“Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you.”
Fresh on the scene, humans are experiencing life for the first time ever and their maker says right off the bat what He is giving them to eat. No meat products here, no sir, and the explanation lies in our physical bodies.
We are designed to eat a plant based meals; from how we chew to the way we digest food, we are undeniably comparable to all other herbivorous life forms. In Milton Mills M.D.’s Paper, The Comparative Anatomy of Eating, He lays out a chart for us:
|1 -Facial Muscles||2 – Jaw Type||3 – Jaw Joint Location||4 – Jaw Motion|
|Carnivore||Reduced to allow wide mouth gape||Angle not expanded||On same plane as molar teeth||Shearing; minimal side-to-side motion|
|Herbivore||Well-developed||Expanded angle||Above the plane of the molars||No shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back|
|Omnivore||Reduced||Angle not expanded||On same plane as molar teeth||Shearing; minimal side-to-side|
|Human||Well-developed||Expanded angle||Above the plane of the molars||No shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back|
|5 – Major Jaw Muscles||6 – Mouth Opening vs. Head Size||7 – Teeth (Incisors)||8 – Teeth (Canines)|
|Carnivore||Temporalis||Large||Short and pointed||Long, sharp and curved|
|Herbivore||Masseter and pterygoids||Small||Broad, flattened and spade shaped||Dull and short or long (for defense), or none|
|Omnivore||Temporalis||Large||Short and pointed||Long, sharp and curved|
|Human||Masseter and pterygoids||Small||Broad, flattened and spade shaped||Short and blunted|
|9 – Teeth (Molars)||10 – Chewing||11 – Saliva||12 – Stomach Type|
|Carnivore||Sharp, jagged and blade shaped||None; swallows food whole||No digestive enzymes||Simple|
|Herbivore||Flattened with cusps vs complex surface||Extensive chewing necessary||Carbohydrate digesting enzymes||Simple or multiple chambers|
|Omnivore||Sharp blades and/or flattened||Swallows food whole and/or simple crushing||No digestive enzymes||Simple|
|Human||Flattened with nodular cusps||Extensive chewing necessary||Carbohydrate digesting enzymes||Simple|
|13 – Stomach Acidity||14 – Stomach Capacity||15 – Length of Small Intestine||16 – Colon|
|Carnivore||Less than or equal to pH 1 with food in stomach||60% to 70% of total volume of digestive tract||3 to 6 times body length||Simple, short and smooth|
|Herbivore||pH 4 to 5 with food in stomach||Less than 30% of total volume of digestive tract||10 to more than 12 times body length||Long, complex; may be sacculated|
|Omnivore||Less than or equal to pH 1 with food in stomach||60% to 70% of total volume of digestive tract||4 to 6 times body length||Simple, short and smooth|
|Human||pH 4 to 5 with food in stomach||21% to 27% of total volume of digestive tract||10 to 11 times body length||Long, sacculated|
|17 – Liver||18 – Kidney||19 – Nails|
|Carnivore||Can detoxify vitamin A||Extremely concentrated urine||Sharp claws|
|Herbivore||Cannot detoxify vitamin A||Moderately concentrated urine||Flattened nails or blunt hooves|
|Omnivore||Can detoxify vitamin A||Extremely concentrated urine||Sharp claws|
|Human||Cannot detoxify vitamin A||Moderately concentrated urine||Flattened nails|
Don’t you think that the Being who designed us knows more than any other person what we should eat? I am confident that He does. When we take a glance at the human body, specifically the digestive system, it is truly amazing how similar we are to other herbivores. From the length of our organs to the acid in our stomachs, we rest comfortably on the plant-eaters territory. Life in the Garden of Eden confirms this, and in a perfect world without sin, humans ate a vegan diet. We have no reason whatsoever to believe that the first humans were not vegans.
The Bible also offers many examples of how heaven will be deathless and vegetarian. Take a look at Isaiah 65:25,
“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together; the lion shall eat straw like an ox; but the serpent—its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain.”
In Revelation 21:4 we discover that,
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And according to Isaiah 11:6-9, even predator-prey relationships will be vanquished,
“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain.”
And in Isaiah 25:8 it pushes again,
“He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; He will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.”
It looks pretty clear that when the new earth is created, there will be no death, so it’s safe to say that the standard diets will come back. It is absolutely critical to understand that a sinless life is one without slaughter. Eden, the greatest state that the world has ever been in, proves this. Neither Adam, nor Eve took the life of any creature while in the garden, and they never would have if sin had not entered the world. We must admit then, that animal consumption was a direct result of evil, and without evil there would never have been any reason to ‘kill and eat.’ This would conclude that killing animals unnecessarily is an evil act itself as it was born from our faults.
Some objections to this may be health based, ignorantly claiming how vegans lack precious nutrients such as protein, calcium, and iron. However, when we analyze the many plants that have been provided for us, we understand that all of these are all present within quite a few of them.
Protein can be found in soybeans, kidney beans, lima beans, black beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, quinoa, peanuts (and peanut butter), sunflower seeds, almonds, broccoli, cashews, brown rice, and potatoes.
There have been numerous studies throughout the Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, which state that a vegan diet has more than enough sources of protein. Authors Gary Francione and Anna Charlton declare “Let us be clear and concise: there is no credible evidence- none- that a vegan diet cannot supply the same quality of protein as that from animal sources (Francione, 2013).
Calcium is supplied through collard greens, molasses, turnip greens, kale, okra, sesame seeds, mustard greens, figs, almonds, and broccoli just to name a few. A big misconception that most Americans have with dairy milk is that it is our sole source of calcium and that if we drink it, we will have strong bones and healthy bodies. However, this is often relayed to us through advertisements by the milk industry.
An often overlooked factor, magnesium, is required for us to even suck up the calcium inside of milk; the problem is that diary milk simply does not have enough magnesium inside of it for us to properly use it. Almost 60% of Americans who drink milk are deficient in calcium. Perhaps we were wrong to take the word of a billion dollar industry. This isn’t even touching on the fact that many people have troubles digesting milk, or that we are the only mammal that continues to drink milk; not to mention that it isn’t our own (Francione, 2013).
Iron is prevalent in soybeans, quinoa, kidney beans, chickpeas, lima beans, black beans, spinach, beet greens, raisins, cashews, figs, apricots, potatoes, almonds, peas, green beans, kale, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, prunes, and watermelon (Breier, 2001). Moreover, plant based foods have a much higher mg intake than meats do! For example, “…Spinach has 15.5 mg per 100 calories while steak has a mere 0.9 mg per 100 pounds; Lentils have 2.9 mg per 100 calories in comparison to pork which holds 0.4 mg per 100 calories.” Not only do they have much higher counts of iron, but fruits are very good sources of vitamin C which helps absorb iron (Francione, 2013).
Clearly, God has made everything that our bodies need in plants. This is why there are no problems with His command in Genesis that we should eat vegetables, fruits, and seeds. On that note, there is a fascinating point to be made. You see, not all plants are good for food. Some plants such as White Snake Root, Quaker Button, English Yew, Rosary Pea, Belladonna, and the Castor Plant, will kill you if you consume them (Gonzalez, 2011). This is very important to apprehend because it presumes that just because God said you could do something does not mean that you should do said something. I’ll come back to this concept later, but for now just chew on that. As we go on, you will see that it’s not just disobeying God’s perfect plan for us when we eat meat, but it is also damaging to our bodies.
-Samuel Barger, August 20th, 2015