Several people have inquired about why I no longer eat meat. I will relent and explain myself here so that in the future I can simply refer people to my blog and leave the subject alone.
Let me start by saying I don’t think that eating meat is a sin and I don’t seek to bind my decision on any other person. Jesus clearly ate meat. I’m not trying to convince anyone to change their behavior.
I don’t eat meat primarily for spiritual reasons: I don’t think God intended us to eat meat from the beginning. Genesis 1:29-30 says,
Then God said [to Adam], “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
There are two important observations I’ve made in this text. The first is that God gave humans permission only to eat plants. The second is that God gave animals permission only to eat plants. It appears from this text that God intended all living creatures to be herbivores. Before there was sin there were no carnivores and there were no omnivores; every living creature was a herbivore.
After the flood God made a covenant with Noah and in Genesis 9:3 God says, “Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.” Several hundred years after the creation, God gave humans permission to become carnivores. Only as a result of a fallen world do living creatures begin to eat the flesh of others living creatures. It seems to me that sin has brought into this world such violence that living creatures began killing each other and eating each other. After a period of time God granted his permission, but that was not part of his original plan.
Eating meat is a result of sin.
I am a follower of Jesus. Jesus is transforming me into the person he designed me to be from the beginning. Scripture teaches that God is redeeming me to restore me to a perfect state with him. Not just me, but God is redeeming all of creation and restoring all of creation to a perfect state with him. In the end sin will be gone and all of his followers will be resurrected to a restored creation. In the eschaton, herbivorism will be restored. That is to say, in heaven there are no carnivores. The lion will lay down with the lamb.
If herbivorism is where I came from, and if herbivorism is where I am returning to, then it just makes sense to get started now. Isn’t that what the Christian walk is all about?