What to Eat


Mankind has lived in a fallen state and in a fallen world ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. One dramatically different aspect to the Edenic Paradise was that Adam and Eve and the animals lived harmoniously amongst each other and were herbivores, or vegetarians.

Genesis Chapter One:

29 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground -- everything that has the breath of life in it -- I give every green plant for food."
Recently, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released an ad campaign that suggested eating meat was sinful. While the nature of the campaign was offensive to Bible-believing Christians, it was also simply misinformed.

After sin had so consumed the world, resulting in the Flood, God consecrated a new arrangement. He said to Noah: "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything." (Genesis 9:3) But now man no longer lived harmoniously with the animals, as God made this proviso: "The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds..." (Genesis 9:2)

PETA claimed the person who came up with their campaign was a Christian, and they have insisted from time to time that Christianity promotes and encourages vegetarianism. Individuals who wish to use Christianity as a kind of vegetarian propaganda would do well to heed the Apostle Paul's words in Romans Chapter 14:
2 One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.
3 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.
After His Resurrection, Jesus ate meat with the disciples. "They gave [Jesus] a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence." (Luke 24:42) Jesus abided perfectly in the Will of His Father; He lived a sinless life. A Christian man or woman can choose to have a vegetarian diet, but they do so for themselves, not to satisfy the Lord. As in the case of legalism, man, try as he might, cannot engineer his own salvation, nor the propitiation of his sins.

When PETA and others of its kind promote their misguided vegan moralism, it diverts attention from the real problem, which really does concern the treatment of animals. As society has moved away from its agrarian roots, people -- vegetarians and meat-eaters alike -- are disconnected from nature. They do not have a day-to-day appreciation of God's consecrated food chain for this fallen world. Even a secular book like "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser has shown just how stunning that disconnect is: animals treated as commodities on corporate farms, slaughtered in the most inhumane conditions.

The real sin is not the eating of meat, but man's willfully poor stewardship of God's creation. Mad cow disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) is an example of the consequences caused by man's disobedience. In the farming cultures of the past, men and women understood and appreciated that an animal's life was taken for their consumption.

One day, when Jesus rules in the Millennial Kingdom, the Edenic order will be restored and all mankind and animals will once again live harmoniously and eat only plants. "The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox." (Isaiah 11:7) But until that day comes, God has given men and women His blessing to consume meat which He "created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth." (1 Timothy 4:3)