Pam is offended

by Richard on April 29, 2008

So am I. Veggies unite! Remember: meat is murder!

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Apologetics Corner: Christians and animals « Churchmouse Campanologist
05.12.11 at 11:03 pm
Apologetics Corner: Christians and animals « Churchmouse Campanologist
05.12.11 at 11:03 pm

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }


Kim 04.29.08 at 8:51 am

Did you know that John Wesley was a vegetarian? Brother Chuck I don’t know about. But I wouldn’t worry about the comparison with Hitler. Paul McCartney and Chelsea Clinton, on the other hand …

I’m sort of vegetarian: I only eat animals that eat vegetables.


Richard 04.29.08 at 9:09 am

Certainly JW went through veggie phases. On Dec 29th, 1747, he wrote in his journal, “I resumed my vegetable diet (which I had now discontinued for several years), and found it of use both to my body and soul; but, after two years, a violent flux which seized me in Ireland obliged me to return to the use of animal food.” Then in September 1749: “Today I resumed my spare diet, which i shall probably quit no more.” But whether he did or not, I don’t know.


Kim 04.29.08 at 10:06 am

Interesting. I know that Wesley was one of the few theologians of yesteryear who had a keen sense of animal welfare, but from what you say, Richard, his vegetarianism would seem to have been motivated by self (i.e. bodily and spiritual)-interest.

I think that vegetarians, motivated by the meat-is-murder hyperbole or by wider ecological concerns, are a powerful witness to the peaceable kingdom (carnivorousness is post-lapsarian and will be no more when lions and lambs eat chip butties together). Of course consistency demands that vegetarians will also be pacifists, even as anti-abortionists, if they are not muddle-headed, will be also be against capital punishment. But you know the saying: being a pacifist between wars is like being a vegetarian between meals.


PamBG 04.29.08 at 10:11 am

Of course consistency demands that vegetarians will also be pacifists, even as anti-abortionists, if they are not muddle-headed, will be also be against capital punishment.

I have no problem with any of those positions. I believe that abortion is a sin (I don’t like ‘anti-abortionist’ which reminds me of people who kill doctors and burn down clinics), I believe that capital punishment is a sin and I’m a pacifist.

I confess, however, to not being the purist of the pure vegetarians.


Wood 04.29.08 at 10:19 am

Out of interest, you know I gave up meat back in February or thereabouts?


Richard 04.29.08 at 10:25 am

Me neither, Pam. An occasional bit of fish is hard for me to resist.

As for John Wesley’s motivation, certainly he was convinced of the health benefits of a meat-free diet. But he did promote kindness to animals for its own sake, and believed that redemption would come to the animal kingdom as well as to people.

You’re a good man, Wood!


Kim 04.29.08 at 10:41 am

Pepperoni pizza - that’s why I can’t be a veggie. The flesh is weak.


J 04.29.08 at 1:30 pm

“meat is murder”

But it sure tastes good if it’s cooked right or, as Kim points out, turned into things like pepperoni (which I assume is cooked but don’t really want to know…).

Pam should title her response “Hitler Knew How to Read”, or “Hitler Occasionally Used the Restroom”.


Beth 04.29.08 at 2:15 pm

Bacon. That, in a word, is why I will probably be a meat eater for the rest of my life.

I was a vegetarian for 20 years (from the age of five), but lapsed for health reasons. And rediscovering smoked bacon, in a sandwich, with fried eggs and butter, was like reaching nirvana.


PamBG 04.29.08 at 2:48 pm

I really missed hot dogs, but there are now very nice vegetarian hot dogs that satisfy that craving. I never liked British bacon, but American bacon is another story (I’ve resisted so far, but I don’t live in the US any more, so it’s relatively easy to resist!)


DH 04.29.08 at 3:17 pm

Meat murder when God said to Adam “kill and eat” and all of the passages where God told the Israelities that they were free to eat meat? Even Peter is told by God that it is okay to eat meat. From a Scriptural basis I don’t understand being a vegetarian. If one is a vegetarian for health reasons, etc. I understand but from a scriptural basis there isn’t much support. Okay, I caught myself, Daniel ate vegetables and water insteade of meat. It still seems rather odd to say “meat is murder” when animals do not have souls.


Methodist Preacher 04.29.08 at 3:26 pm

I see this as a picture that we will all be vegetarians one day:

Isaiah 65:
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
but dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,”
says the LORD.


DH 04.29.08 at 4:16 pm

Who knows, maybe there will be cooked meat without the killing of an animal? However, I agree that is a very strong possibility. I do tho see in Scripture WHILE ON THIS EARTH that eating meat is admonished by God.

MP, great reference and reply. I definitely can see us being vegetarians in the future. Thank you so much for pointing this out. I still believe that while physically on this earth that it is totally cool to eat meat.


Beth 04.29.08 at 5:30 pm

Do we know why Hitler was a vegetarian? I’d be interested in finding out whether it was for health reasons, some moral stance, or something else…


Wood 04.29.08 at 5:34 pm

It was health reasons.


Malc 04.29.08 at 7:43 pm

To quote the song - Carrot juice constitutes murder and coleslaw’s a fascist regime”

Give peas a chance!!!


DH 04.29.08 at 7:54 pm

Malc, very funny. It reminds me of a mis-statement of a song my mom told me I said when I was 2 years ago:

Has anyone heard the song: “I have got peace like a river”. If so one can apreciate this post:

Mom said I said I pronounced the song: “I got peas like a river” instead of “I have got peace like a river”. Mom said that when I heard the congregation sing the song that it sounded like “peas” or was it “pee’s”.

To this day I don’t know if I was thinking “peas” or “pee’s”.

To restate: “I got PEACE like a river” or “I got PEAS like a river” or “I got PEE’S like a river”. When your two or three years old it is hard to know the difference when you got hundreds of people singing the song at the same time. :)

For “I got pee’s like a river” sounds so funny. I know sometimes when I drink a bunch of water that “I have got pee’s like a river”. :) Just having some fun. :)


Richard 04.29.08 at 8:52 pm

Which in turn reminds me of one of my all time favourite jokes:

Q: What’s the difference between roast beef and pea soup?

A: You can roast beef…


Beth 04.29.08 at 9:40 pm

Ah, Mondegreens! Wonderful stuff.


Oloryn 04.29.08 at 10:29 pm

I’m just curious - what do Christian vegetarians who see vegetarianism as a moral issue (’meat is murder’) do with the fact that Jesus rather obviously wasn’t a vegetarian? We have no indication that Jesus laid off the lamb while participating in the Passover, and we have explicit statements that Jesus ate and served fish.

While scripture is clear on not putting down those who choose not to eat meat, asserting that not eating meat is a moral issue - that eating meat is a sin - seems to me to ultimately have to fail for Christians, since this is a moral issue that Jesus himself doesn’t share. If the sinless Son of God can participate in eating meat, how can you justify saying that eating meat is always a sin for other people?

I’m not trying to troll - this just strikes me as a show-stopper for asserting vegetarianism as a moral issue.


Beth 04.29.08 at 11:00 pm

I guess you can still believe it’s a moral issue even if it isn’t a specific issue of Christian theology? Jesus didn’t say that you have to eat meat. Should all our morality be founded on Scripture, without any extra input?


PamBG 04.29.08 at 11:13 pm

I thought Richard was being as tongue-in-cheek as was my original post. Obviously, the book was not written to offend me or other vegetarians and I thought Richard was replying i the same vein.

I do not claim ‘a direct Christian moral mandate from God’ for my vegetarianism. It’s simply that raising animals for meat uses significantly more of the world’s resources than eating from the fruits (using that term loosely) of the earth. I also know that the world economy doesn’t work in such a way as to mean that my vegetarianism will help those who need it most. It is simply a personal offering to God. Fellow bloggers can now feel free to mock me and make fun of me.

Anti-spam word: butter


Richard 04.29.08 at 11:48 pm

Of course Pam — I wasn’t being at all serious with my ‘meat is murder’ slogan.

It is though. ;)

I do think that what we eat is a moral issue, and for me a vegetarian diet is part of my response to this. But it isn’t something that I get into fights over.


Oloryn 04.30.08 at 12:12 am

Jesus didn’t say that you have to eat meat.

Indeed, He didn’t, and I’m not suggesting there is any prohibition on being a vegetarian. But ‘Meat is murder’ isn’t just an idle saying. It communicates that eating meat is a horrendous sin. It says that there is a prohibition on not being a vegetarian. And if it is a horrendous sin, it is one that the sinless Son of God committed.

I have no problems with a Christian being a vegetarian. I have no problems with Christian vegetarians encouraging other people to become vegetarians. But I can’t reconcile the assertion that eating mean is a sin, that ‘meat is murder’ with any but the most extremely liberal (and unbelieving) of Christian Theologies.


Beth 04.30.08 at 12:52 am

Oh, okay - you were asking how a Christian can consider eating meat as morally equivalent to murder, not simply how they can have a moral reason for vegetarianism - sorry for misunderstanding. That being the case, I can’t give any answer that adds anything to what you just said in your own post. If Jesus ate meat then, in Christian terms, it isn’t a sin to do so.


Beth 04.30.08 at 12:55 am

“I still believe that while physically on this earth that it is totally cool to eat meat.”

I would cautiously agree with you, DH, but personally I try to be careful about the sources of the meat I eat - that they are organic and free range (where applicable). There isn’t much meat in my diet, because I won’t buy it cheaply. For me, eating meat isn’t much of an issue, but eating meat that is unethically reared would be a problem, even if not a sin.


Oloryn 04.30.08 at 1:19 am

If Jesus ate meat then, in Christian terms, it isn’t a sin to do so.

Which seems to imply to me that Christians shouldn’t idly (or seriously) be tossing around the ‘Meat is Murder’ mantra. It may make it easier to give moral imperative to arguments for vegetarianism, but it represents a serious contradiction to our faith. Despite the “marketing” advantage of the phrase, it should be dropped in favor of arguments or other marketing phrases that don’t contradict our faith.


Kim 04.30.08 at 7:00 am

Ah, but I presume our Lord didn’t eat pork chops, prawn curries - or black pudding! Can we eat them? ;)


Richard 04.30.08 at 7:42 am

>> “Christians shouldn’t idly (or seriously) be tossing around the ‘Meat is Murder’ mantra.”

I don’t know any Christians who do, certainly not this one. There has to be room for jests, quips, rants, irony, rhetoric and playfulness in blogging, as well as the straightforwardly serious. Otherwise it would be no fun at all.

Kim’s probably right about Jesus’ eating habits. For the record, I have met one Christian who wouldn’t eat black pudding because of Acts 15. There are lots more who don’t ’cause they think it’s horrible.

Pre-veggie days (more than 20 years now) I used to love it.


DH 04.30.08 at 3:49 pm

I think I totally agree with everyone that the “meat is murder thing” should have been refrained from. It is great we agree that eating meat is not a sin. I also am cool with those who are vegetarians. I do believe our morality comes from Scripture, Jesus ate meat, people in the NT all over ate meat. I do think that if a person chooses to not eat meat I have no problem with it.

Someone mentioned pork and prawns with regard to the Lord. However, one must also look at God’s admonishion to Peter with regard to unclean food. God told Peter in a dream that it is okay to eat pork, shirmp, prawns, etc. Since Jesus is God then Jesus is also admonishioning Peter in the same. Remember Jesus hadn’t died and risen yet and Jesus hadn’t “fulfilled the law” yet so one can’t use Jesus not eating pork as a reason not to eat pork when Peter was admonished to eat pork. At the same time, Paul’s admonishion to the churches regarding meat applies and so I’m not going to rebuke someone who decides not to eat pork or unclean food.

Also one can’t use Acts 15 because that was chronilogically before Paul’s admonishion on meat and unclean meat and also before Peter’s dream that he experienced.


Richard 04.30.08 at 4:03 pm

I’m not trying to argue that there’s a directly scriptural case for vegetarianism.

But Acts 15 comes *after* Peter’s dream in Acts 10. Which kind of suggests that arguments about what it is legitimate to eat were not quickly resolved.


DH 04.30.08 at 4:53 pm

But was Paul’s admonishing on meat sacrificed before idols after Acts 15? I personally believe that it is and therefore confrims my point.


PamBG 04.30.08 at 4:55 pm

Pam pops her head out of the parapet.

Actually, I’m not convinced that saying ‘meat is murder’ ‘represents a serious contradiction to our faith’. That’s a pretty extreme statement.

We’ve gotten all serious here about a fairly jocular statement, but I really don’t see how thinking that it might be wrong to take the lives of animals threatens the Christian faith by contradicting it.


DH 04.30.08 at 5:23 pm

Well if Scripture defines murder as the killing of innocent human life then to say that “meat is murder” goes against Scripture. At the same time, if it is meant to be humorous and jocular then I understand but one really needs to explain it in the first place or people will understandably be concerned about the statement as I was at first.


Richard 04.30.08 at 5:58 pm

Where’s the fun in having to explain everything?

Actually, this thread demonstrates on of the bizarre features of blogging: you can never tell which posts are going to provoke a conversation.


Wood 04.30.08 at 7:00 pm

Of course, the main reason we like the slogan “Meat is Murder” is because it is an excellent song by the Smiths.


Richard 04.30.08 at 8:28 pm

There is that, Wood. Not forgetting the fact that it winds up non-veggies.

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