There are three kinds of vegetarians:
- Those who believe meat is bad for us.
- Those who believe it is morally wrong to kill any animal.
- Those with honest health reasons to abstain.
If meat was bad for us, why didn’t God forbid Israel to eat it? Why, in fact, did He command them to eat red meat a minimum of once per year (on threat of being kicked out of the country if they didn’t)? The truth is that meat is good for us, and God, of course, knew this.
There are nutrients (i.e. B12) in meat that are simply not available from any other source.* Humans, especially men, need the extra iron available in meat, especially red meat (beef, sheep, goat, deer, etc).
Other nutrients it is difficult or impossible to get without animal products:
Those who eat meat have a longer average life span, and nearly a third less mental disorders than meat-free people.
Most vegetarians claim to feel better after they quit eating meat, but the placebo affect could easily be the true cause for this, especially since nearly anytime anyone makes a major change in their diet they claim to feel much better (including those who adopt a "carnivore" diet; only eating meat).
Vegetarians are afflicted with some types of cancers that meat eaters simply don't get, and are way more likely to have other eating disorders (i.e. anorexia/bulimia)
God created us. He designed us with meat eater teeth, eyes**, and appendixes.
And there has to be something to our love of the flavor of meat. God gave us our instincts for a reason. (If humans were meant to be vegan or vegetarian there would be no market for fake meats. We would be content with just plants-as-plants)
The evidence is growing that we really need the high protein diet that comes with being meat eaters.
*A vegan will tell you that you can get B12 from soy. However what B12 is in soy is not digestible by the human body. So, no, you can't. B12 supplements are made from bugs, so not vegan or, technically, vegetarian.
**Predators (meat eaters) have their eyes on the front of their head. Animals that are eaten (herbivores) have their eyes on the sides of their heads. Human eyes are on the front.
Quick side rant
Why do some people say fish is not meat? It most certainly is the eating of an animal- meat. I will accept you could be quite healthy with your only meat being fish
Was Jesus a Vegetarian?
No. This article explains it better than I can.
Those who believe it is wrong to kill an animal are equating animals with humans. This lowers humans to the level of animals and removes the human’s rights. Yet we all know that humans are more than animals.
For example, why doesn’t the government do medical experiments on children instead of bunnies? After all, children would give much more reliable results than bunnies would. The reason is of course that humans are created in the image of God and bunnies aren’t so it is OK to use bunnies but not humans.
So why would people want to equate humans with animals?
Partly in worship of the creation instead of the Creator.
But mostly because they can't stand the thought of anyone or anything dying for them.
If an animal dies for their physical life, it reminds them that Jesus died for their Eternal Life.
By denying the need for sacrifice for their lives they deny the need for Christ.
Not eating any animal products at all is the current fad. But it is not healthy for a long term diet. Nor is there true science to support it.
Both history and anthropology tells us there is no society anywhere on the planet, anywhere in history that was vegan for long term, and I only know of one long-term vegetarian society (a community in India that has not eaten meat for 400 years, but eats large amounts of eggs and dairy products). On the other hand, Mongolians, Inuit's, and at least one tribe in Africa survive on meat, milk, blood, and fat with no digestive problems, diabetes, or tooth decay. Quite healthy people, actually.
Now, I will admit that a short term time of veganism (2 months or so) can give your body a rest and produce some benefits. But after that short time your body begins to suffer from nutrient shortages.
What About the Environment?
Some claim you can grow food for more people with an acre of corn than an acre of cow.
First of all, we are not short of acreage for growing food. Only those stuck inside big cities where land is at a premium believe this. Those who live in the country know that, especially in America, there is way more unused land than we need for food growth. The truth is, we could fit the entire population of planet earth in the state of Texas at the same density (people per square mile) as Paris, France. The rest of the planet could be used for farming if we had to.
Secondly, most of the land used to grow beef is simply not fit to grow anything else. You couldn't grow grain on it if you had to.
And, anyway, its simply not true.
Yes, it takes one acre of grazing land to feed a milk cow, while you could grow all the veggies you need to support one person for one year on an acre.
However, today's milk cows give 10 gallons of milk a DAY. Even the person with the most heavily dairy diet will eat less than a gallon's worth a day, meaning you can only credit 1/10 or less of the cow's acre to them. And that milk replaces some of the plant matter (100 calories of milk would replace at least 100 calories of veggies), making the actual acreage come out pretty close to even, especially when you consider that a good part of that plant acreage must produce plant stalks and other plant parts that humans are not equipped to eat (being designed as omnivores, not herbivores) but the cow can eat and turn into either meat or milk.
The same can be said for every animal food product.
So it's simply not true that we need to devote all of our land to plant production in order to feed the world. Getting rid of tyrannical governments is what would end poverty/starvation.
And cow flatulence being a threat to us is simply ridiculous grasping at straws.
Restrictions on Meat Eating
Now, killing for the enjoyment of watching something die is wrong. The Bible teaches us to treat animals with kindness. But there is nothing wrong with humanely killing an animal for food.
There is some argument for limiting our meat consumption to those animals the Bible calls "clean," but that is a subject for a different article.
Some people do have a legitimate health reason to abstain from meat. If you have had your gallbladder removed, for example, you no longer have the bile juices necessary to digest meat very well. You may feel better without it.
Meat is good for us and enjoyable. God gave us permission and even commanded Israel to eat it.
Now, go have a steak:-)