#148 – Vegetarianism
I love meat. I’m a carnivore through and through. I feel a sense of great sadness when someone tells me that he or she is a vegetarian. I feel sad because I know that they’re missing out on something that has brought me so much joy.
However, I am disturbed by the creation narratives in Genesis. After God creates Adam and Eve, he tells them that all the seed-bearing plants and the fruit is theirs to eat. God makes no mention of eating a nice, rare steak. In fact, it isn’t until after the Fall that the first death occurs in Eden. This has led me to believe that God’s original intention was for humans to be vegetarians.
Which again makes me sad because I like meat.
Over the years, though, there have been a few instances when I thought about turning vegetarian. Check them out below.
When I was younger there were parts in Star Wars from which I would always avert my eyes: the severed arm in A New Hope, Bib Fortuna in Return of the Jedi, and Han slicing open the tauntaun in The Empire Strikes Back. Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web almost led to slaughter never made me think twice about eating meat. But seeing that tauntaun’s innards spill all over Hoth’s icy terrain almost made me a lifelong fan of soy burgers. Tauntauns weren’t as cuddly as Ewoks but I still didn’t want to see one turned into the equivalent of a heated blanket.
For being so advanced, the humans of the 24th century sure have a lot to learn about appreciating cultural differences in food. Every single time humans interacted with Klingons in Star Trek: The Next Genreation, there was some disgusted Federation officer complaining about Klingon food. Gagh is basically worms and, according to Captain Picard, is best served fresh and alive. I don’t really like bugs or worms; they’ve always kind of freaked me out. I’ve never liked working in the yard, mostly because I’m lazy but also because the idea of accidentally touching a live worm appalls me. And even though I liked most of the Klingon episodes on The Next Generation, I could never stomach the gagh. I guess I’m just as bad as the 24th century humans but I’ve never claimed to be better.
I love the story out of Numbers 11 when the Israelites complain about not having any meat to eat. After a diet of nothing but manna, the Israelites start to think enviously about the variety of food they had to eat back in Egypt. God hears their complaint and I love his response.
Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD.
So God sends quail to the Israelite camp, so many quail that they are piled three feet high all around their camp. I’ve had quail and it’s very good but I think I would even have my fill after about a foot’s worth. I love meat but after a month of eating nothing else even I would be asking for a salad.
I don’t know if God’s original intention was that we would all be vegetarians. I’ve been eating meat my entire life, though, and I don’t think anything is going to change that, not even tauntaun guts of Klingon delicacies. Whenever we sit down to ingest a large amount of animal protein, we just need to remember to thank God for making those animals so tasty.
What Bible stories make you lose your appetite?