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TomS
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« on: May 07, 2005, 01:09:48 PM »

I was wondering the other day. What is the deal with vegetarianism and being more "pious"?

Does anyone believe that Christ was a vegetarian? I mean, if he WAS, don't you think that the Apostles would have been, and would have taught the faithful that being a vegetarian was being more Christ-like?
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2005, 01:13:52 PM »

The Jews of the time only ate meat on feast days, so it's definitely likely that Jesus did not eat anywhere near as much meat as we do. The amount of meat that we consume in modern society isn't natural or healthy, and we have to resort to inhumane and cruel methods (factory farming) to preserve this lifestyle. There is nothing wrong with eating meat per se of course but when the apostles were eating the Passover Lamb it was treated without cruelty, just as the Lord is compassionate to all He has made.

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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2005, 01:29:32 PM »

I will quote my dad:"If I knew that I will tommorrow die from eating meat, I would still have my steak today".

If Lord wanted us to be vegetarians, Him for, or anything in regard to food, He would have said so in the Gospels or it would have been passed down.

Each according to their conscience, I think.

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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2005, 04:11:43 PM »

The Jews of the time only ate meat on feast days, so it's definitely likely that Jesus did not eat anywhere near as much meat as we do. The amount of meat that we consume in modern society isn't natural or healthy, and we have to resort to inhumane and cruel methods (factory farming) to preserve this lifestyle. There is nothing wrong with eating meat per se of course but when the apostles were eating the Passover Lamb it was treated without cruelty, just as the Lord is compassionate to all He has made.

Marjorie


This kind of diet can be found in many parts of the world today.  It is dependent on the conditions that people live in.  For some places, meat is what there is to eat for the most part (Inuit and others in colder climates). Or in other places with not a wide variety of vegetation "Cows are how people eat grass." as a friend of mine said. 

In other places meat is more of a condiment or flavouring to vegetables and grains. It requires a major occasion to slaughter an animal that may provide labour or milk or dung for burning for example.   Or there is the old saying "When a poor man eats chicken, either he is sick or the chicken was."

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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2005, 04:28:18 PM »

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What is the deal with vegetarianism and being more "pious"?

For some, it has to do with the transfiguration of nature and how we should be a part of that. For others, it has to do with harming living creatures. For others, it has to do with discipline (this is a chosen restriction to help cultivate detachment).

Speaking personally, I just came back from Wal-Mart with about $30 in Chuck Roast, Chicken Breasts, and Ribs, so obviously I'm not exactly on the same wavelength. I think extremes in both directions are fine as long as you don't force it onto others and scandalize others by constantly talking about it. There are those who eat meat all through fasting periods, and then there are those who never eat meat at all... that's a choice that is between you and God, not you and me. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2005, 05:16:11 PM »

As Marjorie pointed out providing a meat meal every day for, say hundreds of millions of Americans, requires keeping huge numbers of animals in fairly horrible and certainly unnatural conditions. It can be an ethical and moral choice not to participate in this unnatural process by not eating the products of factory farming or industrial scale slaughterhouses.


While there is no prohibition on eating meat in scriptures it is worth noting that before the fall humans did not eat flesh. Also the new heaven and the new earth is likely to be veggie since " 6 The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. 7 The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den. 9 They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." Isaiah 11

Arguably the permission to eat flesh is a concession to human frailty since the fall rather than an actual commandment for us to eat McBurgers at every opportunity.
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2005, 05:23:44 PM »

  And being a vegitarian can be healthier if you add protein with beans, nuts, and eggs.
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2005, 05:31:23 PM »

Hm, I will just say one thing. No vegitarian has ever won a medal in the olympics! Atleast the part tha requires work, am not talkung about.... hm... equestrian Smiley even there i belive the only vegitarian is a horse. LOL
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2005, 06:24:31 PM »

I was wondering the other day. What is the deal with vegetarianism and being more "pious"?

I don't think that it is a matter of being more "pious", but rather to avoid scandalising others. I've always understood that the monastic abstinence from meat is based on 1 Corinthians 8:13 
"Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble."
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2005, 07:17:54 PM »

Hm, I will just say one thing. No vegitarian has ever won a medal in the olympics! Atleast the part tha requires work, am not talkung about.... hm... equestrian Smiley even there i belive the only vegitarian is a horse. LOL

Carl  Lewis was a vegan.  They don't eat meat or dairy products.
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2005, 09:21:53 PM »

Does anyone believe that Christ was a vegetarian?

I don't. If he was to take part of the Jewish festivals, he used to eat the Passover Lamb as every Jew. And at least in Luke 24:42-43 one can read a description of Christ eating a piece of a broiled fish.


I mean, if he WAS, don't you think that the Apostles would have been, and would have taught the faithful that being a vegetarian was being more Christ-like?

Yes, I think your supposition is reasonable. It is a further reason to doubt the claims that Christ was a vegetarian.

Instead, we have Acts 10:10-16, a scripture that teaches us that all foods are blessed -- even certain kinds of meat that were considered as unclean in the Old Testament.
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2005, 09:32:25 PM »

While there is no prohibition on eating meat in scriptures it is worth noting that before the fall humans did not eat flesh. ...

Arguably the permission to eat flesh is a concession to human frailty since the fall rather than an actual commandment for us to eat McBurgers at every opportunity.

So Christ was so frail in spirit that he had to eat meat like everyone else? Yet, he was so strong in spirit that he did not sin?
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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2005, 09:44:43 PM »

Quote
So Christ was so frail in spirit that he had to eat meat like everyone else? Yet, he was so strong in spirit that he did not sin?

More like so frail in body that He had to eat meat -- the body He took from the Theotokos was corruptible, just like ours are.. Notice that after His resurrection there is nothing about Him eating meat, but only fish (which has never been considered in the same category as meat) -- His body had been restored to the way ours should have been, and so there was no need to eat flesh anymore.
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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2005, 10:02:00 PM »

Matthew 15

   11"It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man."
...
   15 Peter said to Him, "Explain the parable to us."

   16 Jesus said, "Are you still lacking in understanding also?

   17 "Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated?

   18 "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.

   19 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.

   20 "These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man."
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« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2005, 10:14:18 PM »

So Christ was so frail in spirit that he had to eat meat like everyone else? Yet, he was so strong in spirit that he did not sin?

TomS let me answer you that, He did not sin because He was so strengthless.

Sinners are the strong ones. You must make clear this concepts: strong -> sin, strengthless -> sinless.
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« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2005, 11:16:47 PM »

Monastics don't eat meat partially (yes I realize this is not the only reason) because it was God's original plan for humanity; meat-eating came after the Fall. Yet Christ might have eaten meat, and we know he ate fish...

Christ became like unto his brethren in every way except sin, we are told. He took on everything we lived through since the Fall. It would have been utterly unlike the Jesus of the gospels for him to choose to not eat fish simply because it was, technically speaking, a better way. Can we really imagine Jesus saying to the fishermen who invited him to dinner, "I'm not eating this!!!"

I'm not surprised at all that Jesus would eat fish even if I think it is in some ways better not to.

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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2005, 04:45:29 AM »

Matthew 15

   11"It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man."
...
   15 Peter said to Him, "Explain the parable to us."

   16 Jesus said, "Are you still lacking in understanding also?

   17 "Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated?

   18 "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.

   19 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.

   20 "These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man."

I don't think anyone here is saying that meat defiles humans, we are clearly permitted to do it. Permission is not the same as a command of course. If factory farming is cruel and unnatural and people choose not to eat its products that is an ethical choice. If you think that unecessary suffering of animals is a matter of indifference then you can eat such products with a clear conscience.
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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2005, 09:40:26 PM »

Hm, I will just say one thing. No vegitarian has ever won a medal in the olympics! Atleast the part tha requires work, am not talkung about.... hm... equestrian Smiley even there i belive the only vegitarian is a horse. LOL


Olympians and Christians are running a different race :-)

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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2005, 09:59:21 PM »

Indeed Katherine, but read the post that was above the one you quoted and do not take out of context. (!!!)
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« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2005, 11:55:25 PM »

There probably isn't so much a deal with being vegetarian, and being more "pious".  People are at different steps along their pathway with God.  Lay people of course wouldn't be aiming for the same thing as a monastic, for example, because both live different lives.  In saying that, in some cases, there are more pious people amongst laymen!  But in the end, we're all hoping for Christ's mercy and salvation.

Another reason why monastics probably don't eat meat is, as was read in "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" during Lent: "Satiety in food is the father of fornication; but affliction of the stomach is an agent of purity." - St. John Climacus.

Being full, or "comfortable" after you've eaten a big meal, no doubt including meat, can often then lead to other indulgences.  Why, I say this?  I know - I broke Lent and didn't just have meat, but then ended up having the cake and tea and eveything else on top of it.  "Once you have one thing, why not pig out and go the whole hog, you say to yourself!  Now, have you learnt your lesson?"  this is exactly what my priest said to me during confession.  Indulging takes your mind away from God.  When you're hungry (like during Lent), you realise just how much God blesses us with the good things that we have.  Not only that, but you strive for more godly things.  You're mind is not so focused on things of the world that are not important.

Anyway, enough of my preaching.  I'm not a vegetarian, but after doing Lent this year for the first time in my life, I would quite gladly give up meat for more spiritual blessings.  (Unfortunately, my family doesn't see it quite the same way and believe I need meat to be healthy.  To save disruption to my family, I eat what I'm given .. but, quietly knowing that one day, if I do become a monastic, I will be able to eat vegetarian to my heart's content.)

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« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2005, 12:02:54 AM »

Quote
(Unfortunately, my family doesn't see it quite the same way and believe I need meat to be healthy.  To save disruption to my family, I eat what I'm given .. but, quietly knowing that one day, if I do become a monastic, I will be able to eat vegetarian to my heart's content.)

You should compromise, and only eat meat items like potted meat food product and burnt steak, so you won't enjoy them.  Wink
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« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2005, 12:47:13 AM »

I don't particularly enjoy steak even when it's covered and marinated in worchister sauce!!!  Let alone burnt to the crisp  laugh
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« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2005, 01:15:11 AM »

I don't particularly enjoy steak even when it's covered and marinated in worchister sauce!!! Let alone burnt to the crisp laugh

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