Here’s a video where I explain why I’m a vegetarian and why all Western Christians should be vegetarians:
Imagine if all fish in the world became extremely poisonous. Imagine that you would die from eating just a tiny piece of fish meat. Would you still eat fish and give fish to your children, pointing to the fact that Jesus and the disciples ate fish in John 21? Perhaps you would refer to Mk 16:18 and say that no poison can harm you, but to use that as a proof text for consciously putting your life in danger every other day sounds a lot like testing God as Jesus described it in Mt 4. One is then basically a snake handler.
So if we’re being honest, we would avoid fish even though Jesus ate it, because the current situation has made that ingredient more dangerous compared to His time. In a similar fashion, most of us don’t eat locusts like John the Baptist did, not because it’s dangerous but simply because it’s not part of our culture.
Now, what if I told you that meat is indeed very dangerous today, not just for you but for millions of poor people? I’ve written about this before: meat is one of the most environmentally hazardous ingredients in the world. The meat and dairy industry produces 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, and processed meat like bacon causes cancer.
In the time of the Bible, people didn’t eat that much meat – perhaps once or twice a month. The modern practice in rich families of eating meat every single day is unheard of in human history. It’s extreme, and very damaging for God’s creation. And when the environment suffers, people suffer.
The fact that Jesus and the apostles ate meat or that Paul argued against vegetarianism as a means for salvation (Rom 14:2) are no good arguments against Christians being vegetarians today. In fact, I think people in poor nations should be able to eat meat to get protein, and I fully agree with Paul that vegetarianism doesn’t save us – only the grace of God does.
Still, since modern industrial meat production is such a catastrophe to people and nature and so many eat much more meat than they should, I choose to compensate for that by being a full-time vegetarian. Wouldn’t you like to be one as well?