Flesh Diet--An Aftermath of Sin
(1864) Sp. Gifts IV, 120, 121
639. God gave our first parents the food He designed that the race should eat. It was contrary to His plan to have the life of any creature taken. There was to be no death in Eden. The fruit of the trees in the garden, was the food man's wants required. God gave man no permission to eat animal food until after the flood. Everything had been destroyed upon which man could subsist, and therefore the Lord in their necessity gave Noah permission to eat of the clean animals which he had taken with him into the ark. But animal food was not the most healthful article of food for man.
The people who lived before the flood ate animal food and gratified their lusts until their cup of iniquity was full, and God cleansed the earth of its moral pollution by a flood. Then the third dreadful curse rested upon the earth. The first curse was pronounced upon the posterity of Adam and upon the earth, because of disobedience. The second curse came upon the ground after Cain slew his brother Abel. The third most dreadful curse from God came upon the earth at the flood.
After the flood the people ate largely of animal food. God saw that the ways of man were corrupt, and that he was disposed to exalt himself proudly against his Creator and to follow the inclinations of his own heart. And He permitted that long-lived race to eat animal food to shorten their sinful lives. Soon after the flood the race began to rapidly decrease in size, and in length of years.
(1865) H. to L., ch. 1, p. 52
640. The inhabitants of the Old World were intemperate in eating and drinking. They would have flesh meats, although God had given them no permission to eat animal food. They ate and drank to excess, and their depraved
appetites knew no bounds. They gave themselves up to abominable idolatry. They became violent and ferocious, and so corrupt that God could bear with them no longer. Their cup of iniquity was full, and God cleansed the earth of its moral pollution by a flood. As men multiplied upon the face of the earth after the flood, they forgot God, and corrupted their ways before Him. Intemperance in every form increased to a great extent.
Israel's Failure and Spiritual Loss
(1905) M.H. 311, 312
641. The diet appointed man in the beginning did not include animal food. Not till after the flood, when every green thing on the earth had been destroyed, did man receive permission to eat flesh.
In choosing man's food in Eden, the Lord showed what was the best diet; in the choice made for Israel, He taught the same lesson. He brought the Israelites out of Egypt, and undertook their training, that they might be a people for His own possession. Through them He desired to bless and teach the world. He provided them with the food best adapted for this purpose, not flesh, but manna, "the bread of heaven." It was only because of their discontent and their murmurings for the fleshpots of Egypt that animal food was granted them, and this only for a short time. Its use brought disease and death to thousands. Yet the restriction to a non-flesh diet was never heartily accepted. It continued to be the cause of discontent and murmuring, open or secret, and it was not made permanent.
Upon their settlement in Canaan, the Israelites were permitted the use of animal food, but under careful restrictions, which tended to lessen the evil results. The use of swine's flesh was prohibited, as also of other animals and of birds and fish whose flesh was pronounced unclean. Of the meats permitted, the eating of the fat and the blood was strictly forbidden.
Only such animals could be used for food as were in good condition. No creature that was torn, that had died of
itself or from which the blood had not been carefully drained, could be used as food.
By departing from the plan divinely appointed for their diet, the Israelites suffered great loss. They desired a flesh diet, and they reaped its results. They did not reach God's ideal of character or fulfill His purpose. The Lord "gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul." They valued the earthly above the spiritual, and the sacred preeminence which was His purpose for them they did not attain.
Non-flesh Diet to Modify the Disposition
MS 38, 1898
642. The Lord plainly told His people that every blessing would come to them if they would keep His commandments, and be a peculiar people. He warned them through Moses in the wilderness, specifying that health would be the reward of obedience. The state of the mind has largely to do with the health of the body, and especially with the health of the digestive organs. As a general thing, the Lord did not provide His people with flesh meat in the desert, because He knew that the use of this diet would create disease and insubordination. In order to modify the disposition, and bring the higher powers of the mind into active exercise, He removed from them the flesh of dead animals. He gave them angels' food, manna from heaven.
Rebellion and Its Punishment
(1864) Sp. Gifts IV, 15-18
643. God continued to feed the Hebrew host with the bread rained from heaven; but they were not satisfied. Their depraved appetites craved meat, which God in His wisdom had withheld, in a great measure, from them. . . . Satan, the author of disease and misery, will approach God's people where he can have the greatest success. He has controlled the appetite in a great measure from the time of his successful experiment with Eve, in leading her to eat the forbidden fruit. He came with his temptations first to the mixed multitude, the believing Egyptians, and stirred them up to seditious murmurings. They would not be content with the
healthful food which God had provided for them. Their depraved appetites craved a greater variety, especially flesh meats.
This murmuring soon infected nearly the whole body of the people. At first, God did not gratify their lustful appetites, but caused His judgments to come upon them, and consumed the most guilty by lightning from heaven. Yet this, instead of humbling them, only seemed to increase their murmurings. When Moses heard the people weeping in the door of their tents, and complaining throughout their families, he was displeased. He presented before the Lord the difficulties of his situation, and the unsubmissive spirit of the Israelites, and the position in which God had placed him to the people,--that of a nursing father, who should make the sufferings of the people his own. . . .
The Lord directed Moses to gather before him seventy of the elders, whom he knew to be the elders of the people. They were not to be those only in advanced years, but men of dignity, sound judgement, and experience, who were qualified to be judges, or officers. "And bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there; and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.
"And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow, and ye shall eat flesh; for ye have wept in the ears of the Lord. saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt; therefore, the Lord will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; but even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you; because that ye have despised the Lord which is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?
"And Moses said, The people among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and Thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month. Shall the
flocks and herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them? And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord's hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether My word shall come to pass unto thee or not.". . .
"And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and, as it were, two cubits high upon the face of the earth. And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails. He that gathered least gathered ten homers, and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.
"And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague."
In this instance the Lord gave the people that which was not for their best good, because they would have it. They would not submit to receive from the Lord those things which would prove for their good. They gave themselves up to seditious murmurings against Moses, and against the Lord, because they did not receive those things which would prove an injury to them. Their depraved appetites controlled them, and God gave them flesh meats, as they desired, and He let them suffer the results of gratifying their lustful appetites. Burning fevers cut down very large numbers of the people. Those who had been most guilty in their murmurings were slain as soon as they tasted the meat for which they had lusted. If they had submitted to have the Lord select their food for them, and had been thankful and satisfied for food which they could eat freely of without injury, they would not have lost the favour of God, and then been punished for their rebellious murmurings by great numbers of them being slain.
God's Purpose for Israel
(1890) C.T.B.H. 118, 119
644. When God led the children of Israel out of Egypt, it was His purpose to establish them in the land of Canaan a
pure, happy, healthy people. Let us look at the means by which He would accomplish this. He subjected them to a course of discipline, which, had it been cheerfully followed, would have resulted in good, both to themselves and to their posterity. He removed flesh food from them in a great measure. He had granted them flesh in answer to their clamours, just before reaching Sinai, but it was furnished for only one day. God might have provided flesh as easily as manna, but a restriction was placed upon the people for their good. It was His purpose to supply them with food better suited to their wants than the feverish diet to which many of them had been accustomed in Egypt. The perverted appetite was to be brought into a more healthy state, that they might enjoy the food originally provided for man,--the fruits of the earth, which God gave to Adam and Eve in Eden.
Had they been willing to deny appetite in obedience to His restrictions, feebleness and disease would have been unknown among them. Their descendants would have possessed physical and mental strength. They would have had clear perceptions of truth and duty, keen discrimination, and sound judgement. But they were unwilling to submit to God's requirements, and they failed to reach the standard He had set for them, and to receive the blessings that might have been theirs. They murmured at God's restrictions, and lusted after the fleshpots of Egypt. God let them have flesh, but it proved a curse to them.
An Ensample for Us
1 Cor. 10:6, 11
645. "Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted." "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."
(1873) 3T 171, 172
646. The church in general at Battle Creek have not sustained the Institute by their example. They have not honoured the light of health reform by carrying it out in their
families. The sickness that has visited many families in Battle Creek need not have been, if they had followed the light God has given them. Like ancient Israel, they have disregarded the light, and could see no more necessity of restricting their appetite than did ancient Israel. The children of Israel would have flesh meats, and said, as many now say, We shall die without meat. God gave rebellious Israel flesh, but His curse was with it. Thousands of them died while the meat they desired was between their teeth. We have the example of ancient Israel, and the warning for us not to do as they did. Their history of unbelief and rebellion is left on record as a special warning that we should not follow their example of murmuring at God's requirements. How can we pass on so indifferently, choosing our own course, following the sight of our own eyes, and departing farther and farther from God, as did the Hebrews? God cannot do great things for His people because of their hardness of heart and sinful unbelief.
God is no respecter of persons; but in every generation they that fear the Lord and work righteousness are accepted of Him; while those who are murmuring, unbelieving, and rebellious, will not have His favour or the blessings promised to those who love the truth and walk in it. Those who have the light and do not follow it, but disregard the requirements of God, will find that their blessings will be changed into curses, and their mercies into judgments. God would have us learn humility and obedience as we read the history of ancient Israel, who were His chosen and peculiar people, but who brought their own destruction by following their own ways.
(1900) 6T 372
647. Our habits of eating and drinking show whether we are of the world or among the number whom the Lord by His mighty cleaver of truth has separated from the world. These are His peculiar people, zealous of good works. God has spoken in His word. In the case of Daniel and his three companions, there are sermons upon health reform. God has spoken in the history of the children of Israel, from whom for their good He sought to withhold a flesh diet. He fed
them with bread from heaven; "man did eat angels' food." But they encouraged their earthly appetite; and the more they centred their thoughts upon the fleshpots of Egypt, the more they hated the food which God gave them to keep them in health physically, mentally, and morally. They longed for the fleshpots, and in this they did just as many in our own time have done. [FURTHER STATEMENTS REGARDING THE USE OF FLESH MEAT BY THE ANTEDILUVIANS AND THE ISRAELITES--231, 233]
Back to the Original Diet
[ C.T.B.H. 119] (1890) C.H. 450
648. Again and again I have been shown that God is trying to lead us back, step by step, to His original design,-- that man should subsist upon the natural products of the earth.
MS 115, 1903
649. Vegetables, fruits, and grains should compose our diet. Not an ounce of flesh meat should enter our stomachs. The eating of flesh is unnatural. We are to return to God's original purpose in the creation of man.
(1905) M.H. 317
650. Is it not time that all should aim to dispense with flesh foods? How can those who are seeking to become pure, refined, and holy, that they may have the companionship of heavenly angels, continue to use as food anything that has so harmful an effect on soul and body? How can they take the life of God's creatures that they may consume the flesh as a luxury? Let them, rather, return to the wholesome and delicious food given to man in the beginning, and themselves practice, and teach their children to practice, mercy toward the dumb creatures that God has made and has placed under our dominion.
Preparing for Translation
(1890) C.T.B.H. 119
651. Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat eating will eventually be done away; flesh will 381 cease to form a part of their diet. We should ever keep this end in view, and endeavour to work steadily toward it. I cannot think that in the practice of flesh eating we are in harmony with the light which God has been pleased to give us. All who are connected with our health institutions especially should be educating themselves to subsist on fruits, grains, and vegetables. If we move from principle in these things, if we as Christian reformers educate our own taste, and bring our diet to God's plan, then we may exert an influence upon others in this matter, which will be pleasing to God.
[C.T.B.H. 48] (1890) C.H. 116
652. It is not the chief end of man to gratify his appetite. There are physical wants to be supplied; but because of this is it necessary that man shall be controlled by appetite? Will the people who are seeking to become holy, pure, refined, that they may be introduced into the society of heavenly angels, continue to take the life of God's creatures, and enjoy their flesh as a luxury? From what the Lord has shown me, this order of things will be changed, and God's peculiar people will exercise temperance in all things.
(1909) 9T, 153, 154
653. Those who have received instruction regarding the evils of the use of flesh foods, tea, and coffee, and rich and unhealthful food preparations, and who are determined to make a covenant with God by sacrifice, will not continue to indulge their appetite for food that they know to be unhealthful. God demands that the appetite be cleansed, and that self-denial be practised in regard to those things which are not good. This is a work that will have to be done before His people can stand before Him a perfected people.
MS 71, 1908
654. It is for their own good that the Lord counsels the remnant church to discard the use of flesh meats, tea, and coffee, and other harmful foods. There are plenty of other things on which we can subsist that are wholesome and good.
[R. & H., MAY 27, 1902] C.H. 575, 576
655. Greater reforms should be seen among the people who claim to be looking for the soon appearing of Christ. Health reform is to do among our people a work which it has not yet done. There are those who ought to be awake to the danger of meat eating, who are still eating the flesh of animals, thus endangering the physical, mental, and spiritual health. Many who are now only half converted on the question of meat eating will go from God's people to walk no more with them.
In all our work we must obey the laws which God has given, that the physical and spiritual energies may work in harmony. Men may have a form of godliness, they may even preach the gospel, and yet be unpurified and unsanctified. Ministers should be strictly temperate in their eating and drinking, lest they make crooked paths for their feet, turning the lame--those weak in the faith--out of the way. If, while proclaiming the most solemn and important message God has ever given, men war against the truth by indulging wrong habits of eating and drinking, they take all the force from the message they bear.
Those who indulge in meat eating, tea drinking, and gluttony are sowing seeds for a harvest of pain and death. The unhealthful food placed in the stomach strengthens the appetites that war against the soul, developing the lower propensities. A diet of flesh meat tends to develop animalism. A development of animalism lessens spirituality, rendering the mind incapable of understanding truth.
The word of God plainly warns us that unless we abstain from fleshly lusts, the physical nature will be brought into conflict with the spiritual nature. Lustful eating wars against health and peace. Thus a warfare is instituted between the higher and the lower attributes of the man. The lower propensities, strong and active, oppress the soul. The highest interests of the being are imperiled by the indulgence of appetites unsanctioned by Heaven.
Letter 48, 1902
656. Those who claim to believe the truth are to guard carefully the powers of body and mind, so that God and His cause will not be in any way dishonoured by their words or actions. The habits and practices are to be brought into subjection to the will of God. We are to give careful attention to our diet. It has been clearly presented to me that God's people are to take a firm stand against meat eating. Would God for thirty years give His people the message that if they desire to have pure blood and clear minds, they must give up the use of flesh meat, if He did not want them to heed this message? By the use of flesh meats the animal nature is strengthened and the spiritual nature weakened.
(1905) M.H. 315
657. The moral evils of a flesh diet are not less marked than are the physical ills. Flesh food is injurious to health, and whatever affects the body has a corresponding effect on the mind and the soul. Think of the cruelty to animals that meat eating involves, and its effect on those who inflict and those who behold it. How it destroys the tenderness with which we should regard these creatures of God!
MS 22, 1887
658. The common use of the flesh of dead animals has had a deteriorating influence upon the morals, as well as the physical institution. Ill health in a variety of forms, if effect could be traced to the cause, would reveal the sure result of flesh eating.
Pacific Union Recorder, Oct. 9, 1902
659. Those who use flesh meat disregard all the warnings that God has given concerning this question. They have no evidence that they are walking in safe paths. They have not the slightest excuse for eating the flesh of dead animals. God's curse is resting upon the animal creation. Many times when meat is eaten, it decays in the stomach, and creates disease. Cancers, tumours, and pulmonary diseases are largely caused by meat eating.
MS 3, 1897
660. Oh, if every one could discern these matters as they have been presented to me, those who are now so careless, so indifferent in regard to their character building; those who plead for indulgence in a flesh meat diet, would never open their lips in justification of an appetite for the flesh of dead animals. Such a diet contaminates the blood in their veins, and stimulates the lower animal passions. It enfeebles keen perception and vigour of thought to the understanding of God and the truth, and a knowledge of themselves.
Meat Eating Especially Dangerous Now
(1905) M.H. 313
661. Flesh was never the best food; but its use is now doubly objectionable, since disease in animals is so rapidly increasing.
(1902) 7T 124
662. Animals are becoming more and more diseased, and it will not be long until animal food will be discarded by many besides Seventh-day Adventists. Foods that are healthful and life sustaining are to be prepared, so that men and women will not need to eat meat.
MS 133, 1902
663. When will those who know the truth take their stand on the side of right principles for time and for eternity? When will they be true to the principles of health reform? When will they learn that it is dangerous to use flesh meat? I am instructed to say that if ever meat eating were safe, it is not safe now.
Union Conference Record (Australasian), July 28, 1899
644. The light given me is that it will not be very long before we shall have to give up using any animal food. Even milk will have to be discarded. Disease is accumulating rapidly. The curse of God is upon the earth, because man has cursed it. The habits and practices of men have brought the earth into such a condition that some other food than animal
food must be substituted for the human family. We do not need flesh food at all. God can give us something else.
(1870) 2T 404, 405
665. Could you know just the nature of the meat you eat, could you see the animals when living from which the flesh is taken when dead, you would turn with loathing from your flesh meats. The very animals whose flesh you eat, are frequently so diseased that, if left alone, they would die of themselves; but while the breath of life is in them, they are killed and brought to market. You take directly into your system humours and poison of the worst kind, and yet you realize it not.
Animal Suffering and Its Effects
(1905) M.H. 314
666. Often animals are taken to market and sold for food, when they are so diseased that their owners fear to keep them longer. And some of the processes of fattening them for market produce disease. Shut away from the light and pure air, breathing the atmosphere of filthy stables, perhaps fattening on decaying food, the entire body soon becomes contaminated with foul matter.
Animals are often transported long distances and subjected to great suffering in reaching a market. Taken from the green pastures and travelling for weary miles over the hot, dusty roads, or crowded into filthy cars, feverish and exhausted, often for many hours deprived of food and water, the poor creatures are driven to their death, that human beings may feast on the carcasses.
(1864) Sp. Gifts IV, 147, 148
667. Many die of disease caused wholly by meat eating; yet the world does not seem to be the wiser. Animals are frequently killed that have been driven quite a distance for the slaughter. Their blood has become heated. They are full of flesh, and have been deprived of healthy exercise, and when they have to travel far, they become surfeited and exhausted, and in that condition are killed for market. Their blood is highly inflamed, and those who eat of their meat, eat
poison. Some are not immediately affected, while others are attacked with severe pain, and die from fever, cholera, or some unknown disease.
Very many animals are sold for the city market known to be diseased by those who have sold them, and those who buy them are not always ignorant of the matter. Especially in larger cities this is practised to a great extent, and meat eaters know not that they are eating diseased animals.
Some animals that are brought to the slaughter seem to realize by instinct what is to take place, and they become furious, and literally mad. They are killed while in that state, and their flesh is prepared for market. Their meat is poison, and has produced, in those who have eaten it, cramps, convulsions, apoplexy, and sudden death. Yet the cause of all this suffering is not attributed to the meat. Some animals are inhumanly treated while being brought to the slaughter. They are literally tortured, and after they have endured many hours of extreme suffering, are butchered. Swine have been prepared for market even while the plague was upon them, and their poisonous flesh has spread contagious diseases, and great mortality has followed.
Physical Results of a Flesh Diet Increase Liability to Disease and Sudden
Death (1868) 2T 64
668. The liability to take disease is increased tenfold by meat eating.
Letter 83, 1901
669. Worldly physicians cannot account for the rapid increase of disease among the human family. But we know that much of this suffering is caused by the eating of dead flesh.
(1896) E. from U.T. 8 670. The animals are diseased, and by partaking of their flesh, we plant the seeds of disease in our own tissue and blood. Then when exposed to the changes in a malarious atmosphere, these are more sensibly felt; also when we are
exposed to prevailing epidemics and contagious diseases, the system is not in a condition to resist the disease.
(1868) 2T 61
671. You have flesh, but it is not good material. You are worse off for this amount of flesh. If you would each come down to a more spare diet, which would take from you twenty-five or thirty pounds of your gross flesh, you should be much less liable to disease. The eating of flesh meats has made a poor quality of blood and flesh. Your systems are in a state of inflammation, prepared to take on disease. You are liable to acute attacks of disease, and to sudden death, because you do not possess the strength of constitution to rally and resist disease. There will come a time when the strength and health you have flattered yourself you possessed will prove to be weakness.
(1896) E. from U.T. 4
672. I have felt urged by the Spirit of God to set before several the fact that their suffering and ill health was caused by a disregard of the light given them upon health reform. I have shown them that their meat diet, which was supposed to be essential, was not necessary, and that, as they were composed of what they ate, brain, bone, and muscle were in an unwholesome condition, because they lived on the flesh of dead animals; that their blood was being corrupted by this improper diet; that the flesh which they ate was diseased, and their entire system was becoming gross and corrupted.
(1870) 2T 368
673. Flesh meats will depreciate the blood. Cook meat with spices, and eat it with rich cakes and pies, and you have a bad quality of blood. The system is too heavily taxed in disposing of this kind of food. The mince pies and the pickles, which should never find a place in any human stomach, will give a miserable quality of blood. And a poor quality of food, cooked in an improper manner, and insufficient in quantity, cannot make good blood. Flesh meats and rich food, and an impoverished diet, will produce the same results. 388
(1896) E. from U.T. 7
674. Cancers, tumours, and all inflammatory diseases are largely caused by meat eating.
From the light God has given me, the prevalence of cancer and tumours is largely due to gross living on dead flesh.
Cancer, Tuberculosis, Tumours
MS 3, 1897
675. The meat diet is the serious question. Shall human beings live on the flesh of dead animals? The answer, from the light that God has given is, No, decidedly No. Health reform institutions should educate on this question. Physicians who claim to understand the human organism ought not to encourage their patients to subsist on the flesh of dead animals. They should point out the increase of disease in the animal kingdom. The testimony of examiners is that very few animals are free from disease, and that the practice of eating largely of meat is contracting diseases of all kinds,-- cancers, tumours, scrofula, tuberculosis, and numbers of other like affections.
(1905) M.H. 313
676. Those who use flesh foods little know what they are eating. Often if they could see the animals when living and know the quality of the meat they eat, they would turn from it with loathing. People are continually eating flesh that is filled with tuberculosis and cancerous germs. Tuberculosis, cancer, and other fatal diseases are thus communicated.
(1875) 3T 563
677. The tables of many professed Christian women are daily set with a variety of dishes which irritate the stomach and produce a feverish condition of the system. Flesh meats constitute the principle article of food upon the tables of some families, until their blood is filled with cancerous and scrofulous humours. Their bodies are composed of what they eat. But when suffering and disease come upon them, it is considered an affliction of Providence.
Decreases Mental Vigour
[C.T.B.H. 47] (1890) C.H. 115
678. Those who use flesh meats freely, do not always have an unclouded brain and an active intellect, because the use of the flesh of animals tends to cause a grossness of body, and to benumb the finer sensibilities of the mind.
General Conference Bulletin, April 12, 1901
679. God wants the perceptive faculties of His people to be clear and capable of hard work. But if you are living on a flesh diet, you need not expect that your mind will be fruitful. The thoughts must be cleansed; then the blessing of God will rest upon His people.
(1868) 2T 62, 63
680. It is impossible for those who make free use of flesh meats to have an unclouded brain and an active intellect.
(1896) E. from U.T. 4
681. There is an alarming lethargy shown on the subject of unconscious sensualism. It is customary to eat the flesh of dead animals. This stimulates the lower passions of the human organism.
E. from U.T. 7
682. A meat diet changes the disposition and strengthens animalism. We are composed of what we eat, and eating much flesh will diminish intellectual activity. Students would accomplish much more in their studies if they never tasted meat. When the animal part of the human agent is strengthened by meat eating, the intellectual powers diminish proportionately. A religious life can be more successfully gained and maintained if meat is discarded, for this diet stimulates into intense activity lustful propensities, and enfeebles the moral and spiritual nature. "The flesh warreth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh."
Strengthens the Baser Passions
(1869) 2T 352
683. If ever there was a time when the diet should be of the most simple kind, it is now. Meat should not be placed
before our children. Its influence is to excite and strengthen the lower passions, and has a tendency to deaden the moral powers.
MS 50, 1904
684. I was instructed that the use of flesh meat has a tendency to animalize the nature, and to rob men and women of the love and sympathy which they should feel for every one. We are built up from that which we eat, and those whose diet is largely composed of animal food are brought into a condition where they allow the lower passions to assume control of the high powers of the being . . . .
We do not mark out any precise line to be followed in diet. There are many kinds of wholesome food. But we do say that flesh meat is not the right food for God's people. It animalizes human beings. In a country such as this, where there are fruits, grains, and nuts in abundance, how can one think that he must eat the flesh of dead animals?
Letter 200, 1903
685. If things were as they should be in the households that make up our churches, we might do double service for the Lord. The light given me is that a most decided message must be borne in regard to health reform. Those who use flesh meat strengthen the lower propensities and prepare the way for disease to fasten upon them.
(1868) 2T 60, 61
686. Your family have partaken largely of flesh meats, and the animal propensities have been strengthened, while the intellectual have been weakened. We are composed of what we eat, and if we subsist largely upon the flesh of dead animals, we shall partake of their nature. You have encouraged the grosser part of your organisation, while the more refined has been weakened.
General Conference Bulletin, April 12, 1901 687. We want the pervading truth of God's word to get hold of every one of our people before this conference is over. We want them to understand that the flesh of animals is not the proper food for them to eat. Such a diet cultivates the animal passions in them and their children. God wants us
to educate our children in right habits of eating, dressing, and working. He wants us to do what we can to repair the broken-down machinery. [EFFECT ON CHILDREN OF MEAT AND RICH FOODS--348, 350, 356,357, 361, 578, 621, 711]
The Safest Course
(1868) 2T 64
688. The intellectual, the moral, and the physical powers are depreciated by the habitual use of flesh meats. Meat eating deranges the system, beclouds the intellect, and blunts the moral sensibilities. We say to you, dear brother and sister, your safest course is to let meat alone.
The Cause Not Recognised
(1905) M.H. 315
689. The effects of a flesh diet may not be immediately realized; but this is no evidence that it is not harmful. Few can be made to believe that it is the meat they have eaten which has poisoned their blood and caused their suffering.
(1896) E. from U.T. 8
690. I have the subject presented to me in different aspects. The mortality caused by meat eating is not discerned; if it were, we would hear no more arguments and excuses in favour of the indulgence of the appetite for dead flesh. We have plenty of good things to satisfy hunger without bringing corpses upon our table to compose our bill of fare.
[C.T.B.H. 48] (1890) C.H. 115
691. Many die of diseases wholly due to meat eating, when the real cause is scarcely suspected by themselves or others. Some do not immediately feel its effects, but this is no evidence that it does not hurt them. It may be doing its work surely upon the system, yet for the time being the victim may realize nothing of it.
(1868) 2T 61
692. You have repeatedly said in defence of your indulgence of meat eating, "However injurious it may be to
others, it does not injure me, for I have used it all my life." But you know not how well you might have been if you had abstained from the use of flesh meats.
The Swine Especially Condemned
(1868) 2T 96
693. God has given you light and knowledge, which you have professed to believe came direct from Him, instructing you to deny appetite. You know that the use of swine's flesh is contrary to His express command, given not because He wished to especially show His authority, but because it would be injurious to those who should eat it. Its use would cause the blood to become impure, so that scrofula and other humours would corrupt the system, and the whole organism would suffer. Especially would the fine, sensitive nerves of the brain become enfeebled and so beclouded that sacred things would not be discerned, but be placed upon the low level with common things.
(1905) M.H. 313, 314
694. The tissues of the swine swarm with parasites. Of the swine, God said, "It is unclean unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass." This command was given because swine's flesh is unfit for food. Swine are scavengers, and this is the only use they were intended to serve. Never, under any circumstances, was their flesh to be eaten by human beings.
(1865) H. to L., ch. 1, p. 58
695. Pork, although one of the most common articles of diet, is one of the most injurious. God did not prohibit the Hebrews from eating swine's flesh merely to show His authority, but because it was not a proper article of food for man. It would fill the system with scrofula, and especially in that warm climate produced leprosy, and disease of various kinds. Its influence upon the system in that climate was far more injurious than in a colder climate. But God never designed the swine to be eaten under any circumstances. The heathen used pork as an article of food, and American people have used pork freely as an important article of diet. Swine's
flesh would not be palatable to the taste in its natural state. It is made agreeable to the appetite by high seasoning, which makes a very bad thing worse. Swine's flesh above all other flesh meats, produces a bad state of the blood. Those who eat freely of pork can but be diseased. Those who have much outdoor exercise do not realize the bad effects of pork eating, as those do whose life is mostly indoors, and whose habits are sedentary, and whose labour is mental.
But it is not the physical health alone which is injured by pork eating. The mind is affected, and the finer sensibilities are blunted by the use of this gross article of food. It is impossible for the flesh of any living creatures to be healthy when filth is their natural element, and when they will feed upon every detestable thing. The flesh of swine is composed of what they eat. If human beings eat their flesh, their blood and their flesh will be corrupted by impurities conveyed to them through the swine.
The eating of pork has produced scrofula, leprosy, and cancerous humours. Pork eating is still causing the most intense suffering to the human race. [DANIEL'S ATTITUDE TOWARD SWINE'S FLESH--34]
Animal Fat and Blood
(1868) 2T 61
696. As a family, you are far from being free from disease. You have used the fat of animal which God in His word expressly forbids: "It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood." "Moreover, ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people."
Letter 102, 1896
697. The meat is served reeking with fat, because it suits the perverted taste. Both the blood and the fat of animals are consumed as a luxury. But the Lord gave special directions that these should not be eaten. Why? Because their use would make a diseased current of blood in the human
system. The disregard for the Lord's special directions has brought a variety of difficulties and diseases upon human beings. . . . If they introduce into their systems that which cannot make good flesh and blood, they must endure the results of their disregard of God's word.
Fish Often Contaminated
(1905) M.H. 314, 315
698. In many places fish become so contaminated by the filth on which they feed as to be a cause of disease. This is especially the case where the fish come in contact with the sewage of large cities. The fish that are fed on the contents of the drains may pass into distant waters, and may be caught where the water is pure and fresh. Thus when used as food they bring disease and death on those who do not suspect the danger.
Recognition of Emergency Conditions
(1890) C.T.B.H. 117, 118
699. Where plenty of good milk and fruit can be obtained there is rarely any excuse for eating animal food; it is not necessary to take the life of any of God's creatures to supply our ordinary needs. In certain cases of illness or exhaustion it may be thought best to use some meat, but great care should be taken to secure the flesh of healthy animals. It has come to be a very serious question whether it is safe to use flesh food at all in this age of the world. It would be better never to eat meat than to use the flesh of animals that are not healthy. When I could not obtain the food I needed, I have sometimes eaten a little meat; but I am becoming more and more afraid of it. [ELLEN G. WHITE AT TIMES COMPELLED TO EAT A LITTLE MEAT-- APPENDIX I:10]
Y.I., May 31, 1894
700. Some honestly think that a proper dietary consists chiefly of porridge. To eat largely of porridge would not ensure health to the digestive organs; for it is too much like liquid. Encourage the eating of fruit and vegetables and bread. A meat diet is not the most wholesome of diets, and
yet I would not take the position that meat should be discarded by every one. Those who have feeble digestive organs can often use meat, when they cannot eat vegetables, fruit, or porridge. If we would preserve the best health, we should avoid eating vegetables and fruit at the same meal. If the stomach is feeble, there will be distress, the brain will be confused, and unable to put forth mental effort. Have fruit at one meal and vegetables at the next. . . .
Sweet cakes, sweet puddings, and custards will disorder the digestive organs; and why should we tempt those who surround the table by placing such articles before them? The more largely flesh composes the diet of teachers and pupils, the less susceptible will be the mind to comprehend spiritual things. The animal propensities are strengthened, and the fine sensibilities of the mind are blunted. Diligent study is not the principal cause of the breaking down of the mental powers. The main cause is improper diet, irregular meals, and a lack of physical exercise. Irregular hours for eating and sleeping sap the brain forces. [NOT PREPARED IN 1884 TO DO AWAY ENTIRELY WITH MEAT EATING IN OUR INSTITUTIONS, ALTHOUGH THE STEP WOULD BE EVENTUALLY TAKEN --720] [UNDISEASED FLESH MEAT PREFERABLE TO FREE USE OF MILK AND SUGAR--527, 533] [PHYSICIANS TO EDUCATE AWAY FROM, BUT NOT TO MAKE PRESCRIPTIONS FORBIDDING USE OF FLESH MEAT--434, 438] [POSSIBLE UNWISE CHANGES FROM FLESH DIET OF THOSE DYING OF CONSUMPTION--435] [FLESH FOODS NOT TO BE CONDEMNED WHEN ADEQUATE NON-FLESH DIET IS NOT AVAILABLE--796] [FLESH FOOD NOT THE RIGHT FOOD FOR GOD'S PEOPLE IN COUNTRIES WHERE FRUITS, GRAINS, AND NUTS ARE AVAILABLE IN ABUNDANCE--719] [FLESH SERVED TO PATIENTS IN SANITARIUMS IN THEIR ROOMS--437]
A Non-flesh Diet Adequate
R. & H., May 8, 1883
701. Meat is not essential for health or strength, else the Lord made a mistake when He provided food for Adam and Eve before their fall. All the elements of nutrition are contained in the fruits, vegetables, and grains.
(1905) M.H. 316
702. It is a mistake to suppose that muscular strength depends on the use of animal food. The needs of the system can be better supplied, and more vigorous health can be enjoyed, without its use. The grains, with fruits, nuts, and vegetables, contain all the nutritive properties necessary to make good blood. These elements are not so well or so fully supplied by a flesh diet. Had the use of flesh been essential to health and strength, animal food would have been included in the diet appointed man in the beginning. [MEAT NOT ADVISED IN THE CASE OF IMPOVERISHED DIET--319]
Why Use Secondhand Food?
Letter 72, 1896
703. The diet of the animals is vegetables and grains. Must the vegetables be animalized, must they be incorporated into the system of animals, before we get them? Must we obtain our vegetable diet by eating the flesh of dead creatures? God provided fruit in its natural state for our first parents. He gave to Adam charge of the garden, to dress it, and to care for it, saying, "To you it shall be for meat." One animal was not to destroy another animal for food.
(1905) M.H. 313
704. Those who eat flesh are but eating grains and vegetables at second hand; for the animal receives from these things the nutrition that produces growth. The life that was in the grains and vegetables passes into the eater. We receive it by eating the flesh of the animal. How much better to get it direct by eating the food that God provided for our use!
Meat a Typical Stimulant
(1905) M.H. 316
705. When the use of flesh food is discontinued, there is often a sense of weakness, a lack of vigour. Many urge this as evidence that flesh food is essential; but it is because foods of this class are stimulating, because they fever the blood and excite the nerves, that they are so missed. Some will find it
as difficult to leave off flesh eating as it is for the drunkard to give up his dram; but they will be the better for the change. [SEE ALSO 61]
(1903) Ed. 203
706. Flesh food also is harmful. Its naturally stimulating effect should be a sufficient argument against its use; and the almost universally diseased condition of animals makes it doubly objectionable. It tends to irritate the nerves and to excite the passions, thus giving the balance of power to the lower propensities.
707. I was somewhat surprised at your argument as to why a meat-eating diet kept you in strength, for, if you put yourself out of the question, your reason will teach you that a meat diet is not of as much advantage as you suppose. You know how you would answer a tobacco devotee if he urged, as a plea for the use of tobacco, the arguments you have advanced as a reason why you should continue the use of the flesh of dead animals as food.
The weakness you experience without the use of meat is one of the strongest arguments I could present to you as a reason why you should discontinue its use. Those who eat meat feel stimulated after eating this food, and they suppose they are made stronger. After one discontinues the use of meat, he may for a time feel a weakness, but when his system is cleansed from the effect of this diet, he no longer feels the weakness, and will cease to wish for that which he has pleaded for as essential to his strength. [FAINTNESS EXPERIENCED BY E. G. WHITE WHEN ON HEAVY MEAT DIET--APPENDIX I:4, 5, 10] [STRUGGLE OF E. G. WHITE IN CHANGING FROM MEAT DIET-- APPENDIX I:4, 5]
(1905) M.H. 316, 317
708. When flesh is discarded, its place should be supplied with a variety of grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits, that will be both nourishing and appetizing. This is especially necessary in the case of those who are weak, or who are
taxed with continuous labour. In some countries, where poverty abounds, flesh is the cheapest food. Under these circumstances, the change will be made with greater difficulty; but it can be effected. We should, however, consider the situation of the people and the power of lifelong habit, and should be careful not to urge even right ideas unduly. None should be urged to make the change abruptly. The place of meat should be supplied with wholesome foods that are inexpensive. In this matter very much depends on the cook. With care and skill, dishes may be prepared that will be both nutritious and appetizing, and will, to a great degree, take the place of flesh food.
In all cases, educate the conscience, enlist the will, supply good, wholesome food, and the change will be readily made, and the demand for flesh will soon cease.
Letter 60a, 1896
709. The proper cooking of foods is a most important accomplishment. Especially where meat is not made a principal article of food is good cooking an essential requirement. Something must be prepared to take the place of meat, and these substitutes for meat must be well prepared, so that meat will not be desired. [MAKE CHANGES UNDERSTANDINGLY--320, 380] [ADEQUATE DIET NEEDED WHEN LEAVING OFF MEAT--320] [GOD WILL GIVE SKILL IN PREPARING HEALTH FOODS TO TAKE THE PLACE OF FLESH MEATS--376, 400, 401, 404] [DIET OF FRUITS, GRAINS, NUTS, AND VEGETABLES TO REPLACE MEAT --472, 483, 484, 513]
(1870) 2T 486, 487
710. When Satan takes possession of the mind, how soon the light and instruction that the Lord has graciously given, fade away, and have no force! How many frame excuses and make necessities which have no existence, to bear them up in their course of wrong, in setting aside the light and trampling it underfoot. I speak with assurance. The greatest objection to health reform is that this people do not live it out; and yet they will gravely say they cannot live the health reform and preserve their strength.
We find in every such instance a good reason why they cannot live out the health reform. They do not live it out, and have never followed it strictly, therefore they cannot be benefited by it. Some fall into the error that because they discard meat, they have no need to supply its place with the best fruits and vegetables, prepared in their most natural state, free from grease and spices. If they would only skilfully arrange the bounties with which the Creator has surrounded them, parents and children with a clear conscience unitedly engaging in the work, they would enjoy simple food, and would then be able to speak understandingly of health reform. Those who have not been converted to health reform, and have never fully adopted it, are not judges of its benefits. Those who digress occasionally to gratify the taste in eating a fattened turkey or other flesh meats, pervert their appetites, and are not the ones to judge the benefits of the system of health reform. They are controlled by taste, not by principle.
Earnest Appeals for Reform
MS 133, 1902
711. Many parents act as if they were bereft of reason. They are in a state of lethargy, palsied by the indulgence of perverted appetite and debasing passion. Our ministers, who know the truth, should arouse the people from their paralysed condition, and lead them to put away those things that create an appetite for flesh meat. If they neglect to reform, they will lose spiritual power, and become more and more debased by sinful indulgence. Habits that disgust the heavenly universe, habits that degrade human beings lower than the beasts, are practised in many homes. Let all those who know the truth, say, "Flee fleshly lusts that war against the soul."
Let not any of our ministers set an evil example in the eating of flesh meat. Let them and their families live up to the light of health reform. Let not our ministers animalize their own nature and the nature of their children. Children whose desires have not been restrained, are tempted not only to indulge in the common habits of intemperance, but to give loose rein to their lower passions, and to disregard
purity and virtue. These are led on by Satan not only to corrupt their own bodies, but to whisper their evil communications to others. If parents are blinded by sin, they will often fail of discerning these things.
To parents who are living in the cities, the Lord is sending the warning cry, Gather your children into your own houses; gather them away from those who are disregarding the commandments of God, who are teaching and practising evil. Get out of the cities as fast as possible.
Parents can secure small homes in the country, with land for cultivation, where they can have orchards and where they can raise vegetables and small fruits to take the place of flesh meat, which is so corrupting to the life-blood coursing through the veins.
Strength to Resist Through Fasting and Prayer
Letter 73, 1896
712. If our appetites clamour for the flesh of dead animals, it is a necessity to fast and pray for the Lord to give His grace to deny fleshly lusts which war against the soul. [FASTING BENEFICIAL IN CHANGING FROM A DIET OF FLESH MEAT AND RICH FOODS--312]
When Prayer for Healing Is Inconsistent
Letter 200, 1903
713. There are those among Seventh-day Adventists who will not heed the light given them in regard to this matter. They make flesh meat a part of their diet. Disease comes upon them. Sick and suffering as a result of their own wrong course, they ask for the prayers of the servants of God. But how can the Lord work in their behalf when they are not willing to do His will, when they refuse to heed His instruction in regard to health reform?
For thirty years the light on health reform has been coming to the people of God, but many have made it a subject of jest. They have continued to use tea, coffee, spices, and flesh meat. Their bodies are full of disease. How can we, I ask, present such ones to the Lord for healing?
(Written 1884) E. from U.T. 2
714. Hot biscuits and flesh meats are entirely out of harmony with health reform principles. If we would allow reason to take the place of impulse and love of sensual indulgence, we should not taste of the flesh of dead animals. What is more repulsive to the sense of smell than a shop where flesh meats are kept for sale? The smell of the raw flesh is offensive to all whose senses have not been depraved by culture of the unnatural appetites. What more unpleasant sight to a reflective mind than the beasts slain to be devoured? If the light God has given in regard to health reform is disregarded, He will not work a miracle to keep in health those who pursue a course to make themselves sick.
Leaders in Reform
Letter 48, 1902
715. While we do not make the use of flesh meat a test, while we do not want to force any one to give up its use, yet it is our duty to request that no minister of the conference shall make light of or oppose the message of reform on this point. If, in the face of the light God has given concerning the effect of meat eating on the system, you will still continue to eat meat, you must bear the consequences. But do not take a position before the people that will permit them to think that it is not necessary to call for a reform in regard to meat eating; because the Lord is calling for a reform. The Lord has given us the work of proclaiming the message of health reform, and if you cannot step forward in the ranks of those who are giving this message you are not to make this prominent. In counterworking the efforts of your fellow labourers, who are teaching health reform, you are out of order, working on the wrong side. [WORK OF HEALTH REFORM WILL GO FORWARD; BEWARE OF OPPOSING IT--42]
Pacific Union Recorder, Oct. 9, 1902
716. As God's messengers, shall we not bear a decided testimony against the indulgence of perverted appetite?. . . God has provided an abundance of fruits and grains, which may be healthfully prepared and used in proper quantities.
Why, then, do men continue to choose flesh meats? Can we possibly have confidence in ministers who at tables where flesh is served join with others in eating it? . . .
"Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God." Every one who transgresses the laws of health will surely be visited with God's displeasure. Oh, how much of the Holy Spirit we might have day by day, if we would walk circumspectly, denying self, and practising the virtues of Christ's character.
MS 113, 1901
717. Let our ministers and canvassers step under the banners of strict temperance. Never be ashamed to say, "No, thank you; I do not eat meat. I have conscientious scruples against eating the flesh of dead animals." If tea is offered, refuse it, giving your reason for so doing. Explain that it is harmful, and though stimulating for a time, the stimulus soon wears off, and a corresponding depression is felt.
Letter 135, 1902
718. Concerning flesh meat we can all say, Let it alone. And all should bear clear testimony against tea and coffee, never using them. They are narcotics, injurious alike to the brain and to the other organs of the body. The time has not yet come when I say that the use of milk and eggs should be wholly discontinued. Milk and eggs should not be classed with flesh meats. In some ailments the use of eggs is very beneficial.
Let the members of our churches deny every selfish appetite. Every penny expended for tea, coffee, and flesh meat is worse than wasted; for these things hinder the best development of the physical, mental, and spiritual powers. [FLESH MEAT NOT SERVED IN WHITE HOME OR USED BY E. G. WHITE --APPENDIX 1:4, 5, 8, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 23] [FLESH MEAT BANISHED FROM E. G. WHITE TABLE--APPENDIX 1:12, 13]
(1909) 9T 156-160
719. If we could be benefited by indulging the desire for flesh foods, I would not make this appeal to you; but I know
we cannot. Flesh foods are injurious to the physical well-being, and we should learn to do without them. Those who are in a position where it is possible to secure a vegetarian diet, but who choose to follow their own preferences in this matter, eating and drinking as they please, will gradually grow careless of the instruction the Lord has given regarding other phases of the present truth, and will lose their perception of what is truth; they will surely reap as they have sown.
I have been instructed that the students in our schools are not to be served with flesh foods or with food preparations that are known to be unhealthful. Nothing that will serve to encourage a desire for stimulants should be placed on the tables. I appeal to old and young and to middle-aged. Deny your appetite of those things that are doing you injury. Serve the Lord by sacrifice.
Let the children have an intelligent part in this work. We are all members of the Lord's family, and the Lord would have His children, young and old, determine to deny appetite, and to save the means needed for the building of meetinghouses and the support of missionaries.
I am instructed to say to parents: Place yourselves, soul and spirit, on the Lord's side of this question. We need ever to bear in mind that in these days of probation we are on trial before the Lord of the universe. Will you not give up indulgences that are doing you injury? Words of profession are cheap; let your acts of self-denial testify that you will be obedient to the demands that God makes of His peculiar people. Then put into the treasury a portion of the means you save by your acts of self-denial, and there will be that with which to carry on the work of God.
There are many who feel that they cannot get along without flesh foods; but if these would place themselves on the Lord's side, resolutely resolved to walk in the way of His guidance, they would receive strength and wisdom as did Daniel and his fellows. They would find that the Lord would give them sound judgement. Many would be surprised to see how much could be saved for the cause of God by acts of self-denial. The small sums saved by deeds of sacrifice will
do more for the upbuilding of the cause of God than larger gifts will accomplish that have not called for denial of self.
Seventh-day Adventists are handling momentous truths. More than forty years ago [*WRITTEN IN 1909.] the Lord gave us special light on health reform, but how are we walking in that light? How many have refused to live in harmony with the counsels of God! As a people we should make advancement proportionate to the light received. It is our duty to understand and respect the principles of health reform. On the subject of temperance we should be in advance of all other people; and yet there are among us well-instructed members of the church, and even ministers of the gospel, who have little respect for the light that God has given upon this subject. They eat as they please, and work as they please. . . .
We do not mark out any precise line to be followed in diet; but we do say that in countries where there are fruits, grains, and nuts in abundance, flesh food is not the right food for God's people. I have been instructed that flesh food has a tendency to animalize the nature, to rob men and women of that love and sympathy which they should feel for every one, and to give the lower passions control over the higher powers of the being. If meat eating were ever healthful, it is not safe now. Cancers, tumours, and pulmonary diseases are largely caused by meat eating.
We are not to make the use of flesh food a test of fellowship, but we should consider the influence that professed believers who use flesh foods have over others. As God's messengers, shall we not say to the people, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God'? 1 Cor. 10:31. Shall we not bear a decided testimony against the indulgence of perverted appetite? Will any who are ministers of the gospel, proclaiming the most solemn truth ever given to mortals, set an example in returning to the fleshpots of Egypt? Will those who are supported by the tithe from God's storehouse permit themselves by self-indulgence to poison the life-giving current flowing through their veins? Will they disregard the light and
warnings that God has given them? The health of the body is to be regarded as essential for growth in grace and the acquirement of an even temper. If the stomach is not properly cared for, the formation of an upright, moral character will be hindered. The brain and nerves are in sympathy with the stomach. Erroneous eating and drinking result in erroneous thinking and acting.
All are now being tested and proved. We have been baptized into Christ, and if we will act our part by separating from everything that would drag us down and make us what we ought not to be, there will be given us strength to grow up into Christ, who is our living head, and we shall see the salvation of God.
PROGRESSIVE DIETETIC REFORM IN SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST INSTITUTIONS
[NOTE: IT IS A MATTER OF HISTORICAL RECORD THAT SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST HEALTH INSTITUTIONS IN THEIR EARLY DAYS SERVED FLESH MEAT IN A GREATER OR LESSER DEGREE TO PATIENTS AND HELPERS. THE REFORM IN THIS PHASE OF HEALTHFUL LIVING WAS PROGRESSIVE. IN THE OLDER INSTITUTIONS, AFTER A LONG STRUGGLE, FLESH MEAT WAS EVENTUALLY DISCARDED FROM ALL TABLES. IN THE CASE OF THE BATTLE CREEK SANITARIUM THIS STEP WAS TAKEN IN 1898, LARGELY IN RESPONSE TO COUNSEL FROM MRS. WHITE'S PEN APPEARING IN THIS CHAPTER (722). AT THE ST. HELENA SANITARIUM THE CHANGE TOOK PLACE IN 1903. BY THIS TIME EDUCATION IN THE MATTER OF A NON-FLESH DIET HAD SPREAD WIDELY, AND FLESH WAS LEFT OUT OF THE DIETARY OF THE GUESTS WITH LESS DIFFICULTY THAN IF IT HAD BEEN EXCLUDED AT AN EARLIER DATE. IT WAS A JOY TO THE MANAGERS OF THE OLDER INSTITUTIONS TO KNOW THAT IN THE NEW PLANTS OPENED AT ABOUT THIS TIME, FLESH FOOD WAS NOT SERVED TO THE PATIENTS.
THE COUNSEL ON THE SUBJECT OF FLESH MEAT IS NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT THE PICTURE OF THE STRUGGLE FOR ITS NONUSE IN OUR INSTITUTIONS AS BROUGHT TO VIEW IN SEVERAL COMMUNICATIONS FROM MRS. WHITE, AND THE INSTRUCTION URGING A PROGRESSIVE REFORM IN DIET. IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THE READER KEEP THESE FACTS AND THE TIME OF WRITING OF THE SEVERAL STATEMENTS IN MIND AS HE GIVES STUDY TO THIS PHASE OF THE FLESH-MEAT QUESTION.--COMPILERS.]
Appeals for a Non-flesh Diet in Our Early Medical Institutions (1884)
Letter 3, 1884
720. I have arisen this morning at four o'clock to write you a few lines. I have been thinking much of late how the
institution over which you preside could be made all God would have it, and I have a few thoughts to suggest.
We are health reformers, seeking to come back, as far as possible, to the Lord's original plan of temperance. Temperance does not consist merely in abstaining from intoxicating liquors and tobacco; it extends farther than this. It must regulate what we eat.
You are all acquainted with the light upon the subject of health reform. But when I visit the Retreat, I see that there is a very marked departure from health reform on the matter of meat eating, and I am convinced that there must be a change, and at once. Your diet is largely composed of meat. God is not leading in this direction; the enemy is seeking to establish the diet question upon a wrong basis by leading those in charge of the institution to accommodate the diet to the appetite of the patients.
When the Lord led the children of Israel from Egypt, He purposed to establish them in Canaan a pure, happy, healthy people. Let us study the plan of God, and see how this was accomplished. He restricted their diet. To a large degree, He took flesh food from them. But they hankered after the fleshpots of Egypt, and God gave them flesh, and with it the sure result.
The Health Retreat was established at a great cost to treat the sick without drugs. It should be conducted on hygienic principles. Drug medication should be worked away from as fast as possible, until entirely discarded. Education should be given on proper diet, dress, and exercise. Not only should our own people be educated, but those who have not received the light upon health reform should be taught how to live healthfully, according to God's order. But if we have no standard in this respect ourselves, what is the need of going to such large expense to establish a health institute? Where does the reform come in?
I cannot admit that we are moving in God's order. We must have a different order of things, or give up the name Health Retreat; for it is wholly inappropriate. The Lord has shown me that the Health Institute must not be moulded
to meet the appetite or any person's ideas. I am aware that the excuse for the meat eating allowed in the institution has been that the pleasure seekers who come are not pleased with any other diet. Then let them go where they can obtain the diet they wish. When the institution cannot be conducted, even for guests, according to right principles, then let it drop the name it has assumed. But the excuse that has been urged does not now exist; for outside patronage is very small.
A positive injury is done to the system by continuous meat eating. There is no excuse for it but a depraved, perverted appetite. You may ask, Would you do away entirely with meat eating? I answer, It will eventually come to this, but we are not prepared for this step just now. Meat eating will eventually be done away. The flesh of animals will no longer compose a part of our diet; and we shall look upon a butcher's shop with disgust. . . .
We are built up from that which we eat. Shall we strengthen the animal passions by eating animal food? In the place of educating the taste to love this gross diet, it is high time that we were educating ourselves to subsist upon fruits, grains, and vegetables. This is the work of all who are connected with our institutions. Use less and less meat, until it is not used at all. If meat is discarded, if the taste is not educated in that direction, if a liking for fruits and grains is encouraged, it will soon be as God in the beginning designed it should be. No meat will be used by His people.
When meat is not used as it has been, you will learn a more correct way of cooking, and will be able to supply the place of meat with something else. Many healthful dishes can be prepared which are free from grease and from the flesh of dead animals. A variety of simple dishes, perfectly healthful and nourishing, may be provided, aside from meat. Hearty men must have plenty of vegetables, fruits, and grains. Occasionally some meat may have to be given to outsiders who have so educated their taste that they think that unless they have meat, they cannot keep up their strength. But they will have greater powers of endurance if they abstain from meat than if they subsist largely upon it.
The principal objection with physicians and helpers at the Health Retreat to discarding a meat diet is that they want meat, and then plead they must have meat. Therefore, they encourage its use. But God does not want those who come to the Health Retreat educated to live on a flesh diet. By parlour talks and by example, educate in the other direction. This will call for great skill in the preparation of wholesome food. More labour will be required, but nevertheless, it must gradually be done. Use less meat. Let those who do the cooking and those who bear the responsibility educate their own tastes and habits of eating in accordance with the laws of health.
We have been going back to Egypt rather than on to Canaan. Shall we not reverse the order of things? Shall we not have plain, wholesome food on our tables? Shall we not dispense with hot biscuits, which only cause dyspepsia? Those who elevate the standard as nearly as they can to the order of God, according to the light God has given them through His word and the testimonies of His Spirit, will not change their course of action to meet the wishes of their friends or relatives, be they one or two or a host, who are living contrary to God's wise arrangement. If we move from principle in these things, if we observe strict rules of diet, if as Christians we educate our tastes after God's plan, we shall exert an influence which will meet the mind of God. The question is, "Are we willing to be true health reformers?" It is essential that continuous sameness in diet be avoided. The appetite will be much better if changes in the food are made. Be uniform. Do not have several kinds of food on the table at one meal, and no variety the next. Study economy in this line. Let people complain if they will. Let them find fault if there is not enough to suit them. The Israelites always complained of Moses and of God. It is your duty to maintain the standard of health reform. More can be accomplished for sick people by regulating their diet than by all the baths that can be given them.
Let the same amount of money expended for meat be used to purchase fruit. Show the people a right way of living. Had this been done from the first at the institution
at _____, the Lord would have been pleased, and would have approved the effort. . . .
Care and skill should be used in the preparation of food. I hope that Doctor _____ will fill the position assigned her, that she will counsel with the cook, so that the food placed on the tables at the Health Retreat may be in accordance with health reform. Because one is inclined to indulge his appetite, he must not argue that his is the way to live; he must not by his course of action seek to mould the institution to suit his tastes and practices. Those who bear the responsibility of the institution should frequently counsel together. They should move in perfect harmony.
Do not, I beg of you, argue that meat eating must be right, because this one or that one, who is a slave to appetite, has said that he could not live at the Health Retreat without meat. Subsisting on the flesh of dead animals is a gross way of living, and as a people, we should be working a change, a reform, teaching the people that there are healthful preparations of food that will give them more strength, and better preserve their health, than meat.
The sin of this age is gluttony in eating and drinking. Indulgence of appetite is the God which many worship. Those who are connected with the Health Institute should set a right example in these things. They should move conscientiously in the fear of God, and not be controlled by a perverted taste. They should be thoroughly enlightened in regard to the principles of health reform, and under all circumstances should stand under its banner.
I hope, Doctor _____, that you will learn more and more how to cook healthfully. Provide an abundance of good, wholesome food. Do not practice economy in this direction. Restrict your meat bills, but have plenty of good fruit and vegetables, and then you will enjoy seeing the hearty appetites with which all will partake of your preparations. Never feel that good, hygienic food that is eaten is lost. It will make blood and muscle, and give strength for daily duties. [COOKING OF FLESH FOOD NOT TO BE TAUGHT IN OUR SCHOOLS--817] [MEAT-EATING PHYSICIANS NOT TO BE EMPLOYED IN OUR SANITARIUMS-- 433]
Letter 2, 1884
721. I have been thinking much of the Health Institute at _____. Many thoughts crowd into my mind, and I wish to express some of them to you.
I have been calling to mind the light God has given me, and through me to you, on health reform. Have you carefully and prayerfully sought to understand the will of God in these matters? The excuse has been, that the outsiders would have a meat diet, but even if they had some meat, I know that with care and skill, dishes could be prepared to take the place of meat in a large degree, and in a short time they could be educated to let the flesh of dead animals alone. But if one performs the cooking whose main dependence is meat, she can and will encourage meat eating, and the depraved appetite will frame every excuse for this kind of diet.
When I saw how matters were going,--that if _____ had not meat to cook, she knew not what to provide as a substitute, and that meat was the principal article of diet,--I felt that there must be a change at once. There may be consumptives who demand meat, but let them have it in their own rooms, and do not tempt the already-perverted appetite or those who should not eat it. . . . You may think you cannot work without meat. I thought so once, but I know that in His original plan, God did not provide for the flesh of dead animals to compose the diet for man. It is a gross, perverted taste that will accept such food. . . . Then the fact that meat is largely diseased, should lead us to make strenuous efforts to discontinue its use entirely. My position now is to let meat altogether alone. It will be hard for some to do this, as hard as for the rum drinker to forsake his dram; but they will be better for the change.
Meeting the Issue Squarely
Letter 59, 1898
722. The sanitarium is doing good work. We have just come to the point of the vexed meat question. Should not those who come to the sanitarium have meat on their tables, and be instructed to leave it off gradually? . . . Years ago the
light was given me that the position should not be taken positively to discard all meat, because in some cases it was better than the desserts, and dishes composed of sweets. These are sure to create disturbances. It is the variety and mixture of meat, vegetables, fruit, wines, tea, coffee, sweet cakes, and rich pies that ruin the stomach, and place human beings in a position where they become invalids with all the disagreeable effects of sickness upon the disposition. . . . I present the word of the Lord God of Israel. Because of transgression, the curse of God has come upon the earth itself, and upon the cattle, and upon all flesh. Human beings are suffering the result of their own course of action in departing from the commandments of God. The beasts also suffer under the curse.
Meat eating should not come into the prescription for any invalids from any physicians from among those who understand these things. Disease in cattle is making meat eating a dangerous matter. The Lord's curse is upon the earth, upon man, upon beasts, upon the fish in the sea; and as transgression becomes almost universal, the curse will be permitted to become as broad and as deep as the transgression. Disease is contracted by the use of meat. The diseased flesh of these dead carcasses is sold in the market places, and disease among men is the sure result.
The Lord would bring His people into a position where they will not touch or taste the flesh of dead animals. Then let not these things be prescribed by any physicians who have a knowledge of the truth for this time. There is no safety in the eating of the flesh of dead animals, and in a short time the milk of the cows will also be excluded from the diet of God's commandment-keeping people. In a short time it will not be safe to use anything that comes from the animal creation. Those who take God at His word, and obey His commandments with the whole heart, will be blessed. He will be their shield of protection. But the Lord will not be trifled with. Distrust, disobedience, alienation from God's will and way, will place the sinner in a position where the Lord cannot give him His divine favour. . . .
Again I will refer to the diet question. We cannot now do as we have ventured to do in the past in regard to meat eating. It has always been a curse to the human family, but now it is made particularly so in the curse which God has pronounced upon the herds of the field, because of man's transgression and sin. The disease upon animals is becoming more and more common, and our only safety now is in leaving meat entirely alone. The most aggravated diseases are now prevalent, and the very last thing that physicians who are enlightened should do, is to advise patients to eat meat. It is in eating meat so largely in this country that men and women are becoming demoralized, their blood corrupted, and disease planted in the system. Because of meat eating, many die, and they do not understand the cause. If the truth were known, it would bear testimony it was the flesh of animals that have passed through death. The thought of feeding on dead flesh is repulsive, but there is something besides this. In eating meat we partake of diseased dead flesh, and this sows its seed of corruption in the human organism.
I write to you, my brother, that the giving of prescriptions for the eating of the flesh of animals shall no more be practised in our sanitarium. There is no excuse for this. There is no safety in the afterinfluence and results upon the human mind. Let us be health reformers in every sense of the term. Let us make known in our institutions that there is no longer a meat table, even for the boarders; and then the education given upon the discarding of a meat diet will be not only saying but doing. If patronage is less, so let it be. The principles will be of far greater value when they are understood, when it is known that the life of no living thing shall be taken to sustain the life of the Christian.
A Second Letter Meeting the Issue
Letter 84, 1898
723. I received your letter, and will explain as best I can in reference to the meat. The words you mention were in a letter to _____ and some others at the time Sister _____ was at the Health Retreat . I had these letters hunted
up. Some letters were copied and some were not. I told them to give dates to the time of the statements made. At that time the meat diet was being prescribed and used very largely. The light given me was that meat in a healthy condition was not to be cut off all at once, but talks were to be given in the parlour in regard to the use of dead flesh of any kind; that fruits, grains, and vegetables, properly prepared, were all the system required to keep it in health; but that they must first show that we have no need to use meat, where there was an abundance of fruit, as in California. But at the Health Retreat they were not prepared to make abrupt moves, after using meat so abundantly as they had done. It would be necessary for them to use meat very sparingly at first and finally discontinue it entirely. But there must be only one table called the patients' meat-eating table. The other tables were to be free from this article. . . .
I laboured most earnestly to have all meat discarded, but this difficult question must be handled discreetly and not rashly, after meat had been used three times a day. The patients must be educated from a health standpoint.
This is all I can remember on that point. Increased light has been coming, for us to consider. The animal creation is diseased, and it is difficult to determine the amount of disease in the human family that is the result of meat eating. We read constantly in the daily papers about the inspection of meat. Butcher shops are continually being cleaned out; the meat being sold is condemned as unfit for use.
The light has come to me for many years that meat eating is not good for health or morals. And yet it seems so strange that I have to meet this meat-eating question again and again. I had a very close and decided talk with the physicians in the Health Home. They had considered the matter, and Brother and Sister ----- were brought into very strait places. Meat was being prescribed for patients. . . . Sabbath, while at the Australian Union Conference, held at Stanmore, I felt urged by the Spirit of the Lord, to take up the case of the Health Home established at Summer Hill, which is only a few stations from Stanmore.
I presented the advantages to be obtained in this sanitarium. I showed that meat was never to be placed on the table as an article of food, that the life and health of thousands were being sacrificed at the altars where dead flesh was being offered for consumption. I never gave a more earnest and decided appeal. I said, We are thankful that we have an institution here where the flesh of dead animals is not prescribed for any patients. Let it be said that not one morsel of meat has been placed on the tables, either for physicians, managers, helpers, or patients. I said, We have confidence in our physicians that this question will be treated from a health standpoint; for dead carcasses should always be looked upon as not fit to compose the diet of Christians.
I did not varnish the matter one particle. I said that should those in our health home bring the flesh of dead animals upon the table, they would merit the displeasure of God. They would defile the temple of God, and they would need the words spoken to them, Whoso defileth the temple of God, him will God destroy. The light that God has given me is that the curse of God is on the earth, the sea, the cattle, on the animals. There will soon be no safety in the possession of flocks or herds. The earth is decaying under the curse of God.
Remaining True to Our Principles
MS 3a, 1903
724. Lately the number of patients at the sanitarium has decreased, owing to an array of circumstances that could not be helped. One reason for the lack of patronage is, I think, the stand that those at the head of the institution have taken against serving flesh meat to the patients. Ever since the opening of the sanitarium, meat has been served in the dining room. We felt that the time had come to take a decided stand against this practice. We knew that it was not pleasing to God for flesh meat to be placed before the patients.
Now no tea, coffee, or flesh meat is served in the institution. We are determined to live out the principles of health reform, to walk in the way of truth and righteousness. We shall not, for fear of losing patronage, be half-and-half
reformers. We have taken our position, and by God's help we shall stand by it. The food provided for the patients is wholesome and palatable. The diet is composed of fruits and grains and nuts. Here in California there is an abundance of fruit of all kinds.
If patients come who are so dependent on a diet of flesh meat that they think that [they] cannot live without it, we shall try to make them look at the matter from an intelligent point of view. And if they will not do this, if they are determined to use that which destroys health, we shall not refuse to provide it for them, if they are willing to eat it in their rooms and willing to risk the consequences. But they must take upon themselves the responsibility of their action. We shall not sanction their course. We dare not dishonour our stewardship by sanctioning the use of that which taints the blood and brings disease. We should be unfaithful to our Master if we did that which we know He does not approve.
This is the stand that we have taken. We are resolved to be true to the principles of health reform, and may God help us, is my prayer.
Plans must be set in operation that will bring an increase of patronage. But would it be right for us, for the sake of obtaining more patients, to return to the serving of flesh meat? Shall we give the sick that which has made them sick, that which will keep them sick if they continue to use it as food? Shall we not rather take our stand as those who are resolved to carry out the principles of health reform? [TEA, COFFEE, AND MEAT SERVED IN PATIENTS' ROOMS--437]
MS 73, 1908
725. There are some in our institutions who claim to believe the principles of health reform, and yet who indulge in the use of flesh meats and other foods which they know to be injurious to health. I say to such in the name of the Lord, Do not accept positions in our institutions while you refuse to live the principles for which our institutions stand; for by doing this, you make doubly hard the work of teachers and leaders who are striving to carry the work on right
lines. Clear the King's highway. Cease to block the way of the message He sends.
I have been shown that the principles that were given us in the early days of the message are to be regarded as just as important by our people today as they were then. There are some who have never followed the light given us on the question of diet. It is time now to take the light from under the bushel, and let it shine forth in clear, bright rays. [NOT TO BE SERVED IN OUR SANITARIUMS--424, 431, 432] [NOT TO BE SERVED TO HELPERS--432, 444] [EXCESSIVE USE OF SWEET FOODS AS HARMFUL AS THE USE OF UNDISEASED FLESH MEAT--533, 556, 722]