Christian Vegetarianism

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Truth, and Ethics' started by Elmo, Mar 11, 2024.

  1. Elmo

    Elmo Active Member

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    Some monastics and desert fathers followed vegetarian, pescetarian or other like diets, such as the Benedictines not eating four-footed animals.

    Do you think there are good arguments for Christian dietary restrictions like this?

    Do you follow any?
     
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  2. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    I was vegan for a couple of years, mostly in solidarity with my wife who was advised by her doctor to do it.

    I know there are 7th day Adventists who practice vegetarianism but I don't know the reasoning

    And of course all Christians are (or should be) vegetarian at least some of the time during the various fasts of the Church year
     
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  3. Elmo

    Elmo Active Member

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    7th DA tend to try following the Levitical rules on diet.

    I've given up land-meat, dairy and alcohol for Lent. I'm still having fish and eggs.
     
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  4. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    I seem to recall that some anabaptists of the radical reformation era practiced practiced strict vegetarianism and...ahem...nudism. I think they saw it as a mark of their restoration to the pre-fall state. Since Adam and Eve were nude and vegetarian, so were they.

    Not something I delved deeply into, I just remember it was in a footnote that I read somewhere so I don't have a lot of details
     
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  5. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    It looks like I was referring to the Adamites and the Freedomites and groups of that ilk
     
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  6. Elmo

    Elmo Active Member

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    I am looking forward to some wine!!!
     
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  7. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Not really except during periods of fasting to build of discipline over self.
     
  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
    Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

    If a person wishes to fast from certain types of foods "as unto the Lord," he may. However, religious requirement of fasting from certain foods is a legalism to be avoided.

    Act 10:9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
    Act 10:10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
    Act 10:11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
    Act 10:12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
    Act 10:13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
    Act 10:14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
    Act 10:15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
    Act 10:16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

    All foods are considered ritually 'clean' by Christians.
     
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  9. Elmo

    Elmo Active Member

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    I think some folks here missed the point.

    Is there an argument for Christian vegetarianism based on ethical concerns or otherwise?

    Many, many Christians throughout history have been pescatarian or vegetarian. It has nothing to do with kosher foods.
     
  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    To your question, I would answer, "no."

    You're right, Christianity has nothing to do with kosher foods. And IMO any Christian monastics who engaged in special diets for religious reasons were erroneously adopting a form of kosher.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2024
  11. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    No, they weren’t. Eastern Orthodox dietary rules have absolutely nothing to do with ‘ritual purity’ or with understanding certain animals to be ‘unclean.’ The foods chosen for abstention during certain periods were selected because they were considered delicacies or at least enjoyable. Abstaining from them was intended to bring about some discomfort in order to remind the one abstaining to repent. (And since it’s far more likely to successfully fulfill such an undertaking if it’s a group effort, there is no individualism in the rule.)

    Jewish Christians, on the other hand, continued to keep kosher in their communities (just as the earliest Jewish Christians did), at least until the 4th/5th century and probably for some time afterward, until they disappeared from history. Christianity (mostly) had “nothing to do with kosher” if you were Gentile; Jewish Christians maintained observance of the Jewish law, its being an ‘everlasting covenant’.
     
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  12. Mere Theism

    Mere Theism New Member

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    The best arguments for Christian vegetarianism would just be the arguments for vegetarianism itself. If one finds ethical considerations compelling - whether the cruelty of the meat industry, environmental conscientiousness, or various arguments about the intrinsic worth of animal life - and if one is also a Christian, then one may elect to be a Christian vegetarian.
     
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  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for contributing your knowledge of Orthodox practices.

    I only had what Elmo wrote, "Some monastics and desert fathers followed vegetarian, pescetarian or other like diets, such as the Benedictines not eating four-footed animals," in mind, and I had not considered the Orthodox.
     
  14. Elmo

    Elmo Active Member

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    There are Orthodox monastics.

    The example isn't the whole.

    Methodists had vegetarian practices, for example.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2024
  15. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    You can have a sensibly sized glass on every Sunday in Lent. It's wrong to fast on a feast day. Every Sunday in Lent is a feast day, that's why Lent starts of a Wednesday, making it 46 days from Easter Day, not just 40.
    .
     
  16. Elmo

    Elmo Active Member

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    I'm using Mediaeval rules. You can't do a black fast on Sundays but you continue giving up what you gave up on Sundays.
     
  17. Elmo

    Elmo Active Member

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    To add,

    Think Lent is Tough? Take a Look at Medieval Lenten Practices - Angelus Press

    1. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday were “black fasts.” This means no food at all.
    2. Other days of Lent: no food until 3pm, the hour of Our Lord’s death. Water was allowed, and as was the case for the time due to sanitary concerns, watered-down beer and wine. After the advent of tea and coffee, these beverages were permitted.
    3. No animal meats or fats.
    4. No eggs.
    5. No dairy products (lacticinia) – that is, eggs, milk, cheese, cream, butter, etc.
    6. Sundays were days of less liturgical discipline, but the fasting rules above remained.
     
  18. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Do you follow these rules? If not do you follow another regimen?
     
  19. Elmo

    Elmo Active Member

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    I follow them apart from no eggs. I have eggs, but not often. I also gave up alcohol.

    Later they switched from 3pm to 12pm so I aim broadly to follow that. Sometimes I just forget.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2024
  20. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    The Eastern Orthodox fast and practice abstinence on Sundays in Lent. (Fasting refers to the quantity of what’s consumed; abstinence refers to quality, i.e., what is prohibited in any quantity.) In Orthodox Lent one is supposed to consume less than what one normally does and abstain from certain categories entirely. This tradition is far older than Anglicanism and far, far older than what passes for Lenten “asceticism” in Western Christendom today. And one practicing in this Tradition is expected to be diligent in saying the prescribed daily prayers or else the endeavour is considered worthless if not counterproductive and liable to lead one to spiritual delusion. It is a very physically and mentally demanding practice. The extent that the Lenten fast compounds the joy of the Orthodox Paschal Liturgy is impossible to overestimate. As a total experience, there is nothing like it anywhere else in the Christian world.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2024
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