But, here is a glimpse into various religions and their views on consuming animals. Thanks to Eric, my brother-in-law for forwarding this article my way as I am poorly educated on the subject of religion and interpretation of various religious texts. The entire article can be found at: http://www.vnn.org/world/WD9811/WD22-2539.html
According to the Bible, there were plenty of animals, but none were used for meat. The Garden of Eden was rich in grains and nuts, and once Adam and Eve fell from grace, God provided a field of vegetables and herbs to eat.
It wasn't until the FLOOD (yeah, remember the flood with Noah and the animals on the ark) that vegetation was destroyed and people were allowed to eat meat. Interestingly enough, meat had to be drained of blood which started the Jewish Kosher laws.
Several passages in the Bible left some Christians and Jews feeling morally obligated to choose a vegetarian lifestyle. Some say that their body cannot act as a temple when eating meat because they view it as a sin, therefore God cannot work through them as a result, unless they cut unhealthy foods like meat and excess sugar from their diets.
Seventh Day Adventists are orthodox in their views and roughly half of them are vegetarian. When God created people, meat was not an offering. He must have known what was healthiest for his creation to eat! The Mormon Health Code called the Word of Wisdom recommends meat only in the winter, or of cold or famine. Use sparingly.
Apparently Jesus was a vegetarian. He did multiply and eat fish (oookay!) but according to PETA, those stories were relayed WAY after they happened. Isn't that the entire Bible? Its not as if it was written in real time?? I like using PETA as a religious reference in my blog.
Hindus don't eat much beef as they see cows as being reincarnated human souls....Hare Krishna's only eat foods that Krishna will accept and he doesn't accept meat, fish or eggs. Hallelujah!!!
Judaism and Vegetarianism: http://www.jewishveg.com/ja.html
"Here you are faced with G-d's teaching, which obliges you not only to refrain from inflicting unnecessary pain on any animal, but to help and, when you can, to lessen the pain whenever you see an animal suffering, even through no fault of yours." (Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Horeb, Chapter 60, Section 416)
Latter Day Saints, Veg Mormons: http://www.ldsveg.org
..."Next, we learn from Gen.1: 29, 30 -- 'And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree, yielding seed, to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.' From these verses wo learn, that the earth yielded neither noxious weeds nor poisonous plants, nor useless thorns and thistle; indeed, every thing that grew was just calculated for the food of man, beast, fowl, and creeping thing; and their food was all vegetable; flesh and blood were never sacrificed to glut their souls, or gratify their appetites; the beast. of the earth were all in perfect harmony with each other; the lion ate straw like the ox -- the wolf dwelt with the lamb -- the leopard lay down with the kid -- the cow and bear fed together, in the same pasture, while their young ones reposed, in perfect security, under the shade of the same trees; all was peace and harmony, and nothing to hurt nor disturb, in all the holy mountain.
Christians and Vegetarianism: http://www.all-creatures.org/cva/
In Genesis 2:15, God instructed Adam to “till” and “keep” the Garden of Eden, and by analogy we may see caring for God’s Creation as our sacred task. The typical meat eater’s diet can easily consume up to 14 times more water and 20 times more energy than that of a vegetarian. Indeed, current use of land, water, and energy is not sustainable; resource depletion threatens to cause hardships for humankind this century. Already, 40 percent of the world’s agricultural lands are seriously degraded.
Jesus said that God feeds the birds of the air (Matt. 6:26) and does not forget sparrows (Luke 12:6). The Hebrew writings forbid inhumane slaughter or cruelty towards beasts of burden (Exod. 23:5; Deut. 22:6–7, 25:4). Yet, in the United States, virtually all food derived from animals is obtained through intensive factory farming methods. Nearly ten billion land animals are slaughtered each year, over a million every hour, and the number of aquatic animals killed for food is far greater. These animals suffer greatly from stressful crowding, barren environments that frustrate their instinctive drives, amputations without anesthesia (including debeaking, dehorning, tail docking, and castration), and other painful procedures (Bernard Rollin, Ph.D., Farm Animal Welfare).
Slaughter typically involves terror and, often, great pain (Gail Eisnitz, Slaughterhouse). Illustrating the industry’s callousness, animals too sick to walk are painfully dragged to slaughter rather than humanely euthanized. Typical of the industry’s attitude, John Byrnes wrote, “Forget the pig is an animal. Treat him just like a machine in a factory” (Hog Farm Management).