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Nutrition in the Bible
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Copyright © 2012 Jonathan Mukwiri 
 
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H

ealth is a blessing of which few appreciate the value; yet upon it the efficiency of our mental and physical powers largely depends. We are individually the property of Christ, His purchased possession.  It is required of each one of us to preserve our health and strength by the practice of temperance in what we eat.  The appetites must be controlled, that through them we shall not weaken or defile God’s human temple.  We must not place in the stomach food which pleases the appetite, but which injures the digestive organs.  We must not spoil the property of God by indulging in improper habits of eating.

God has given you a habitation to care for and preserve in the best condition for His service and glory.  “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Gods” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20).  “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).  To every professed Christian is addressed the solemn and fearful warning, “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:17).

God desires that we eat food that best supply the elements needed for building up the body. In this choice, appetite is not a safe guide. Through wrong habits of eating, the appetite has become perverted. Often it demands food that impairs health and causes weakness instead of strength. As God-fearing people, we cannot safely be guided by the customs of society. The disease and suffering that everywhere prevail are largely due to popular errors in regard to diet. We must study God’s word to

make the right choice in foods.  Our starting point of study must be the original diet.

 

The original diet

In order to know what are the best foods, we must study God’s original plan for man’s diet.  He who created man and who understands his needs appointed Adam his food.  “Behold,” He said, “I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food” (Genesis 1:29).  Upon leaving Eden to gain his livelihood by tilling the earth under the curse of sin, man also received permission to “eat the herb of the field” (Genesis 3:18).

The original diet therefore consisted of grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables – the diet chosen for us by our Creator.  These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing.  They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigour of intellect, that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.  It is to this simple diet God wants us to return.

The wise God gave our first parents the food He designed that the race should eat.  It was contrary to His plan to have the life of any creature taken for food.  There was to be no death in Eden.  The fruit of the trees in the garden was the food man’s wants required.

If we are faithful to our Christian calling, the Lord intends to bring us back to live upon simple fruits, grains, nuts, and vegetables.  God desires His people go back to the diet originally given to man.  If we corporate with God, we will work towards discarding from our diet anything that was not in the original diet.


The post-flood diet

The diet appointed man in the beginning did not include flesh meats.  Not till after the Flood, when every green thing on the earth had been destroyed, did man receive permission to eat flesh.  In permitting man to eat flesh, God said, “But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat” (Genesis 9:4).  God then gave statutes concerning “the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten” (Leviticus 11:47).

The state of the mind has largely to do with the health of the body, and especially with the health of the digestive organs.  As a general thing, the Lord did not desire His people to eat flesh meat in the desert, because He knew that the use of this diet would create disease and insubordination.  In order to modify the disposition, and bring the higher powers of the mind into active exercise, He removed from them the flesh of dead animals.  He gave them angel’s food, manna from heaven.

“Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no ... And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey” (Exodus 16:4, 31).

“And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium. And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil” (Numbers 11:7-8).

But the Israelites despised angels’ food, and they murmured.  “And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?  We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes” (Numbers 11:4-6).

To this discontent, God responded.  “And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat” (Numbers 11:18).

But God made it clear that He was not happy with His people eating flesh.  “Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?” (Numbers 11:19-20).

And as God had warned, flesh brought death.  “And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague” (Numbers 11:33).

God gave positive evidence that He rules in the heavens, and rebellion was punished with death.  Only two of those who as adults left Egypt, saw the Promised Land of Canaan (Numbers 26:65).  They wandered and the wanderings were extended until the rest were buried in the wilderness.  Today Satan is using the same devising to introduce the same evils, and his efforts are followed by the same results that in the days of Israel laid so many in their graves.

Upon their settlement in Canaan, the Israelites were permitted the use of animal food, but under careful restrictions which tended to lessen the evil results.  The flesh meat was restricted to clean animals.  These had been specifically preserved from the flood when Noah brought them in the ark.  “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female” (Genesis 7:2).

The use of swine’s flesh was prohibited.  The whole world eats pigs (swine) against clear laws on health.  “And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.  Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you” (Leviticus 11:7-8).

Eating pork is abominable and will be met with destruction.  “For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.  For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.  They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 66:15-17).

The text in Isaiah 66:15-17 refers to the second coming of Jesus.  Clearly, those that eat pork are placed together with those that eat mouse, and “shall be consumed together.”  The word of God could not have been any clearer about eating swine.

Of creatures that are on land, Leviticus 11:3 tells us to eat those that “parteth the hoof, and cheweth the cud”.  From this we know we can eat cows and sheep.  We know we cannot eat pigs.  We know Lions and Tigers are carnivorous and not to be eaten.

Of creatures in the waters, Leviticus 11:9 tells us to eat those that have “fins and scales”.  Same instruction is given in Deuteronomy 14:9.  We know that shellfish is not to be eaten.  All marine animals that have no “fins and scales” are abomination to God.  Such abominable animals include oysters, shrimp, crabs, clams, eels, catfish, lobsters, prawns and crayfish.  These sea scavengers have been forbidden as articles of diet.

Of creatures of the air, we have clean and unclean birds.  We know from Leviticus 11:13 and Deuteronomy 14:13 that birds of prey are not to be eaten.

By departing from the plan divinely appointed for their diet, the Israelites suffered great loss.  They desired a flesh diet, and they reaped its results. They did not reach God’s ideal of character or fulfill His purpose.  God desired His people return to the original diet, but they disobey God.  “They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul” (Psalms 106:13-15).  They valued the earthly above the spiritual, and the sacred pre-eminence which was His purpose for them they did not attain.

The rest of the history of the Israelites is recorded in the Bible as a life of ups and downs, with mixed diet of flesh and plants.  The merciful God never gave up these rebellious people.  God then tells the Israelites “Thou shalt not eat any abominable Thing” (Deuteronomy 14:3).

The same God speaks through Paul to explain the principle that should govern our diet – the body temple principle.  1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”  Anything that defiles the body-temple be it of clean or unclean animal is an abomination, and God will destroy the defiler.

And the parallel in the heavenly city is given in Revelation 21:27 “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”  Whatever we eat then should not disease or defile the body temple, lest the Holy Spirit grieve and leave.  Of these defiling examples, fat and Blood even in clean creatures was specifically prohibited.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat.  And the fat of the beast that dieth of itself, and the fat of that which is torn with beasts, may be used in any other use: but ye shall in no wise eat of it.  For whosoever eateth the fat of the beast, of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, even the soul that eateth it shall be cut off from his people.

“Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings.  Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people” (Leviticus 7:22-27).

It says in Leviticus 3:17 “It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.”  We see this repeated to Christians in Acts 15:29: “That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.”

Today some people go for Kosher meats to avoid blood.  Most people find this blunt without taste, for lack of blood or/and fat.  Most Christians do not even seek out kosher meats; they eat whatever is in the market.  It is very sad that God’s people are reduced to this animal-like level of eating abominably!

Even clean creatures that have been torn by beast are not to be eaten.  It says in Exodus 22:31 “And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.”  Beasts of prey, such as Lions, tend to attack weak and sick animals that are defenceless or that cannot escape faster.  God does not want us to eat of these weak and sick animals.

Many animals slaughtered in the markets are downer animals, with no difference with what is prohibited, and yet even Christians feed on these carcasses.  It must be a terrible ordeal for our Creator, who first appointed a plant diet for man, to watch a people professing the name of Christ eat abominably!

All parts or products of creatures containing blood, fat, those strangled, those torn by beasts, and those that die natural deaths, be it of age or disease, are abomination and not to be eaten.  Man have now taken vegetarian animals such as cows and fed them with flesh and turned them into carnivorous animals, no longer the proper cud chewing animals, and we have sat to eat these modified animals; these too are abominations.


Vegan diet in Babylon

The best diet can only be founded on God’s terms.  The original diet is the best, and by God’s grace it is possible.  Whilst the Bible does not directly condemn the eating of clean animals, the restrictions around meats – prohibition of fat, blood, and weak and diseased animals – makes it almost impossible for flesh to be truly a best diet man can eat.  Those that are wishing to stay in optimum health, to glorify God in their bodies, will eat the best food that they can obtain in their locale.  But it must always be borne in mind that a vegan diet is the best for health – a fact for which science offers mounting evidence today.

The consequences of flesh diet must never be overlooked.  We need to go back to the Israelites and examine them then in Babylon.  In the book of Daniel from the first chapter, we find there that people like Daniel only ate a plant-based diet, and in the end they were the only ones that did not worship the idol made by King Nebuchadnezzar.  Daniel said: “let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink” (Daniel 1:12).  Daniel and his friends chose a purely vegan diet, and must God’s people living in these last days of a present-day Babylon, if we must be pure and holy, and avoid worshiping the beast.

In Bible prophecy, the Lord sends a call to His People.  In Revelation18:2-4 we find the call “saying, Babylon the great is fallen … the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies … Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”.  The “delicacies” of the present-day Babylon include all unclean flesh, and all contaminated clean flesh meats.

Whenever you read prophecy, and symbolic terms such as “Babylon” are used, study the types and parallel in the Bible. We turn to God's people in Babylon of old. In Daniel 1:11-14, we find Daniel and his three friends, who had long read the history of God's children in the wilderness where God sought to remove flesh diet and return them to the original diet. Having been brought up on Vegan diet, they were not about to indulge in flesh meats, even in the Babylonian King's palace. They had studied the Scriptures carefully to know the spiritual dangers from cause to effect of meat eating. As God-fearing youth, now in Babylon, they determined they would not defile themselves by indulgence of appetite.

As Daniel and his friends were brought to the test, they placed themselves fully on the side of righteousness and truth.  They were vegans.  They decided that as flesh-meat had not composed their diet in the past, it should not come into their diet in the future.  They knew that the indulgence of appetite would becloud their powers of discernment.

By a vegan diet, Daniel and his friends remained pure and holy, and they as a result refused to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s idol.  The simple truth is this: when God took the Israelites from Egypt, He changed their diet from meats to Manna.  Those who disobeyed, perished in the wilderness, and they worshipped idols.  When the Israelites were captive in Babylon, they had to change their diet from meat to pulse, those who disobeyed, all worshipped Nebuchadnezzar’s idol.

The history of Daniel is placed upon record for our benefit.  He chose to take a course that would make him singular in the king’s court.  He did not conform to the habits of the courtiers in eating and drinking, but purposed in his heart that he would not eat of the king’s meat nor drink of his wines.  This was not a hastily formed, wavering purpose, but one that was intelligently formed and resolutely carried out.

By conforming to the original diet appoint to man, vegan diet, Daniel honoured God; and the promise was fulfilled to him.  “Them that honour Me I will honour” (1 Samuel 2:30).  The Lord gave him “knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom,” and he had “understanding in all visions and dreams” (Daniel 1:17); so that he was wiser than all in the king’s courts, wiser than all the astrologers and magicians in the kingdom.

Those who serve God in sincerity and truth will be a peculiar people, unlike the world, separate from the world.  Their food will be prepared, not to encourage gluttony or gratify a perverted taste, but to secure to themselves the greatest physical strength, and consequently the best mental conditions.  Theirs is a simple vegan diet.

The world may despise you because you do not meet their standard, you do not eat abominably, nor engage in their dissipating amusements, and follow their pernicious ways; but the God of heaven promises to receive you, and to be a Father unto you.  “Ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:18).  Remember, man first fell into sin through appetite.  This same temptation continues today.  Be a Daniel, eat vegan and serve God even if you stand alone in Babylon.


Food in the New Testament

In the New Testament time, God sought to take man back to the original diet, but this time introduced the principle of body temple that should guide man in choice of diet. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17).

In making the choice of what we place in the body-temple, the will of God must be our guide, not appetite.  “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Colossians 1:9).  We must do all for God’s glory.  “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

By teaching us the body-temple principle, God desire our good and holistic health.  “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 1:2).

Healthy bodies form a holy body-temple that God will accept, which we must offer to Him.  “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).

How do we build the body-temple?  “Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11), is the language of the apostle Peter.  Many regard this warning as applicable only to the licentious; but it has a broader meaning.  It guards against every injurious gratification of appetite or passion.

Fleshly lusts include all unclean meats, ranging from pork, mouse, oysters, shrimp, crabs, clams, prawns, catfish, lobsters, to crayfish.  Fleshly lusts include all clean meats that have fat and blood – foods that are not kosher.  Fleshly lusts include all kosher foods that come from weak and diseased clean animals or from strangled animals.  Fleshly lusts include all kinds of foods whose choice is made based on appetite and not for “the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

The apostle Paul pleads: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

Nothing harmful to our health should ever be placed in the body-temple.  These harmful things go beyond flesh meats, blood and fat, to include intemperance in drinking tea and coffee, wine, beer, rum, and brandy, and the use of tobacco, opium, and other narcotics, which have resulted in great mental and physical degeneracy, and this degeneracy is constantly increasing.

To these harmful habits, the apostle warns of the consequences.  “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep” (1 Corinthians 11:29-30).

History must teach us, pleads the apostle:  “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; … But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.  Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. ... Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer” (1 Corinthians 10:1-10).

To those that destroy the body-temple by their habits of eating abominably God will destroy them.  “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).  This forever settles that a person can be lost for defiling the property of God – the body-temple.  Whilst you are not saved by food, defiling your body with food will cause you to be lost.


Return to the original diet

Sin has increased in the world and so has diseases in both man and animals.  As a result of sin, “the whole creation groaneth” (Romans 8:22), “even we ourselves groan within ourselves” (Romans 8:23), and “the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings” (Romans 8:26).  If God will have our full attention, we must be in good health, which ultimately is to return to the original diet.

It is no longer safe for God’s people to find comfort in being vegetarian – with cow’s milk and eggs in their diet.  A vegan diet must be sought.  Animals from which milk is obtained are not always healthy.  They may be diseased.  A cow may be apparently well in the morning, and die before night.  Then she was diseased in the morning, and her milk was diseased, but you did not know it.  The animal creation is diseased.

Startling scientific evidence has shown milk to be a major source of cancer.  In 2005, Dr Campbell and other renowned scientists published a report on what came to be known as The China Study (see thechinastudy.com), which report was published as a book in 2006 (ISBN 9781932100662).

The study was a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, taking a survey of diseases and lifestyle factors in rural China and Taiwan.  The study was recognised by The New York Times as the “most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease.”

The study findings concluded: “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease.”  The study results could not be ignored.  Of the animal products, Milk is found to pose the most danger for cancer.  Without a doubt, the cancerous elements in Milk have turned Milk into abominable thing not to be placed into the body-temple.

We read from the book (The China Study – The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health, by T Colin Campbell and Thomas M Campbell, Benbella Books Inc, 2006, pp. 179-182) as follows:

“As we have seen with other forms of cancer, large-scale observational studies show a link between prostrate cancer and an animal-based diet, particularly one based heavily on diary … Animal protein causes the body to produce more IGF-1 [Insulin-like Growth Factor 1], which in turn throws cell growth and removal out of whack, stimulating cancer development. …

“Animal protein suppresses the production of ‘supercharged’ [vitamin] D.  Excessive calcium, as found in [animal] milk, also suppresses the production of ‘supercharged’ D.  ‘Supercharged’ D is responsible for creating a wide variety of health benefits in the body.  Persistently low levels of supercharged D create an inviting environment for different cancers, autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis and other diseases. …

“Of the people you know who have cancer, or are at risk of having cancer, how many of them have considered the possibility of adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet to improve their chances? …

“Food as a key to health represents a powerful challenge to conventional medicine, which is fundamentally built on drugs and surgery.  The widespread communities of nutrition professionals, researchers and doctors are, as a whole, either unaware of this evidence or reluctant to share it. ...

“There is enough evidence now that cancer alliances, and prostrate and colon cancer institutions, should be discussing the possibility of providing information everywhere on how a whole foods, plant-based diet may be an incredibly effective anti-cancer medicine.”

If such startling scientific evidence has not touched your senses, then know that your appetite is so perverted that you need the mercies of God to transform you.  But the truth remains that flesh food has never been the ideal plan God designed for man.

Those who eat flesh are but eating grains and vegetables at second hand; for the animal receives from these things the nutrition that produces growth.  The life that was in the grains and vegetables passes into the eater.  We receive it by eating the flesh of the animal.  How much better to get it direct, by eating the food that God provided for our use!

Flesh was never the best food; but its use is now doubly objectionable, since disease in animals is so rapidly increased.  Those who use flesh foods little know what they are eating.  Often if they could see the animals when living and know the quality of the meat they eat, they would turn from it with loathing.  People are continually eating flesh that is filled with tuberculous and cancerous germs.  Tuberculosis, cancer, and other fatal diseases are thus communicated.  What an abominable diet!

The tissues of the swine swarm with parasites.  Of the swine God said, "It is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass” (Deuteronomy 14:8).  This command was given because swine’s flesh is unfit for food.  Swine are scavengers, and this is the only use they were intended to serve.  Never, under any circumstances, was their flesh to be eaten by human beings.  It is impossible for the flesh of any living creature to be wholesome when filth is its natural element and when it feeds upon every detestable thing.

Often animals are taken to market and sold for food when they are so diseased that their owners fear to keep them longer.  And some of the processes of fattening them for market produce disease.  Shut away from the light and pure air, breathing the atmosphere of filthy stables, perhaps fattening on decaying food, the entire body soon becomes contaminated with foul matter.

Animals are often transported long distances and subjected to great suffering in reaching a market.  Taken from the green pastures, and travelling for weary miles over the hot, dusty roads, or crowded into filthy cars, feverish and exhausted, often for many hours deprived of food and water, the poor creatures are driven to their death, that human beings may feast on the carcasses.

In many places fish become so contaminated by the filth on which they feed as to be a cause of disease.  This is especially the case where the fish come in contact with the sewage of large cities.  The fish that are fed on the contents of the drains may pass into distant waters and may be caught where the water is pure and fresh.  Thus when used as food they bring disease and death on those who do not suspect the danger.

The effects of a flesh diet may not be immediately realised; but this is no evidence that it is not harmful.  Few can be made to believe that it is the meat they have eaten which has poisoned their blood and caused their suffering.  Many die of diseases wholly due to meat eating, while the real cause is not suspected by themselves or by others.

The moral evils of a flesh diet are not less marked than are the physical ills.  Flesh food is injurious to health, and whatever affects the body has a corresponding effect on the mind and the soul.  Think of the cruelty to animals that meat eating involves, and its effect on those who inflict and those who behold it.  How it destroys the tenderness with which we should regard these creatures of God!

The intelligence displayed by many dumb animals approaches so closely to human intelligence that it is a mystery.  The animals see and hear and love and fear and suffer.  They use their organs far more faithfully than many human beings use theirs.  They manifest sympathy and tenderness toward their companions in suffering. Many animals show an affection for those who have charge of them, far superior to the affection shown by some of the human race.  They form attachments for man which are not broken without great suffering to them.

What man with a human heart, who has ever cared for domestic animals, could look into their eyes, so full of confidence and affection, and willingly give them over to the butcher’s knife?  How could he devour their flesh as a sweet morsel?

It is a mistake to suppose that muscular strength depends on the use of animal food.  The needs of the system can be better supplied, and more vigorous health can be enjoyed, without its use.  The grains, with fruits, nuts, and vegetables, contain all the nutritive properties necessary to make good blood.  These elements are not so well or so fully supplied by a flesh diet.  Had the use of flesh been essential to health and strength, animal food would have been included in the diet appointed man in the beginning.

When the use of flesh food is discontinued, there is often a sense of weakness, a lack of vigour.  Many urge this as evidence that flesh food is essential; but it is because foods of this class are stimulating, because they fever the blood and excite the nerves, that they are so missed.  Some will find it as difficult to leave off flesh eating as it is for the drunkard to give up his dram; but they will be the better for the change.

When flesh food is discarded, its place should be supplied with a variety of grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits that will be both nourishing and appetising.  This is especially necessary in the case of those who are weak or who are taxed with continuous labour.

In some countries where poverty abounds, flesh may be the cheapest food.  Under these circumstances the change will be made with greater difficulty; but it can be effected.  Prayerfully make the change, and God will help you.  The place of meat should be supplied with wholesome foods that are inexpensive.  In all cases educate the conscience, enlist the will, supply good, wholesome food, and the change will be readily made, and the demand for flesh will soon cease.


Conclusion

Every professed Christian should understand how to take such care of himself as to preserve the best possible condition of health, resisting feebleness and disease, in order to serve God better.  Perfection of character is required before we enter heaven.  Our bodies must therefore be preserved in good health as a temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  What we eat directly affects our impulses and passions in our bodies.  We must deny appetite to preserve our physical and mental powers for His glory.  God will accept of nothing less than the service of the entire human organism.  Thus God desires to prepare a people to stand before Him pure and holy, that He may introduce them into the society of heavenly angels.

It was in His holy wisdom that God appointed to man the original diet that consisted of fruits, grains, nuts, and vegetables.  It is after the floods that man was permitted to eat flesh, but even then with restrictions.  In the wilderness God desired man to return to the original diet, and He gave man angel’s food – manna, a purely plant diet.  Man refused angel’s food and desired flesh.  In Babylon we see Daniel and his three friends eating the original diet, and only they did not worship Nebuchadnezzar’s idol.  It is a lesson to us today.

Finally, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

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