Sunday, January 13, 2013

Seasonal Veganism?

This post explores a question with regard to Section 89's direction to "eat meat sparingly". Sparingly can be kind of a subjective. While I dont consider this question threatening my eternal salvation, I think I personally could observe the word of wisdom better in many respects.

First off, God tells the Shakers that it is not correct to abstain from eating meat. Peter in the vision to baptize the gentile Cornelius was told to arise and eat, and the resurrected Christ ate broiled fish.

18 And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God;
19 For, behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance. (Doctrine and Covenants, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 49)

12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine. (Doctrine and Covenants, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 89)

So, my question is this: how should we interpret the phrase "And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine". Does this mean:

1. And it is pleasing unto me that they only be used in times of winter, cold, or famine?


2. And it is pleasing unto me that they not only be used in times of winter, cold, or famine?

I have always understood this to mean #2 because of the (not only). However the comma placement in the original (used,) makes it read a little ambiguously.

I've never heard LDS leadership preach seasonal veganism. However, understanding that grain should be the "staff of life" we see the first description of the food pyramid with grain as a foundation and meat near the top. Veggies and Fruits making up the middle.

My family uses plastic plates on occasion that are divided into 3 sections of differing size kinda like some microwave dinners. When I think of the Lord's council of eating meat sparingly, I look at the divided plate and visualize the whole grains, legumes, rice portion fitting into the largest section, the serving of meat fitting into the smallest section and the fresh fruit and veggies fitting the middle-sized section.

It is my opinion that limiting meat portion size relative to whole grains, and in-season fresh fruits and veggies best captures the spirit of the the Lord's counsel to His Saints to "eat meat sparingly". Together with eating food that is in-season, fresh (not necessarily organic) with minimal processing can have both health and economic benifits to your local agricultural community. Shopping organic in many cases doesn't mean food is healthier, local or fresh. Usually its just much more expensive.

My family pays $15/week for a service called "Bountiful Basket". According to this program, you pay your money the week prior and the service delivers several boxes of locally produced in-season produce the next week. You never know what your gonna get. Its kind of exciting to see what comes and even more exciting to try and make use and use up everything you get.

There is a ton of dietary misinformation out there on the internet, tv and radio. The media tells us one week to be veggans and that cow methane is contributing to global warming. The next week they are telling us to shun all carbs or milk products, etc.

I'm sure without revelation it would be impossible to know what to believe. That's why I am grateful for the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith. Through continuing revelation, Joseph Smith asked these important questions of the Lord and Gods people have received clear direction and counsel.

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