Christian and Vegan aren’t two identifiers that tend to go hand-in-hand.
Most Christians I know are happy meat-eaters who will point to the passage in Acts 10 where God showed Peter all the unclean animals Jews used to avoid eating, and told him to “eat.” The point of this passage was to demonstrate Christian liberation from the legalism of the old Covenant. And it’s a frequently-cited passage by people who think that Christian veganism is just… well … weird.
Most Vegans I know aren’t Christian–especially if they’re vegan “for the animals,” as the phrase often goes. Because let’s be honest. St. Peter and PETA wouldn’t get along real well.
If it was good enough for St. Peter, then it should be good enough for me, right?
So how on earth did I become a Christian vegan?
Before we begin, it’s important for me to say that I affirm the Acts passage and recognize that it’s not inherently wrong to eat meat.
I believe we live in a fallen world that won’t be right or beautiful again until Christ returns. Death in all its forms–for both humans and animals–is a consequence of The Fall that can’t really be avoided.
I do my best not to judge people who choose to continue consuming animal products.
I’ve had to stop and ask myself the question, “Just because death is unavoidable, does that mean I want to be responsible for more of it than necessary?”
“All things are permissible for me,” St. Paul wrote. “But not all things are beneficial.” (1 Corinthians 10:23)
For me, consuming animal products is not expedient any longer.
First, I received a command from God to go vegan at a certain point in my life.
I had already been on a long journey with the Holy Spirit to clean up my temple and treat it properly so that I could hear Him better. When a friend challenged me to a Daniel Fast it transformed my life, and I really felt the desire to continue that commitment by remaining vegan after the fast.
Not everyone can claim God told them to go vegan. And I wouldn’t expect them to. But I have to admit, it’s done a lot for my spiritual life.
Not only has it cleaned a lot of toxins out of my system that (I believe) were blocking spiritual receptivity, but it forces me to be more disciplined about my food choices. And that’s always a healthy thing for my spiritual life.
Around that same time, I was also told to shave my head, let go of makeup and stop wearing a bra–both of which (along with going vegan) really were outward signs of my commitment to following God, and to finding my worth and beauty only in Him.
All of this radically changed my life–and I recommend that any Christian woman make these four commitments for a defined period of time at least once in their lives.
Your relationship with your hair, your makeup, your female body parts and your eating are likely some of the most wounded parts of your feminine self.
God in His infinite wisdom raised all this for healing.
In the other areas, I was led to return to “normal” living. But for some reason, veganism stuck. Perhaps for Reason #2.
Second, veganism is a beautiful, tangible way of expressing your longing for the Kingdom of God on earth.
It says in Revelation that one day there will be no more sorrow, no more death, and that even the lion will one day lie down with the lamb in harmony.
I long for this day. And my eating habits are one way I can show my deep desire for that restoration of the harmony once found in the Garden of Eden. Every time I sit down to a plant-based meal–especially if I’m in the company of meat eaters–I’m reminded of what I’m hoping for.
Basically, you’re all going to be vegan one day, yo. May as well get a jumpstart.
It might sound strange at first. But this principle has actually promoted a lot of joy for me in this life choice.
Every time I enjoy a satisfying meal that didn’t involve cruelty toward any creature–including removing the mother’s young or depriving her of bodily fluids (ie: milk) intended to nurture her young–I tell God how excited I am to inhabit that future Kingdom where the world really will be the way He intended it.
Third, there are just a lot of health benefits.
Can a vegan diet be imbalanced? Yes. Do vegans have to be careful about certain nutrients and supplements to ensure they’re getting everything they need? Yes.
But if we’re committed to eating healthy while we’re eating vegan, we’re not over-consuming fats and proteins. (Yes, protein really is the most overrated thing people talk about when they object to veganism.)
I firmly believe that all flesh carries life energy, and when we’re eating dead flesh, we’re consuming all the terror, sorrow and pain that went into the final moments of the creature’s life before their flesh was taken.
How healthy can it really be to have that junk in my body?
Leonardo da Vinci expressed it well when he said, “My body will not be a tomb for other creatures.”
All things are permissible, yes. But not all things are beneficial.
Fourth, veganism has inspired me to have all kinds of adventures with food.
I buy vegetables now I never would have before. I’ve learned all about sprouted grains. I’m constantly expanding my smoothie repertoire.
Since becoming vegan, I’ve actually enjoyed all kinds of amazing foods I would never have found had I remained in the animal-eating camp.
As an adventurer at heart, I will always choose the route of curiosity and discovery!
There’s much more I could say about veganism, but I hope this whets your appetite (pun intended). Over time, I’ll be sharing recipes, tips and insights on running a cruelty-free kitchen.
Come along with me on this exciting journey.