Nutrition: The Bible Supports Foods from Both Plant & Animal Kingdoms
here for Part 4)
had written to you on two previous occasions, via email, highlighting the weakness
of your arguments that Biblical nutrition begins and ends with Genesis 1:29 and
that the Bible advocates a 100% raw, vegan diet.
date you have not answered my letters nor addressed the overwhelming evidence
in the Bible that God allows man to consume and be nourished by certain animal
foods in your health tips.
letters have now been published at
may wish to refer to them and re-consider your position.
recently read Parts 6, 7, and 8 of your continuing series on Biblical nutrition,
and it amazes me that you stubbornly hold fast to your doctrine by misinterpreting
wish to submit my third and final rebuttal of your teaching on Biblical nutrition,
highlighting further scriptural evidence, rather than re-hashing the same arguments
over and over again:
your Health Tips, you quote 1 Timothy 4:3 to explain that in the KJV,
"meat" does not always refer to animal flesh. But you deliberately
left out vs. 4-5 which states, in the same KJV that you use, "For
every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with
thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."
Notice what the Scripture says. Every creature of God is good, i.e.
cows, sheep, goats, deer, chicken, quail, fishes with scales and fins, etc, and
nothing is to be refused as food, if it is approved by the
Word of God. Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 are detailed
instructions God gave to Moses to teach the Israelites on how to choose between
what may be eaten and what may not be eaten.
teach that during OT times, animals were slaughtered primarily for the
purpose of religious sacrifices which were a foreshadow of the ultimate and final
sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the sins of man. You are only stating the partial
Firstly, the flesh of the animals that were sacrificed were
to serve as food for the priests and those who offered the sacrifices. In fact,
priests were offered the choicest parts of the animals as food. Priests must
have eaten more meat than the common folk. Yet, they are supposed to be the healthiest
people in the nation for if they had any physical defect or uncleanness, they
were disqualified from serving before God. You can read all about these in Leviticus
Why do you keep certain truths from your readers?
You are not teaching the whole counsel of God. I quote from Deuteronomy 12:5-12
that sums up God's position on the consumption of meat, both as part of religious
ceremonies and as a part of normal meals:
you shall seek the place where the Lord your God chooses, out of all your tribes,
to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go.
you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings
of your hand, your vowed offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn
of your herds and flocks.
"And there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and
you shall rejoice in all to which you have put your hand, you and your households,
in which the Lord your God has blessed you.
shall not at all do as we are doing here today-every man doing whatever is right
in his own eyes-for as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which
the Lord your God is giving you.
"But when you cross over the Jordan
and dwell in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and He
gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety,
"then there will be the place where the Lord your God chooses to make
His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings,
your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice
offerings which you vow to the Lord.
"And you shall rejoice before
the Lord your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female
servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion nor
inheritance with you.
"Take heed to yourself that you do not offer
your burnt offerings in every place that you see;
"but in the place
which the Lord chooses, in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt
offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.
you may slaughter and eat meat within all your gates, whatever your heart desires,
according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you; the unclean
and the clean may eat of it, of the gazelle and the deer alike.
you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it on the earth like water. "You
may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or your new wine or your
oil, of the firstborn of your herd or your flock, of any of your offerings which
you vow, of your freewill offerings, or of the heave offering of your hand.
"But you must eat them before the Lord your God in the place which the
Lord your God chooses, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and
your female servant, and the Levite who is within your gates; and you shall rejoice
before the Lord your God in all to which you put your hands.
heed to yourself that you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live in your
Notice that as far as the sacrifices and tithes are concerned,
the Israelites are required to eat the flesh of the animals in the presence
of the LORD at the place appointed by Him. It is a command. As for other occasions,
God freely allows man to eat meat whenever and whatever their heart desires.
also teach that in NT times, there is no longer any need for animal sacrifices,
hence we should not be eating meat. This same Jesus, who offered Himself as the
once-for-all sacrifice for sins, ate fish after His resurrection and invited His
disciples to join Him in His breakfast of broiled fish and bread! Furthermore,
the apostle Paul in Romans 14 deals at length with the issue of eating
meats offered to idols.
In his treatise, he does not condemn or discourage
the eating of meat at all. Rather he states categorically in v. 14 that,
"I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself;
but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean." From
this passage, we can gather that Paul himself ate meat, being stronger in faith
but he taught that abstinence from meat is sometimes better for the sake of the
conscience of the weaker brother. This is so as not to cause the brother to stumble,
since he is weaker in faith and feels that he should not eat meat that has been
offered to idols. Paul deals with this issue again 1 Corinthians 8. Nowhere
in the NT does the Bible prohibit the eating of animal flesh/food.
You should also refer to my earlier letters [click
here for letter 1 and click here for
letter two] which highlighted passages in the OT that state that during the Millenium,
animal sacrifices will be reinstated in the Jerusalem Temple, fishing will continue
and meat will still be eaten.
seem to advocate feeding raw meat to cats and dogs to keep them healthy.
Yet, many breeders have successfully bred beautiful, healthy cats and dogs on
commercial pet food and, occasionally, freshly cooked food, for years. For your
information, I used to keep German Shepherds. My family has never fed them with
raw meat. Our dogs reproduced without problems and never had tumours or other
health problems described by you. Feeding raw meat is potentially dangerous as
the animals will develop a taste for blood and raw flesh and have been known to
attack humans as a result.
word "raw" does not even appear in Genesis 1:29 or Daniel
1:12. So how can you be so sure that the Bible was referring unequivocally
to raw fruits and vegetables in both instances?
you know that God fed the Israelites with manna every morning and quail every
evening during their wilderness wanderings? You can read it in Exodus 16.
If meat is so toxic, why would God do such a thing? Even without quail, the Israelites
had plenty of dairy products and eggs to consume because they left Egypt with
plenty of livestock (Exodus 12:38). The Israelites were also instructed
to cook the manna. With this diet, Moses lived to a ripe old age of 120, still
in excellent health on the day he died. Vegetables and fruits were hard to come
by in the wilderness, more so if you have to move from place to place. God even
gave instructions to the Israelites regarding their gathering of birds' eggs (Deuteronomy
you know that God sent a raven to feed Elijah with bread and meat in the morning
and in the evening for a period of time during the drought until the brook Cherith
dried up? You can read the account in 1 Kings 17:1-7. This same Elijah
was fed with bread cake baked on hot stones which strengthened him for a forty
day/night journey to Horeb, the mountain of God.
of vegetarianism/veganism often cite the example of Daniel. However, they may
not be aware that Daniel did not maintain a strict vegetarian diet for the rest
of his life. The evidence is in Daniel 10:2-3, which records an event
that took place many years after his training as a youth in King Nebuchadnezzar's
palace, "In those days, I Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks.
I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use
any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed."
You see, the best way to interpret Daniel Ch. 1 is that the young men were
presented with the king's delicacies which must have included unclean flesh of
animals that were forbidden for the Jews to eat, meats that were not prepared
in the manner that the Torah prescribed (e.g. draining out the blood, removing
the cover fat) and meats that were offered to Babylonian idols.
godly wisdom taught them that consuming such food would defile their body, mind
and spirit. God honored their commitment and blessed their bodies and minds.
The diet of vegetables (we don't know for sure if it was all cooked, all raw or
partly cooked, partly raw) was certainly more nutritious than the king's delicacies.
In the Middle East, seeds, grain, beans and lentils are a very common
part of the people's diet. It would not be unreasonable to assume that part of
the vegetables ("pulses" in the KJV) the youths ate included
seeds, grains, beans and lentils. After Daniel completed his training and began
to serve in the king's court, he could choose the clean meats and have them prepared
in the Torah-prescribed way. So there was no need for him to continue with his
vegetarian diet, as confirmed by Daniel 10:2-3.
is still possible to buy meats from free-range animals that are slaughtered in
the kosher/halal way today. As I've said before, we need to go back to the good
old ways of mixed, organic farming and protection of our environment, rather than
condemn animal foods wholesale. Other than the threat of contaminated sea and
river water, fish is an excellent source of animal protein and essential fatty
acids, and qualifies as "free-range" meat. In many rural villages in
Asia, cows, goats, chicken and ducks are still raised in the traditional way and
slaughtered and eaten on special occasions.
the Baptist, whom Jesus described as the greatest prophet under the Old Covenant,
ate honey and locusts as his primary diet.
you seem to like to use the example of animals feeding in the wild as illustration
of how man should eat. Please bear in mind that man
was not created in the image of the wild beasts, but in the image of God, Amen.
So our best model is not the wild animals, but the perfect God-Man Himself, our
Lord Jesus Christ, who ate animal and cooked foods freely and did not ever once
condemn the eating of such foods.
by the way, He also drank wine, the fermented grape juice variety, for if He had
only drunk unfermented grape juice, He would not have been accused of being a
glutton and a drunkard by the Pharisees and teachers of the law who are learned
men and would not have made the accusation without first checking the basic facts
(Luke 7:33-35). I will not belabor this point.
may wish to refer to two excellent articles on this topic also found at the above
website. [Click here for
the first article on alcohol in the Bible and click
here for the second article.]
scriptural position on alcohol (wine or strong drink) is clearly to drink only
in moderation and not to become addicted to or drunk with it. The best scripture
on this is found in Deuteronomy 14:26:
may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine,
or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the
presence of the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household."
be understood that Genesis 1:29 was a commandment given to Adam and Eve
before the Fall, when the world was perfect. It was essentially a fruitarian/seed
diet (based on the botanical definition of a fruit). After the Fall, God cursed
the ground and also modified the diet to include the green plants of the field,
which was previously meant for the animals, as well as bread made from grains
(Genesis 3:18) probably because of the presence of sickness and the subsequent
lower yield of fruits and seeds from a ground that was cursed.
that changed after the Flood, with the earth's environment being vastly different
and harsher still, the genetic make-up of man being slightly modified so that
he could not live much beyond 120, God permitted men to eat animal flesh as well
thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give to you, as I gave the green
plant. These instructions were given by an all-wise, all-knowing and benevolent
God who always has man's best interests in His heart.
the diet you had pre-Hallelujah Diet days, it can be deduced that your health
problems probably stemmed from over-consumption of meat, pasteurized dairy products,
foods deep-fried with refined, commercial vegetable oils, salt and other preservatives,
refined sugar and refined flour. Lack of fibre, nutrients, rest, exercise and
other lifestyle factors (such as stress) probably played a part as well.
and sausages are very dangerous to our health. So is deep-fried food fried with
cheap vegetable oils. To blame it all on animal products is too extremist a position.
said in my earlier letters, a well-balanced diet that comprises both raw and cooked
vegetables, fresh fruits, wholemeal grain products, nuts, seeds, beans, cold-pressed
oils and a modest consumption of free-range eggs, meat, poultry and fish, prepared
and cooked in the proper way is the Biblically-correct way to eat and ensures
optimum health, if all the other lifestyle factors are also in place.
is my hope and prayer that you will come to a fuller understanding of the truth
and have the courage to admit that you had made a mistake.
P. T. Ong
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