Dietary discipleship: Would Jesus be vegetarian?

By Asheville Citizen-Times

POSTED: Dec. 4, 2002 9:20 p.m.

I applaud the thought-provoking letter to the editor, Jesus wouldn't be caught dead driving a gas-guzzling SUV, (AC-T, Nov. 27), and the campaign What would Jesus drive? I agree it probably wouldn't be a gas-guzzling SUV; more likely a pickup truck, like most carpenters.

I also think it's pretty clear what Jesus wouldn't eat. If Jesus witnessed modern factory farms, he would no doubt be appalled by the total lack of compassion for the animals. Treated as merely food units, they suffer tremendously from intensive confinement, mutilations, and other endless horrors from birth until the slaughterhouse.

Jesus would recognize the inherent wastefulness and environmental degradation that results from animal agriculture. Converting grains to meat wastes as much as 90 percent of grains' proteins, 96 percent of their calories, and 100 percent of their carbohydrates and fiber. How can we let this happen when millions of people die annually of starvation and many more suffer from malnutrition?

Science has shown that a vegetarian diet greatly reduces the risks of many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A vegetarian diet is compassionate, results in healthier people, helps feed the hungry, and promotes a cleaner, more sustainable environment. Is there any doubt that Jesus would be a vegetarian? For more information, visit the Web site of the Christian Vegetarian Association at

Stewart David,




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