I am often asked, "Why don't you eat meat?". For this reason I have put together the following: (I have used 'man' as did the Bible authors, to mean 'all mankind', male & female).
DIET. The importance of diet was explained by God right from the beginning of life on this planet. Gen 1:29. In the perfect world God had just created, he gave to man a special diet with which he could receive all the essential needs of the body. Man's diet was to consist of FRUITS, GRAINS AND NUTS. If sin had not entered, then man would have lived on that diet for all eternity, although I am sure that there would be a greater variety in a perfect world! God our creator, knew what was best for the human body and mind. If it was God who gave the diet, then this must be the ultimate diet to keep our bodies healthy. That is if you believe God?
In Gen 3:18, after sin entered the world, God added a supplement to man's diet. "The herb of the field", the LEAFY VEGETABLE. No doubt this was due to the fact that sin had marred the earth and affected the value of the foods that were produced from it. For the next 1656 year's man lived on a diet of FRUIT, GRAINS, NUTS AND VEGETABLES. When the human race contended itself with following this diet, it was at its best with life expectancy the longest. (See Gen 5 for the ages of the patriarchs before the flood).
Gen 9: 1-5. After the flood, in the days of Noah, God gave another supplement to man's diet. For the first time FLESH was added. This was added because vegetation was scarce after the flood. That permission from God has not been recalled; therefore it is not a sin to eat meat. However, God warned man that he must make sure the animal was properly bled and He inferred it would affect man's lifespan. (See Gen 11 for the ages of the next ten patriarchs and note carefully the tremendous drop in the life expectancy). Degeneracy because of sin, undoubtedly was a major factor in the reduction in man's age, but flesh eating did play a significant part.
Gen 7: 1-2. It is obvious that even though flesh was permitted in man's diet after the flood, only certain animals were classed as suitable for human consumption and others entirely unsuitable. God himself made a clear distinction between 'Clean' and 'Unclean' animals. He did not just tell Noah to take two of every kind of animal onto the Ark, He also instructed him to take 7 of certain kinds. Those that came two by two were animals that were classed as unclean for consumption, and to ensure that those that would be allowed to be eaten after the flood, 7 of each kind, male and female were taken on the Ark. Because of larger numbers, these would breed much quicker ensuring their was ample food for man without depleting the species.
Duet 14: 3-8. Animals that God permits, for those who choose to eat them, are the ox; sheep; goat and deer. The flesh of these animals was to be classed as edible to man. But among the forbidden animals are the hare, the rabbit (Coney) and the pig (swine). In fact in Isaiah 65: 15:17, God puts the pig on the same plain as the mouse, as absolutely unfit for human consumption. Why? Because these animals are scavengers, they eat anything; therefore their meat is harmful to the human body.
It is known today that humans, after eating pork can become infected by parasites and diseases such as trichinosis, Taenia sollum, cysticercosis and brucellosis. It is therefore better to give swine flesh a wide berth.
God may have allowed the eating of flesh and if I did eat it, it would not be a sin or prevent my entry to heaven. But God is interested in my well-being and has given me instructions on how to keep my body, (a temple of God), as free, as is within my own power of choice, from disease.
Today, many of the 'clean' meats are disease ridden. You don't know what you're eating when you go into a restaurant or even when cooked by yourself. You cannot see inside that lump of flesh on your plate. Cancers, tuberculous masses, hydatid worms, cysts etc, can be hidden and even when the meat is cooked may not be completely destroyed. Go into any butchers shop and watch them cut off the diseased parts before putting it in the shop window for purchase. Flesh consumption was never the best food for man according to the Bible, but today its use appears to be doubly objectionable since disease is so rapidly increasing.
Vegetarians have left their mark in history. Poets, writers and great thinkers such as Shelly, Milton, Pope, Sir Thomas More, Voltaire, Rousseau, George Bernard Shaw and Tolstoy; political figures such as Ghandi and Sir Stafford Cripps were all vegetarians. In the religious world, Buddha advocated vegetarianism, and so did John Wesley.
If you desire to keep your body in a good condition, improve your health and avoid much disease, especially in your advancing years when the results of your lifestyle will be manifest in numerous hospital appointments, then you should find a better diet than that of dead animals.
Okay, what about eating fish?
Deut 14: 9-10. The clean and edible fish are those that have fins and scales. All other sea creatures are unclean and should never be eaten. Shell Fish; crayfish; shark; prawns; oysters; crabs; leather jackets etc. Why? Because they are scavengers and toxic to the human body. God put them into the sea to act as filters, not as human food.
Dr David Macht, a noted authority on drug and animal poisons made an intensive investigation of the poisonous properties of sea creatures and his conclusions were as follows:
"There seems to be some scientific basis for the ancient classification of edible and inedible fishes, namely those which have fins and those which have not."
(Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, p. 46).
Even clean fish today are found to be full of tumours, goitres, worms and cancer,
Okay, what about eating Chicken or Turkey?
Deut 14: 11-20. The household fowl is permissible, but birds of prey are not for human consumption. Today, because of the way chickens and turkeys are bred and fed for mass consumption, are the most disease ridden of all flesh. Dr E. Jungherer in the Pacific Grove Press says, "Over 60% of adult mortality among fowls may be ascribed to paralysis (cancerous disease)." Cancer is common among poultry. Not to mention salmonella poisoning.
In Summary. God did not give His healthy eating plan just for the Jews. He gave it a long time before the Jewish nation was conceived. He gave it for all mankind through the ages because he knows what is best for us. His original plan was a vegetarian diet. He later permitted meat eating with instructions on what type of animal's man could eat if he was to stay reasonably healthy. Cooked meat may taste good in the mouth, but it lies on the stomach and takes around 4 days to pass through the intestine. During its journey, it putrefies, turning toxic. Your body has to fight hard to stop the toxins getting into your blood stream, therefore you are overworking your internal system, consequently if you eat meat regularly, you will not only age quicker, you will spend more time at the doctors.
It is a scientifically proven fact that vegetarians have a longer life span than meat eaters. Therefore, if you want to reduce your hospital appointments today or in the future and postpone your funeral, it's not a bad idea to rethink what goes into your stomach.
It's a matter of choice, either believe God wants a healthy you, or do as YOU choose whatever the consequences! He still loves you.
(Since writing this article in 2004 we now have horse meat being passed off as beef. Horses are not one of God's permissible edible animals. They chew the cud, but they do not part the hoof).