Being a vegan isn’t always socially acceptable. Being a vegan in the church is certainly no exception. A few years ago, I was on staff with your everyday non-denominational mega-church, and never had my non-animal-eating ways been so challenged by so many people. Some of the arguments, comments, and rebukes included the following:
- “Meat is the reason God put animals on this Earth.”
- “But God gave us dominion over the animals … refusing to eat them is disrespectful to our creator.”
- “You know, fish was Jesus’ favorite food.”
- “You’d better start eating meat if you want to play on the softball team this year!”
Don’t get me wrong—no one was especially rude or disrespectful. After a while, they even started making sure that there were vegan alternatives for me at every staff event. So have faith—if you’re struggling with being vegan at church, hang in there. People do come around.
“People at my church are saying I can’t be vegan ….”
Church helps people of the same belief system come together to practice their faith in fellowship. But when any one part of that collective refuses to participate in something that is normal to the rest of the group (i.e., eating meat), well … it makes waves. A lot of Christians are inclined to believe that we are supposed to eat meat and that God wants us to kill and eat animals, and that makes it difficult for them to understand why someone like you would choose not to.
But be ye not afraid, brethren! 😉
Being that it’s almost Christmas, lots of folks are reflecting on their faith this holiday season, and we couldn’t think of a better time to begin a series discussing the challenges of being both a Jesus freak and a crazy animal rights activist. We’ll cover how to deal with people in your church and dominion over animals and what that means. We’ll examine God’s love of all creatures and whether the ultimate wavemaker—Jesus—would eat a vegan meal with us (or eat factory-farmed meat). And we’ll take a look at vegetarian heroes in the Bible (what does the Bible say about eating meat, anyway?), and more!
Send your questions [email protected], and stay strong!