Friday, December 19, 2008

St. Francis a Vegetarian

Q: I’m having a disagreement with my parents. I want to become a vegetarian because I don’t believe in the inhumane killing of innocent animals. I realize that becoming a vegetarian means that I’ll have to eat other foods so that I get the necessary nutrients and stuff, but my parents still think it’s unhealthy. Plus, it is inconvenient for the rest of the family. I’m trying to get them to understand my position better. My question is: wasn’t St. Francis a vegetarian?

A: No, St. Francis was not a vegetarian. In early biographies, St. Francis says if Christmas were to be on a Friday, that all those in the Order would be allowed twice as much rations of meat, and animals allowed twice as much hay.

St. Francis had a great love for animals, he often referred to them as his brothers or sisters, and he would even talk to them. If the act of eating meat itself were immoral then all the saints would be vegetarians. God put animals on this earth solely for our benefit. Animals do demand a certain amount of respect though, as does everything else that God created. You don’t cut down a giant innocent oak tree just for the sake of chopping it down do you? You do it for the wood. Chopping down big ole’ oak trees for fun, or needlessly, would be misusing one of God’s gifts to us. It’s the same with animals, God put them here so that we may profit from them, but not to kill for fun. To kill inhumanely or more than we need is, again, an abuse of one of God’s gifts to us.


Additional Resource:
Healthy Vegetarian Eating