A lovely lady friend that God has permitted me to meet recently asked me what I thought about veganism and Christianity. Since Jesus Himself ate fish and the like, and God says that He gave us both animals and plants for food, is it bad that I think we don't need any animals in our diet to reach "optimum health"? I sound like Joel Fuhrman when I use those words... I decided not to answer her question in my own words. That would require having an introduction, some really good, well thought, (backed by the experts in theology and plant-based eating) points that include references, wording it perfectly as to not miss anything, and then a well-put-together conclusion and all those I'm -far-from-an-English-major techniques, of which I don't do well with (as you can see by the ca-raaazy long sentence you just read that I am sure has too many commas, is missing commas, and includes this unnecessary parenthesis add-on.)
So this is my 100% guided-by-God's-holy-Book response.
With regards to what God has gifted man with for food, here are the bible verses that I like to follow:
The bottom line, no matter what we eat: 1 Corinthians 10:31 "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
I like to imagine that God calls us to be vegan.... Genesis 1:29 "And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food."
But, He does say, in Genesis 9:3, "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything."
So He gives us animals for food. This is not debatable, it's truth. And I try not to get too stressed out about how passionate I am that people eat more vegetables and less meat, trying to follow this verse: Luke 12:23 "For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing."
It just hurts me inside seeing how badly we are feeding the bodies we are gifted with from God. We fill them with foods that man has invented and put together in some huge laboratory, and we enjoy it. In return, our bodies aren't able to work as God intended them to and we get sick easily, and sick very seriously. Mind you, I truly believe that God blesses the food He gives us, if a family strives to follow Him, cannot afford a very healthy meal and have to purchase a handful of frozen dinners for their family, then prays that God bless the food in front of them, He surely will!
Romans 14:3 reminds me not to judge anyone because they do or do not eat meat, so, again, I try not to be too biased " The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them"
In conclusion, I believe God calls us to simply eat and enjoy, to not judge how others eat, and to take care of our bodies - which I translate to eating foods that He planted for us. He gave us meat, yes, but it was man that turned cow's fresh milk into sugar-sweetened, artificially-colored yogurts. It was man that has over-fed livestock nutrient-lacking "foods" for the sake of making large amounts of money in short periods of time. It is man that has modified meats, cheeses, even eggs and milks so much that it is causing us to be more sick than ever before.
So, I agree, God has gifted us with both animals and plants to nourish the bodies He has placed us in. But the meat we have available here in the supermarkets is far from what God gave us, it's modified and we eat very, very large amounts of it with little or no plants. Same with dairy, eggs, and all other animal products. I support people who eat meat, but if possible, it ought to be the meat from animals you have in your backyard since it is just as God intended for human consumption.
Books that guided me to make the switch for the sake of living a healthier life: The China Study, Eat to Live and The Kind Diet.
As I said in a past post on my meat-eater to meat-free journey: I don't eat plants to "live longer" since that isn't my deck of cards to play, it's God's. He knows the day I will leave this earth, and eating more broccoli and less steak is not going to change that date. But I do want to live a high-quality life, feeling strong 'til the day I go, and sharing the good news of the gospel for all the time I have left. (Mind you, you don't have to be in superb health to share the gospel, but I think serving others in love whether it be in physical labor or simply going to their homes to be a friend is much easier when you're feeling strong physically!)