Humane Religion Magazine
November - December 1996 Issue
THE VEGETARIANISM OF JESUS CHRIST
by Charles P. Vaclavik
The subtitle of this book--The Pacifism, Communalism and Vegetarianism of Primitive Christianity, more accurately describes the scope of this work than does the main title.
In his book, Vaclavik presents the historical record of the early Church Fathers; a record which shows that prior to 300 A.D., pacifism was a hallmark of Christianity and vegetarianism was a recognized characteristic among many of Jesus' followers.
For the most part, the sources the author uses to document his position are the records that have been accepted by generations of Christian historians. But these traditionalists uphold a militant Christianity from which all traces of the mandatory nonviolence--which Jesus taught--have been removed. Vaclavik brings to light those teachings which have been repressed, or ignored.
He traces the historical record of these teachings from the time of Phythagorus in the sixth century B.C., and shows how they affected Judaism and then Christianity through the people known as Esssenes. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which document the existence of the Essenes, are examined by Vaclaik, and give important evidence that an attitude of nonviolence toward both human and nonhuman beings, was an important part of religious life in Palestine, in the time of Jesus.
Even for the person who is well-educated in the philosophical/theological traditions of our Judeo-Christian heritage, this book is startling in its revelation of the antiquity of the kinds of issues that many think have surfaced only in our contemporary culture. It shows that the concern for animals and the practice of vegetarianism, like the effort to outlaw slavery, are not new. They have been part of the ongoing struggle against violence and brutality that has its roots in antiquity.
Although not everyone will agree with some of the conclusions that Vaclavik derives from his research, the wealth of information he provides allows readers to draw their own conclusions. And anyone who reads this book will learn much about the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the subsequent perversion of those teachings by those who have claimed to be His representatives. #
The Vegetarianism of Jesus Christ is available from