Is God a Vegetarian? Christianity, Vegetarianism, and Animal Rights

By Richard Alan Young | Go to book overview

8

Didn't John the
Baptist Snack on
Locusts?

Now John wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt around his
waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.
(Matthew 3:4)

What is a charitable heart? It is a heart which is burning with charity
for the whole of creation, for men, for the birds, for the beasts, for the
demons—for all creatures. He who has such a heart cannot see or call
to mind a creature without his eyes becoming filled with tears by reason
of the immense compassion which seizes his heart; a heart which is
softened and can no longer bear to see or learn from others of any suf-
fering, even the smallest pain, being inflicted upon a creature. This is
why such a man never ceases to pray also for the animals.
(St. Isaac the
Syrian, cited in Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern
Church,
St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1976, p. Ill)

Many popular books on Christianity and vegetarianism claim that John the Baptist, Matthew, Peter, James, and the other apostles were vegetarians. The reason for this is rather simple. If it can be established that the early followers of Jesus were vegetarian, it would support the claim that their teacher was also vegetarian. Moreover, it would support the hypothesis that later Christians, such as Paul, departed from the vegetarian gospel of the earliest

-90-

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Is God a Vegetarian? Christianity, Vegetarianism, and Animal Rights
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xv
  • 1: Was Jesus a Vegetarian? 1
  • 2: Would a Veggie Garfield Be a Happy Cat? 15
  • 3: Was God the First Tanner? 28
  • 4: Was Noah's Ark an Early Food Factory? 41
  • 5: Permit Meat? Didn't God Us to Eat 53
  • 6: Isn't Passover Lamb the Main Entrée? 65
  • 7: Was Jesus Kosher? 77
  • 8: Didn't John the Baptist Snack on Locusts? 90
  • 9: Doesn't God Care About Our Health? 102
  • 10: Didn't Paul Condemn Vegetarianism as Heresy? 115
  • 11: Is Christian Vegetarianism Only for Desert Monks? 127
  • 12: Will There Be Slau Hterhouses in Heaven? 140
  • 13: What Then Shall We Eat? 153
  • Epilogue - Going Vegetarian 167
  • Further Reading 178
  • General Index 181
  • Recipe Index 187
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