I'm a dental hygienist, pyrography artist, avid gardener, writer, vegetarian, world traveler, and many other things!
Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
— 1 John 3:18
In this article I will debate against the idea that humans are meant to dominate God's creatures; that killing innocent creatures is okay because God says so; and that God is two-faced by being benevolent to some and callous to others.
I will debate these things because each of them is against God's truth, though you may not realize it.
- Realizing the law of compassion is the key to realizing God
I'm sure that the title of this article alone will get many people fuming. How could God be a vegetarian?
Preposterous! Uncanny! Why.. that would throw my whole understanding of things into doubt. Not me; not me. God eats meat just like us. He keeps slaughterhouses in heaven, and tears flesh from bones just like the devil in hell.
There is absolutely no logic in that at all, and certainly God does not believe such things.
- For what is God but love, compassion, mercy, and kindness? And we are to follow his example and live a life of love, compassion, mercy, and kindness
So very simple, yet somehow this message--this law--has turned to selective hypocrisy.
The highest realms of thought are impossible to reach without first attaining an understanding of compassion.
— Socrates (469-399 B.C.)
AND GOD SAID: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. And God created man in His own image" (Genesis 1:26-27).
Meaning: As God is the benefactor and protector of man, showing infinite love, mercy, and kindness to us, so He commands us to be benefactors to all of the creatures of the Earth; to protect and love them as He protects and loves us; and to show infinite mercy and kindness to every living thing. God has dominion over us, and He allowed us dominion over His creatures. Does God's dominion over us mean that He will raise us in pens, inject us with hormones, steal our young, butcher us, and then eat us? Of course not, and the same applies to our dominion over His creatures. We are to protect them as He protects us.
If God is good, generous, kind, compassionate, and merciful, what makes us think that we're not supposed to be the same? He, after all, made us in his likeness. Despite this, many claim that the word "dominion" means that humans are to "dominate" all of God's creatures. But anyone who knows God even a little bit will know that this cannot be true. God is not a tyrannical, callous creature--nor does he expect us to be. If you want a further biblical study, note that in Genesis (1:26-27) sin does not yet exist, and therefore there is no concept of "domination" here as some would and do claim. Why this is claimed and argued over, I cannot say. But keep in mind that the word dominions is also used in the celestial hierarchy, the hierarchy of angels.
It is our obligation to build a culture of life, in which the strong protect the weak.
— Pope John Paul
AND GOD SAID: "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has breath of life, I have given every green plant for food. And it was so. And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good" (Genesis 30-31).
I don't think God could be any more clear as to what he intended our diets to be. Somehow, over time, the word "meat" has become something other than its original definition, which is food. Here is the etymology: "The first meaning of the word Meat was solid food in general, in contrast to drink. This was the meaning in the first citation in the Oxford English Dictionary ~900. It was not until ~1300 that meat was used to denote the flesh of animals and not until even later the definition in the dictionary was changed" (On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen; Scribner, 2004).
Some will argue that yes, that's fine, but later on in the Bible God says that eating and even offering flesh is fine. Keep in mind, however, that God's intentions were betrayed by Adam and Eve, and evil entered the world. It's quite clear that a vegetarian diet of an herbivorous nature was God's ideal diet for man, and as we will see later on, the diet He chose for His son, Jesus Christ.
The gods created certain kinds of beings to replenish our bodies.. they are the trees and the plants and the seeds.
— Plato (428-347 B.C.)
"AND THE FEAR OF YOU and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. Then God saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. And God was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain." (Genesis 9:2-3; 9:5-6).
This denotes a great change in God's tone and demeanor. Good and Evil have now entered the earth, and He knows that instead of protecting the weak, now man will take advantage of it; destroy it; and use it. The way it's said, it is a curse upon mankind, not an invitation to a barbecue. He is our angry Father saying, "Now look at what you have done! I know where this will lead. You've destroyed my gorgeous plan for you, and now the animals will surely suffer." And surely, as we look around, we see that it is so. Though you hide it from your eyes, still it is there. We heartlessly take advantage of their weakness rather than using our strength to show them God's mercy and love. In essence, we have turned a blind eye to compassion, and verily to God.
The animals share with us the privilege of having a soul.
— Pythagoras (582-507 B.C.)
LATER JESUS APPEARED to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. And he said unto them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:14-15).
Jesus Christ, son of God, has just risen from the grave, and what does he do? He commands the apostles to preach God's law to every creature. Many, many Christians argue that animals have no souls; however, why would Jesus tell them to preach to animals unless they are sentient, soulful beings? God is not dumb, and nor was or is His son. He knew exactly what he was saying, and He knew exactly why. There it is in the Bible for all to see; yet, somehow there is some confusion. It is by "believing" animals to be soulless that we have come to hide our atrocities under the guise of "God's word." God's word, however, clearly states that the eating and killing of animals pains Him. How could it pain Him if animals were empty, with no soul? Why would Jesus command the most holy of his disciples to go preach to every creature? There is but one conclusion: Animals have souls, and we don't want to admit it; that would be to admit the sin of killing them to please our own lust.
The moral duty of man consists of imitating the moral goodness and beneficence of God, manifested in creation, toward all His creatures.
— Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
GOD SAID, "For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives, and cut down and take away the spreading branches.They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey and to the wild animals; the birds will feed on them all summer, the wild animals all winter" (Isaiah 18:5-6).
The moral character of God is not to be debated. He even thinks to feed all of His animals with stray cuttings in the spring. God is indeed beneficent to all of His creatures, as indeed we should be, as He wished. What is a greater good than imitating God's perfect nature? There is nothing more that we are supposed to do with our lives, yet we create doubt amongst ourselves, and needless hypocrisy, and commit great evils against ourselves and others. Why?
The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.
— Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
"THEREFORE THE LORD Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good" (Isaiah 7.14-15)
Again, God ordains specifically what is to be eaten by "the good." He does not mention making an offering of burnt flesh; nor does he mention any type of impurity for his Son. For, to be pure, Jesus (Immanuel) must surely obey God's law and eat of the land "flowing with milk and honey," and nothing "that has [the] breath of life." It follows that to refuse evil is to refuse doing harm to God's creatures. To refuse evil and do good is to embrace God's mercy, compassion, and love for all creatures--as He intended from the very beginning.
The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.
— Buddha (563-483 B.C.)
QOHELET SAID: "As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?" (Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:13).
Though Qohelet's mood is of a somber nature, he divulges here many truths. All creatures who have the "breath of life" indeed come from the same dust, and shall return to the same place in God's heaven. How could it not be so, when God has explicitly said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Certainly the smallest in God's creation has no less worth than His greatest.
The soul is a spiritual particle present within any living entity whose presence causes the entire body to be pervaded by consciousness, the symptom of the soul. The soul is eternal, it has no birth, and it never dies.
— Lord Krishna (3228 B.C.)
JOB SAID: "But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of God has done this?" (Job 12:7-9)
Animals are here referenced as equals in their knowledge of God. In fact, not only do they know God, but Job declares that any man can ask the birds, the earth, or the fish for proof of their knowledge of God.
There is an interesting undercurrent here, almost saying: "Look around you people, look at God's glory and rejoice. Every animal knows His power, every plant--but do you not?"
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
— Matthew 13:43
"THE TREE YOU SAW, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth, with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the beasts of the field, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds of the air-- you, O king, are that tree!" (Daniel 4:20-22)
Providing food for all, and sanctuary to beasts of the field and the birds of the air, God extends his love and compassion to all of His creation. The bird is not less than the beast, and the fruit is not less than the shelter. All are equal in God's eyes, for He "saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good." For God there is no distinction between man, beast, earth, or tree; it is all His, and it is all good.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.
— Matthew 5:5-14
"PRAISE GOD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. Let them praise the name of God, for His name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens." (Psalm 148:7-149:3)
This Psalm says it all: All of us, everything existing on Earth, is in the same boat. We are ALL dependent on His love, beneficence, and compassion. We are all equally at His mercy and depend equally upon His devotion toward us all.
A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?
— Jeremiah 5:30-31
JESUS SAID: "Seek not the law in your scriptures, for the law is life, whereas the scripture is dead. I tell you truly, Moses received not his laws from God in writing, but through the living word. The law is living word of living God to living prophets for living men. In everything that is life is the law written. You find it in the grass, in the tree, in the river, in the mountain, in the birds of heaven, in the fishes of the sea; but seek it chiefly in yourselves. For I tell you truly, all living things are nearer to God than the scripture which is without life. God so made life and all living things that they might by the everlasting word teach the laws of the true God to man. God wrote not the laws in the pages of books, but in your heart and in your spirit. They are in your breath, your blood, your bone; in your flesh, your bowels, your eyes, your ears, and in every little part of your body. They are present in the air, in the water, in the earth, in the plants, in the sunbeams, in the depths, and in the heights. They all speak to you that you may understand the tongue and the will of the living God. But you shut your eyes that you may not see, and you shut your ears that you may not hear. I tell you truly, that the scripture is the work of man, but life and all its hosts are the work of our God. Wherefore do you not listen to the words of God which are written in His works? And wherefore do you study the dead scriptures which are the work of the hands of men?" (Essene Gospel of Peace; Dead Sea Scrolls; Book 1)
Seek not the law in your scriptures, for the law is life, whereas the scripture is dead. I tell you truly, Moses received not his laws from God in writing, but through the living word.
— Jesus, Essene Gospel of Peace (Dead Sea Scrolls)
The mission is different for us than for the birds and the beasts; we have free will. We have the choice to do good or evil; we have the choice to ignore His instruction and subtle guidance in all things. That is our distinguishing characteristic; not that we are greater souls than the rest, but that we have the ability to fall from grace; to do evil; to turn our backs--yet also the ability to accept all that God created as equally deserving of His infinite love, and ours.
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:5-14)
© 2010 Kate P
Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on January 05, 2017:
Sanxuary, the "need" for a blood sacrifice? You do realize that's Satanic.. don't you?
Sanxuary on December 26, 2016:
Your playing on words. There is no proof that God was a vegetarian. What about the fish do thay not have a soul according to this nonsense? You fail to understand the need for animal sacrifice and the need no longer existing once Jesus became the sacrifice. There was no need to mention if Jesus ate anything besides fish, but the miricle of plenty by eating fish is well documented. You left out the story of Cain and Able. Cain killed Able because his plant food was not as good as the animals he sacrificed. Now none of this was important because it was never about what we eat. If you want a dietary argument then the Kosher Laws would serve you bettrer. Anything you eat is a gift from God and does not deserve cruelty and deserves thanks to God. I could definately make sense of the kosher rules and I am not Kosher. Controlling yourself from fasting might teach others they can stay healthy. Most of the things listed have health concerns, most of all a hundred years ago. Not eating animal organs would prevent mad cow diesiese. Todays food supply has enormous concerns. I could tell you being a Vegan is extremely healthy unless, you our young, work etremely hard physical work or diabetic. Less animal is a better diet and a hundred years ago we ate a whole lot less. Still their is no proof in the Bible that God was a vegetarian or wanted everyone to be one. I doubt that what we eat now was his answer either.
Lynne on October 30, 2016:
Please tell me if I can locate and purchase, or download, I would love to have Jesus outdoors with all the animals. It is wonderful. We had a tame society finch named Twitter. We lost her today of illness related to old age. What sentience and personality in such a common, inexpensive and small bird.
Mark on October 30, 2016:
Like every faithful Jew, Jesus celebrated Passover. And we know how they celebrated Passover - ate lamb and bitter vegetables.
Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on February 25, 2016:
^ "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." - Matthew 7:15
Chuck on February 26, 2013:
And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him
Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake.
He might want us to be Vegetarians but he sure loves BBQ.
John Michael McGuire from Washington D.C. on November 19, 2012:
Very interesting topic. I've studied Scriptures a great deal, being a Catholic seminarian. While studying the Pentateuch, the first five books, the Torah for some, it becomes pretty clear that it was not meant to be that man should eat animals. It was not the original state that God intended. It became the result of the hardness of heart of man.
Now Jesus is the perfection of the moral law, and image of what man should be living in relationship with God and creation. Ergo, it can be strongly argued from that line of logic that Christ would have been a vegetarian. However, he did choose to call for himself as Apostles and closest friends fishermen. Upon rising from the dead he ate fish to prove that he wasn't a ghost.
Very compelling arguments though. I appreciate the critical thinking and format.
Angela on August 01, 2012:
Thank you for your prespective. I appreciate the time and consideration you give to your responses as well.
We were kind of laughing the other day because in the gospels Jesus is constantly inviting himself to dinner, what a better way to get to know some one than over food :)
Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on July 30, 2012:
It's interesting to note that the bible was used as a source by which to control the common masses (as was and is religion generally.) It was written and re-written hundreds, or maybe thousands, of times over the last 2,000+ years by popes and the people in power. This would allow them to push their views as dogma. Obviously, it's a pretty handy tool.
While some of it remains untouched, I prefer and refer (in my own life) to the Dead Sea Scrolls as much as possible. These are in their true form, and what Jesus says there is that a vegetarian life is pure and free from sin. The Essenes (of which Jesus was one) lived vegetarian, cruelty-free lifestyles, and continue to do so to this day.
Here's a link for your convenience: http://www.essene.com/GospelOfPeace/
Angie on July 30, 2012:
I follow Christ, was vegan, have been vegetarian, currently I'm an addict of real foods. (great book called Nourishing Traditions) and I'm saying this so that it doesn't feel like backlash, of which I believe you deserve none.
I was wondering if you had read the gospels. Jesus at the end of multiple sermons hands out fish which he multiplies to the masses of his followers. I know some vegetarians argue that eating fish is ok, while I always felt an animal is an animal is an animal. Thoughts?
Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 13, 2012:
We humans were certainly given dominion over the earth ad everything in it. I believe many people misunderstand just what dominion entails. Proper stewardship is not mean, cruel, unjust or in any way less than loving. God indeed gave us every seed bearing plant and tree. His plan never involved us eating the flesh of animals. We are moving more toward a mostly raw vegan diet as my knowledge grows. As canned, processed or animal based foods are used up, I will not buy more. We have been vegetarian for many years but occasionally ate cheese of ice cream. I have one more container of cream and then dairy will be no more.
Have you ever heard of the Hallelujah Diet? It is based on God's plan for our sustenance and health.
Golden Field on February 26, 2012:
I am not a vegetarian, nor will i be. You have a good point, but at the time there wasn't to much meat even avalible, i belive that we are omnivores.
Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on February 20, 2012:
Ha, you scared me. Thank you very much, and it's nice to meet a like-minded vegetarian. :)
GoldenBird on February 20, 2012:
. . .I am a vegetarian here. I was merely testing the power of your reasons. You impress me.
Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on February 20, 2012:
Depending on what you believe, we've fallen from grace due to our lusts and desires. Humans certainly have free will and can eat whatever they want, and also kill whatever they want. However, there is a universal law of cause and effect, and whatever we do sends a ripple through the cosmos that, in the end, comes right back to us. Being ethical isn't hard, and it benefits everyone in the end. Perhaps part of what we're supposed to figure out in life is that we're ALL interconnected. Until we realize that, we realize nothing.
GoldenBird on February 19, 2012:
If human beings have free will, then they have the free will to eat meat. Isn't this so? For what reason will they abstain from the cow and the goat? Where is that absolute righteousness that will subjugate their tongues to their conscience?
. . .I give you the backlash.
Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on January 07, 2012:
Thanks so much for the thoughtful and uplifting comments! They're very much appreciated.
I'm amazed that I haven't yet received a backlash about the topic of this hub. I will publish all dissenting viewpoints here, so speak up if you aren't in agreement.
markhigham from Phnom Penh, Cambodia on November 23, 2011:
Extremely insightful. Of course, the benevolent side of God seems rarely stressed by today's Christians, as they seem to equate the justice of God with His love. My home religion is Mormonism, but I extracted myself from it, and now have a kind of Buddhist leaning as well as identifying myself as a mystic.Time and words are very different for us than the orthodox. There's a a great book on the making of the King James Bible, called God's Secretaries. The nature of God has been puzzled over for centuries as you know, and the various theologies handling the debate truncate a better more useful universal view, as these theologians are always bending things to exactly match their own more narrowed religiosity. See the total denouncement of Vatican 2 in order to see the repudiation of ecumenicalism.
waxi on October 22, 2011:
Thanks thats what I was asking I never knew my whole life Jesus was a vegetarian Would you rather see More and more Christians converting to vegetarians? Hindues refrain from eating Cows and Muslims eat meat a lot and relish it heartily Relgions definitely shape followers habits It seems Hindue and Muslims are more committed to follow the food instructions of their religions-Just a thought now an argument
I enjoy reading your hubs
Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on October 21, 2011:
Hi Waqxi, both Jesus and I are vegetarians. Jesus for his entire life, me for 15 years so far. Is that what you were asking? :)
And thanks so much for the great comments everyone! I was expecting a rabid backlash, but very positive feedback so far. :)
waxi on October 21, 2011:
Didn't get it was Jesus vegetarian are you vegetarian ?
Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on October 20, 2011:
I had to chuckle when you said to preach to all creatures (which, of course, Jesus DID say). I never thought of it that way, though I have often preached short sermons to my yellow lab, Lexi. She's a great audience and sometimes the only one I can find who will listen! LOL
Daniella Lopez on October 12, 2011:
Great hub! You represented your argument very well. Voted up!
John Delaney on October 11, 2011:
This is exactly what I've been looking for. Sharing!
Mary on May 22, 2011:
Fantastic article, and one that should be considered a serious question to all meat eating Christians. I believe God created all life and anything conscious is sacred. What message are Christians sending when they don't even follow the simplest commandment: Thou Shalt Not Kill.
Robin Raley on November 12, 2010:
This is a wonderful article; your thoughts are thought-provoking and, I hope, will have a ripple effect on those who read them but haven't thought this through before.
Maraiya Storm from Prescott, Arizona on September 11, 2010:
Thank you so much for this really great article! I agree wholeheartedly with all that you said. I have read the Essene Gospel of Peace and do believe it. I was a vegetarian long before I read it. I loved your quotes from the Bible, also. I hope that more people read your article and get convinced by it. I am in the process of writing an article about the commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill," and I mention not killing animals within it. Haven't finished editing it to publish it as yet.
I look forward to reading more of your writings! You are amazing!
Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on July 12, 2010:
@Mike: I used the King James in the first couple, but after that I used the New International version (1984) exclusively. Each version is worded a little differently; some of the translations just don't make sense and have silly language, so I picked what I thought sounded the most realistic. I'll take a re-look at my first two quotes and see what can be done. That said, different people will quote from different versions, and I cannot address them all. Which version do you suggest? Anyway, thanks for your comment--I appreciate it!
Michael Salamey on July 12, 2010:
What Bible are you quoting from? Judging from the language, it sounds like a King James version. Not that it changes your more meritable points, but the KJV is a re-write, not the best candidate for "authentic" biblical quotes. The context could change considerably (but I am not inclined to find out if it makes any difference to what you have quoted, particularly because I favor the spirit of your argument).