St. Augustine vs. Radical Vegetarianism

St. Augustine vs. Radical Vegetarianism October 4, 2015


Thou shalt not kill? [Wikimedia CommonsCreative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license]

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I love it! We are still blessed today by those who want to distort what the Bible teaches about this. Jesus ate fish, for heaven’s sake, even after His Resurrection, and Passover itself involved eating lamb.

And so some attempt to extend this command even to beasts and cattle, as if it forbade us to take life from any creature. But if so, why not extend it also to the plants, and all that is rooted in and nourished by the earth? For though this class of creatures have no sensation, yet they also are said to live, and consequently they can die; and therefore, if violence be done them, can be killed. . . . Must we therefore reckon it a breaking of this commandment, “You shall not kill,” to pull a flower? Are we thus insanely to countenance the foolish error of the Manichæans? Putting aside, then, these ravings, if, when we say, “You shall not kill,” we do not understand this of the plants, since they have no sensation, nor of the irrational animals that fly, swim, walk, or creep, since they are dissociated from us by their want of reason, and are therefore by the just appointment of the Creator subjected to us to kill or keep alive for our own uses; if so, then it remains that we understand that commandment simply of man. (City of God i, 20)

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