Biblical and other religious support for veganism
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion


Tom Epler, New Vegan Age
March 2014

When we adopted our dog three years ago, I took a photo of the Bible verse that the rescue organization had printed on the side of their truck - "Semper Fi Rescue."

Since then, that verse—"A righteous man cares for his animals"—has been bouncing around in my head as the seed idea for an essay challenging more Christians to consider veganism.

I'd like to post a few more Bible verses I've found. We all know that specific passages in the Bible have been used to justify just about anything. But it's important to remember that, for every Biblical or other religious reference to animals as meat or for other human uses, there are plenty of counterparts suggesting support for a vegan life.

Here are a few. Please suggest any corrections and/or add others as Comments!

Psalms 145:9
“The Lord is good to all men, and his tender care rests upon all his creatures.”

Saint Francis of Assisi
“All things of creation are children of the Father and thus brothers of man. God wants us to help animals, if they need help. Every creature in distress has the same right to be protected.”

Saint Jerome
“The eating of meat was unknown up to the big flood, but since the flood they have the strings and stinking juices of animal meat into our mouths, just as they threw in front of the grumbling sensual people in the desert. Jesus Christ, who appeared when the time had been fulfilled, has again joined the end with the beginning, so that it is no longer allowed for us to eat animal meat.”

Hosea 2:20
“Then I will make a covenant on behalf of Israel with the wild beasts, the birds of the air, and the things that creep on the earth, and I will break bow and sword and weapon of war and sweep them off the earth so that all living creatures may lie down without fear.”

Saint Basil
“The steam of meat meals darkens the spirit. One can hardly have virtue if one enjoys meat meals and feasts. In the earthly paradise there was no wine, no one sacrificed animals, and no one ate meat.”

Genesis 1:29-30
“And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, all the birds of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’”

Isaiah 11:6-9
“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
And the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
And a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall feed;
Their young shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The suckling child shall play over the hole of the asp,
And the weaned child shall put his hand on the adders den.
They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain;
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.”

Proverbs 12:10
“A righteous man cares for his beast.”

Isaiah 66:3
“The one slaughtering an ox, striking man, sacrificing a lamb, breaking a dog’s neck, making an offering of pig’s blood, burning incense, honoring an idol—these have chosen their own ways, and taken pleasure in their own abominations.”

Isaiah 1:11-12
“The multitude of your sacrifices—
what are they to me?” says the LORD.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
When you come to appear before me,
who has asked this of you,
this trampling of my courts?
The offer of your gifts is useless, the reek of sacrifice is abhorrent to me.”

Hosea 6:6
“For it is loyalty I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”

Albert Schweitzer
“Let no one regard as light the burden of his responsibility. While so much ill-treatment of animals goes on, while the moans of thirsty animals in railway trucks sound unheard, while so much brutality prevails in our slaughterhouses ... we all bear guilt. Everything that lives has value as a living thing, as one of the manifestations of the mystery that is life.”

Peace Pilgrim
"I would not kill a creature, and I would not ask someone else to do it for me, so I will not eat the flesh of the creature."

More, from Have Gone Vegan:

Rev. Andrew Linzey
"Animals are God's creatures, not human property, nor utilities, nor resources, nor commodities, but precious beings in God's sight."

Micah 6:8
"...and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

Cardinal John Henry Newman
"Cruelty to animals is as if a man did not love God."

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