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Thou shalt not killa moral imperative included as one of the Ten Commandments. While vegetarianism is not a common practice in current western Christian thought and culture, the concept and practice has scriptural and historical support.

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According to the Biblein the beginning, before the Fallhuman and nonhuman animals, who are beings who have or are an anima, Latin for soul[7] [8] were completely vegan, and "it was very good". Immediately after the Flood, God permitted the eating of meat,[ Genesis 9: Christian vegetarians interpret that passage not as a free pass to kill for eating if the blood is supposedly excluded from alimentation, [10] but as an invitation rhetoric or not to necrophagy.

Isaiah states "He that killeth an ox [is as if] he slew a man. When the Moabite king Mesha offered in a holocaust "his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead" in order that his army were spared in a war against Israel, the Israelites felt so outraged, that they decided to stop the battle "and returned to their own land".

The Old Testament says that God commanded the Israelites to eat meat on some occasions. During the Exodus out of Egypt and the first Passover, God commanded that all of the Israelites to slaughter a Passover lamb and eat it. This was to be a lasting tradition. The Israelites tired of mannaa food of which "The Rabbis of the Talmud held that […] had whatever taste and flavor the eater desired at the time of eating" [13] and which probably was not an animal product [8] and was offered to them by God during The Exodus.

They maintained that the sacrifices "polluted" the Temple.

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Christian vegetarians maintain that "Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the dream might mean". Simply because he considered all flesh defiled and unclean.

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Peter was vegetarian as he himself states in Clementine Homilies. Any animal which is slaughtered is defiled and its meat defiles.


Peter explains this in Clementine Homilies. Peter realized that the dream was instructing him not to go out and eat meat, but to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles.

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The Jewish dietary laws should not prevent the spread of Christianity, and, at Cornelius' dinner, Peter related to his hosts, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit any one of another nation; but God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

The Reverend Andrew Linzey has supported the historical view that Jesus was a vegetarian. Within the Bible's New Testamentthe Apostle Paul appears to ridicule vegetarians, arguing that people of "weak faith" "eat only vegetables",[ Romans Paul also said, "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. The way we breed animals is now recognised by the UN, scientists, economists and politicians as giving rise to many interlinked human and ecological problems, but with 1 billion people already not having enough to eat and 3 billion more mouths to feed within 50 years, the urgency to rethink our relationship with animals is extreme.

We mostly breed four species — chickens, cows, sheep and pigs — all of which need vast amounts of food and water, emit methane and other greenhouse gases and produce mountains of physical waste. But how much stress does our meat-eating put on ecological systems? The answer is a lot but the figures are imprecise and disputed. The authors of the report, called Livestock's Long Shadow, did not just count the methane from the belching, farting cattle, but the gases released from the manures that they produce, the oil burned taking their carcasses to markets often thousands of miles away, the electricity needed to keep the meat cool, the gas used to cook it, the energy needed to plough and harvest the fields that grow the crops that the animals eat, even pumping the water that the cattle need.

Should the studies have been based on giant US factory farms, or on more sustainable breeding in Europe? Should you include all the knock-on emissions from clearing forests? What about the fertiliser used to grow the crops to feed to the animals, or the emissions from the steel needed to build the boats that transport the cattle; or the "default" emissions — the greenhouse gases that would be released by substitute activities to grow food if we were to give up meat?

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And is it fair to count animals used for multiple purposes, as they mostly are in developing countries, from providing draught power to shoe leather or transport, and which only become meat once they reach the end of their economic lives? But however it's counted, livestock farming ranks as one of the three greatest sources of climate changing emissions and one of the largest contributors to environmental degradation.

How much food we grow is not just limited by the amount of available land but meat-eaters need far more space than vegetarians.

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A Bangladeshi family living off rice, beans, vegetables and fruit may live on an acre of land or less, while the average American, who consumes around pounds of meat a yearneeds 20 times that. One billion people go hungry every day, but livestock now consumes the majority of the world's crops. A Cornell University study in found that around 13m hectares of land in the US were used to grow vegetables, rice, fruit, potatoes and beans, but m were used for livestock. The problem is that farm animals are inefficient converters of food to flesh.

Broiler chickens are the best, needing around 3. Other academics have calculated that if the grain fed to animals in western countries were consumed directly by people instead of animals, we could feed at least twice as many people — and possibly far more — as we do now. To make matters worse, our hunger to eat animals has led to overstocking of fragile lands and massive soil erosion and desertification.

Overgrazing, from the downlands of southern England to the uplands of Ethiopia and mountains of Nepal, causes great loss of fertility, as well as flooding. But the figures must be treated with caution. Animal manures can revitalise the soil and millions of animals live on marginal land that is quite unsuitable for crops.

But before we leap to conclusions and lump all livestock rearing together, consider this: But in poorer regions, cattle — especially in dry areas — are central to human life and culture and often the only source of food and income for many millions of pastoralists.

The ceaseless movement of these nomadic herders over vast areas is the backbone of many African economies and, a major new study from the International Institute for Environment and Development suggests, a far more ecologically efficient method of farming than the way cattle are reared in Australia or the US.

Vegetarian author John Robbins calculates it takes 60, and pounds of water to produce one pound of potatoes, wheat, maize and rice respectively. But a pound of beef needs around 9, litres — or more than 20,lbs of water. Equally, it takes nearly 1, litres of water to produce one litre of milk. A broiler chicken, by contrast, is far more efficient, producing the same amount of meat as a cow on just 1, litres.

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Pigs are some of the thirstiest animals. An average-sized north American pig farm with 80, pigs needs nearly 75m gallons of fresh water a year. A large one, which might have one million or more pigs, may need as much as a city.