“God intended us to eat animals”
“People often attempt to justify their carnivorous habits by claiming that God intends us to eat meat, citing their
preferred religious text as evidence of God's will. This ‘justification’ is particularly puzzling since all major religions
teach compassion for all living creatures. Islam advocates kindness to animals; the Hindu doctrine of reincarnation
encourages equal respect for all animals; and the First Precept of Buddhist ethical conduct is not to harm sentient
beings. Both Judaism and Christianity accept the Old Testament, which states: ‘And God said, “Behold, I have given
you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have
them for food"’ (Genesis 1:29).
So why think that God intends us to eat meat? Finding writings in these texts which contradict the teachings
mentioned here won't resolve the matter, since if these texts' teachings are self-contradictory, then we are left with
no clear guidance as to what God intends us to eat.
Fortunately, we can bypass this unpromising hermeneutical project altogether. There is a much more compelling
refutation of the ‘God intends us to eat meat’ defense.
If God intends us to eat meat, then God is either ignorant, irrational, or malevolent. If God doesn't know that eating
meat causes heart attacks, cancer, strokes, etc., then he is ignorant about nutrition. If God knows that eating meat
is harmful to our health but intends us to do it anyway, then either he is malevolent and wants bad things to happen
to us, or he is irrational since, despite wanting us to be healthy, he intends us to eat a diet detrimental to our health.
Since, by definition, God is neither ignorant nor irrational nor malevolent, it is incoherent to believe that God intends
us to eat meat.
- Mylan Engel, Jr.
“According to religious people, God allows you to make free decision in your life...God allows bad and good things to
happen, it's just up to you to interpret what the good things are and what are the bad...God may ‘allow’ this happen,
but it doesn't mean he wants it to, that would be like saying he supports murderers, rapists, and pedophiles, too,
simply because it ‘happens’.”
- Author Unknown
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