The Fellowship of Life
a Christian-based vegetarian group founded in 1973


Why meat dishes aren't for me...

From the 'Dear Anne...' advice column which appeared in The Universe dated Friday, November 6 1987:

QUESTION: Like a growing number of young people, I am a vegetarian. I gave up eating meat not particularly for religious reasons but because I was revolted by the idea of eating dead flesh and feel that living things should not be slaughtered to provide me with tasty meals or a fast-food hamburger.

My parents don't understand and think I'm going through a phase. Am I right or wrong? And has the Church any guidelines here?

ANNE ANSWERS: What you say does not surprise me. I have encountered among young people from different parts of the country a quite strong attraction towards vegetarianism. To be logical I suppose most will have to abstain from fish as well since the same arguments apply. I have sympathy with your point of view. Provided that it is possible to maintain a well-balanced diet under such restrictions I would think there is every reason to applaud your decision. It certainly fits in with a Christian awareness of the sanctity and value of all things which are to be respected and cherished for their own sake.

It does not, however, take account of the fact that we need to sustain life. If that necessarily involves eating other creatures - and, until now, Christians generally thought it did - then it is certainly not wrong to eat flesh meat and fish. So I think the answer must be: your choice is clearly a legitimate one but it is not necessarily the only right one.

You cannot condemn others who do not take your point of view. I would not accept that your vegetarianism is more Christian than my eating of meat. I suspect, however, that a growing appreciation of the unity of all God's creation will lead more and more people to take your side.

See letters: .

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