It’s probably best not to believe that what God has said applies to us. We should consider the actual text, whether a specific chapter gives specifics, or even how the Bible describes a specific event. There are many examples of things God hasn’t actually said, like being careful about the rules about eating certain animals. In other examples, it seems we sometimes can read into what Scripture says.
Food safety is a complex issue, so it’s hard to get all the facts. But here are several things to think about when you have to make a conscientious decision, especially if you follow the Bible’s rules.
The Bible says things like never kill animals (Deut. 6:3). God doesn’t approve of humans torturing animals (Exod. 19:7-9, 20:1-12). It’s not okay to slaughter or otherwise kill animals (Lev. 23:21-22). There is a rule about eating a “strain or type” of animals (Ex. 19:15).
If you follow these rules, you’re not likely to have any negative reactions from God. But if you do something different—or transgress them—you might want to take it up with God.
Why did God say you should respect animal safety standards?
Some Christians who are concerned about animal violence often cite the rule that God has said you should care for the “fur” of your animals. This is a reference to the fact that these are “flesh,” so we should care for them humanely. However, no one could possibly say that eating animal fur is good. If you find yourself caring for the fur, that’s perfectly fine, but this is not a rule. Animals are treated according to their anatomy. This is why people can take down their cat from the top of their stairs and give it to their friend.
What if our conscience gets involved?
Most people don’t have a huge problem with being close to animals, but they are likely to be more upset if they feel that someone mistreated one. The key to being conscientious about animal care is to treat the animals respectfully and gently. If we mistreat a cow, we aren’t helping our situation; you might be helping cows and thus the animals. So if your conscience gets involved, ask God to forgive you and let you go ahead with your plan to slaughter a cow. (Read Leviticus chapter 17 for more on this.)
If God is going to forgive you, can
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