What does the Bible say about vegetarianism

What does the Bible say about a vegetarian diet? [closed]

There are a number of verses that speak about what you should or can eat, and some concern vegetarian food. There are a number of Christian sects that even have a "health message" mandating a vegetarian diet. I think the most notable are the Seventh-day Adventists, but note that the diet is a suggestion in their head, not biblical law.

From the beginning there is an evolution of what God gives humanity to eat. In the garden, God first gives the fruits of the trees and every seed-bearing plant (fruit).

Then God said, “I give you every seed plant in all the earth and every tree that contains fruit with seeds. They will be yours to eat. And to all animals on earth and all birds in the sky and all creatures that move on the ground - everything that contains the breath of life - I give every green plant to eat. “And it was like that.
Genesis 1: 29-30 (NIV)

When creation was complete, God gave Adam any fruit he wanted for food, and gave every green plant to all other creatures. In Genesis 2: 16-17, God gives Adam every tree in the garden and forbids Adam to eat from the tree of knowledge, but this is more of a theological / obedient problem than a practical, dietary problem.

During God's proclamations of punishment for eating the forbidden fruit, Adam becomes in Genesis 3:18said that his food will be plants . It's a bit ambiguous, but we can assume that it means that all plants, like animals, were given first.

After autumn we see an interesting development. The people became farmers and kept herds.

Now Abel kept herds and Cain worked the soil.
Genesis 4: 2 (NIV)

It also seems permissible for them to keep flocks and, we suppose, to eat their meat, but that may be too premature.

After Noah and his family survived the Flood, we see that God eat animal meat with only two prohibitions allowed :

Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything now. But you mustn't eat meat that still has the elixir of life.
Genesis 9: 3-4 (NIV)

Now God has given everything to eat except blood and other people (that is, in the following verses, and I left it out because there is usually no need to convince people that cannibalism is wrong).

This leaves some questions about the previous verses. The first is, did they (the righteous) actually eat meat before the flood? We know they flocked, but they also sacrificed. It is possible that they were only tending flocks for the sacrifice. The second question is when exactly did God give them the green plants. The earliest reference to this is after the fall in Genesis 3:18 and Genesis 4: 2. God says plants will be your food, then Cain later worked the soil, which in our opinion means fruit and Growing vegetables.

Some cults use the following verses and logic to support that vegetarian food is better for you. While that may be true, I think you have a hard time telling that the Bible prescribes a vegetarian diet, and I have never heard of a group say this, but I know the SDA says this is encouraged.

There is another interesting story about food and vegetarian nutrition. Daniel 1 describes a story in which Daniel, a young man, was captured for being intelligent, young, handsome, and getting food from the royal table. Daniel viewed this as an abomination, probably because the flesh of this table contained animals that were sacrificed to idols, and possibly also contained blood. So Daniel asks his overlord to give him and the other servants only vegetables and water for 10 days and to check whether they are not healthier than the others.

By the end of the ten days, they looked healthier and better fed than any young man who ate the royal meal.
Daniel 1:15 (NIV)

Some groups, like the SDA, point out as factual and biblical evidence that a vegetarian diet is better for you. Others say it was the power of God that made them healthier, because they wanted to avoid the royal table, because it was defiled, not just because it had meat on it; The objection was directed against meat that either contained blood or was offered to the idol or both. You then develop ideas such as a "Daniel Fast" in which you only eat vegetables and water for 10 days to strengthen your faith, and also quote Mark 7: 18-19, which says that no food will defile you can. It's a bit of a red herring because Christians would agree with the health message.

Whatever a Christian decides, there is one verse that cannot be more clear on the subject:

So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, you are doing everything for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)

dotancohen

I signed up to support this answer and I am not even a Christian. Very well done.