Where’s the Meat?
Our position on meat in the Good for You-Naturally!™ Lifestyle of Eating
Many times I’m asked about the lack of meat in the Rab Chai (Abundant Life) Good for You-Naturally!™ lifestyle of eating.
Below is a post I sent to my egroup in 2002, addressing our position on “meat eating” — with a “bottom line” addition.
Greetings from Me and My House,
I thought it would be appropriate on this Feast Day of Thanksgiving to address the topic of meat in the Good for You – Naturally! diet(lifestyle of eating.) Some of you are enjoying your meatless feast. Some of you are enjoying your turkey feast. And some of you are enjoying your meat, but feeling guilty about it. And some of you aren’t in the U.S. and don’t get it.
In Genesis 1:29 God sets forth His original diet for man, a way of eating that is not just adequate but also beneficial for man. Yet, we know this perfection doesn’t last. After the Flood He allows the addition of certain animals for food. Teachers of the Genesis 1:29 pattern of eating generally emphasize this as an “allowance”, a concession. The problem that we can’t get around is that there are times when God even commands people to eat meat–namely the priests, but at the Feasts it is declared that all will eat it. This can be a hard thing for purists, and legalists to live with. It is a hard thing for those who look to optimum health–and see the destruction of health from meat. Yet, no matter its ramifications we cannot command what the Word does not command–to not eat meat.
So where is the balance–not compromise? Here are our conclusions after much study of the Word and nutrition. The first, being the meat itself. What does the Word say about the meat we can eat? One of the only commands given specifically for the gentiles was to “abstain from blood”. To understand this we must go back to understanding God’s order, as He sets it out in the Old Testament first, for the Hebrews. The Life is in the blood, therefore God commands that the blood be drained from the animal so that it not set in the meat–the Kosher practice of slitting the animal’s throat to kill it. A “practice” no longer in practice. Most animals are now “stunned” before they are killed which causes the blood to rush to the muscles and set in–the opposite of what God sanctifies in meat eating. When Christians holler, “We aren’t under the Law. We can eat what we want.” They always overlook this verse written specifically to gentile Christians. The Law itself, (not included in the specific command to the gentiles) included the not eating of the fat also. The fat was the Lord’s. Yet, many people look for that prized “well marbled” piece of meat. The blood and the fat just “happen to be” the greatest health risks in meat eating. Most diseases caused by the eating of meat, in general, stem from one of these two properties of meat. Perhaps God had our best interests in His heart?
The second point about the meat itself is that it is to be from “clean” animals only. This is the one that gentiles usually argue over, that they aren’t under the “Law”, saying they can eat anything as long as they give thanks for it–usually siting Peter’s vision, which they neglect to notice that God gave an entirely different interpretation to, that has nothing to do with eating meat. Again, we must look at what the Word says, not just “proof texts”. It says we can eat all animals God has sanctified. He never sanctified unclean animals for food. They are good, very good, for what He created them for–to be scavengers and help clean up the earth, not as nourishment for us. Yet, even as awful as I think it is to eat such detestable animals, I can’t say that it will send you to hell. It is not what goes into the body that defiles it spiritually. But eating these animals certainly does defile you physically–the health risks for eating unclean animals are tremendous. Again, perhaps God was looking out for our health?
The third issue about meat is the condition of the meat itself. Although we have come a long way in sanitation and preservation, perhaps that isn’t always to our best benefit. Our “new fangled” ways have allowed us to eat things that should never have been fit to eat. In times past, a fresh kill was a fresh kill and old stuff was rank enough you knew to stay away from it, unless it had been preserved /dried in salt and the sun–jerky, and even then the “shelf life” wasn’t very long. Animals were free ranging, eating the purity of the living plants that surrounded them, (the same Genesis 1:29 diet we were given) then slaughtered and eaten pure and fresh. Note also that all “clean” animals were plant eaters. (Scientific reasons abound for why they are “clean” and the carnivores “unclean”.) Today it is not so. Animals live off prepared “feed” consisting of not just living and sun-dried pure plants, but of many chemicals, drugs, and possibly other animals. They are given antibiotics and hormone drugs to keep them alive long enough and make them big enough to bring a good profit–but no benefit, only detriment to our bodies.
So where does this leave us? We do not believe in vegetarianism for any religious nor political reasons. But we do believe in “sanctified” meat eating–meaning pure meats only, “clean” and lean animals, kosherly killed (bled), with the blood and fat removed, and raised free-ranging and “organic” without chemical, drug, and hormonal additives in growing or processing. Are you saying, “Lisa, you’ve sold out! I thought you promoted a meatless Genesis 1:29 diet.” I do–for optimal health, and yet I cannot say my teaching is scriptural if I command abstaining from meat. There’s another verse that says those that are weak eat only vegetables. [Yes, it’s primary point is spiritual, those with a weak conscience toward animals sacrificed to pagan gods.] But, if this doesn’t depict the state of health of modern man! Because of the adulteration and lack of nourishment in our “foods” today, most of our society is sick and weak, and would therefore benefit greatly–in restoring their bodies back to health–by eating only “vegetables” (a Genesis 1:29 diet). Most of our digestive systems are in such poor shape that we aren’t able to digest meat properly, even if we do eat only the “sanctified” meats as mentioned.
Which leads me to our second area of balance, moderation in eating “sanctified” meats. Even when including many organic and raw (and some cooked) fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, but still having your menus centered on (even “sanctified”) meat dishes, most won’t see the health benefits they desire. The fact remains that meat is hard to digest and very “acid-ifing” to our bodies, and the number one cause of dis-ease is acidosis.
So here’s our stance. The primary diet should be based on Genesis 1:29, an abundance of raw and organic (as much as you can find them) fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, with some cooked vegetables and grains. An occasional addition of “sanctified” meats is not life endangering for most people–such as on Feast Days, not once–or 2 or 3 times–a day, but rather every two or three weeks–or months. For the extremely “weak” (in health) even this could be life threatening, and they should abstain.
So enjoy your Turkey today, with no regrets–especially if it’s a nice kosher, organic one. Or enjoy your Feast today with NO turkey, but an abundance of the “fruit of the ground”. If you aren’t “here” yet, but your everyday menus are based on meat dishes, enjoy your turkey today, and tomorrow give this message some prayerful consideration. But above all, in all things, give Thanks unto God for He is good and His mercy endures forever.
[Update: Since this article was written there has been great change on both sides. The commercial meats have gotten worse, especially with the advance of genetically modified (GMO) grains (corn) being fed to nearly all feedlot (commercial) animals. This puts them in the even-more-dangerous-to-our-health category. On the other side, we have seen a great rise in the production of pasture raised/grass fed organic meats, making the clean meats better, even their nutritional value is better. However, they are still hard on our digestive system and acidifying. Therefore, we still recommend great moderation, even for those that are walking in good health–and great restriction or abstinance for those that are needing to heal. We encourage this, not for your spiritual life, but for your health. Also the higher cost of these properly raised meats will generally keep most from overindulging.]