Sunday, 20 July 2008
Vegetarianism is required, clearly enough, by the Bible: Leviticus 17:14 "You must not eat the blood of any sort of flesh" (Some Christians ignore this, and eat black pudding and anything else they fancy; some Christians interpret this injunction to forbid the eating or drinking of blood, and live accordingly; other Christians believe it also forbids blood-transfusions). But even if we take the words in their most straightforward way, we have to concede that some blood remains in any flesh that we might eat. We've seen the Merchant of Venice; we know that the idea of separating out flesh and blood is a no-no. So we're to eat only bloodless vegetables. And what of all the other dietary laws from this corner of the Bible? (Not seething a calf in its mother's milk and so on). To be consistent, we must regard these are making assurance double sure; reinforcing the fundamental commandment that blood is impure.