Did you know meat eating destroys your moral powers and awakens your carnal passions?

18 min


 

It has been a long debate among professed Adventists over the issue of meat eating. Ellen White counsels strictly suggest meat-free diet. She encourages the use of fruits and vegetables, bread and simple foods and prohibits the use of animal flesh as food. Milk, coffee and sugar are also dangerous to the well-being of the body. These counsels have called for all kinds of criticism and scorn even among Adventists.

Should this be a debate? of course not! We should be thankful for all these manifold counsels on health. Had Ellen White counsels be heeded and practised by the church as a core principle, it would have saved many from death and diseases. Many would have strengthened their moral powers and silenced the animal passions of the carnal mind.

The sad part is many reject these counsels which are for their own good and not only reject but fight against the Testimonies of God’s messenger by preventing others to know the truth. Meat eating weakens the moral powers and awakens the desires of the carnal mind. Many are struggling with sin and do not know how to gain victory over it. God has given us the light on health reform and we’re required to live up to it. Though God’s grace help us to overcome our weaknesses we must shun evil and willful ignorance. This article gives the stance of God concerning meat eating. It’s not meaning God demand much but God loves us so much to allow us to be destroyed.

Man is built up from what he eats. The use of flesh-meat strengthens the lower propensities, and excites them to increased activity. Parents should discard everything that endangers the moral and physical health of their children. They should not place flesh-meat on the table. And if they allow their children to eat meat freely, use butter and eggs, disease in some form will surely result, impairing the health of mind and body. Thus spirituality is weakened and often destroyed. PUR OCT.09,1902

The use of meat while at the Retreat awakened the old appetite, and after I returned home, it clamoured for indulgence. Then I resolved to change entirely, and not under any circumstances eat meat, and thus encourage this appetite. Not a morsel of meat or butter has been on my table since I returned. We have milk, fruit, grains, and vegetables. 3BIO 245

I come again to Christians. If all who profess to obey the law of God were free from iniquity, my soul would be relieved; but they are not. Even some who profess to keep all the commandments of God are guilty of the sin of adultery. What can I say to arouse their benumbed sensibilities? Moral principle, strictly carried out, becomes the only safeguard of the soul. If ever there was a time when the diet should be of the most simple kind, it is now. Meat should not be placed before our children. Its influence is to excite and strengthen the lower passions, and has a tendency to deaden the moral powers. Grains and fruits prepared free from grease, and in as natural a condition as possible, should be the food for the tables of all who claim to be preparing for translation to heaven. The less feverish the diet, the more easily can the passions be controlled. Gratification of taste should not be consulted irrespective of physical, intellectual, or moral health. 2T 352

[ Restoration of the Whole Man to God’s Image ] –The great object of life should be to restore to God soul, body, and spirit. If the moral image of God is restored in the poor, degraded sot, it will not be by continuing to give him liquor. In every city the Lord would have a place where sin-sick souls may find courage and sustaining help to overcome all unnatural appetites and sinful indulgences–tobacco using, tea and liquor drinking. All flesh meat is to be discarded. Educational meetings should be held where young men may be instructed how to develop a perfect manhood. Then they can become teachers of good things.–Letter 95, 1898, p. 3. (To Bro. Hubbard, Nov. 18, 1898.) 10MR 231

Much injury is done to health by the variety of the food which is seen on so many tables. Take the different dishes that are placed on the table at one meal, and put them all together in one vessel–stir them up together. Does it make the stomach turn to look at it? Leave it for a few hours and it will ferment. Yet thousands compel their stomachs to receive just such a mass as this every day–half masticated meat, condiments, spices, pies, and sweet puddings are washed down with tea and coffee. The abused stomach is obliged to take them and do the best it can with them. 10MR 286

Let the food be palatably prepared and nicely served. More dishes will have to be prepared than would be necessary if flesh-meat were served. Other things can be provided, so that meats can be discarded. Milk and cream can be used by some. 13MR 039

In our family we have breakfast at half past six o’clock, and dinner at half past one. We have no supper. We would change our times of eating a little, were it not for the fact that these are the most convenient hours for some of the members of the family. I eat two meals a day, and still follow the light given me 35 years ago. I use no meat. As for myself, I have settled the butter question. I do not use it. This question should easily be settled in every place where the purest article cannot be obtained. We have two good milk cows, a Jersey and Holstein. We use cream, and all are satisfied with this. 13MR 042

You cannot live too plainly when you are studying so constantly. Your father and I have dropped milk, cream, butter, sugar, and meat entirely since we came to California. We are far clearer in mind and far better in body. We live very plainly. We cannot write unless we do live simply. Your father bought meat once for May while she was sick, but not a penny have we expended on meat since. We have the most excellent fruit of all kinds. Do you want we should send you some figs? How is your clothing? Let us know just how you are feeling; and is your clothing well taken care of? Are you happy? 14MR 322

We have a large family, and besides have many guests, but neither meat nor butter is placed upon our table. We use the cream from the milk of the cows which we feed ourselves. We purchase butter for cooking purposes from dairies where the cows are in healthful condition and have good pasture.– Letter 76, 1895 14MR 326

Two years ago I came to the conclusion that there was danger in using the flesh of dead animals, and since then I have not used meat at all. It is never placed on my table. I use fish when I can get it. We can get beautiful fish from the saltwater lake near here. I use neither tea nor coffee. As I labour against these things, I cannot but practice that which I know to be best for health, and my family are all in perfect harmony with me. You see, my dear niece, that I am telling you matters just as they are. 14MR 330

There are many who spend their money for that which is not bread–for tea, coffee, the large use of flesh-meats. All of these produce their sure results in painful affliction. Many animals have been butchered when their blood was in a high state of fever, apparently boiling with madness. Those who eat of these meats are subject to inflammation and blood-poisoning. Some have distressing spasms, some have great distress of the bowels. 15MR 283

You ask in regard to canvassers who travel and have to eat bread with swine’s flesh in it. I see here a serious difficulty, but there is a remedy. Learn to make good, hygienic rolls and keep them with you. You can generally obtain hot milk, or at least a cup of hot water with milk, and this, with fruit or without fruit, will nourish the system. Many plans may be devised with some little tact and labour, that many difficulties in the line of eating unwholesome food may be overcome. I advise every Sabbath-keeping canvasser to avoid meat eating, not because it is regarded as sin to eat meat, but because it is not healthful. The animal creation is groaning.–Ms 15, 1889. Ellen White Estate, Wash. D. C. August 7, 1986. Entire Manuscript. 16MR 173

Years ago the light was given me that the position should not be taken to discard all meat, because in some cases it was better than the desserts and dishes composed of sweets. These are sure to create disturbances. It is the variety and mixture of meat, vegetables, fruit, wines, tea, coffee, sweet cakes, and rich pies that ruin the stomach and place human beings in the position where they become invalids, with all the disagreeable effects of sickness upon the disposition. The character becomes perverted, a depraved appetite is established, and a diseased religious experience is the result. The words of the apostle to the Romans should be repeated to all the churches and to all families: “I beseech you therefor, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” [Rom. 12:1, 2]. 18MR 352

As far as we have knowledge, the sanitarium is doing good work. We have just come to the point of the vexed meat question: Should not those who come to the sanitarium have meat on their tables and be instructed to leave it off gradually? One physician, Dr. Caro, and another, Dr. Silas Rand, as in the case of Dr. Maxon, have prescribed a meat diet for the patients, and in one case the large use of butter, even as high as three pounds per week. I knew that these prescriptions were not in the order of God, but that if a change should take place, and we meet one difficulty, a worse state of things might be created. 18MR 352

The Lord would bring His people into a position where they will not touch nor taste the flesh of dead animals. Then let not these things be prescribed by any physician who has a knowledge of the truth for this time. There is no safety in eating the flesh of dead animals, and in a short time the milk of the cow will also be excluded from the diet of God’s commandment- keeping people. In a short time it will not be safe to use anything that comes from the animal creation. Those who take God at His word and obey His commandments with the whole heart will be blessed. He will be their shield of protection. But the Lord will not be trifled with. Distrust, disobedience, and alienation from God’s will and way will place the sinner in a position where the Lord cannot give him His divine favour. 18MR 354

I am happy to report I am in excellent health. I have prescribed all meat, all butter. None appears on my table. My head is clearer, my strength firmer, and my conscience more free, for I know I am following the light which God has given us. I write from fifteen to twenty pages each day. It is now eleven o’clock and I have written fourteen pages of manuscript for Volume four [[ Spirit of Prophecy ] , vol. 4] and seven pages of letters to different ones besides this. I feel continually grateful to God for His merciful kindness. I will not allow one feeling of ingratitude to be harboured. When I think how weak and feeble I was when I started on my eastern journey, and how the Lord sustained me and blessed me, and returned me back in safety, my heart is filled to overflowing with His great love. 19MR 078

Never allow Dr. _____ to connect with the institution with the understanding that tea, coffee, and flesh meat will be served to the patients. . . . 1MR 289

In regard to flesh meat, do not bring it into the [Wahroonga] sanitarium. Neither tea nor coffee should be served. Caramel cereal, made as nicely as possible, should be served in the place of these health-destroying beverages. In regard to the third meal, do not make eating but two meals compulsory. Some do best healthwise when eating three light meals, and when they are restricted to two, they feel the change severely. 1MR 289

We are not to make rules with the idea that they are never to be changed or modified. In our sanitariums the seventh-day Sabbath is ever to be kept holy. No tea, coffee, or flesh meat is to be served, unless it is in some special case, where the patient particularly desires it, and then, these articles of food should be served to him in his room. No tests that the Bible does not require are to be brought in. Every effort should be made to win the confidence of the patients, that their hearts may be reached by the truth. The workers are to draw as near to them as they can, bringing them into the sunshine of Christ’s love. 1MR 290

I saw that your views concerning swine’s flesh would prove no injury if you have them to yourselves; but in your judgement and opinion you have made this question a test, and your actions have plainly shown your faith in this matter. If God requires His people to abstain from swine’s flesh, He will convict them on the matter. He is just as willing to show His honest children their duty, as to show their duty to individuals upon whom He has not laid the burden of His work. If it is the duty of the church to abstain from swine’s flesh, God will discover it to more than two or three. He will teach His their duty. 1T 206

Some are indulging lustful appetite which wars against the soul and is a constant hindrance to their spiritual advancement. They constantly bear an accusing conscience, and if straight truths are talked they are prepared to be offended. They are self-condemned and feel that subjects have been purposely selected to touch their case. They feel grieved and injured, and withdraw themselves from the assemblies of the saints. They forsake the assembling of themselves together, for then their consciences are not so disturbed. They soon lose their interest in the meetings and their love for the truth, and, unless they entirely reform, will go back and take their position with the rebel host who stand under the black banner of Satan. If these will crucify fleshly lusts which war against the soul, they will get out of the way, where the arrows of truth will pass harmlessly by them. But while they indulge lustful appetite, and thus cherish their idols, they make themselves a mark for the arrows of truth to hit, and if truth is spoken at all, they must be wounded. Some think that they cannot reform, that health would be sacrificed should they attempt to leave the use of tea, tobacco, and flesh meats. This is the suggestion of Satan. It is these hurtful stimulants that are surely undermining the constitution and preparing the system for acute diseases by impairing Nature’s fine machinery and battering down her fortifications erected against disease and premature decay. 1T 548

For about two years self and family have tried the two meal per day system,[* SEE APPENDIX C.] during which time we have not used meats of any kind; neither have we used tea or coffee, nor any highly seasoned food, and but a very small quantity of fish; we have used grains, fruits, and vegetables. The results of the system are evenness of temper, clearness of mind, steadiness of nerve, increased mental power, and a better subjection of the physical to the moral power. 2BIO 137

If in the spring of the year we felt languor (really the result of consuming so much fat and flesh meats during the winter), we resorted to sharp pickles, horseradish, mustard, pepper, and the like, to “sharpen the appetite” and tone up the system. We naturally expected a “poor spell” in the spring before we could get newly grown vegetables.– , December, 1899 2BIO 298

We have neither meat nor butter on our table, and we have but two meals a day. If any of my workers desire a simple meal in the evening, I do not have anything to say against it.–Letter 363, 1907, p. 5. (To D. H. Kress, Nov. 5, 1907.) 2MR 187

[ Counsel on the Administration of Drugs ] [ Seldom Needed–Use Them Less and Less. ] –Drug medication, as it is generally practised, is a curse. Educate away from drugs. Use them less and less, and depend more upon hygienic agencies; then nature will respond to God’s physicians–pure air, pure water, proper exercise, a clear conscience. Those who persist in the use of tea, coffee, and flesh meats will feel the need of drugs, but many might recover without one grain of medicine if they would obey the laws of health. Drugs need seldom be used.[* IN HARMONY WITH THESE WORDS WAS MRS. WHITE’S COUNSEL WHEN ASKED CONCERNING THE USE OF QUININE IN THE TREATMENT OF MALARIA. HER SON, WHO TRAVELLED WITH HER AND ASSISTED HER, REPORTS THE FOLLOWING: “ONE TIME WHILE WE WERE IN AUSTRALIA, A BROTHER WHO HAD BEEN ACTING AS A MISSIONARY IN THE ISLANDS, TOLD MOTHER OF THE SICKNESS AND DEATH OF HIS FIRST-BORN SON. HE WAS SERIOUSLY AFFLICTED WITH MALARIA, AND HIS FATHER WAS ADVISED TO GIVE HIM QUININE, BUT IN VIEW OF THE COUNSEL IN THE TESTIMONIES TO AVOID THE USE OF QUININE HE REFUSED TO ADMINISTER IT, AND HIS SON DIED. WHEN HE MET SISTER WHITE, HE ASKED HER THIS QUESTION: ‘WOULD I HAVE SINNED TO GIVE THE BOY QUININE WHEN I KNEW OF NO OTHER WAY TO CHECK MALARIA AND WHEN THE PROSPECT WAS THAT HE WOULD DIE WITHOUT IT?’ IN REPLY SHE SAID, ‘NO, WE ARE EXPECTED TO DO THE BEST WE CAN.'” –W. C. WHITE LETTER, SEPTEMBER 10, 1935.–COMPILERS.]– p. 261 (1890). 2SM 281

I come again to Christians. If all who profess to obey the law of God were free from iniquity, my soul would be relieved; but they are not. Even some who profess to keep all the commandments of God are guilty of the sin of adultery. What can I say to arouse their benumbed sensibilities? Moral principle, strictly carried out, becomes the only safeguard of the soul. If ever there was a time when the diet should be of the most simple kind, it is now. Meat should not be placed before our children. Its influence is to excite and strengthen the lower passions, and has a tendency to deaden the moral powers. Grains and fruits prepared free from grease, and in as natural a condition as possible, should be the food for the tables of all who claim to be preparing for translation to heaven. The less feverish the diet, the more easily can the passions be controlled. Gratification of taste should not be consulted irrespective of physical, intellectual, or moral health. 2T 352

The minds of some of these children are so weakened that they have but one half or one third of the brilliancy of intellect that they might have had had they been virtuous and pure. They have thrown it away in self-abuse. Right here in this church, corruption is teeming on every hand. Now and then there is a sing, or some gathering for pleasure. Every time I hear of these, I feel like clothing myself in sackcloth. “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears!” “Spare Thy people, O Lord.” I feel distressed. I have an agony of soul that is beyond anything that I can describe to you. You are asleep. Would the lightning and thunder of Sinai arouse this church? Would they arouse you, fathers and mothers, to commence the work of reformation in your own houses? You should be teaching your children. You should be instructing them how to shun the vices and corruptions of this age. Instead of this, many are studying how to get something good to eat. You place upon your tables butter, eggs, and meat, and your children partake of them. They are fed with the very things that will excite their animal passions, and then you come to meeting and ask God to bless and save your children. How high do your prayers go? You have a work to do first. When you have done all for your children which God has left for you to do then you can with confidence claim the special help that God has promised to give you. 2T 361

You should be teaching your children. You should be instructing them how to shun the vices and corruptions of this age. Instead of this, many are studying how to get something good to eat. You place upon your tables butter, eggs and meat, and your children partake of them. They are fed with the very things that will excite their animal passions and then you come to meeting and ask God to bless and save your children. How high do your prayers go? You have a work to do first. When you have done all for your children which God has left for you to do, then you can with confidence claim the special help that God has promised to give you. 2T 362

We want to work from the right standpoint. We want to act like men and women that are to be brought into judgement. And when we adopt the health reform we should adopt it from a sense of duty, not because somebody else has adopted it. I have not changed my course a particle since I adopted the health reform. I have not taken one step back since the light from heaven upon this subject first shone upon my pathway. I broke away from everything at once,–from meat and butter, and from three meals,–and that while engaged in exhaustive brain labour, writing from early morning till sundown. I came down to two meals a day without changing my labour. I have been a great sufferer from disease, having had five shocks of paralysis. I have been with my left arm bound to my side for months because the pain in my heart was so great. When making these changes in my diet, I refused to yield to taste and let that govern me. Shall that stand in the way of my securing greater strength, that I may therewith glorify my Lord? Shall that stand in my way for a moment? Never! I suffered keen hunger. I was a great meat eater. But when faint, I placed my arms across my stomach and said: “I will not taste a morsel. I will eat simple food, or I will not eat at all.” Bread was distasteful to me. I could seldom eat a piece as large as a dollar. Some things in the reform I could get along with very well, but when I came to the bread I was especially set against it. When I made these changes I had a special battle to fight. The first two or three meals, I could not eat. I said to my stomach: “You may wait until you can eat bread.” In a little while I could eat bread, and graham bread, too. This I could not eat before; but now it tastes good, and I have had no loss of appetite. 2T 371

B has been very deficient. While in her best condition of health, his wife was not provided with a plenty of wholesome food and with proper clothing. Then, when she needed extra clothing and extra food, and that of a simple yet nutritious quality, it was not allowed her. Her system craved material to convert into blood, but he would not provide it. A moderate amount of milk and sugar, and a little salt, white bread raised with yeast for a change, graham flour prepared in a variety of ways by other hands than her own, plain cake with raisins, rice pudding with raisins, prunes, and figs, occasionally, and many other dishes I might mention, would have answered the demand of appetite. If he could not obtain some of these things, a little domestic wine would have done her no injury; it would have been better for her to have it than to do without it. In some cases, even a small amount of the least hurtful meat would do less injury than to suffer strong cravings for it. 2T 383

One family in particular have needed all the benefits they could receive from the reform in diet, yet these very ones have been completely backslidden. Meat and butter have been used by them quite freely, and spices have not been entirely discarded. This family could have received great benefit from a nourishing, well-regulated diet. The head of the family needed plain, nutritious food. His habits were sedentary, and his blood moved sluggishly through the system. He could not, like others, have the benefit of healthful exercise; therefore his food should have been of the right quality and quantity. There has not been in this family the right management in regard to diet; there has been irregularity. There should have been a specified time for each meal, and the food should have been prepared in a simple form and free from grease; but pains should have been taken to have it nutritious, healthful, and inviting. In this family, as also in many others, a special parade has been made for visitors, many dishes prepared and frequently made too rich, so that those seated at the table would be tempted to eat to excess. Then in the absence of company there was a great reaction, a falling off in the preparations brought on the table. The diet was spare and lacked nourishment. It was considered not so much matter “just for ourselves.” The meals were frequently picked up, and the regular time for eating not regarded. Every member of the family was injured by such management. It is a sin for any of our sisters to make such great preparations for visitors, and wrong their own families by a spare diet which will fail to nourish the system. 2T 485

The brother referred to felt a lack in his system; he was not nourished, and he thought that meat would give him the needed strength. Had he been suitably cared for, his table spread at the right time with food of a nourishing quality, all the demands of nature would have been abundantly supplied. The butter and meat stimulate. These have injured the stomach and perverted the taste. The sensitive nerves of the brain have been benumbed, and the animal appetite strengthened at the expense of the moral and intellectual faculties. These higher powers, which should control, have been growing weaker, so that eternal things have not been discerned. Paralysis has benumbed the spiritual and devotional. Satan has triumphed to see how easily he can come in through the appetite and control men and women of intelligence, calculated by the Creator to do a good and great work.

2T 485

One family in particular have needed all the benefits they could receive from the reform in diet, yet these very ones have been completely backslidden. Meat and butter have been used by them quite freely, and spices have not been entirely discarded. This family could have received great benefit from a nourishing, well-regulated diet. The head of the family needed plain, nutritious food. His habits were sedentary, and his blood moved sluggishly through the system. He could not, like others, have the benefit of healthful exercise; therefore his food should have been of the right quality and quantity. There has not been in this family the right management in regard to diet; there has been irregularity. There should have been a specified time for each meal, and the food should have been prepared in a simple form and free from grease; but pains should have been taken to have it nutritious, healthful, and inviting. In this family, as also in many others, a special parade has been made for visitors, many dishes prepared and frequently made too rich, so that those seated at the table would be tempted to eat to excess. Then in the absence of company there was a great reaction, a falling off in the preparations brought on the table. The diet was spare and lacked nourishment. It was considered not so much matter “just for ourselves.” The meals were frequently picked up, and the regular time for eating not regarded. Every member of the family was injured by such management. It is a sin for any of our sisters to make such great preparations for visitors, and wrong their own families by a spare diet which will fail to nourish the system. 2T 485

The brother referred to felt a lack in his system; he was not nourished, and he thought that meat would give him the needed strength. Had he been suitably cared for, his table spread at the right time with food of a nourishing quality, all the demands of nature would have been abundantly supplied. The butter and meat stimulate. These have injured the stomach and perverted the taste. The sensitive nerves of the brain have been benumbed, and the animal appetite strengthened at the expense of the moral and intellectual faculties. These higher powers, which should control, have been growing weaker, so that eternal things have not been discerned. Paralysis has benumbed the spiritual and devotional. Satan has triumphed to see how easily he can come in through the appetite and control men and women of intelligence, calculated by the Creator to do a good and great work. 2T 485

I have a well-set table on all occasions. I make no change for visitors, whether believers or unbelievers. I intend never to be surprised by an unreadiness to entertain at my table from one to half a dozen extra who may chance to come in. I have enough simple, healthful food ready to satisfy hunger and nourish the system. If any want more than this, they are at liberty to find it elsewhere. No butter or flesh meats of any kind come on my table. Cake is seldom found there. I generally have an ample supply of fruits, good bread, and vegetables. Our table is always well patronised, and all who partake of the food do well, and improve upon it. All sit down with no Epicurean appetite, and eat with a relish the bounties supplied by our Creator. 2T 487

The use of meat while at the Retreat awakened the old appetite, and after I returned home, it clamoured for indulgence. Then I resolved to change entirely, and not under any circumstances eat meat, and thus encourage this appetite. Not a morsel of meat or butter has been on my table since I returned. We have milk, fruit, grains, and vegetables. 3BIO 245

Above all things, we should not with our pens advocate positions that we do not put to a practical test in our own families, upon our own tables. This is dissimulation, a species of hypocrisy. In Michigan we can get along better without salt, sugar, and milk than can many who are situated in the Far West or in the far East, where there is a scarcity of fruit. But there are very few families in Battle Creek who do not use these articles upon their tables. We know that a free use of these things is positively injurious to health, and, in many cases, we think that if they were not used at all, a much better state of health would be enjoyed. But at present our burden is not upon these things. The people are so far behind that we see it is all they can bear to have us draw the line upon their injurious indulgences and stimulating narcotics. We bear positive testimony against tobacco, spirituous liquors, snuff, tea, coffee, flesh meats, butter, spices, rich cakes, mince pies, a large amount of salt, and all exciting substances used as articles of food. 3T 021

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