Author Topic: Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?  (Read 903 times)

Online Melkor

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Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?
« on: February 26, 2021, 10:48:59 AM »
So scientifically speaking, vegans and even vegetarians(though less so) are usually undernourished, as their diet excludes many essential sources of protein. Now, I am no expert on diet, so correct me if I am wrong, but it would seem to be morally wrong to be a vegan, because you are depriving your body of key nutrients, and thus harming yourself. Of course if you have a health issue that prevents you from eating meat that is a different thing, but it seems that, especially lately, veganism and vegetarianism have been promoted to an extent previously unheard of. And I also understand that many of the (medieval) Saints almost never ate meat, but keep in mind that people were generally very healthy and hardy back in the old days, and their bodies did not have to contend with all the evil preservatives and chemicals added to our foodstuffs today. Also please do not reference that old and beaten to death argument: 'well when God created us we didn't eat meat, only vegetables and fruits.' That is false, because for one, we gravely strayed from God's original plan for us, and two, Jesus Himself ate meat and dairy. He also gave Adam dominion over all lower life forms. I personally think that to be a vegan is a grave sin against the 5th Commandment. Anyone have any thoughts?
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Offline mikemac

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Re: Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2021, 12:04:14 PM »
1Timothy 4
[1] Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils, [2] Speaking lies in hypocrisy, and having their conscience seared, [3] Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful, and by them that have known the truth. [4] For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be rejected that is received with thanksgiving: [5] For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
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Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2021, 05:47:43 PM »
On the other hand, fasting and even abstinence from sexual activity is denying your biological impulses for a greater purpose.

In fact, some Eastern-Rite Catholics go Vegan for Lent (depends on how traditional they are; the more traditional, the more likely).

I think a lot of it depends on why you are doing it.

For me, the issue comes when people are doing it out of some moral claim that animals have inherent value almost of that of humans to the point that non-Vegans are evil. It's why you do it. I would also ask your priest about it.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2021, 05:53:38 PM by TheReturnofLive »
 
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Online Melkor

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Re: Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2021, 06:27:16 PM »
On the other hand, fasting and even abstinence from sexual activity is denying your biological impulses for a greater purpose.

In fact, some Eastern-Rite Catholics go Vegan for Lent (depends on how traditional they are; the more traditional, the more likely).

I think a lot of it depends on why you are doing it.

For me, the issue comes when people are doing it out of some moral claim that animals have inherent value almost of that of humans to the point that non-Vegans are evil. It's why you do it. I would also ask your priest about it.

Of, of course I understand the bogus and superficial argument of the Bambi-lovers, and believe me, I heartily despise them. And I think you misunderstood the context of the question; I am not struggling with this issue in my conscience, and I am not considering going vegan for Lent or for any other reason. I am talking about permanent veganism, the morality of it as a lifestyle, not as self-imposed penance. Thanks for the response @TheReturnofLive.
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Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2021, 07:02:01 PM »
Ask your priest.
 

Offline drummerboy

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Re: Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2021, 01:17:20 AM »
  I get the impression that the saints that did eat "vegan" did it for penitential reasons (obviously), but this would imply it is something extraordinary, in the strict sense of that word. The writers stress the almost miraculous nature of it, much like Daniel and his companions in the OT.  St. Antony of the Desert is another example, living off the grain and vegetables he grew himself.  Also consider the practical side of veganism - for the saints it would give them more time for prayer as they would not need to tend livestock (it also removes an occasion of sin, one doesn't cuss at a garden the way a farmer would his stock  :D)

  I do not see how any diet, taken by itself, could be construed as moral or immoral honestly; it would fall under prudence as to what is best for each individual.  It seems there are an extremely small portion of people that somehow thrive being vegan.  But most people will not, and intentional malnourishment would undoubtedly be a sin against the 5th commandment.  Lets not forget the immense pride modern vegans have as well in their sense of superiority. 
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Offline Philip G.

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Re: Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2021, 03:38:41 AM »
At minute 7:00, you will hear some particular details as to why this entire sermon is relevant to this discussion. 


Veganism is an ideology.  It is not to be confused with vegetarianism, which lacks the same moral element.  In my opinion, were it not for so much scandal in the animal/meat industry, I doubt veganism would even exist.  That just shows how obvious the problem is.  If a person dumb enough to think the life of a pig is equal to that of a human can see the problem, it cannot be any more obvious.  But, there are too many catholics apparently who just don't give a darn.  It is one thing to waste plant matter, it is another to waste an animal.  They are not equals.   Throw dead plants in a pile, and it turns to compost.  It is a beautiful thing.  Throw dead animal carcasses in a pile, and you will get maggots.  Just as you need to have a very good reason to take the life of a human, as it is with self defense, you likewise need to have a sufficient reason to take the life of an animal.  Animals are God's creation.  And, God's creation is good.  It only makes sense. 

Animal consumption also isn't without caveat.  In apostolic times, you were not to eat meat sacrificed to idols.  And, in the old testament you were not to consume the blood.  Name me some comparable caveats related to the consumption of plant foods?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 04:04:13 AM by Philip G. »
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Offline christulsa

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Re: Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2021, 10:01:03 AM »
Veganism is an ideology. 

Agreed.  Would IMO make veganism sinful since it teaches falsely that it is immoral to eat animals.  It would be a fiorm of scrupulosity.  If I’m not mistaken Hinduism preaches veganism.

My biggest concern medically is with the risk of neurological damage from severe vitamin B12 deficiency, in particular from never eating red meat.  That can suddenly sneak up on some people with irreversible brain and spinal cord lesions resulting in severe nerve pain in the limbs and even in some cases paralysis or death.  Which is why I recommend vegetarians themselves to take sublingual vitamin B12 daily, which I do.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 10:06:25 AM by christulsa »
 
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Offline drummerboy

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Re: Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2021, 11:11:45 AM »
Veganism: no animal products whatsoever (hence vegan "cheese" - which is absolutely abhorrent but becoming common btw).

Vegetarianism: commonly understood to include eggs and dairy, and perhaps fish.
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Online Melkor

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Re: Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2021, 12:24:06 PM »
At minute 7:00, you will hear some particular details as to why this entire sermon is relevant to this discussion. 


Veganism is an ideology.  It is not to be confused with vegetarianism, which lacks the same moral element.  In my opinion, were it not for so much scandal in the animal/meat industry, I doubt veganism would even exist.  That just shows how obvious the problem is.  If a person dumb enough to think the life of a pig is equal to that of a human can see the problem, it cannot be any more obvious.  But, there are too many catholics apparently who just don't give a darn.  It is one thing to waste plant matter, it is another to waste an animal.  They are not equals.   Throw dead plants in a pile, and it turns to compost.  It is a beautiful thing.  Throw dead animal carcasses in a pile, and you will get maggots.  Just as you need to have a very good reason to take the life of a human, as it is with self defense, you likewise need to have a sufficient reason to take the life of an animal.  Animals are God's creation.  And, God's creation is good.  It only makes sense. 

Animal consumption also isn't without caveat.  In apostolic times, you were not to eat meat sacrificed to idols.  And, in the old testament you were not to consume the blood.  Name me some comparable caveats related to the consumption of plant foods?

So, Jesus abolished a lot of the customs and practices of the Old Testament. Such as eating pork (or animals with cloven hooves rather), and divorce. I think the Old Testament has little to do with this topic, it is irrelevant for this reason. 
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 12:35:19 PM by Melkor »
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Offline Philip G.

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Re: Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2021, 02:27:53 PM »
I think the Old Testament has little to do with this topic, it is irrelevant for this reason.

That is a foolish thing to say.  The old testament does have to be correctly interpreted.  But, it is never irrelevant.  The point that I am making is that just as we are required by the second commandment to regard God with reverence by virtue of God being the highest life form, so likewise we are to approach animals with greater reverence than we are to approach plants, by virtue of them being a higher life form.  God gave us in genesis plants and animals to be our meat. 

It should not surprise anyone that the men and women who devote their lives to God as celibate religious, shy from the consumption of animal flesh no differently than they shy from the "world" out of fear of offending God.  Avoiding the consumption of animal flesh can be understood to simply be a by product of fear of the Lord, which is imperfect, but which is also a gift of the Holy Ghost.  And, not in the sense that the consumption of animal flesh is bad, just as the world that God created is not bad.  But, it is in the sense that they are in greater proximity to sin, which the religious flees.  It is a mystery of iniquity. 

The red flag is not the avoidance of consuming animal flesh.  The real red flag is its opposite, which is to consider it a sin not to eat animal flesh.  Just as in the end times there will be those who forbid marriage, and the consumption of animal flesh, which no saint/religious does in the same objective sense; Jesus said that in the end times, people will be marrying.  Note the emphasis on marriage, with no mention of marriages in heaven, which is the religious life.  That is the real red flag.       
For the stone shall cry out of the wall; and the timber that is between the joints of the building, shall answer.  Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and prepareth a city by iniquity. - Habacuc 2,11-12
 

Offline aquinas138

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Re: Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2021, 02:41:32 PM »
Veganism is an ideology. 

Agreed.  Would IMO make veganism sinful since it teaches falsely that it is immoral to eat animals.  It would be a fiorm of scrupulosity.  If I’m not mistaken Hinduism preaches veganism.

My biggest concern medically is with the risk of neurological damage from severe vitamin B12 deficiency, in particular from never eating red meat.  That can suddenly sneak up on some people with irreversible brain and spinal cord lesions resulting in severe nerve pain in the limbs and even in some cases paralysis or death.  Which is why I recommend vegetarians themselves to take sublingual vitamin B12 daily, which I do.

Most Hindus (and Jains) are vegetarian, but not vegan. They consume dairy products, but they avoid foods that require taking a life (though some Hindus do eat meat other than beef). Jains even avoid eating fruits and vegetables like onions that result in the death of the plant.

Veganism, which goes much further than most people realize, forbidding even honey and leather shoes, is most certainly ideological, being a particular kind of Marxist analysis of the relationship between humans and animals and seeing oppression and exploitation in that relationship. Thus, we shouldn't exploit bees by taking their honey. But there is also a secularized near-mysticism about it as well. It's like the annoying love child of Marxism and New-Ageism.

I will try to find it, but I read an interesting article that said the original reason Christians avoided meat during fasts (and in the East, monastics forgo meat forever) had nothing to do with the "sanctity of life" of animals but with the Hellenistic understanding of foods, bodily humours, etc. Meat, dairy, wine, and oils were classified as "rich foods" and to be avoided on fasting days, while grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables were "lean foods" that were more appropriate fasting fare. Fish were sometimes considered "rich" and sometimes "lean." Later on, different ideas get tacked on. Among the Greeks, one does find the idea that because monasticism is considered "the angelic life" or "the life of Paradise," it is appropriate that monastic men and women subsist on the food of Paradise.
[*I realize that I haven't mentioned it, but in the interest of transparency if I engage in a discussion, I joined the Orthodox Church toward the end of last year.*]

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Offline christulsa

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Re: Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2021, 03:44:29 PM »
Thanks Aquinas for that clarification about Hindus. 

I do keto, but I think vegetarianism (as opposed to veganism) is a very health way of eating on the high carb end.
 

Online Melkor

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Re: Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2021, 04:41:31 PM »
I think the Old Testament has little to do with this topic, it is irrelevant for this reason.

That is a foolish thing to say.  The old testament does have to be correctly interpreted.  But, it is never irrelevant.  The point that I am making is that just as we are required by the second commandment to regard God with reverence by virtue of God being the highest life form, so likewise we are to approach animals with greater reverence than we are to approach plants, by virtue of them being a higher life form.  God gave us in genesis plants and animals to be our meat. 

It should not surprise anyone that the men and women who devote their lives to God as celibate religious, shy from the consumption of animal flesh no differently than they shy from the "world" out of fear of offending God.  Avoiding the consumption of animal flesh can be understood to simply be a by product of fear of the Lord, which is imperfect, but which is also a gift of the Holy Ghost.  And, not in the sense that the consumption of animal flesh is bad, just as the world that God created is not bad.  But, it is in the sense that they are in greater proximity to sin, which the religious flees.  It is a mystery of iniquity. 

The red flag is not the avoidance of consuming animal flesh.  The real red flag is its opposite, which is to consider it a sin not to eat animal flesh.  Just as in the end times there will be those who forbid marriage, and the consumption of animal flesh, which no saint/religious does in the same objective sense; Jesus said that in the end times, people will be marrying.  Note the emphasis on marriage, with no mention of marriages in heaven, which is the religious life.  That is the real red flag.       

Approaching animals with 'reverence?' What are you talking about man? I got to approach an animal with reverence? I approach animals with respect, but if I want meat I kill, no questions. They are here to serve us, and long as we are not cruel to them, what is the problem? You ever harvested a deer or fished? Wasting the meat is a sin. And your talk about red flags is contradictory: you say it is a red flag to consider not eating meat a sin, and then you say there will be those who forbid eating meat, that is the red flag. No disrespect, but that makes no sense my man.
All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.

"Let a man walk ten miles steadily on a hot summer's day along a dusty English road, and he will soon discover why beer was invented."

G.K. Chesterton
 

Offline christulsa

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Re: Morality of Veganism and Vegetarianism?
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2021, 06:23:42 PM »
I think Philip used the word “reverence” in the sense you mean.  Not as an object of religious veneration, but one of awe and respect as coming from the Creator. 

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reverence  (definition #1)

The second to last day of this last holiday antlerless deer season I was sitting my deer blind in the bitter cold about 7:30 am.  A big buck came across the field to feed on the corn not 30 meters from me.  I could have shot him, but it would have been illegal, negatively affecting the deer population.  But I’ll never forget it.  He and I looked at each other for over a minute, me covered in camo from head to foot.   Not taking its life have me in that moment a definite reverence—ie awe and respect—for this graceful creature of God. 
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 06:35:27 PM by christulsa »