What the Bible says about being vegan.
When Superman and i got married we made a promise to each other that the Bible would always be our measuring stick in life. Every decision we make must line up with it, including being vegan. We believe that God wants an amazing and happy life for our family and the Bible lays out directions to have the best life possible. If God says something is good, then it is. If he says something is bad, then it is.
Naturally, when we were discussing being vegan and how that would look in our family we asked questions about what God says about food. What’s good? What’s bad? How did he tell the Israelites to eat? What does that look like in today’s world?
This may not apply to you and your family. If that’s you feel free to jump to Part 4 and read about what plant based looks like in our family. If you’re interested to hear what we gleaned from the Word then read on my friend.
What did God give us to eat?
So our first thought was, ‘didn’t God say we could eat meat?” What does the bible say about this? Genesis 1:29 says “Behold, i have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed, it shall be food for you.” and then in Genesis 9:3 the Bible says “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; i give it all to you, as i gave the green plant.”
I believe that God is always good and would never have given us something to eat unless it was perfectly healthy for us. What make the meats unhealthy is what we have done to tour food sources. Meat, in it’s perfect, original form, uncontaminated by chemicals and antibiotics, is good for us to eat according to the bible.
How often did they eat meat?
Another thing to think about is how much meat were people eating back in bible times? I think quantity is something we should reconsider. From what research i could find on the frequency of meat consumption it was only a few times each year at major festivals. So meat is not inherently bad but they did not eat it as often as people tell us that we should. Legumes were their main source of protein.
They did eat fish, as we know, although jewish law prohibited certain kinds of fish. Their main source of dairy came from goats and eggs were eaten regularly by the time the Roman empire was in full swing.
So, no, we don’t have to be vegan to line up with the bible. But they ate much less meat than we do today. Harvard Health even recommends observing a few meatless days each week.
What quality of meat did they eat?
My next thought went something like this. All of their meats would have been organic, grass fed and free range. Would that matter to God today? To answer that we can look at jewish food laws and what science can tell us about them now.
At the time the Israelites did not know words like pathogen, cross contamination and bacteria. God in his wisdom gave them the law to protect them from those dangers. No mixing of milk and meat to prevent cross contamination. Don’t eat fish without scales to avoid parasites. Don’t eat the brain and spinal cord to avoid pathogens like mad cow disease. The Israelites followed those laws without knowing why but today we understand the reason God gave these crazy sounding rules.
If you asked God today whether or not it was a good idea to eat the chemicals, preservatives and toxins that are now in most of our foods i don’t think He would say yes. It doesn’t line up with His heart that we see revealed in the jewish food law. He wanted his people to be healthy, live long lives and not be sick. I think it’s pretty clear that we should be eating clean food the way God intended it to be. The Hebrews raised their own livestock. They didn’t feed them medicines. There were no chemicals, no additives, salt was their only preservative. God wanted the highest quality food for his people and he still does.
How do those ideas translate to today’s food options?
I don’t believe that animal products are bad for you. However, I believe that we have inadvertently made them bad. If i could afford to buy all organic meats and raw dairy all of the time then i don’t think veganism is necessary. I also don’t believe that we should eat as many animal products as Americans usually do. If we could stick to only the highest quality we probably would incorporate more animal products back into our home but it would certainly not be in the same quantity.
Choosing a plant based diet is a simple way to limit our exposure to industrialized foods. I wish i had the time to grow our own fruit and veggies and i definitely do not have the best circumstances to raise our own livestock. However, being vegan is a simple alternative. It isn’t as challenging as it sounds and i am happy to be avoiding many of the negative aspects of our food supply.
Did you like this article? Read the rest of this series here.