Bible Contradictions #31: Can we eat animals?

Bible contradictions 31

This is a personal favorite of mine, but that’s probably because I’m vegan. But I’m not here to discuss the ethics of eating meat; this is an atheist-themed blog, not a blog for veganism. What makes this question so interesting is the fact that the bible can’t seem to give a definitive answer. In the image above, I purposely threw in a New Testament verse that supports not eating meat to get that whole “Jesus changed everything” trope out of the way. Let’s examine this more closely.

First, we have several bible verses that prohibit eating meat. In Genesis 1:29, god explicitly lays out what humans can eat. That is, he says humans can eat any plant “for meat.” There is no mention of animal flesh. Proverbs 23:20 warns us not to be meat eaters. And finally Romans 14:21 (y’know, the New Testament) says that eating meat will cause us to stumble. In other words, eating meat is ungodly.

Second, we have several verses that allow for the consumption of animals, but only some animals. Both Deuteronomy 14:7-8 and Leviticus 11:2-4 tell us that what kind of animals are forbidden. These verses are why Jewish people (and for some reason Muslims too) don’t eat pork. Of course, most Christians ignore these verses. This might be because they prefer to cherry pick the last set of verses.

Meat eaters delight! Here is what you’ve been waiting for! The bible says you can eat any god damned thing you want! Here goes. Genesis 9:3 is the most straightforward. Here god says that all animals, in addition to all plants, are fair game, literally. Mark 7:18-20 explicitly makes “all foods clean” because (and I’m not making this up) anything unclean we eat is made clean by pooping it out. Luke 10:8 tells us to eat anything offered to us. That necessarily means meat as well. In Acts 10:9-13 Saint Peter is commanded by god to go out and kill a bunch of birds, lizards, and some four-footed animals for food. 1 Corinthians 10:25 says to abandon your conscience when eating meat. Romans 14:2 calls vegans (I guess myself included) “weak.” And finally 1 Timothy 4:1-3 calls vegans and vegetarians “liars whose consciences are seared with a hot iron.”

So how do you choose? The bible gives us no direction. If you want to eat meat, you have a lot of biblical references to support that decision. If you don’t want to, you can pick from several verses to support that decision. Personally, I don’t eat meat strictly for ethical reasons, and my decisions do not come from bible teachings.

I have heard several attempts to reconcile these teachings (which I anticipate will be listed below in the comments). All of these include adding things to the bible that aren’t in the bible, such as a psychoanalysis of Paul. Furthermore, every attempt to reconcile these contradictory verses lies on the proposition that a favorable verse is the correct one. Vegan Christians, for example, put all of their emphasis on Romans 14:21, whereas the more carnivorous-type Christians put emphasis on Romans 14:2. They will invariably disregard the rest of the biblical teachings.

Followers of Jesus should take no dietary direction from the bible. Either eat meat or don’t, but look not to the scripture.

This contradiction was highlighted in the following video:


About Rayan Zehn

I'm a political scientist.
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30 Responses to Bible Contradictions #31: Can we eat animals?

  1. This is yet another exercise in what is not a biblical contradiction.

    God regulated the behavior of the ancient Hebrews because they were heathens.

    Jesus, the model of temperate behavior, had nothing against wine or meat.

  2. Your post says, “But look not to the scriptures.”

    How do you know what you’re saying about Jesus if you aren’t looking to the scriptures?

    • Rayan Zehn says:

      If you refer that to the preceding sentence, it means “look not to the scriptures [for dietary guidance].”

      • Zehn,

        You need to tell that to your atheist buddies.

        They continually refer to biblical dietary prohibitions.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        I’ll post a bill on the satanic atheist community’s combination message and roast baby recipe board. That should get the message out there.

      • Cerberus Black says:

        “They continually refer to biblical dietary prohibitions.”

        No more then you’ve been referring to the biblical texts as an authority of god being the master and creator, silence.

        Take for instance the three biblical contradictions within the genesis myth:

        (Genesis 1:3-5)
        “And god said, let there be light; and there was light. And god saw the light, and it was good: and god divided the light from the darkness. And god called the light day, and the darkness he called night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”

        (Genesis 1: 3-5)
        “And god made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And god set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.”

        So… On the first day he makes day and night, then makes the stars, and then the sun and moon on the forth day (genesis 1: 19).
        Hummm… How do you get day and night on the first day without a star? Hummmm… Most perplexing. That is surly a contradiction in terms of how the universe actually works, because to even have a day you must have a star and rotating planet.
        So much for the bible being the influential product form a divinity.

        (Genesis 1: 25-26)
        “And god made the beast of the earth after his kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and god saw that it was good…”

        (Genesis 2: 18-19)
        “And The Lord said; it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him and help meet for him. And out of the ground The Lord formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air…”

        Humm… Let’s see… The first account says that man was made after the beasts, but in the second account he’s made before the beasts?
        Now that’s quite confusing. Contradict much?

        (3) (genesis 1:27)
        “So god made man in his own image, in the image of god created he him; male and female created he them.”

        (Genesis 2:21-22)
        “And The Lord god caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept, and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which The Lord god had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

        In the first account, man and woman are made simultaneously, in your god’s own image. But in the second account, (genesis 2:7) Adom is made from dust? Then later, a woman came from one of Adom’s ribs?

        Now I understand your confused mind, silence. If I believed that book, why I’d be confused too.

      • Black,
        The Bible is quite clear.

        God created the universe in a logical, methodical manner. That is a revolutionary view unique in the ancient world.

        That is the basic, and very simple meaning of the Genesis creation stories.

        Prevailing ancient religions except that of the Hebrews, believed in many capricious gods. The universe was chaos and unfathomable.

        The Christians took up the Hebrew worldview and the result was modern science and the greatest civilization in history.

  3. Cerberus Black says:

    I have no faith, and do not accept the bible as an authority on anything. Be that of food, morals and the like. So it offers no good advice, however, it wrote the book on genocide.

  4. Cerberus Black says:


    The biblical stories ( like yourself) are never clear about anything.

    You say that your deity made everything in a logical fashion, but do you have any proof to that assertion? No? No. Were you even there?
    Nope. So then, how do you know this?
    Did he tell you in a vision?
    Stop lying.

    So, the universe was chaos and unfathomable?
    Must be nice for one to think he has information that no one else seems to have. But coming from your silenced mind, then one knows to never trust the source. Liar

    And Christians didn’t invent science either. As even the late (Giordano Brono) was killed because of his insistence of life on other worlds. They never encouraged any teaching of the scientific method, want to know why? It ‘s because they would murder any one person in favor of church doctrine.

    But, I suspect you’ll never try and aquire any real history, will you?
    Nope. You are the definition of (blind faith).

    • Black,

      In the Genesis creation story, God sets about creating the universe in a methodical, logical, systematic manner.

      You can prove that to yourself simply by reading the story and understanding the simple language in which the story is told.

      Brono was not killed for his science. Brono was a philosopher and a heretic.

      Galileo was the only scientist ever persecuted by the Church and that was because he insulted the pope.

      And modern science was developed in the Christian West. That is an irrefutable fact.

      In all the centuries and millennia of the ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Chinese, Hindu, Muslim, Persian, Maya, Inca and Aztec civilizations, none ever progressed passed the horse and buggy.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        If you are suggesting a correlation between christianity and technological advancement, that is a bold claim. We can run a simple regression to determine if it’s true, something I can easily do. Give me a few days (maybe a week) to gather the data. I’ll post the results, the math, and the sources, as well as any relevant literature. Thanks for giving me an idea!

      • Cerberus Black says:

        Ha, ha!
        The story of genesis (which you rely on) is a myth. You tend to say that the biblical story is both true and false, when you weren’t even there in the first place. The biblical god is no different than that of any other god at the time, and yet your failure to see that if this god did indeed exist, then it would be in contrast to all other gods. It would have been there in the very begining, but wasn’t. And how do I know this? Because of your insistence that I read the book that you yourself have said is untrue. Ha,ha, ha!

        (Silence) quote:
        “That is a revolutionary view unique in the ancient world.”
        I’m sorry, but your god would’ve gotten his story straight from the very begining.
        Your ignorance is bliss.

      • Black,

        You must have me confused with someone else. I don’t “tend” to say anything.

        I just say it.

        While your comments are verbose expressions of personal opinion, my comments are brief, simple expressions of the facts woven together in a tapestry of reason.

        It doesn’t make any difference whether Genesis is myth,

        Look at the literature, the way it is written and what it expresses.

        The Creation story of Genesis is unique in the ancient world and the beginning of much bigger things to come.

  5. Cerberus Black says:

    “You can prove that for yourself simply by reading the story and understanding the simple language in which the story is told.”

    You insist? Ha, ha!

    And I just hate to burst your little heresy bubble, So numbness, but Brono was schooled in (the religion of western philosophy, he was a Dominican friar, poet, astrologer, and “mathematician”). You blithering idiot.

    It’s quite amusing that you only see things from the eye of church doctrine, as even they looked at his works and called it heresy, and because of his insistence that there were other worlds circling other stars he was burned at the stake by the (Roman inquisition) that later has offered an apology (if that’s what you wish to call it).

    So they’ve admitted they were wrong, but I suspect you won’t, som.

    • Black,

      Not that nowhere in “he was a Dominican friar, poet, astrologer, and “mathematician” is there any mention of science.

      Further, astrology was forbidden by the Church.

      And since Brono was a Dominican that made his heresy even worse.

      The Catholic Inquisitions usually gave people a chance to recant and repent.

      Brono evidently was a head strong heretic.

      And a man like that doesn’t belong anywhere near the Church.

      So again, you have proven yourself in error. Brono was not punished because of his science but because he was a heretic.

      Which was exactly my point.

      Thank you.

      • Cerberus Black says:

        No mention of science. But, he was still on the right path as he is today celebrated for his cosmological theories, (by even the church in Rome) that went even further than the then-novel Copernican model. And, he also correctly proposed that the Sun was just another star that earth circled. So no, he wasn’t a scientist, but he had it even before that of the late, Galileo.

        You see, unlike yourself, som, he was a freethinker. So while your drowning in your little bubble of bliss, he’s celebrated by the church and many others throughout the world.

        And that’s a lot more than will ever be said about you.

        And thank you for proving my point. Hahahahahahahaha!

      • Black,

        The bottom line is that Brono was no scientist.

        He had no proof behind his rantings.

        He is not celebrated in science because he was a demented Dominican friar.

        Science celebrates Galileo, Copernicus, Newton.

    • Cerberus Black says:

      Ha, ha!
      I do find you quite amusing, som!

      And please, by all means do re-read my post that you’re evidently ignoring. In it I do say as you do that he was not a scientist, and for you to ignore that simple fact only shows you’re still within your religious stupor.

      And I beg to differ, because he is recognized by many within the scientific community as a martyr for science.

      • Black,

        If you re-read your own comments you will see that you are now denying your own words.

        I asked you to name another scientist besides Galileo who was persecuted by the Church.

        You named Brono and then proceeded to describe him as a non-scientist, which I pointed out to you.

        You then called me a name.

        Now you are agreeing with me.

        I think I hear the “Twilight Zone” music cranking up.

        That’s my cue to exit, stage right.

      • Black,

        There is no such thing as, “The scientific community.”

        “Community” is a leftist weasel word that’s supposed to lend legitimacy to a bunch of liars.

        The “global warming community” is one such group of liars.

        Brono was not a scientist so only crackpots would revere him for the science he never did.

      • Cerberus Black says:


        Can you point to what I’m supposedly denying? Liar

        You never asked me, but now that you are I’m sure you’ll deny that too, so the point would be?

        And at the time after Galileo was incarcerated in his home, no one would challenge the church because they knew the sentence was death. It was only after Henry the 8th vanquished the church from England did other start to question such nonsense.
        So you are arguing and pleading for the return of the inquisition now? I’d be a bit mindful of that wish if I were you. For it you are on the wrong side, the sentence is death.

      • Cerberus Black says:


        Yes there is such a community, you just deny them in favor of right-wing dogma. Which btw has no legitimacy whatsoever.

        You tend to say they’re a bunch of liars, yet you point to a universe of causality?

  6. Pingback: Bible Contradictions #31: Can we eat animals? | Christians Anonymous

  7. Mcdonald says:

    Lol the “genocide”was upon people who were evil Midianites were evil and if i remember would hv killed all Israelites

    The allegation that the Israelite men spared the young girls in order to rape them is nothing but baseless supposition predicated upon a lack of biblical knowledge. In the custom of the time, marriages were conducted at a young age. Therefore, the reference to the young girls who had not “known man by lying with him” would indicate that they were very young, likely under the age of twelve. These girls were too young to be able to lead the men of Israel away from Jehovah; therefore, these girls were allowed to live. As to raping them, it is more logical to assume that they wanted these girls for servants. This would be similar to Joshua 9, where Joshua allowed the Gibeonites to live in compelled servitude to the Israelites. Moreover, it would have been sinful for the Israelite men to rape the Midianite girls because rape was (and still is) abhorrent to God (Deuteronomy 22:23-28, esp. 25).

    The simple answer to the questions surrounding Numbers 31 is that God ordered the Midianites to be killed in Numbers 25:17-18. When the army did not carry out this order at the time of the Midianite defeat, it was carried out in a delayed fashion when the army returned with the captives. As to Moses allowing the young girls to remain alive, that was a judgment call from the man with God’s authority over the Israelites.

  8. GEORGE Boutros says:

    God has a covenant with animals and all his creatures. Animals are not judged. The bible tells a story about life, and its obvious it his been influenced by primitive farmers of sheep and cattle. God I believe would not want us to eat animals unless your an animal yourself. In that case the bible would be the start of evolution then we are misguided by they who wrote it or adjusted it.
    God believers dont need a bible its spiritual also.
    George – greek

  9. Ari says:

    I truly wish to acknowledge the amount of thought it took to write such a piece on atheism and biblical contradictions. I’m afraid, after much examination, that I too am an atheist and tend most to agree with Zehn, as he is not obnoxious about his faith, but rather supporting what is right. The bible was written by ordinary people, and so is it smart to follow their word? Keep in mind this book was written by the same people who executed scientists who believed otherwise, people who believed the earth was flat. Is it wise to follow heretics and live by hearsay?

  10. aithon sotby says:

    answer 1: its not okay if it bothers someone else. it doesnt say not at all.
    answer 2: moses tells the Jews what animals are healthiest to eat (less likely for infection)
    answer 3: All animals are under man’s control, you can also quote the NT “Luke, kill and eat”
    so overall it is okay to eat all animals, if youre still caught up on ot vs nt; the ot had Moses make laws which helped the health and seemed just to man, the nt says that Moses laws will be removed along with sins.

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