch, snacks, dinner –  and in time, they will be likely be overweight or develop obesity or type 2 diabetes.  Soon they will become a lifelong customer of Big Pharma.
  4. The dairy milk comes from cows raised in a Big Ag Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs, see above), where cows are crammed into tight, unsanitary living spaces, fed GMO corn and soy-based feed that is probably laced with antibiotics and robbed of their young as soon as they are born so that farmers can hook them up to “rape racks” and pump their milk out for profit.
  5. The dairy industry, operating in these CAFOs (or CAFCs), is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in part because of the large pools of toxic cow feces they generate that release the gasses into the air.

Had enough?  Want to talk about your egg and cheese sandwich?  Your stewed chicken lunch?  Your meat and potatoes dinner?  Your snack options throughout the day?

Also, consider this: Is it any wonder why these companies are all interconnected?  Imagine Bayer – the makers of that aspirin – is one of the largest seed companies in the world.  They get money going in and going out!  You overeat what they produce, they get paid.  You get sick from what your ate, they get paid.

Every dollar you spend votes one way or another.

They count so much because, while we only vote once or twice a year (and because of the electoral college system), we

Food Sovereignty Defined in a Biblical Context
#VoteWithYourDollars

must eat daily.  Notice that the impact of the milk and cereal breakfast option made an impact on both the individual eating it and the global system in which it was produced.  That small vote was another way to support those industries and their practices, and in voting for them you continue to allow them to have your food and health under their control.

How Could You Have Voted in the Other Direction?

  1. Instead of Big Brand cereal, opt for an organic food.  Start your child off with a piece of organic fruit, preferably locally grown by you or a nearby farmer.  This instills the value of whole food (Genesis 1, Daniel 1) in your child.  Also, the closer you sourced it, the less fuel it took to get it into your child’s hands.  It is nutrient rich and the sugar is in God’s perfect packaging.
  2. If you do give cereal also, again, go organic.  Organic foods are legally not allowed to be made from GMO seed crops.  Also, the more people buy organics, the more farming will shift away from destructive chemical use, and the more prices will continue to decline.
  3. Opt for a plant based “milk” so as not to support the dairy industry.  Unfortunately, while organic dairy milk is still better than the CAFO stuff, it still has these problems
    • Dairy protein aka casein, bad for human health
    • Unnecessary overuse of resources, including land and water
  4. Organic plant-based “milk” that is unsweetened is an optimal choice.  Many almond and soy “milks” come in unsweetened versions.

Solutions

  1. Pray.  This is our most powerful tool in any war.  We go to God, we give Him His praise, and we make our requests.  We speak our victory.  This is always the first step.  We have a prayer sequence.  Here’s the first of those.
  2. Learn.  This is the fun part! Educate yourself about your food – what is available around you, what symbols on labels mean, what terms are regulated by laws and rules and which ones are not.  Also, start learning what fruits and vegetables are from around your region and their seasons of availability.  Try new things often.
  3. Change. This is the most difficult part.  Your personal changes food choices and buying patterns will make an impact.  Holy Spirit can change you if you submit to His changes, and then changes in your thoughts and habits will follow.  This will take deeper bible study and a sustainable plan that is tailored to your life.  Here’s the 8 Day Really Nourish Devotional designed to get you through that narrow gate on the road to life.
  4. Minister.  This is the vital part that helps the movement grow.  We are all called to minister the gospel of peace.  Once we learn about Christ, we are mandated to tell others.  Christ came that we may have life and have it more abundantly.  Health is the most important form of abundance, and while the abundance is a free gift, we have our part to play in making our faith complete (James 2).

 

The war for #FoodSovereignty is on.  You are in it, Whether you knew it or not, and now you are armed with Food Sovereignty Defined in a Biblical Context.  You have the facts.  You know your options.  Now you can mobilize.

 

apps, Crops, Faith Gardening, food, gardening, God's word, Herbs, Moon, natural, no pesticides, non-gmo, Organic, scripture, sprout, Urban Gardening

Faith Gardening is A Ministry of Patience🌛🕛🌱

Faith Gardening is a ministry of patience, like the branch on which my patience fruit ripens. (Fruit of the spirit, Galatians 5:22-23) There is a built in patience requirement in gardening, as one awaits the flow of the natural life cycle of plants.  Then, I imposed another cycle of waiting periods on myself by timing my gardening activities with the moon. 🌑🌒🌓🌔🌕

Faith Gardening is a Ministry of Patience
Lune & Jardin App by JOCS

Sounds very esoteric, right? Not that woke. I have been able to approach this faith gardening with biodynamic vibes using the 📱Lune & Jardin (Moon & Garden) app by JOCS.

Faith Gardening refers to gardening without chemicals, synthetic fertilizers, or growth enhancers.  It relies heavily on natural factors and forces, like the phases of the moon as in biodynamic farming.

I started this practice with a shade of skepticism, not about the practice itself, but about the accuracy of the app. Nonetheless, through a combination of research, practice and sky gazing, Lune & Jardin has proven itself. It has even enlightened me to concepts about the moon’s travels I had never known before, like the earth inhaling and exhaling depending on what part of its revolution path it is on around the planet.

Faith Gardening is a Ministry of Patience
Waiting for bananas to ripen…patiently. #MorningInTheFaithGarden

How My Approach to Gardening has Changed

When I get the urge to put some new seeds in soil, for example, I have may to wait until next week when the moon is on its ascent again. Right now, it is descending, the earth is inhaling, the energy is in a downward direction so it is not a good time to expect seeds to sprout. This faith gardening is a ministry of patience indeed that perhaps is lost on the chemical gardeners and the hothouse farmers who flout natural seasonality in favor of profits.

Faith Gardening is a Ministry of Patience
During a descending moon, the downward pressure can even shift soil. Today I am able to see the roots of my heirloom tomato tree!

Gardening this way has given me a deeper understanding of Ecclesiastes 3. There is, indeed, a season to everything, a time to every purpose under heaven. When we submit to that timing, we are in harmony with creation. When we attempt to force our will out of timing, we create chaos. Yes, faith gardening is a ministry of patience that many of us need in our lives.

Faith Gardening is a Ministry of Patience
My neighbor blessed me a cutting of her Spanish Thyme, in the background are eggplant sprouts from seed. These will transplant into the garden today.
Crops, farm, food, gardening, God's word, Healthy, Herbs, no pesticides, non-gmo, nourishment, Organic, Urban Gardening

The Faith Garden Part 1

We are enslaved if we must rely solely upon our jobs, money, supermarkets and agribusiness to eat.  Thank God for His (yes, it’s His) system of seed time and harvest that never ceases.  We can all grow at least some of our own food.  You will start small but you will want to grow more because it was God’s first job for us.  He gave us the power to feed ourselves.

food, God's word, Healthy, scripture

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 4: Write and Visualize

Now that you are in the 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 4: Write and Visualize, the world is probably starting to look very different to you now! You’ve purposed in your heart not to defile yourself with delicacies. You’ve renewed your mind about what exactly food is.  The deception in what is available around you to eat has been uncovered. Thanks be to God!

Food Sovereignty: This is Your Liberation!

This is liberation for you, but at first may feel like some kind of bondage.  God promised  us in His word that He will satisfy us with long life.  Many people live long by taking 5-10 prescription medications every day, being in and out of hospitals, and living in fear of disease.  If you consider that “satisfying”, then stop reading right here and go back to your Facebook scrolling! Here’s the truth: YOU ARE FREE from all that when you honor God at your mouth gate. We can pray for healing from food-related diseases, but James 2:17 tells us that faith without works is dead, so here’s where the work comes in.

 

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 4: Write and Visualize – but Why?

In every life pursuit, visualizing and writing your goals down is a crucial step. In most cases, the difference between success and failure lies in whether this step was taken or foregone. Without revelation, people cast of restraint says Proverbs 29:18. Revelation is what God shows us, its His vision for us. If you can see it, you can achieve it!

A vision board is a great way to visualize your goals. I’m sure there’s an app for this, but I highly recommend a simple cork board on the wall. I always kept mine right near my bed, so it was one of the first things I laid eyes on every morning. You can find images of people in magazines and stick your face on them.  Find people doing things you want to do, like running or swimming, or people with body shapes you are aiming for.

Another thing I did was I changed the body shape on my Bitmoji. When I first made my Bitmoji avatar, she was a thick empress, but sometime in early 2015, she dropped 50 lbs. I changed her to a slim body type. I sat writing the first draft of this devotional in April 2016 having lost 45 lbs in size 8 skinny jeans. This is powerful!

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 4: Write and Visualize
My new, slimmer Bitmoji

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 4: Write and Visualize – How

Nick Zizi, a great motivational speaker I learned about recently, said of goal setting “If you can think it, ink it”. This is biblical wisdom. In Habakkuk 2:2, God tells His prophet to “Write the revelation down and make it plain so that a herald will run with it”. Here again, I’m sure there’s an app for writing goals, but I recommend pen and paper – assuming you don’t have stone tablets handy like Habakkuk did.

I put this question to Nick Zizi on a Periscope broadcast once.  He talked about some studies that have shown that writing on paper for this purpose is more effective. Get a journal to keep track of your food life scriptures, changes and choices.  Use it also to plan ahead and dream big about the rewards you can reap along your new journey.

Your 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 4: Write and Visualize Meditation Scriptures:

Habakkuk 2:2

Proverbs 29:18

To return to the 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devotional page, CLICK HERE.

Click Here to go to Day 5.

Children, food, God's word, Healthy, nourishment, scripture

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 1: Purpose in Your Heart

You are starting the 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 1: Purpose in Your Heart, and you are already off to a great start!

My daughter Ché is heavily involved, setting herself apart as a vocal opponent of sugar and other things that are harmful to our bodies. The 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 1: Purpose in your Heart starts you on your journey with an example set by a young boy.  This highlights one of the details about Really Nourish that is unique.  The succession plan is in place already.

Your First Scriptures: Daniel Chapter 1

She and I studied Daniel 1 together and learned how healthy eating and obedience to God in the area of diet set up Daniel and his friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (you know them as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed’nego) to become bosses, both physically and intellectually, in the land of their captors. 

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 1: Purpose in your Heart
Ché is the next generation of Really Nourish in the making!

When I started out, Ché was a brave 7-year-old who not only has embraced for herself the ministry of better food choices, but also shares that ministry with her friends and any grown-up who will listen.  It is an uphill battle.  Nonetheless, as we learned from this bible chapter, if you set your heart and mind to doing the right thing, God will have your back all the way!

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 1: Purpose in Your Heart Focus Scripture

Your scripture for today is Daniel 1:8. For those of you who have been thinking about changing your dietary habits, you’re not alone. And it’s hard! But as an important and very simple first step toward better stewardship of your temple, do like Daniel today: Purpose in your heart to no longer defile your body!

Speak this over yourself and soon you will see all your choices come in line with your affirmation. His word NEVER comes back void.

That’s it!  Your 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 1: Purpose in Your Heart is done!

In case you’re curious, here’s your Day 2 Preview: In Romans 12:2, the Lord instructs us not to conform ourselves to the world but to renew our minds.

To return to the 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devotional page, CLICK HERE.

food, Fruit, God's word, Healthy, Herbs, nourishment, nutrients, salad, scripture, vegan

A Biblical Case for Veganism

So you are considering going vegan now or have been vegan for a while and people in your church come at you with scriptural rebuttals for your choice.  As any good Christian would, you want to know what the Holy Bible has to say about all of this.  Here is a strong biblical case for veganism, a scriptural tour starting from day 3 of creation!
Free download on Kindle Unlimited

The First Menu: Herbs & Grains, Fruits & Vegetables

Genesis 1 (KJV)

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

The scriptures start presenting a biblical case for veganism right from the beginning.  On day three of creation, God empowers the earth He had just created to provide for the inhabitants He was planning to create.  He next creates the sun and the moon, and then populates the infant planet with animals to inhabit the waters, the land and the skies.  “And He saw that it was good” (Gen 1:24).

His next decision is to make man in His image to steward this world He has just carefully crafted and populated.  He makes man and woman and instructs them to be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth.

And then, He shows them their menu.

29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

keep-calm-and-go-vegan-15 (1)“Check it out”, says the Lord, “Eden is a Vegan Paradise!”  Let’s have a look at what’s on offer:

Herb yielding seed – In French, the word “herb” means grass.  One bible version actually substitutes the word grass for herb.  The word picture is a grass that has seeds.  This would include the entire grain family – wheat, rice, even corn .  They are tall, skinny “grasses” with seeds at the top. Also members of the onion family are grasses in their own right – just look at chives, and the tops of onions and garlic, how they grow straight, green, leafless shoots when the sit around in your kitchen a while.

Fruit of a tree yielding seed – some other versions say “fruit with seeds inside”.  So that covers fruit, but it also covers a lot of other foods we have labeled vegetables.  From a biological standpoint, the fruit of plant is the part that contains the seeds.  So, for example, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes (you can now tell your friends “I told you so!”), okra and avocados are indeed fruits.  Nuts are also considered fruit.  They are dried up versions of the same biological plant part.

Every Green Herb – This covers all your leaves – lettuces, cabbages, greens, herbs.

Every Tree – And since He said He gave us “every tree” (except for just one, we find out a little later!), and put no prohibition on what we can and cannot use from that tree, we can include root vegetables, sap and syrup, and anything else we can get from a tree or a plant and use without adulterating or processing.  What a huge bounty!

Notice that in this version, the most widely read version of The Holy Bible, He says “I have given every green herb FOR MEAT” (emphasis added).  How’s that for a biblical case for veganism???? Put a pin in that thought right there.



Don’t Name your Food: Adam and his Animal Friends

Genesis 2 (NIV)

19Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.

Biblical Case for Veganism
Judah and his pet goat Issachar

This is a cute but still strong biblical case for veganism verse.  We know that one of Adam’s first jobs as Commissioner of Eden Gardens was to name all the animals.  Anyone who has ever lived on a farm or read Charlotte’s Web can relate to the idea of NOT naming an animal that might end up on your dinner plate!  So we can presume, since there is no scripture saying that Adam named any plants, that God took care of that, simply so the man could have a way to identify one from the other, perhaps.  But God deliberately brings the land and air animals to Adam to name.  And name them all he does.

After the Flood: Desperate Measures

Picture it: Genesis 6.  The world is now populated, but the people are acting a real fool!  God decides to wash it down and start over.  He speaks to Noah.

Genesis 6 (NIV)

19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

Noah obeyed.  God didn’t ask him to bring plant specimens with roots.   Can you imagine Noah, perhpas with just the help of his sons, rooting around, rooting up a representative of every single plant?   Building a greenhouse on the arc big enough to house all of them?

God does ask for the animals who, for the most part, could walk or creep onto the arc on their own under Noah’s authority.  Remember, man has dominion over animals (Gen 1:28), so the expectation that they would obey was intrinsic, but also notice, he separately instructed Noah to store food.  Here a biblical case for veganism exists.  There were no extra animals to be slaughtered for food and no refrigeration or preserving methods for preserving leftovers.

It was after this point, in Genesis 9, that God ordains meat eating:

Genesis 9 (NIV)

The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

Wait, I thought we were establishing a biblical case for veganism.  How do we explain this?

At the end of the flood period, in the last verse of Genesis 8, God restores “Seedtime and harvest”.  In other words, God already made it in chapter 1, “and it was good”, so His design is still in function continuously.  We, bound by time on earth, would have had to wait for the return of plant life in such volume that could support all of mankind once again.  In the meantime, God said, you can eat the animals. (See our article: The Genesis Lifespan Shift:How Shortening Other Animal’s Lives Shortened Ours)

The New Covenant: Going Back to God’s Original Recipe

In ensuing chapters and books, we find that there are many restrictions placed on the eating of animals.  There are no restrictions in the scriptures on the consumption of plants, in fact, plants are not only food, but medicine.

Revelation 22:2 (NIV)

… And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Also, a lot of the opportunity for meat consumption in the Old Testament came from animal sacrifice.  The blood of the animal was used to cover up sins.  But fortunately, since Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29), came and died for us, animal sacrifice is no longer necessary for the believer.  So we can live and let live, no longer do we need to kill for food or faith!

Finally, in Revelation 21:4, the Lord says that when the end comes, there will be no more death.  So there will be no more animals slaughtered for food.  We will all be vegan in heaven!

Better Stewardship of Our Planet: Abstain and Contribute

God gave us dominion in the beginning.  As Uncle Ben says to Peter Parker “With great power comes great responsibility”.  In other words, we are responsible for our planet and, in general, we have really dropped the ball!Got Meat?

In this modern time, we are learning that the scale of livestock farming and over-fishing worldwide is making the largest and most damaging impact on ecology everywhere, including greenhouse gas emissions, contaminating drinking water, abusive land use, pollution of land and oceans, the list goes on!  (See the documentary Cowspiracy for a good overview).

So eating less meat, eggs and dairy, or none at all, can be your best contribution to the cause of saving the environment!  Interestingly, its a contribution that actually costs you less money, because meat and fish are more expensive pound for pound than anything in the produce section (except perhaps white truffles, but that’s about it).

In the spirit of presenting a biblical case for veganism to strengthen this point, here are the 3 best supporting scriptures:

Genesis 2:15 (NIV) The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.  In other words, we have been responsible for the well-being of the earth since creation.

Proverbs 12:10 (NIV) The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.  The operating principles Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) completely contradict this scripture.  That’s where most of the animal based food we buy comes from.

Isaiah 24:5 (NIV) The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. You may not personally consider yourself a polluter, but continuing to support animal agriculture on a daily basis kind of make you one.  Nothing personal.  

Becoming Plant Powered: Applying your Biblical Case for Veganism

Just like kicking any habit, you can either go cold turkey or take your time with it.  One day a week, then two days, then three days, etc.  Over time, you won’t even crave meat anymore, the smell won’t tempt you as much as when you were on a daily meat diet.  Need a fix in those early days?  Check the meat alternative section for something to hold you over.  But beware: soy, being the most widely available plant protein, is used copiously in such products, so keep these to a minimum!  Also, anything made to mimic cheese may actually contain milk-based ingredients so read labels carefully – all vegetarian items are not necessarily vegan!

Celebrating at an omnivorous relative’s house for dinner?  Bring a few dishes along to contribute, and stick to those as much as you can.  Otherwise, make that day the one day that month that you consume non-vegan food, and keep it clean the other 29 or 30 days.

Out and about shopping and running errands?  Carry healthy snacks along – we keep sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, dried fruit and coconut shavings around and make mixed bags to carry on the run.  Whole pieces of fruit are great too.  That way you don’t get caught by a craving or actual hunger before you get home and end up having to make choices among processed food and meat options.

Also, beware of substituting sugar and starch for the meat you are not having.  Interestingly, meat is a great way to deliver damaging free sugars and starch into the system.  The good old hamburger is a classic example: the white flour bun and condiments like ketchup and barbecue are collaborators in health problems with the animal protein in the patty.

A Biblical Case for Veganism Case Study: Trust God – His Menu Was (and Is) Perfect

Daniel 1 (KJV)

15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.

All of the nutrients we are supposed to be relying upon meat for – protein, iron, fats… that’s about it, I believe – are found in numerous plant sources.  Also, doctors have been documenting over at least the last 100 years that many of the illnesses that have become prevalent in humans today can be attributed in some way to meat consumption.

Think vegans are all skinny and weak and cold all the time?  Check out Daniel 1 to read about what a teenaged vegan boss he turns out to be by obeying God in the school cafeteria at Babylon Community College.

We hear a lot of meat eaters claim to still be “hungry” after having eaten a meat free meal.  That’s a mindset mostly that can easily be overcome by changing what you think and speak.  After the meal, perhaps say instead “that was so filling” or simply “I’m good”.  Remember Daniel.

Now that you have a thorough (but not exhaustive) biblical case for veganism, take a vegan challenge:

Do it for 2 months, even just 5 days a week.  Get a check up and blood work done before you start, and then again at the end to see if there are any changes or improvements in your health.  See how much better you feel overall in general.

Connect with seasoned vegans in your circle of friends (I’ll bet you have at least one!) for support, advice and well, of course, lunch!  Share your newly found biblical case for veganism with them too.

Leave wiggle room.  We still eat eggs and meat on occasion, like when we can get the eggs from a neighbor who raises truly free range chickens or perhaps when someone is cooking wild meat.  But define “on occasion” in specific terms, like the first weekend of the month is common fowl omelette day, or no more than one wild meat fete in a two month period…

Any sustained effort at focussing on your food life with a discerning eye will benefit you.  All the better if this is something you’re doing unto the Lord as an act of good stewardship of the temple, for we know the great benefits that come with that level of dedication.  Again, Remember Daniel!

OK kids, you now have a strong biblical case for veganism!!  Now Go VEGAN unto the LORD!

Copyright 2016 Rashida V. Serrant-Davis, The Really Nourish Movement.  All Rights Reserved.