For many, the last argument in favor of a particular food system has been and remains religion. Studying the scriptures, people are convinced that some foods are correct, while others are sinful, and … they are often mistaken. The reason for this, according to experts, is the misinterpretation of what has been read, sometimes caused by an incorrect translation. Meanwhile, a more detailed study allows not only to find answers to all questions of interest, but also to understand how certain religions actually relate to vegetarianism.
Despite the fact that any of the religions is based on faith, each of them has certain teachings, rituals and traditions that are honored by believers. On the one hand, all these religions seem to be completely different, but even on closer examination, their common features are visible. In any case, the religious scholar Stephen Rosen is sure of this, who tried to reveal the true attitude of various denominations towards vegetarianism.
Studying all kinds of religious teachings, he came to the conclusion that the older the religion itself, the more important it is to reject animal food. Judge for yourself:
- The youngest and at the same time one of the largest religious systems, which is Islam, over 1300 years old. And she doesn’t think vegetarian food is the only correct one.
- Has a slightly different opinion Christianitywhich is more than 2000 years old. It encourages giving up meat.
- The oldest monotheistic religion, which is Judaism, has even an established tradition of vegetarianism. She, by the way, is already 4000 years old. The same opinion is held by Buddhismand Jainism, teachings born from Judaism 2500 years ago.
- And only ancient scriptures Веды, whose age totals 5000 – 7000 years, are in favor of completely abandoning meat in favor of plant foods.
True, the scientist reminds that this information is generalized, and they also have exceptions to the rules. For example, there are certain Christian sects that include Mormons or Adventistsadhering to a strict vegetarian lifestyle. And among Muslims there are conscious vegetarians who preach Baha’ism… And even if their teachings do not prohibit the consumption of meat, nevertheless, they strongly recommend to refuse it.
But it is better to find out about the opinions of the preachers of certain religions.
Islam and vegetarianism
Nobody says that this religion strongly supports vegetarianism. Nevertheless, observant people understand everything without words. According to established traditions, murder is prohibited in Mecca, which is the hometown of Magomed. In other words, all living things here must live in harmony. Going to Mecca, Muslims put on ritual clothes – ihram, after which they are forbidden to kill anyone, even if it is a louse or locust.
What if they find themselves on the pilgrim’s path? Bypass insects and warn your companions about them so that they do not accidentally step on them.
Another powerful argument in favor of vegetarianism is the teachings that describe the life of Mohammed. According to them, he forbade the archers to aim at mother birds, read lectures to those who mistreated camels, and finally forced everyone who ate meat to rinse their mouths before praying. Why didn’t he ban meat-eating at all? Scientists say that it’s all about tolerating the addictions of their potential students and their gradual entry into the path of spiritual enlightenment. By the way, the Bible adheres to the same views.
Interestingly, examining the pages of the scriptures, you can find many more examples describing the eating habits of the prophet himself. Of course, they were completely and completely vegetarian. Moreover, even his death emphasized in every possible way the importance of refusing to eat meat.
According to legend, Magomed and his companions accepted the invitation of a non-Muslim woman and agreed to eat the poisoned meat she served. Of course, spiritual insight allowed him to understand that treats are poison and in a timely manner to forbid others to touch food. He himself ate it, even though he did not like meat before. After that incident, he lived for about 2 years and then died, by his own example trying to prove to stubborn people the harmfulness of meat-eating.
Christianity and vegetarianism
At the heart of the scriptures, the Bible is mercy and compassion for all living beings. An extra confirmation of this is the law on food, which reveals the will of God. According to him, the Almighty said: “I have given you every herb that sows seed that is on all the earth, and every tree that has tree fruit that sows seed – this will be your food.».
And all would be fine, only in the Book of Genesis someone found words that allow people to eat everything that lives and moves. And in the New Testament, someone stumbled upon Christ’s requests for meat. And the Gospel even said that the disciples went to buy meat. All these words gave the opportunity for meat lovers to support their gastronomic addictions with biblical quotes, and the world – the myth that the Bible supports eating meat.
However, religious scholars nevertheless dispelled it. It turns out that the words written in the Book of Genesis refer to the times when the Flood began. At that moment, Noah needed to survive the disaster at any cost. How can this be done in conditions where all vegetation has become extinct? Start eating meat. For this, permission was given, but not a command.
Religious scholars explain the interpretation of the strange request of Christ and the no less strange words of his disciples about the purchase of meat by an incorrect translation. The fact is that the Greek “broma“Literally translates as”food“, Not like meat. Accordingly, in the text, there are words that mean “something edible” or “food”. Under normal conditions, a person who remembers the law on food would interpret everything correctly, meanwhile, in fact, an incorrect translation and contraindications appeared.
These words are confirmed by the results of further studies of historical documents. According to them:
- the first Christians refused meat for reasons of purity and mercy;
- 12 apostles also adhered to the principles of vegetarianism;
- in the “Merciful Sermons” dating from the XNUMXnd century AD it is said that eating animal flesh is identified with paganism;
- finally, the vocation to vegetarianism is the basis of the sixth commandment, which is, “Thou shalt not kill.”
All this makes it possible to assert that the first Christians were vegetarians, more precisely, adherents of a dairy-vegetable diet. Why has everything changed? According to researchers, during the Council of Nicaea, dated to 325 AD, priests and politicians made changes to the original Christian texts in order to make them acceptable to Emperor Constantine. In the future, it was planned to achieve the recognition of Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire.
In one of his translations, Gideon Jasper Richard Owsley writes that such adjustments were made to those God’s commands that the authorities did not want to follow. By the way, after all the amendments were made, along with meat-eating, alcohol was also allowed.
As a final argument in favor of vegetarianism, I would like to cite another example of a misinterpreted translation. The well-known prayer to the Lord begins with the words: “awoon dwashmaya“, Which people most often pronounce as”Our Father who art in Heaven“. Meanwhile, it would be more correct to say “Our common Father who art in Heaven“. Simply because God is the father of all living beings and his love is all-encompassing. For true vegetarians, other words of the prayer are also of great importance: “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Judaism and vegetarianism
Today, Judaism generally does not consider vegetarianism a commandment. Meanwhile, this just proves once again what was written in the Scriptures: “every new generation misinterprets the Torah“. Moreover, the first law on food, prescribed in the Torah, also known as the Old Testament, insists on the need to follow the principles of vegetarianism. According to him, God gave people for food seeds sowing herbs and fruit trees.
And even after the Great Flood, during which permission was given for the use of meat foods, the Lord tried again to instill in mankind the love of vegetarianism. This is evidenced by the “manna from heaven”, Which was actually a plant food. Of course, not everyone was content with it, since among the wanderers there were also those hungry for meat. By the way, God gave it to the last, however, together with a fatal illness, as evidenced by the entry in the Book of Numbers.
Interestingly, many were misled by the dominion that was given to humans over the created world. They often sheltered those who could not deny themselves the pleasure of continuing to eat animal flesh. Meanwhile, Dr. Richard Schwartz subsequently answered all the questions in his writings. He explained that dominion means only caring for and caring for this world, but not killing for food.
Food laws that include restrictions on meat consumption also support vegetarianism. According to them, all vegetable and dairy foods are considered kosher, or permissible. At the same time, meat, in order to become it, must meet special requirements and be prepared in a special way.
The story of Daniel also deserves special attention. According to legend, he, along with 3 other youths, became a prisoner of the Babylonian king. The latter sent a servant to the young men with real delicacies, including meat and wine, but Daniel refused them. He explained his refusal by a desire to show the king empirically the benefits of eating only vegetables and water. Young people ate them for 10 days. And after that, their bodies and faces really became more beautiful than those of people who eat royal dishes.
It is impossible not to recall the origin of the word “prints»-«meat“, Which is described in the Talmud. According to the ancients, it was composed of the first letters of the following words: “bet»-«a shame“,”without»-«decay process“,”resh»-«worms“. Simply because, in the end, the word “basar” was supposed to resemble the famous quote from the holy book, condemning gluttony and stating that meat leads to the development of worms.
Vedas and vegetarianism
The sacred texts written in Sanskrit strongly encouraged vegetarianism. Simply because it was forbidden to harm living beings. Moreover, not only people who decided to kill an animal were condemned, but also those who later touched it, for example, when they cut meat, sold it, cooked it, or simply ate it.
According to ancient teachings, any life is honored, since the soul lives in any body. Interestingly, the followers of the Vedic teachings believed that there are 8 life forms in the world. Not all of them are highly developed, yet they all deserve respectful treatment.
From all of the above, it follows that vegetarianism is as old as the world. And even if the disputes around it do not subside, its benefits are understated, and the harm is exaggerated, it helps people in every possible way. Become healthier, stronger, harder. It forces them to set new goals and win. It makes them happier, and this, perhaps, is his main merit!