OrthodoxChristianity.net
April 20, 2014, 10:12:18 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: The Rules page has been updated.  Please familiarize yourself with its contents!
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Vegetarianism  (Read 1387 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Elijah
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Tewahedo
Posts: 384


God is love; be faithful un to death.


« on: July 14, 2010, 10:48:14 AM »

How do folks here feel about adopting vegetarianism in to our christian spiritual life?

Here is some thought about it from Wikipedia:
Quote
Main article: Ethics of eating meat

Various ethical reasons have been suggested for choosing vegetarianism.
 Religion
Main article: Vegetarianism and religion
Indian cuisine offers a wide range of vegetarian delicacies because Hinduism, practiced by majority of India's populace, encourages vegetarian diet. Shown here is a vegetarian thali.

Jainism teaches vegetarianism as moral conduct as do some major[citation needed] sects of Hinduism. Buddhism in general does not prohibit meat eating, while Mahayana Buddhism encourages vegetarianism as beneficial for developing compassion. Other denominations that advocate a fully vegetarian diet include the Seventh-day Adventists, the Rastafari movement and the Hare Krishnas. Sikhism[117][118][119] does not equate spirituality with diet and does not specify a vegetarian or meat diet.[120]
 Hinduism
Main articles: Vegetarianism in Hinduism and Hindu dietary law

Most major paths of Hinduism hold vegetarianism as an ideal. There are three main reasons for this: the principle of nonviolence (ahimsa) applied to animals;[121] the intention to offer only "pure" (vegetarian) food to a deity and then to receive it back as prasad;[122] and the conviction that non-vegetarian food is detrimental for the mind and for spiritual development. Hindu vegetarians usually eschew eggs but consume milk and dairy products, so they are lacto-vegetarians.

However, the food habits of Hindus vary according to their community and according to regional traditions. Historically and currently, those Hindus who eat meat prescribe Jhatka meat.[123]

 Jainism
Main article: Jain vegetarianism

Followers of Jainism believe that everything from animals to inanimate objects have life in different degree and they go to great lengths to minimise any harm to it. Most Jains are lacto-vegetarians but more devout Jains do not eat root vegetables because this would involve the killing of plants. Instead they focus on eating beans and fruits, whose cultivation do not involve killing of plants. No products obtained from dead animals are allowed. Jains hold self termination from starvation as the ideal state and some dedicated monks do perform this act of self annihilation. This is for them an indispensable condition for spiritual progress.[124][125] Some particularly dedicated individuals are fruitarians.[126] Honey is forbidden, because its collection is seen as violence against the bees. Some Jains do not consume plant parts that grow underground such as roots and bulbs, because tiny animals may be killed when the plants are pulled up.[127]

 Buddhism
A vegetarian dinner at a Japanese Buddhist temple
Main article: Vegetarianism in Buddhism

Theravadins in general eat meat. If Buddhist monks "see, hear or know" a living animal was killed specifically for them to eat, they must refuse it or else incur an offense. However, this does not include eating meat which was given as alms or commercially purchased. In the Theravada cannon, Buddha did not make any comment discouraging them to eat meat (except specific types, such as human, elephant, horse, dog, snake, lion, tiger, leopard, bear, and hyena flesh[128]) but he specifically refused to institute vegetarianism in his monastic code when a suggestion had been made.

In Mahayana Buddhism, there are several Sanskrit texts where the Buddha instructs his followers to avoid meat. However, each branch of Mahayana Buddhism selects which sutra to follow and some branches of Mahayana Buddhists including the majority of Tibetan and Japanese Buddhists do eat meat while most Chinese Buddhists do not eat meat.

Sikhism
Main article: Diet in Sikhism

The tenets of Sikhism do not advocate a particular stance on either vegetarianism or the consumption of meat,[129][130][131][132] but rather leave the decision of diet to the individual.[133] The tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh, however, prohibited "Amritdhari" Sikhs, or those that follow the Sikh Rehat Maryada (the Official Sikh Code of Conduct[134]) from eating Kutha meat, or meat which has been obtained from animals which have been killed in a ritualistic way. This is understood to have been for the political reason of maintaining independence from the then-new Muslim hegemony, as Muslims largely adhere to the ritualistic halal diet.[129][133]

"Amritdharis" that belong to some Sikh sects (e.g. Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Damdami Taksal, Namdhari,[135] Rarionwalay,[136] etc.) are vehemently against the consumption of meat and eggs (though they do consume and encourage the consumption of milk, butter, and cheese).[137] This vegetarian stance has been traced back to the times of the British Raj, with the advent of many new Vaishnava converts.[133] In response, to the varying views on diet throughout the Sikh population, Sikh Gurus have sought to clarify the Sikh view on diet, stressing their preference only for simplicity of diet. Guru Nanak said that over-consumption of food (Lobh, Greed) involves a drain on the Earth's resources and thus on life.[138][139] Passages from the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of Sikhs, also known as the Adi Granth) say that it is "foolish" to argue for the superiority of animal life, because though all life is related, only human life carries more importance.

    "Only fools argue whether to eat meat or not. Who can define what is meat and what is not meat? Who knows where the sin lies, being a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian?"[133]

The Sikh langar, or free temple meal, is largely lacto-vegetarian, though this is understood to be a result of efforts to present a meal that is respectful of the diets of any person who would wish to dine, rather than out of dogma.
Logged

Holy Mary, You are the ladder of life. St. Yared
My sons/daughters, come and I will teach you the fear of God. Christ is light.
He watches everything high; He is the king  even over those in the water. Eyob 41:25
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,436


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2010, 11:10:41 AM »

Vegetarianism as a spiritual practice akin to Eastern religions is heretical as per St Paul in his First Epistle to Timothy (4:3)

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils...Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving"

Vegetarianism for health reasons, for ascetic reasons, or out of outrage at factory farming of animals is ok.

What Eastern religions are saying is that eating meat is somehow bad for you, somehow draws you away from God, somehow makes you unclean, somehow makes you a violent killer (just pick up a copy of the Bhagvad Gita produced by the Hare Krishnas, the illustrated version they pass around, showing a meat eater as a frenzied murderer).  That is heretical.

Abstaining from meat because of other concerns, or out of self-restraint that does not involve denying that the practice of eating meat is not intrinsically evil (as monks do) is fine.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 11:13:21 AM by Fr. Anastasios » Logged

Check out my personal website with 130+ articles: www.anastasioshudson.com

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
CRCulver
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Church of Finland and Romanian Orthodox Church
Posts: 1,159


St Stephen of Perm, missionary to speakers of Komi


WWW
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2010, 01:26:22 PM »

Because in the book of Acts God showed Peter all kinds of animals and told him to "kill and eat", any argument for vegetarianism based upon the notion of "animal rights" does not square with Orthodox Christianity. However, the factory farming methods of modern times are destructive enough to the environment that through excessive consumption of meat we are arguably not taking care of the Creation which the Lord entrusted to Man. Also, vegetarianism can be healthier. Thus, there are valid reasons for abstaining from meat and invalid ones.

Fr. Anastasios, the word "meat" in that passage is evidently used in its original sense as "food [in general]" (cf. archaic English sweetmeats "candy" or Swedish mat "food"), and not animal flesh in particular. The Greek word there is βρωματων, which is anything you eat, not flesh specifically. Thus the Apostle's urging seems to cover all creeds with any dietary laws, not only Eastern religions that abstain from meat.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 01:30:55 PM by CRCulver » Logged
Andrew21091
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 1,257



« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2010, 01:34:55 PM »

Because in the book of Acts God showed Peter all kinds of animals and told him to "kill and eat", any argument for vegetarianism based upon the notion of "animal rights" does not square with Orthodox Christianity. However, the factory farming methods of modern times are destructive enough to the environment that through excessive consumption of meat we are arguably not taking care of the Creation which the Lord entrusted to Man. Also, vegetarianism can be healthier. Thus, there are valid reasons for abstaining from meat and invalid ones.

Well, I wouldn't say that any notion of "animal rights" is incompatible with Orthodoxy. I don't think we should support businesses that keep animals in horrid conditions and pump them full of chemicals to make them grow faster. Both practices are horrid and should be stopped since it is not the method God intended. God put the cows, pigs, chickens, etc. on the open grass which is where they should be. Not crowded in some torturous factory where they are pretty much force fed feed made from corn (which cows do not naturally eat) and thigh high in their own excrement (which is why most meats have to be washed with ammonia when processed). In our society today, it would be better to be vegetarian or at least eat organic meats made from free range animals.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 01:35:47 PM by Andrew21091 » Logged
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,436


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2010, 01:54:48 PM »



Fr. Anastasios, the word "meat" in that passage is evidently used in its original sense as "food [in general]" (cf. archaic English sweetmeats "candy" or Swedish mat "food"), and not animal flesh in particular. The Greek word there is βρωματων, which is anything you eat, not flesh specifically. Thus the Apostle's urging seems to cover all creeds with any dietary laws, not only Eastern religions that abstain from meat.

Thanks for that clarification! I remembered the verse and looked it up quickly, without comparing the translations (I just consulted my handy King James Version).
Logged

Check out my personal website with 130+ articles: www.anastasioshudson.com

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
Elijah
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Tewahedo
Posts: 384


God is love; be faithful un to death.


« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2010, 11:02:53 AM »

Vegetarianism as a spiritual practice akin to Eastern religions is heretical as per St Paul in his First Epistle to Timothy (4:3)

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils...Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving"
Thank you for the reply Fr. Anastasios, and sorry for the late response. I was suggesting to adopt Vegetarianism in terms culture not in terms of faith(dogma). For vegetarianism seems not a bad idea in terms of health both physically and spiritually. Faith wise as you mentioned it at 1st Timothy (4:3) it is okay not to be vegetarian.
Quote
Vegetarianism for health reasons, for ascetic reasons, or out of outrage at factory farming of animals is ok.

I agree with you on this one.

Quote
What Eastern religions are saying is that eating meat is somehow bad for you, somehow draws you away from God, somehow makes you unclean, somehow makes you a violent killer (just pick up a copy of the Bhagvad Gita produced by the Hare Krishnas, the illustrated version they pass around, showing a meat eater as a frenzied murderer).  That is heretical.

Abstaining from meat because of other concerns, or out of self-restraint that does not involve denying that the practice of eating meat is not intrinsically evil (as monks do) is fine.

I did not have quite a chance to study about Eastern religions; how ever, I don't believe eating meat some how draws you away from God/"intrinsically evil". Having said that though abstaining from animal and animal products can be seen as sort of 'fasting' which is one way to be closer to God, right?
Logged

Holy Mary, You are the ladder of life. St. Yared
My sons/daughters, come and I will teach you the fear of God. Christ is light.
He watches everything high; He is the king  even over those in the water. Eyob 41:25
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,436


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2010, 11:36:17 AM »

Quote
I did not have quite a chance to study about Eastern religions; how ever, I don't believe eating meat some how draws you away from God/"intrinsically evil". Having said that though abstaining from animal and animal products can be seen as sort of 'fasting' which is one way to be closer to God, right?

Yes, absolutely, if done out of restraint and not out of disdain for the thing being abstained from (same thing as monks and marriage; monks choose not to marry, but monks who disparage marriage are excommunicated, if I recall correctly).
Logged

Check out my personal website with 130+ articles: www.anastasioshudson.com

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
vamrat
Vamratoraptor
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Serbian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: New Gracanica
Posts: 7,099



« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2010, 01:50:04 PM »

Because in the book of Acts God showed Peter all kinds of animals and told him to "kill and eat", any argument for vegetarianism based upon the notion of "animal rights" does not square with Orthodox Christianity. However, the factory farming methods of modern times are destructive enough to the environment that through excessive consumption of meat we are arguably not taking care of the Creation which the Lord entrusted to Man. Also, vegetarianism can be healthier. Thus, there are valid reasons for abstaining from meat and invalid ones.

Well, I wouldn't say that any notion of "animal rights" is incompatible with Orthodoxy. I don't think we should support businesses that keep animals in horrid conditions and pump them full of chemicals to make them grow faster. Both practices are horrid and should be stopped since it is not the method God intended. God put the cows, pigs, chickens, etc. on the open grass which is where they should be. Not crowded in some torturous factory where they are pretty much force fed feed made from corn (which cows do not naturally eat) and thigh high in their own excrement (which is why most meats have to be washed with ammonia when processed). In our society today, it would be better to be vegetarian or at least eat organic meats made from free range animals.

I have struggled with this for a long time.  If I were stronger willed I would be a vegetarian, but animals taste so good.  Perhaps this is me succumbing to gluttony.  The way animals are raised and killed by factory farms horrifies me, but I continue to support them.  Someday I would like to take up hunting so I can cease partaking in the abuse of God's good creation.
Logged

One day we will talk about why people fetishize children, but for now I'll keep on the side of humanity that doesn't think the height of life is a drinking a juice box and eating a tater tot while defecating in their pants.
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2010, 07:21:31 PM »

How do folks here feel about adopting vegetarianism in to our christian spiritual life?

I have been an ethical vegetarian for 10 years now (have even considered being a vegan in the past few), and I do think that vegetarianism is a morally preferable diet for a Christian. I think that killing animals for food when there are other forms of food available that can alternatively satisfy one's nutritional needs is morally questionable. Of course I have a much greater problem with factory farming, as has been mentioned here, and think that avoiding products from factory farms is comparatively preferable to just eating whatever. However, I obviously do not think that the buck just stops there.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 07:22:59 PM by deusveritasest » Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2010, 07:25:33 PM »

Quote
I did not have quite a chance to study about Eastern religions; how ever, I don't believe eating meat some how draws you away from God/"intrinsically evil". Having said that though abstaining from animal and animal products can be seen as sort of 'fasting' which is one way to be closer to God, right?

Yes, absolutely, if done out of restraint and not out of disdain for the thing being abstained from (same thing as monks and marriage; monks choose not to marry, but monks who disparage marriage are excommunicated, if I recall correctly).

You are confusing the issues. One is an inherently Gnostic concern, and the other is not. Disdain for eating meat is potentially very different from disdain for the animals being eaten. As a matter of fact, the motivation for having disdain for eating animals may be quite the opposite of disdain for the animals themselves.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2010, 07:26:48 PM »

Someday I would like to take up hunting so I can cease partaking in the abuse of God's good creation.

Not being a super-militant vegetarian, I do support your desire to take up hunting as an alternative to factory farming.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
militantsparrow
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 601


militantsparrow
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2010, 07:38:52 PM »

I was a vegetarian for just over five years. I did it for spiritual reasons, but not such that I would think them to be heretical. I gave up meat, not because I thought it was a sin to eat, but because I wanted to fight what I felt was a glutinous lifestyle I was living.
Logged

"Yeah, the sparrow hath found an house..." -Psalm 84:3
militantsparrow
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 601


militantsparrow
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2010, 07:39:26 PM »

Quote
I did not have quite a chance to study about Eastern religions; how ever, I don't believe eating meat some how draws you away from God/"intrinsically evil". Having said that though abstaining from animal and animal products can be seen as sort of 'fasting' which is one way to be closer to God, right?

Yes, absolutely, if done out of restraint and not out of disdain for the thing being abstained from (same thing as monks and marriage; monks choose not to marry, but monks who disparage marriage are excommunicated, if I recall correctly).

You are confusing the issues. One is an inherently Gnostic concern, and the other is not. Disdain for eating meat is potentially very different from disdain for the animals being eaten. As a matter of fact, the motivation for having disdain for eating animals may be quite the opposite of disdain for the animals themselves.

Well stated.
Logged

"Yeah, the sparrow hath found an house..." -Psalm 84:3
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,436


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2010, 03:14:43 PM »

Quote
I did not have quite a chance to study about Eastern religions; how ever, I don't believe eating meat some how draws you away from God/"intrinsically evil". Having said that though abstaining from animal and animal products can be seen as sort of 'fasting' which is one way to be closer to God, right?

Yes, absolutely, if done out of restraint and not out of disdain for the thing being abstained from (same thing as monks and marriage; monks choose not to marry, but monks who disparage marriage are excommunicated, if I recall correctly).

You are confusing the issues. One is an inherently Gnostic concern, and the other is not. Disdain for eating meat is potentially very different from disdain for the animals being eaten. As a matter of fact, the motivation for having disdain for eating animals may be quite the opposite of disdain for the animals themselves.

I'm not following you.  Could you please explain in a different way what I am confusing?
Logged

Check out my personal website with 130+ articles: www.anastasioshudson.com

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2010, 05:15:10 PM »

Quote
I did not have quite a chance to study about Eastern religions; how ever, I don't believe eating meat some how draws you away from God/"intrinsically evil". Having said that though abstaining from animal and animal products can be seen as sort of 'fasting' which is one way to be closer to God, right?

Yes, absolutely, if done out of restraint and not out of disdain for the thing being abstained from (same thing as monks and marriage; monks choose not to marry, but monks who disparage marriage are excommunicated, if I recall correctly).

You are confusing the issues. One is an inherently Gnostic concern, and the other is not. Disdain for eating meat is potentially very different from disdain for the animals being eaten. As a matter of fact, the motivation for having disdain for eating animals may be quite the opposite of disdain for the animals themselves.

I'm not following you.  Could you please explain in a different way what I am confusing?

Many vegetarians abstain from eating meat and disparage the practice of eating meat not for the reason of ascetic "restraint"/fasting nor because of "disdain for the thing being abstained from" (the animal, that is).
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
Tags: fasting 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.083 seconds with 41 queries.