Why Doesn't Watchtower Promote Veganism?

by jayhawk1 10 Replies latest jw friends

  • jayhawk1

    W hy Doesn't Watchtower Promote Veganism? When I think about all the pictures showing a picnic table in the "New System" it always has a giant basket full of vegetables. You are always certain to see somebody in a vineyard picking grapes and some guy on a plowshares in the wheat field. You never see some dude cooking on the backyard grill. The assumption is since meat eating animals will be eating grass and such in the "New System" that the same would be true of man. That being the case, why don't they get a head start on it and convince their followers to switch to a Vegan diet?

  • WingCommander

    Good Question! I always wondered that as well. I can tell you that since after the flood, God told man that all was under his control, and that he could now eat fleshy animals, etc.

    But what about in the New System? I would assume since the animals are all friendly, we wouldn't need to eat them anymore, and since we are perfect we wouldn't need their nutrients any more.

    Thing is, if the promoted veganism, they would be alot more like the Seventh Day Adventists, who do promote veganism. Studies have shown that SDA's live upwards of 10 years longer and have less illness than a meat eater.

    The WT only promotes peddling magazines and staying busy, busy, busy!!!! No thinking for yourself now!


    Wing Commander

  • lonelysheep

    "Because jehovah provides animals for us to eat. It is perfectly alright to use animals as food, clothing and shelter!"

    This is the answer I was given when I asked early on as a study. I asked because I didn't get the point of avoiding all blood, yet eating anything that once lived.

  • fullofdoubtnow
    "Because jehovah provides animals for us to eat. It is perfectly alright to use animals as food, clothing and shelter!"

    Yeah, that's what they told me as well. I wonder if the gb are too fond of meat themselves to suggest all jws should be vegans.

  • cognizant dissident
    cognizant dissident

    Because they already have their hands full trying to get everyone to give up smoking and fornication. If they added meat to the list they would have many fewer members! Also, because they don't give a shit about people so why should they give a shit about animals?

  • Finally-Free
    Studies have shown that SDA's live upwards of 10 years longer and have less illness than a meat eater.

    This says it all. The watchtower doesn't want JWs living longer. The sooner people die the sooner the watchtower is remembered in their will.



    ..WHY!..The WBTS is terrified of the conseqenses!.."Potatoe Worship"..Celebrations and festivals popping up in local congragations,Idolizing the Potatoe..Soon there would be giant "Potatoe Idols" at KindomHalls..Jehovah`s Witness`s would soon be praying to the Big Potatoe in heaven...Instead of following the rules of the Vegetables,at the WBTS..LOL!!...OUTLAW

  • LongHairGal

    Because of the scripture that says...."when your soul craves it...." regarding eating meat.

    They taught that after the flood things changed (maybe certain plants were gone that contained necessary nutrients) so therefore it was okay to eat meat sometimes.


  • jayhawk1

    Potato Worship... LOL

    Maybe they are afraid of this

  • blondie

    In today's WTS veganism is not promoted or required officially....too time consuming and difficult to enforce. But the real question is, can you find anything in writing in WT publilcations that emphatically states that everyone living on earth after Armageddon must be vegetarians? You will get a battle with many JWs on that point. Will people eat dairy products and/or eggs. What about fish?

    I always felt that the pics of paradise indicated that the WTS feels all people will be vegetarians...but again you will get a battle from many JWs on that point.


    g97 8/8 pp. 18-20 Is It Wrong to Eat Meat? The Bible’s Viewpoint


    EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD Sujata, from a vegetarian Hindu family, readily agreed with God’s dietary instruction to the first man, Adam. But she immediately asked: "Why, then, do people kill animals for food when there are so many other things to eat?"

    Many people around the world echo these sentiments. Hundreds of millions in the East follow a meatless diet. In addition, the number of vegetarians in the West is increasing. In the United States alone, about 12.4 million people claim to be vegetarian, about 3 million more than a decade ago.

    Why do so many prefer a meatless diet? What is the proper view of animal life? Does eating meat show disrespect for life? In view of what is stated at Genesis 1:29, is it wrong to eat meat? First, consider why some do not eat meat.


    Do Some Not Eat Meat?

    For Sujata, her diet involves her religious beliefs. "I grew up as a Hindu, believing in the doctrine of reincarnation," she explains. "Since a human soul can come back as an animal, I consider animals my equals. And so it seems wrong to kill them for food." Other religions also advocate a vegetarian diet.

    Factors besides religious beliefs influence people’s eating choices as well. Dr. Neal Barnard, for example, flatly asserts: "The only reasons to eat meat are habit or ignorance." His strong stand is based on his views concerning the health risks of meat consumption, such as heart disease and cancer.

    In the United States, teenagers are said to be the fastest growing segment of vegetarians. And concern for animals is one reason. "Kids love animals," says Tracy Reiman of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "When they start learning about what happens to animals before they are killed for food it just reinforces the compassion they feel."

    Many environmentally conscious individuals also make the connection between their diet and the tremendous demand made on natural resources in raising animals for food. It takes, for example, about 390 gallons of water to produce just one pound [3,300 liters to produce just one kilogram] of beef and 375 gallons per pound [3,100 liters per kilogram] of chicken. For some, this then becomes a reason to avoid meat.

    What about you? Should you abstain from eating meat? Before answering that question, consider another viewpoint. As found at Psalm 50:10, 11, Jehovah God, the Maker of all things, says: "To me belongs every wild animal of the forest, the beasts upon a thousand mountains. I well know every winged creature of the mountains, and the animal throngs of the open field are with me." Since all animals really belong to God, it is important to understand how the Creator feels about animal life and man’s use of it for food.


    It Wrong to Kill Animals?

    Some who, like Sujata, consider animals to be man’s equals feel strongly that taking the life of an animal for any purpose is wrong—killing them for food even more so. Nevertheless, the Scriptures indicate that God differentiates between animal life and human life and allows the killing of animals for various reasons. In Israel an animal could be killed, for example, when it posed a threat to human life or one’s livestock.—Exodus 21:28, 29; 1 Samuel 17:34-36.

    From earliest times, God approved of offering animals as sacrifices in worship. (Genesis 4:2-5; 8:20, 21) He also instructed the Israelites to memorialize their Exodus from Egypt by celebrating the Passover annually, which included sacrificing a lamb or a goat and eating its flesh. (Exodus 12:3-9) And under the Mosaic Law, there were other occasions for animal offerings.

    Reading the Bible for the first time, a 70-year-old Hindu woman found the thought of animal sacrifices unpleasant. But as she progressed in her knowledge of the Scriptures, she could see that sacrifices commanded by God had a purpose. They pointed forward to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which was to fulfill the legal requirement for forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 8:3-5; 10:1-10; 1 John 2:1, 2) In many cases the offerings also served as food for the priests and at times for the worshipers. (Leviticus 7:11-21; 19:5-8) God, to whom every living creature belongs, could rightfully institute such an arrangement for a purpose. Of course, once Jesus died, the animal sacrifices were no longer required in worship.—Colossians 2:13-17; Hebrews 10:1-12.


    Animals for Food

    What, though, of killing animals for food? It is true that man’s original diet was vegetarian. But Jehovah later expanded it to include animal flesh. Some 4,000 years ago—in the days of righteous Noah—Jehovah caused a global deluge and brought an end to the then existing wickedness on earth. Noah, his family, and the living creatures he took into the ark survived the Flood. After they emerged from the ark, Jehovah for the first time stated: "Every moving animal that is alive may serve as food for you. As in the case of green vegetation, I do give it all to you." (Genesis 9:3) At the same time, however, God gave the law: "Anyone shedding man’s blood, by man will his own blood be shed, for in God’s image he made man." (Genesis 9:6) Clearly, God did not place animals on the same level as humans.

    Actually, Sujata’s conviction about animals was based on her belief in the doctrine of reincarnation. In this regard the Bible explains that although humans and animals are souls, the soul is not immortal. (Genesis 2:7; Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Acts 3:23; Revelation 16:3) As souls, both humans and animals die and cease to exist. (Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20) Humans, though, have a marvelous hope of resurrection in God’s new world. (Luke 23:43; Acts 24:15) This too indicates that animals are not man’s equals.

    "Still, why the change in diet?" Sujata wanted to know. The earth’s climate evidently had undergone drastic changes because of the Flood. Whether Jehovah introduced the addition of meat to man’s diet because he anticipated the needs of future generations living in the areas where vegetation would be scarce, the Bible does not say. But Sujata could accept that the Owner of all living things had a right to introduce a change.

    Showing Respect for Animal Life

    Yet, Sujata wondered, ‘Shouldn’t we at least show some respect for animal life?’ Yes, we should. And the Creator of all things has told us how we may do this. "Only flesh with its soul—its blood—you must not eat," states his decree at Genesis 9:4. Why the restriction on eating blood? "For the soul [life] of the flesh is in the blood," says the Bible. (Leviticus 17:10, 11) Jehovah has stipulated: ‘You should pour the blood of the slain animal out upon the ground as water.’—Deuteronomy 12:16, 24.

    This is not to say that the provision to eat meat is a license to indulge in the needless spilling of animal blood for the sheer thrill of the hunt or to display personal prowess. Nimrod evidently did this. The Bible identifies him as "a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah." (Genesis 10:9) Even today, excitement over hunting and killing animals can easily develop in some. But such a spirit goes hand in hand with wanton disregard for animal life, and God does not approve of it.

    Being Compassionate Toward Animals

    Some vegetarians today also have sincere concern over the treatment of animals by the modern meat industry. "Agribusiness has little interest in the natural instincts of animals," comments The Vegetarian Handbook. "Raised in horribly close quarters and unnatural environments," the book notes, "modern-day animals are exploited more completely than animals have ever been before."

    While the use of animals for food is not against the will of God, their cruel treatment is. "The righteous one is caring for the soul of his domestic animal," says the Bible at Proverbs 12:10. And the Mosaic Law enjoined proper care of domestic animals.—Exodus 23:4, 5; Deuteronomy 22:10; 25:4.

    Should a Christian Be a Vegetarian?

    As shown in the foregoing, the question of becoming a vegetarian—or remaining one—is strictly a matter for individual decision. Because of health, economics, ecology, or compassion for animals, a person may choose to follow a vegetarian regimen. But he must recognize it as only one way of eating. He should not criticize those who choose to eat meat, just as one who eats meat should not condemn a vegetarian. Eating meat or refraining from it does not make one a better person. (Romans 14:1-17) Neither should one’s diet become the prime concern in his life. "Man must live," Jesus said, "not on bread alone, but on every utterance coming forth through Jehovah’s mouth."—Matthew 4:4.

    As for cruelty to animals and misuse of earth’s resources, Jehovah has promised to bring an end to this corrupt and greedy system and to replace it with the new world of his making. (Psalm 37:10, 11; Matthew 6:9, 10; 2 Peter 3:13) In that new world, man and animals will be forever at peace with one another, and Jehovah will ‘satisfy the desire of every living thing.’—Psalm 145:16; Isaiah 65:25.


    See Awake! of June 22, 1997, pages 3-13.

    See The Watchtower of May 15, 1997, pages 3-8, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.

    See The Watchtower of May 15, 1990, pages 30-1.

    [Picture Credit Line on page 18]


    *** w61 12/15 pp. 766-767 Questions from Readers ***

    When, in Genesis 1:30, God says: "To every wild beast of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving upon the earth in which there is life as a soul I have given all green vegetation for food," are we to understand that this absolutely excludes the idea that any animals ate meat at that time or before that? And on this basis are we to conclude that all animals will be vegetarian in the new world? How, then, can we account for the meat-eating birds, insects, reptiles and other animals with their poisonous fangs, hunting prowess, and so forth, apparently given them at creation and admirably equipping them as meat eaters?

    Genesis 1:30, as just quoted, does not say that God had given "all green vegetation for food" to the wild beasts, the flying creatures and everything moving upon the earth in addition to what meat or flesh they could catch by hunting. The verse just ahead tells us that God said to Adam and Eve: "Here I have given to you all vegetation bearing seed which is on the surface of the whole earth and every tree on which there is the fruit of a tree bearing seed. To you let it serve as food." (Gen. 1:29) We do not understand this to mean that Adam and Eve could eat animals that lived on grass and other vegetation, and that in eating such animals minus their blood Adam and Eve were eating vegetation indirectly, inasmuch as, to begin with, the animals ate the vegetation and then Adam and Eve ate the animals that lived on such vegetation to convert it into flesh. No! But it is evident that God set the perfect man and woman on a vegetarian diet, without suggesting even dairy products.

    First after the flood God specified in so many words that Noah and his family and their descendants could eat bloodless meat or flesh. This indicates that God-fearing men like Abel, Enoch and Noah and his family had not lived on animal and bird flesh prior to the flood. What the ungodly men lived on till the flood we do not know. Abel, Enoch and Noah and his family did not reason in a roundabout manner and violate the Edenic dietary law that God stated to Adam and Eve in Eden, in Genesis 1:29, 30.

    Of course, the Bible says a lot about zoology, but the Bible is no exhaustive treatise on all zoological matters. It therefore leaves in a lower or secondary position the discussing of details about the lower animal creation. It fixes first attention on Jehovah’s superior earthly creature, man, and specializes on that. Hence the facts about wild beasts, domestic beasts, flying creatures and insects are spoken of only incidentally, or in illustrations.

    So, if the Bible itself does not give any answer to these questions about those creatures lower than man, it does not mean that there is no answer to the questions that is consistent with the Bible. It simply means that we are not to preoccupy ourselves with such questions. One big fact we must remember: that we humans are living and all these birds, insects and other animals are living in a system of things that has obtained since Jehovah God legalized man’s eating animal flesh minus its blood. Accordingly, if man has been eating animal flesh and insects for four thousand three hundred years and has teeth that can be adapted to eating such solid food as flesh, it is not strange that birds, insects and other animals should be also living on flesh that they hunt for and catch.

    As to the preflood situation on the diet of man and animals, we may take the situation in Noah’s ark as an illustration. Under God’s instructions Noah and his family were to take into the ark wild beasts, domestic animals, flying creatures and birds, two each (male and female) of the unclean kind, and seven each of the clean kind. Besides this, Noah was to take into the ark every sort of food that is eaten to "serve as food for you and for them." (Gen. 6:19-22) Now Noah had no deepfreeze unit nor any refrigeration installation to preserve processed flesh foods in the ark. The seven sheep, seven bulls and cows, seven goats, two horses, two pigs, and so forth, that Noah took into the ark would hardly have been enough flesh food for the two lions, two tigers and two of the other wild flesh-eating beasts of today to live on in the ark during the flood. Noah was not instructed to carry on a slaughterhouse in the ark to feed the wild beasts with flesh foods. Nor was he told to enmesh tremendous quantities of flying or creeping insects to provide fresh food for the creatures today devouring insects.

    Noah came out of the ark the following year with not less wild beasts, domestic animals, flying and creeping creatures and birds than he took into the ark. It is possible that he had more when he came out, due to the breeding of these lower creatures. Well, then, on what did every living thing in the ark live during those twelve lunar months and ten days, or one full solar year, shut up inside the ark? Certainly not on flesh, nor on one another.

    All those creatures, human and subhuman, were able to live without flesh for a whole year inside the ark. Why could not every one of those living creatures live without flesh during 1,656 years prior to the Flood, or back to the time when God specified to Adam and Eve in Eden what he had given to earthly creatures as food? And if they could subsist that way during the first 1,656 years of man’s existence, why can they not return to that way of life and keep living that way during the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ and then for eternity? During his millennial reign Jesus Christ as King will have control over animal, bird, insect and fish life as well as over human life. He will regulate it according to God’s will and for the good of all creature life on earth. So we should not think only of the post-Flood side of the question and leave out of consideration the pre-Flood side of the question as if it had no bearing. Let us take the Bible position on the subject and not over-occupy ourselves with merely incidental matters to the extent of wasting time, thought and peace of heart and possibly stumbling ourselves into the camp of the godless evolutionists.

    *** g76 6/8 pp. 12-15 Should Those Who Worship God Be Vegetarians? ***

    "VEGETARIANISM: GROWING WAY OF LIFE, ESPECIALLY AMONG THE YOUNG." So read a page-wide headline in the New York Times, March 21, 1975. The article went on to tell that nowadays vegetarians "have some powerful supporters on their side, including Dr. Jean Mayer, the Harvard nutritionist." The Times also noted that some vegetarians "are members of religious groups such as the Seventh Day Adventists and Hare Krishna, whose members refrain from eating meat."

    This raises some interesting questions. Should those who worship God be vegetarians? If so, what kind of vegetarians should they be? That there are many categories of vegetarians was particularly noticeable last August at a World Vegetarian Congress held in Orono, Maine. Among those present were "fruitarians . . . who eat only fruit; ovo-lacto vegetarians, who eat eggs, milk and cheese in addition to vegetarian fare; vegans . . . who use no food or clothing from the animal kingdom; natural hygienists, who do not use salt, sugar, refined flour, condiments, and do not believe in combining fruits and vegetables in meals; the Jain vegetarians from India, who do not use any food that grows below ground, such as potatoes and carrots," and also others. (New York Times, August 22, 1975) The report went on to say that "occasionally the vegetarians here will argue among themselves, usually good naturedly, over which is the ‘true way.’"

    While there are thus seen to be many variations, by and large, as Dr. Jean Mayer notes, vegetarianism is an idea "that has three things going for it all at once—economics, health and compassion." The doctor might have added that with some it is also a matter of religion.

    The Economic Factor

    The argument on the basis of economics cannot be lightly dismissed and is two-pronged. First, it costs less for a person to live on a vegetable diet than on a diet including meat, and, of course, the more that meat plays a role in one’s diet, the greater the difference in cost. This may be considered a strong argument in favor of a vegetarian diet, since we eat to live and do not live to eat. But the fact remains that it is not always convenient to live by such a diet. For example, people living in the Arctics would have to emigrate to more temperate zones if they wanted to become vegetarians. Besides, there is the matter of the pleasure derived from eating.

    Second, there is the greater economic reason relating to the production of food itself. Thus we are told that in the course of a year an acre (.4 hectare) of land can produce about 200 pounds (91 kilos) of meat, but ten times as much grain and a hundred times as much in the way of potatoes. But this is all part of a system, and while, if all people became vegetarians, there would be plenty of food for all, how much good can true worshipers, who comprise but a very small fraction of the world’s population, accomplish by not eating meat? As long as the world is run by selfish men under the power and influence of Satan the Devil, its god, there is no likelihood of any equitable distribution of food.—1 Cor. 4:4.

    The Health Factor

    Many have become vegetarians because of the health factor. Dr. Mayer, in an article appearing in the New York Daily News, May 14, 1975, said that he had a tremendous response to a previous article on the growth of vegetarianism, and he further assured his readers that a "vegetarian diet is nutritional." It is a fact recognized by the medical profession in general that the average Argentinean, American and Canadian in particular eats too much meat. But whether everyone would be better off by not eating any meat at all is debatable. And there is also the matter of how practical it would be in view of the eating habits of the population at large. Dr. Mayer went on to show how people have lost weight by becoming vegetarians, for, while they may be eating more carbohydrates, they eat far less fat, which has twice the calories of carbohydrates.

    However, a strictly vegetarian diet often is deficient in vitamin B 12 , which is "essential to prevent the type of pernicious anemia that eventually causes degeneration of parts of the brain and spinal cord." And "a vegetarian diet also may be deficient in vitamin D . . . It also may lack iron because the best and most readily available supply comes from meat, particularly liver, shellfish and other animal foods." Concludes vegetarian Mayer, "in general, the more restricted any diet, the more likely it is to be unbalanced and deficient in one or another nutrient. This rule applies to vegetarian diets as well as to bizarre, weight-loss diets."

    The Compassionate and Religious Factors

    With not a few vegetarians the strongest argument in favor of their way of life is the one based on compassion for animals. Such vegetarians produce and distribute auto stickers reading, "Love Animals—Don’t Eat Them," and buttons, "Be Kind to Animals—Don’t Eat Them." To support their position, vegetarians point not only to such men as Buddha, Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras, Ovid, Voltaire, Shaw and Schweitzer, but even to such men of military fame as Field Marshal Montgomery and Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding (RAF, "Battle of Britain").

    The matter of compassion no doubt is the most serious objection to eating meat, but is it truly sound? Or is it being too sentimental? Above all, does this position find support in God’s Word, the Bible?

    It seems that here is another instance where the inspired wisdom found at Jeremiah 10:23 and 8:9 applies: "To earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step." "The wise ones [of this world] . . . have rejected the very word of Jehovah, and what wisdom do they have?" God’s Word gives us a balanced understanding of the subject, for it contains divine wisdom. So, turning to this source, what do we learn?

    First of all, it shows that human life is sacred and that whoever deliberately takes the life of another person must forfeit his own life. At the very time that God, for the first time, gave this law to mankind, as represented by Noah and his family of flood survivors, God authorized meat to be eaten. (Gen. 9:3-5) In other words, in the same breath, as it were, that he strictly forbade the taking of human life and pronounced the penalty therefor of capital punishment, God authorized the killing of animals for food.

    This distinction between man and animals we find throughout the Scriptures. In fact, from earliest times animals were offered as sacrifices with God’s approval. (Gen. 4:2-5; 8:20, 21) Much slaughtering of animals was involved in the many kinds of sacrifices required under the law of Moses. And did not God require that the Israelites eat meat, lamb or kid, at least once each year at the Passover celebration, not to say anything of their frequent eating of meat when making communion sacrifices? In particular were the priests meat eaters, as they partook of each one’s communion sacrifice. To carry this a step farther, God himself is represented as sharing symbolically in eating flesh in that the portion that was burned on the altar was represented as being his share.—Ex. 12:3-9; 34:25; Lev. 7:11-15.

    In keeping with the foregoing is the example of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. There is no question about his love and compassion for humankind. (Phil. 2:5-8) He revealed God’s will for us and at the same time served as our model. (1 Pet. 2:21) Did he object to the eating of meat? No, for as a faithful Jew he ate meat at least on every Passover. More than that, he had no scruples against catching and eating fish, for on two occasions he caused his disciples to catch a large netful of fish. Also, on two, if not more, occasions he caused a few fish to multiply miraculously so as to feed thousands of men, women and children.—Mark 8:18-20; Luke 5:4-6; John 21:6-11.

    The question of eating meat came up among the early Christians, but not out of compassion for animals. As Jews they had been forbidden to eat certain kinds of meat and it became necessary to show them that they were no longer under the law of Moses in these matters. (Acts 15:19, 20) And there was also the problem of eating meat offered to idols. That worshipers of God were not to be judged on the basis of whether they ate meat or not the apostle Paul makes clear: "One man has faith to eat everything, but the man who is weak eats vegetables. Let the one eating not look down on the one not eating, and let the one not eating not judge the one eating." Let it be noted that the foregoing Scriptural counsel and examples effectively refute the position of those who, on religious grounds, would object to the eating of meat.—Rom. 14:2, 3.

    From the foregoing it is clear that the slaying of animals to serve human need is not against the will of God. His Word, however, does encourage showing consideration for animals. (Prov. 12:10) But it does not require us to "love" animals to the extent of putting them on the same level as humans. Why, while Adam and Eve were still in the garden of Eden, God apparently caused animals to be slain to provide coverings for them. (Gen. 3:21-23) In particular does it seem to show a lack of balance for persons to crusade energetically against the killing of animals for food while having no objection to blood-spilling wars that cause untold misery, hardship, suffering and death to millions of men, women and children, by means of guns, torpedos and bombs.

    To the question, ‘Should worshipers of God be vegetarians?’ the answer must be that it is an individual, personal matter. If a person is convinced of the value of it from the standpoint of cost, economics or health, and finds it practical, he may adopt a vegetarian regimen. But he cannot find ethical support for his restricted diet in God’s Word. If he becomes involved in that aspect of vegetarianism, he is losing sight of God’s way of viewing things.

    What is important today is not whether one eats meat or not. Rather, it is whether one is worshiping the true God Jehovah with spirit and truth, in the way that He sets out in his Word, the Holy Bible. Jesus Christ illustrated that way for us. He ministered to the needs of people, humans, both materially and spiritually, but especially spiritually, for, as he said, "Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every utterance coming forth through Jehovah’s mouth." His is the example all true worshipers of God will want to follow.—Matt. 4:4; John 4:24.

Share this