According to the Gospel of the Twelve Apostles, before the birth of Jesus, an angel said to Mary: “You must not eat meat and drink intoxicating drinks, for the child, while still in your womb, will be consecrated to the Lord, and cannot eat flesh and become intoxicated with homebrew.”
The strength of this command from above, if we acknowledge its authenticity, lies in the fact that it confirms that Jesus is indeed the Messiah of whom the Old Testament prophecy speaks: “Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: His name will be called Immanuel. He will eat milk and honey until he knows how to reject evil and choose good” (Isaiah 7:14, 15). The text further states that in the community where Mary and Joseph lived, they did not kill a lamb for the sake of Passover: “His parents, Joseph and Mary, went to Jerusalem every year at Passover and celebrated it according to the custom of their brothers, who avoided bloodshed and did not eat meat. … ”
The mention of this community helps to explain why Jesus loved animals and birds from childhood: “One day the boy Jesus came to where there were bird snares. There were also other youths there. And Jesus said to them: “Who set the snares on the innocent creatures of God? I tell you, he himself will fall into the snare. It is not surprising that in these undistorted texts we find Christ’s calls to care for all creatures, not only for people: “Be careful, be sympathetic, be merciful and kind not only to your kind, but also to all creatures that seek your care. for you are to them as gods, upon whom they look in their need.”
Jesus later explains that he came to end bloody sacrifices: “I have come to put an end to sacrifices and bloody feasts, and if you don’t stop sacrificing flesh and blood, the wrath of the Lord will be on you forever, just as it was on your fathers in the wilderness who hungered for meat.” and they ate to their heart’s content, and they were filled with filth, and the plague struck them.” As noted in the previous chapter, there is no mention of the miracle of the loaves and fishes in these early manuscripts. Instead, they describe the miracle of bread, fruit, and a jug of water: “And Jesus divided the bread and the fruit among them, and the water also. And they ate, and were all satisfied, and drank. And they marveled, for there was plenty for everyone, and there were four thousand of them. And they went and thanked the Lord for what they had seen and heard.”
Jesus’ words in support of natural food, especially vegetarian food, are constantly found in these ancient documents: “And hearing this, a certain Sadducee, who did not believe in the holy truth of the Lord, asked Jesus: “Tell me, why do you say, do not eat the flesh of animals? Were not the beasts given to man for food, like those herbs and fruits of which You spoke?” Jesus answered: “Look at the watermelon, this fruit of the earth.” And Jesus cut the watermelon and said again to the Sadducee: “You see with your own eyes the good fruit of the earth, the food of the people, and you see the seeds within; count them, for from one watermelon a hundred times more will be born. If you sow these seeds, you will eat from the true God, for you will not shed blood and you will not see suffering or hear a cry. Why are you looking for the gifts of Satan, torment, death, the blood of living souls shed by the sword? Don’t you know that he who lifts the sword will perish by the sword? Now go your own way and sow the seed of the good fruit of life, and do not harm the innocent creatures of God.
Christ condemns even those who hunt animals: “And while Jesus was walking with his disciples, they met a certain man who trained hunting dogs to poison weak creatures. Seeing this, Jesus said to him: “Why are you doing a bad deed?” And the man answered: “I live by this craft, for why do such creatures need a place under the sky? weak and deserving of death, but dogs are strong.” And Jesus looked at that man with sadness and said: “Truly, you are deprived of wisdom and love, for every creature that the Lord created has its own destiny and its own place in the kingdom of life, and who can say why they live? And what good is that for you and for others? It is not for you to judge whether the strong is better than the weak, for the weak were not sent to man as food or for fun… Woe to him who poisons and kills the creatures of God! Yes, woe to the hunters, for they will become prey, and how much mercy they show to their innocent victims, so much unworthy people will show them! Leave this bad trade of sinners, do what the Lord rejoices, and be blessed, or you will be damned through your own fault!
Finally, in the early manuscripts we read that Jesus condemned even the fishermen, despite the fact that they were the most faithful of his supporters. “The next day, they again started talking about eating dead animals, and some of the new disciples of Jesus gathered around Him and asked: “Teacher, verily, everything is known to Your wisdom, and You know the holy Law better than anyone else; tell us, is it permissible to eat the creatures of the sea?” And Jesus looked at them with sadness, for he knew that they were unlearned people, and their hearts were still hardened by the lying teachings of the devils, and said to them: “Stand on the shore and look into the depths of the waters: do you see the fish of the sea? They were given water, as man was given the earthly firmament; I ask you, do fish come to you and ask you for dry land or for the food that is on it? No. And you are not allowed to go into the sea and look for something that does not belong to you, for the earth is divided into three kingdoms of souls: those that are on earth, those that are in the air, and those that are in the water, each according to his nature. And the will of the Eternal gave every creature a living soul and holy breath, and what He gives to His creatures by His will, neither man nor angels can be taken away or appropriated.
Interestingly, when Jesus first speaks to his Jewish disciples about their new diet (vegetarian), they object to him: “You speak against the Law,” apparently referring to various places in the Old Testament where permission is given to eat meat. The memorable answer of Jesus is very eloquent: “I do not speak against Moses, nor against the Law which he gave, knowing the hardness of your hearts. I tell you truly: in the beginning, all the creatures of God ate only from the herbs and fruits of the earth, until human ignorance and selfishness led many to what is contrary to their nature, but even these will return to their natural food. This is what the prophets say, and the prophecies will not deceive.”