A Look on Veganism through Religious Scope

Veganism can be characterized by someone who does not eat any animal products (Templeton). Mark F. McCarthy, a researcher explained, Vegetable protein reduces the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and obesity (qtd. In Templeton). Although there are many different opinions on this plant-based diet, many wonder how this fits into religious beliefs. Christianity and Judaism are very different religions, but they have a large commonality. It does not matter what your eating practice is, so long as you slaughter in a humane way.

Christianity, a religion that nearly a 7th of the world follows, has only one God. The only holy text followed is the Bible (Johnson, Christianity). In fact, most Christians believe this sacred text to be a love letter from God himself. With such a large written text, they do not have a cohesive diet. Stricter branches of this religion practice fasting during Lent, while the less restrictive branches just abstain from eating meat on Fridays during this time (Johnson, Christianity). The Bible has many conflicting verses regarding Veganism. For example Genesis 1:29-30 says that God gave his people all plants for food (The Holy Bible 12).

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While later in Genesis 9:3 it states, Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. These verses conflict each other because one is saying that people are only supposed to eat greens, while the other is saying all moving things are food (The Holy Bible). In Genesis, God unleashes a horrific plague that would kill all firstborn sons of every family. He, however, told his followers to smear lamb’s blood across the top of their doorways to save their sons (The Holy Bible 214).

In essence, this is trading a lamb’s life for a child’s. Some may interpret this as putting the man before the animal. While others might interpret this as a huge sacrifice. While another verse in Luke 12:6 says 5 sparrows might be worth 5 pennies in our eyes, but they are valued just as much as we are in God’s eyes (The Holy Bible 3590). Because most verses in The Bible can be interpreted in many different ways, it makes finding a blunt verse regarding diet challenging. Judaism, a religion followed by 15 million people, closely follows The Torah. The Torah is the only holy text the Jewish follow. They believe in several holy figures, but the main one is Yahweh (Johnson, Judaism). The Jewish follow a strict diet called Kosher. Kosher only permits Jewish people to eat meat from cows, sheep, and domestic poultry. The diet does not include pork, shellfish, or birds of prey (Johnson, Judaism).

The last and final restriction is the animals they eat have to be slaughtered in a humane way or they are not considered Kosher. The Torah has a clearer outlook on food restrictions regarding animals. For example, Thorns and thistles shall it sprout for you. But your food shall be the grasses of the field;. Another passage tells a story of two brothers and how one of them farmed the land and the other farmed sheep. One brother brought his first harvest to Yahweh while the other brought him his prized sheep. The brother that brought the sheep was paid, while the other was not (Jewish Publication Society of America). This passage says that Yahweh finds more value in the animal rather than the crop. While these verses may seem clear, like The Bible all verses in The Torah are open for interpretation. Christians do not have a specific diet they follow, but they do have one thing in common with Jews. Each religion believes in treating living things with the utmost respect and honor. This same theme follows for most of the Vegan and Meat eating communities. It does not matter what your eating practice is, so long as you slaughter in a humane way.

Works Cited

  1. The Holy Bible: Old and New Testaments, King James Version. [Auckland, New Zealand]: Floating Press, 2008., 2008. EBSCOhost, nicc.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat01300a&AN=nicc.198436&site=eds-live.
  2. Jewish Publication Society of America. The Torah: The Five Books of Moses. Vol. 1st pbk. ed, Jewish Publication Society, 1999. EBSCOhost, nicc.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk &AN=343714&site=eds-live.
  3. Johnson, Judy A. ..MTS. Christianity. Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2013. EBSCOhost, nicc.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ers& AN=86179208&site=eds-live.
  4. Johnson, Judy A. ..MTS. Judaism. Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2013. EBSCOhost, nicc.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ers& AN=86179210&site=eds-liv
  5. Templeton, David. “Not just Vegetarian, but Vegan.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 01 Jul. 2014, pp. C.1. SIRS Issues Researcher, https://sks-sirs-com.nicc.idm.oclc.org.
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