The Fellowship of Life
God is a veggie, says booklet
by Helen Saxbee
From The Church Times of 3 APRIL 1998:
The world's problems could be solved if Christians stuck to a meat-free diet, says a new booklet presenting a biblical case for vegetarianism.
The booklet is accompanied by a flyer which claims that "when the ghastly spectacle of God's animals reduced to chunks of flesh is more widely perceived as an insult to the Deity, the peace so often prayed for in churches will become a reality."
While recognising God's inducement in Genesis 9 that "every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you", the booklet says that "it should be remembered that this state of affairs was brought about by man's disobedience, and are at odds with God's original plan."
Examples of God's approval of vegetarianism are indicated by his anger with Moses as the Israelites cried for meat in Numbers 11, and by Daniel's enhanced appearance and powers after he adopted a vegetable and water diet (Daniel 1.3-20).
In the New Testament, Jesus's miracles with fish, and his eating of it, are attributed to the necessary dietary dominance of fish at the time. "Jesus's intention was to ameliorate suffering, not magnify it - as is the case with contemporary fishing practices." Jesus's regard for animals is seen to be proved in his parables and sayings, such as "The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep" (John 10.11).
The Rt Revd Hugh Montefiore, a former Bishop of Birmingham and a writer on environmental affairs, dismissed the booklet's biblical argument for abstaining from meat. Describing himself as "a carnivore", the Bishop maintained on Tuesday that Jesus's fish-eating culture remained a Christian tradition now. As for the idea that eating meat only became acceptable after the Fall, he said: "Aren't we still after the Fall?"
A spokesman for the Meat and Livestock Commission said on Wednesday that the commission had researched the issues of meat-eating and Christian belief, but that that research had been inconclusive.
Christian Vegetarianism is available from: The Fellowship of Life, 43 Braichmelyn, Bethesda, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 3RD, £1 inc. p&p.
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