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

By Richard Alan Young | Go to book overview

1

Was Jesus a
Vegetarian?

And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said
to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of
broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.
(Luke 24:40–43)

The ethics of reverence for life is the ethics of Jesus, philosophically
expressed, made cosmic in scope, and conceived as intellectually
necessary.
(Albert Schweitzer, Pilgrimage to Humanity, Philosophical
Library, 1961, p. 87)

Several years ago a friend confronted me with the question, “How can a Christian argue for vegetarianism when Jesus ate fish and the Passover lamb?” The question is quite common. Christians are Christian because they follow Jesus. If Jesus ate meat, then meat eating must be acceptable for his followers. Moreover, Jesus is considered to be the model of proper conduct. To renounce meat eating as morally wrong would be to incriminate Jesus and demolish one of the last paragons of moral excellence we have.

-1-

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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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