Sometimes in my parish I have seen one women who often wears a christianveg.com t-shirt. Today I saw another with what appeared to be another vegetarians t-shirt on first observance.
Ancient slang for
village idiot who
can’t hunt or fish.
I am not a big fan of wearing t-shirts to Mass, but that was pretty funny and I do wonder what would happen if they both showed up wearing those shirts.
I never quite get the point of Christian vegetarianism as if we have the Asparagus Dei – the vegetable who takes away the sin of the world. If you want to be a vegetarian fine, but please don’t say dumb things like Jesus was one also or that there is a moral imperative to be one.
St. Benedict who died in A.D. 547 legislated that monks were to abstain perpetually from the meat of four-legged animals. He allowed sick monks to eat such meat, but after recovering those monks had to resume abstinence.
Why the distinction based on quadrupedality?
I believe it is an economic consideration. The four-legged animals are much more expensive to raise for meat than fowl and fish.
St. Benedict’s policy would be based on the diet of the poor and avoidance of the diet of the wealthy.
Today, fish can be more expensive than some mammalian meats.
I would venture– for those who want to go the extra step– that here in the well-and-overly-fed U.S.A. we ought to simply abstain from all animal flesh on Fridays.
After all, “Abstain from meat!” does not mean, “Go eat fish!”
Asparagus Dei? Sounds like an upcoming Veggietales episode
The next day, as they were on their journey and coming near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.
And he became hungry and desired something to eat;
but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heaven opened, and something descending, like a great sheet, let down by four corners upon the earth.
In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air.
And there came a voice to him,
KILL AND EAT.”
But Peter said,
“No, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.”
And the voice came to him again a second time,
“What God has cleansed,
you must not call common.”
This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.
. . . .
Kill and eat! God hates vegans.
Vegetarianism is often just another flavor of substitute morality. This means people trying to be good and trying to define righteousness for themselves, in a convenient way, of course. Consider all the vegetarians who have no problem with abortion…
We’re certainly free to eat meat (and I’m being tempted to break my abstinence today just by typing those last words), but I don’t think we need to suggest that being vegetarian is inconsistent with Catholicism or necessarily some sort of “substitute” morality. If I recall, even the Holy Father — in connection with the foie gras controversy? — warned against a “morbid delectation” that would wholly ignore the undue suffering other creatures may endure so that we may not simply fulfill our needs but satisfy our appetites.
I think someone who is vegetarian for health reasons is probably wise (though I always seem to see sickly vegetarians). Many monks are vegetarian becuase this is a way to mortify the flesh.
But I can’t stand it when people are vegetarian because they don’t like to “kill”. All consumption involves killing. That cucumber was a living thing, too, before it passed through your bowels.
Rob, any more pestering like that, and those vegetarians will be reduced to eating rocks.
Yes, Rob, but the cucumber doesn’t have a face.
Ed Pie and JonathanR. —
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head — those who don’t eat meat because of mere sentimentality (“It has a face”) or some form of pride (“I refuse to acknowledge that my existence depends in any way on the sacrifice of other creatures”) — are not adopting the practice in a manner consistent with an informed moral sense or Catholic tradition. But others, from prudential concerns over health or economy or from a desire to mortify their own flesh, should not be mocked. It seems the Church, as always, is as reliable a guide to the proper ordering of our temporal existences as to the salvation of our souls.
As someone who was a vegetarian for four years, I know exactly what you guys are saying, but please go easy! Remember also that St. Paul says to not offend people who feel that they can only eat vegetables. I really wanted to do what was right (I didn’t have a well-formed Christian conscience at the time.) This also resulted in a bit of a carniverous backlash when I started eating meat again, but that’s another story…
I totally agree about the inconsistency with the pro-abortion thing, though.
I respect a person’s right to choose to eat meat or not. I do have a problem with the logic/theology of Christianveg.org. & I have a MAJOR problem with those Moonbats who claim Jesus was a vegitarian. ESP since all Jews had to bring animals to the Temple regularly & a part of the Jewish feast of Passover was killing a lamb for the meal.
JESUS WAS NO VEGETARIAN
Jesus himself stood among them.
But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit.
And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts?
See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
THEY GAVE HIM A PIECE OF BROILED FISH,
AND HE TOOK IT AND ATE BEFORE THEM.
Say what you like about the Christian Vegetarian Association, a bumper sticker that says, “What Would Jesus Eat…Today?”, right above a picture of a dove, is pretty funny.
Here’s another version:
I’m not a vegetarian because I love animals.
I”m a vegetarian becuase I hate plants!
No four-legged animals? Then that means chicken’s okay! “Four legs good, two legs better–esp when it’s fried!”
Good points, folks. If it wasn’t apparent, my intent was not to brush off all vegetarians (after all, it means more steak and bacon for me), but to emphasize that when vegetarianism does happen to become a substitute morality instead of a single component in a well-ordered moral life, sentimentality and vanity become the measures by which we judge…well, almost everything.
I totally agree about the inconsistency with the pro-abortion thing, though.
I think in a lot of these cases, there is some consistency. We can’t see the face of the unborn, either.
The warring shirts bit is quite funny, but I find some of the comments to be both uncharitable and ill-informed. If you actually go to the website for the Christian Vegetarians and see what they have to say, it is apparent that they are hardly trying to create a substitute for religion — or endorse abortion. And no, I am not a member of this organization. I have been a Catholic my entire life (loyal to the Magesterium, and like to think I have a “well-formed Christian conscience”); I have been a vegetarian for 34 of my 46 years — and not for health reasons but for moral reasons. I don’t think vegetarianism is healthier than eating meat. However, the way meat is consumed today, and the utter disregard and even contempt shown for God’s creatures in the process of bringing animals to our tables is surely not consistent with God’s will. For anyone seriously interested in the question, and not simply wanting to scoff at the moral concerns of vegetarians (and those generally interested in compassion for God’s creatures)I highly recommend the book “Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy” by Matthew Scully, a former speech writer for George W. Of course we CAN do whatever we want to God’s creatures; the question is “Should we?” It is a matter of MERCY. Why any Christian would have a cavalier attitude to the suffering of animals is a mystery to me. And in case you’re wondering, my concern for animals doesn’t negate my concern for humans. I’m sickened by the culture of death in all its forms — including abortion & euthanasia. Peter Singer and his ilk do not represent vegetarians like me. Compassion for animals, believe it or not, can actually increase compassion for people.
While I agree with much of what is said above, I should also point out that St. Paul said that we should respect the scruples of those who do not eat meat. (I imagine that the vegetarians he dealt with may have been Pythagorean converts or the like…) It’s well and good to remind the more zealous vegetarians that Jesus DID eat meat (I’ve done that), but if “the Kingdom is not about eating and drinking”, I try to avoid any further arguments, pro or con.
I used to be a vegetarian by principle. Around seven years ago, I used to be an “evangelical Vegetarian”. Whenever I sat down to eat, I used to bring up the topic of vegetarianism.
Ever since I began to take the Catholic interior way seriously, I am forced to sheepishly acknowledge that there are far more important things to evangelise about than vegetarianism.
These days, I am still a vegetarian, but I’m a vegetarian by habit, not by principle. I don’t think anymore that it’s intrinsically wrong to eat meat. And I don’t evangelise about vegetarianism any more.
Yours in Christ,
Speaking of abstinence, has anybody re-told the capybara story yet?
Mmm…oversized water-rat…tastes like fish.
By the way, there do happen to be Satanist Vegetarians; make of that what you will.
Cacciaguida tranlates Asperges me as “Pass me the asparagus.”