Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Rebuttal to Vox's Video, "Want to save animal lives without going veg? Eat beef, not chicken."

Here is the original video:


I saw this video trending on YouTube yesterday and was amazed at the amount of misinformation in it, so I felt the need to do a rebuttal. As usual, I have nothing personal against the people who made the video, just the claims they are making in it. Let’s begin.

  1. “Everyone’s met a vegan who has been rude to them or who has been outrageous or angry or yelling at them. So it’s not surprising that somebody like Anthony Bourdain (a Top Chef) called vegans “Hezbollah.”
They then show a clip of Anthony mispronouncing the word “vegans” and saying they are like the Hezbollah (militant Islamic Sharia fundamentalist group) in that they share a lot of the same behaviors as “dangerous fundamentalist groups.”
Assuming that all vegans, or even most vegans, are hateful and militant fundamentalists with an agenda would be falling for a guilty-by-association fallacy.


That being said, those in Islamic extremist groups, such as the Hezbollah, who advocate for Sharia law, literally believe it’s okay to kill/torture/rape human beings if they do something deemed as sinful.

Vegans, on the other hand, believe killing innocent beings of any kind, humans or animals, is wrong. What they’re advocating for is the exact opposite of Sharia Law, so it is nonsensical to compare the two movements.

  1. “No one eats meat because they want animals to suffer. No one goes to the grocery store and says, ‘Yeah, I love what Tyson does to this chicken. That’s what I’m gonna support.’ People eat meat because everyone around them eats meat. It’s what they’re used to. It’s what’s familiar. It’s what’s easy and cheap.”
Sure, something that is considered “the norm” in society might be hard to give up because we’re afraid of standing out from the crowd and/or breaking old habits. But just because something is the norm doesn’t mean it is right or okay to keep doing. People in China celebrate the Yulin dog and cat meat festival every year where they kill countless dogs and cats to use as meat. They have no need to do so because it’s a celebration, not coping with any sort of famine, and yet they do it anyway. For those who grew up with the tradition, it may be hard for them to give up because their family and friends participated in it. Does that mean they should just choose to give up and kill dogs/cats anyway? Nope. So does that mean it’s okay to keep supporting the animal agriculture industry when we know it’s destroying our health, the planet, and the animals’ wellbeing? Nope again. People have to make a choice and stand up for what they believe in. Otherwise, this world could never change for the better. It’s time to take responsibility for our own actions.


And no, a diet that includes meat, dairy, and egg products is definitely more expensive than a diet of rice, beans, pasta, fruit, vegetables, etc.


  1. “What some friends and I decided is that we should take a different approach. Rather than just pushing veganism, we should take the opportunity that people have to take one step that will have a profound impact on the number of animals suffering. And that is to have them not eat chickens anymore. No matter what they eat instead, if they cut out eating chickens, they will remove the vast majority of their support for factory farms.”
As far as helping the planet goes, only giving up chickens and not other animal products would do little to actually help anything change (as we will discuss in later points). Not to mention, if people have such a “hard time” giving up meat, what makes the creators of this video believe that the majority of people would give up chicken, the most popular meat in the entire world? They also fail to mention that in order to effectively stop the production of chicken, we would have to stop eating eggs too.
To be honest, patting yourself on the back for saying, “Okay, so instead of not eating any animals, let’s just not eat chickens anymore. That is progress,” sounds like this:


  1. “The average American diet causes about 25 land animals to be factory farmed and slaughtered every year. If people just stopped eating chickens, they will spare 23 of those animals. This is because it takes over 200 chickens to provide the same number of meals as one steer, or over 40 chickens to provide the same number of meals as one pig.”
Yes, chickens are the most frequently slaughtered animal, which is unfortunate. But can we really choose to just turn a blind eye to the enormous amount of other animals that are killed every single second?

Also, chickens are lowest on the list when it comes to the amount of water wasted on livestock. If the majority of the population went vegan, the problem of wasting water could easily be solved. As we see here, cattle require the most amount of water:


It’s for these reasons that vegans have the lowest carbon footprint of around 6.5, while those who are “low-meat eaters” are still up around 10.3.


  1. “There have been a number of studies, the most recent by Faunalytics, that shows over 80% of people who go vegetarian go back to eating animals. Almost half of the people surveyed on this say that they go back because they can’t stand the pressure to maintain a pure diet. So when we’re pushing people to eat the way we eat, we are driving people away. We are driving people back to eating meat.”
Actually, people are capable of making their own decisions. Not everyone is turned off by vegans simply presenting information in a friendly way. Yes, there are a few extremist vegans out there who tend to push people away more than inform them, but that doesn’t mean that there is any less truth to the movement. It took a long time for people to conclude that smoking is bad for our health. There were even scientists and doctors who swore up and down that smoking was good for people. When the information first came out from the World Health Organization that smoking causes lung cancer, most people accepted it, but most did not quit smoking because they had formed a habit. Since then, though, the amount of smokers has greatly decreased, just as the amount of vegans and vegetarians has increased. Even if a change is slow, it is still completely significant to a more positive change in our future.

The World Health Organization has more recently concluded that the consumption of red and processed meats are harmful to our health and can significantly raise our risk of cancer. Other studies, such as the well-known China study, concluded that consumption of animal products worldwide is directly connected to diabetes, heart disease, and most cancers. Simply giving up chicken will not solve this problem.



  1. "Around 2% of people (US population) are true vegetarians. Around 0.5% of people (US population) are vegan. Now this is after decades of advocacy. Peter Singer’s book Animal Liberation came out in the 1970s (1975). PETA came around in 1980. So groups and advocates have been at this for decades. And yet the percentage of people in the United States who are vegetarian has basically not changed at all. So it really is time for us to reconsider our message, reconsider our advocacy, and do something that has a chance of being different, that has a chance of breaking through to the general public. Because we know, just by looking at the graphs, just by looking at the numbers, that we have been failures at this so far.”
Here is the graph they provided:

Part of the reason meat consumption has increased is because our population over time has greatly increased as well.


But aside from that, veganism and vegetarianism have undoubtedly surged in popularity since the 1970s. Worldwide, vegetarians now make up 5% of the population. That is approximately 350 million people!  It used to be that you’d have to go to a specialty health food store to find vegan or vegetarian alternative foods like soy meat or almond milk, but now they are in almost every grocery store. As a kid who was lactose intolerant, I remember there being exactly one lactose-free cheese in any of our local grocery stores, and it still contained casein (milk protein). Now, as an adult, those same grocery stores carry at least 3 different brands of vegan cheese. Change is happening right before our eyes and new vegans are coming out of the woodwork every day.
We can see this rise in vegan interest just by doing a simple search in Google Trends:

Overall, this video not only tries to cast vegans in a negative light, but also fails to solve any major problems facing the world today, such as saving the environment, ending world hunger, decreasing cruelty to animals as much as possible, and preventing/reversing the most common diseases in the Western world (heart disease, diabetes, cancer). All things that veganism is capable of accomplishing. Therefore, it’s safe to say, the video is not worth our time.

I did like the quick response of dislikes, though. Clearly, a lot of people saw right through this one. ;)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Why Do the Scriptures Condone Killing Animals? A Vegan's Perspective

As most people who read this blog know, I am LDS/Christian (meaning I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, A.K.A. the Mormon Church), and I am also a vegan (meaning I don’t eat or use anything from an animal including meat, dairy, eggs, leather, fur, etc.). Because of this, I often have conversations with other Christians about veganism pertaining to the scriptures. Many Christians claim that meat-eating was completely condoned by God all throughout the scriptures, often stating, “Jesus ate meat, so I eat meat too.” Today I wish to address the most common scriptural references that Christians say “support” meat eating and provide some context and friendly rebuttal. Before I start, I will say that I completely believe that it is pleasing to our Heavenly Father when we abstain from animal products. So, therefore, it is a worthy cause, and I hope to illustrate that in these points.

First of all, whenever I make mention of animal products (meat, dairy, eggs) being "unhealthy," what I mean is that they have been proven to contribute to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more of the most common diseases we face today. I'll place some peer reviewed studies at the bottom of this article for more information on the nutritional aspect.

First, let’s look at examples from the Bible that many Christians claim to be “proof” that using animals for food/raiment is a righteous thing to do.

  1. Adam and Eve wore animal skins after the fall.


Genesis 3:21
21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

These skins didn’t seem to have ever been attached to an animal. They were simply created by God to clothe Adam and Eve, so there is no real indication of cruelty in this verse. However, since part of Adam and Eve’s punishment for disobeying God was living off of the land and enduring hardship, it’s certain that at some point, they would need to kill and use animal skins for raiment. It’s hard to blame them, though, since they didn’t have much else to work with at the time. But as they grew crops, surely they made clothing out of plant fibers at some point too.

One thing to keep in mind is that before Adam and Eve fell and they still lived in the Garden of Eden, they were essentially what we today would call “vegan.” And so were the animals!

Genesis 1:28-30
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 ¶ And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

2) Animal sacrifice was practiced in the Old Testament.  


There are a LOT of references in the Bible to animal sacrifice. Here are a few:

19 ¶ And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.
20 Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.
21 And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him.
22 Also thou shalt take of the ram the fat and the rump, and the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and the right shoulder; for it is a ram of consecration:
31 ¶ And thou shalt take the ram of the consecration, and seethe his flesh in the holy place.

11 And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the Lord.
12 If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried.
13 Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings.
14 And of it he shall offer one out of the whole oblation for an heave offering unto the Lord, and it shall be the priest’s that sprinkleth the blood of the peace offerings.
15 And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.

3 And unto the children of Israel thou shalt speak, saying, Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering;
4 Also a bullock and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord; and a meat offering mingled with oil: for to day the Lord will appear unto you.
19 Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.

14 And he shall offer his offering unto the Lord, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings,

10 Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the Lord your God.

To me, this is the saddest thing to happen to animals in scriptural times. However, even I will admit there was a great reasoning behind it. As many Christians are already aware, animal sacrifice ended with the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us. He died to atone for our sins. Before he did that, the only way to repent was by animal sacrifice.
According to what I understand of the Plan of Salvation, this is not just something God “made up” to torture animals, as I’ve heard some people hastily assume. There is opposition in all things. Where there is good, there will always be an opposite of evil parallel to it. When God had a plan to give us life, there was another, Satan, who wished to take control and have all the glory be his own. Christ made it so that such a thing would never happen, thankfully. But because we live in a world of both good and evil, we must realize that there is a natural balance to things. Good deeds attract good circumstances, and bad deeds (sins) attract bad circumstances. Many know this as karma or “what goes around comes around.” Our worthiness to return to paradise with Heavenly Father and be exalted with him relies on our ability to pass the ultimate test of this life, which is choosing to believe in Christ and follow all of God's commandments. When we don’t, we must repent. Before Christ sacrificed himself to cover our imperfect and sinful state, that had to be repeatedly covered by the death of animals. Sin attracts death, but righteousness attracts life.

We may also remember that animals weren’t the only ones people had to be willing to sacrifice. Abraham’s faith was tested when the Lord commanded him to sacrifice his own son, Isaac. Thankfully, it was merely a test, and Isaac was spared.

2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

The good news is, there will be no more death once Christ returns again. As sad as the cruelty in this world can be, God has a plan of happiness for all of us that includes us all being peaceful once again after the Second Coming, including the animals, as we see in these passages:

Isaiah 11:6
6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

Isaiah 65:25
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.

3) Manna and quail were sent by God to the people of Moses.

Exodus 16:13
13 And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.

To put this in context, the people of Moses were wandering through barren desert lands for many years, so they had very little access to food. In this case, it would be a lot like a famine, only in traveling form. In this story, God sent manna as the main source of food for people to make into bread, and he also sent them quail for meat. Bread and meat are two things that are higher in calories and can sustain people longer than if the people relied only on trying to forage plants in the desert. Some may argue, “Well, he’s God. He can do anything, so he should have just made fruit trees or grains spring up out of the ground.” What these people may be forgetting is that this life is a test, and the people of Moses were most definitely in the midst of that test. In order to try their faith, they had to work for things, even after God provided for them. For example, the manna fell from heaven, but it was still up to the people to gather it, preserve it, and bake it into bread.
As for the quail that were used for food, it’s clear that this was a sacrifice God made in order to be sure his people were being fed enough to survive, sad as it may be. But that does not mean that animals are meaningless to him. As we see in Luke, every bird and creature has importance to our Heavenly Father, just as he loves every one of us.

Luke 12:6
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?

Not to mention, animals aren’t the only things God has sent to die so that we might live. Let us not forget, God sent his own beloved son to die for all of us too.

John 3:16
16 ¶ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

4) The Prodigal Son returned and they killed the fatted calf.


Luke 15:23
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

Just as it was common to make animal sacrifices in Biblical times, it was also quite common to offer up your best livestock when a cause for celebration came along. This is something that spans over numerous cultures and, though I don’t agree with it, it had cultural significance at the time. Since most people were not wealthy, it was a sign of great respect, gratitude and thanksgiving when someone would offer the best of their livestock and share it in a celebratory feast with their family/neighbors. These days, our cultures have thankfully changed and moved away from such traditions here in the Western world. Let us not forget, had the poorer people of that time not kept livestock, hunted, etc., they may not have been able to survive due to possible crop failure, famines, etc.

Animals weren’t the only questionable thing consumed at celebrations in those times. So was wine. In fact, while many Christians abstain from alcohol in our modern day (and rightly so, it’s terrible for our health), it was arguably the most common drink in much of the world for centuries because water simply wasn’t clean enough to drink most of the time. We see in these verses that even Christ himself condoned drinking wine.

John 2: 1-11
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

Does that mean he wants us to drink wine today? Nope, because we have clean water accessible to us. Just the same, since we have access to plenty of non-animal sources of food, we no longer need to eat animal products in our modern Western society.

5) Isaac asked Esau to hunt for him.

Genesis 27:3-4
3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;
4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.

This is by far the most common Bible verse of hunters. They often use it as an excuse to go out and kill everything from deer to bears to wolves. What they forget is the actual context of this verse. While they may skim over it and take it as some random commandment from God to go and kill his own animal creations, it is actually just a request made by a dying Isaac to his son Esau. They were in need of food out in the wilderness and he was too weak to go hunt, so he asked Esau to hunt for him so he could eat. Simple as that. Sure, I don’t like that animals had to die for this, but like the other examples we see in this post, having a lack of food in the wilderness was very common in these biblical times because, simply put, society was just not as advanced as it needed to be for the majority’s prosperity.

However, we are warned in Genesis that animals are only to be killed/used if there is a need, otherwise we will be held personally responsible for them.

Genesis 9: 2-5
2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.

6) Jesus helped the disciples catch fish.

5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.

This story is a lot like the quail in point #3. This was a society who were used to surviving off of mainly grains and fish. Times were hard and they basically needed whatever food they could come by. However, in our Western world today, this is not the case. When we go to the grocery store, or even grow a garden in our own backyard, we have the ultimate choice in what to eat. What a blessing this is! Christ helped those who needed food to feed their families by filling their nets. Nowadays, if we ask God for guidance, he can help us make healthy decisions and learn self control in our deeds to that we can live healthier, happier lives. That includes abstaining from killing/consuming  animals that we are not in need of for food or raiment.

7) Jesus fed a multitude with loaves and fishes.


19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.

In this example, the fish bodies merely appeared, with no apparent spirits in them. Therefore, there is no cruelty in this particular story. However, eating fish is still unhealthy, but since it was what people were used to eating in those days, that is what Jesus made appear. Bread and fish are two foods that fill a person up, and Christ was making a miracle to feed an entire multitude of people  So the miracle was the point of this story, not just the fish.

8) Jesus ate broiled fish after his resurrection.


Luke 24:42-43
42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

For one thing, Christ’s body was perfected after his resurrection, so it’s not as if eating fish would do him harm. However, when it comes to the ethics of someone as compassionate as Christ partaking of a dead animal, we must remember, this was the norm of that time period because without meat, many people would not have had enough to eat.

It is implied in the scriptures, though, that a vegan diet will be the norm after Christ’s second coming because there will be no more death after he returns.

Revelation 20:6
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Hosea 2:18
18 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.

And now we move on to scriptures from the book of Mormon, for my fellow
Latter-day Saint readers.

9) Nephi hunted animals in the wilderness to feed his family.

There are several passages in 1st Nephi describing his need to hunt while in the wilderness in order to provide food for his family. Here are a few:

1 Nephi 16:14-15
14 And it came to pass that we did take our bows and our arrows, and go forth into the wilderness to slay food for our families; and after we had slain food for our families we did return again to our families in the wilderness, to the place of Shazer. And we did go forth again in the wilderness, following the same direction, keeping in the most fertile parts of the wilderness, which were in the borders near the Red Sea.
15 And it came to pass that we did travel for the space of many days, slaying food by the way, with our bows and our arrows and our stones and our slings.

23 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?
26 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord said unto him: Look upon the ball, and behold the things which are written.
30 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did go forth up into the top of the mountain, according to the directions which were given upon the ball.
31 And it came to pass that I did slay wild beasts, insomuch that I did obtain food for our families.

32 And it came to pass that I did return to our tents, bearing the beasts which I had slain; and now when they beheld that I had obtained food, how great was their joy! And it came to pass that they did humble themselves before the Lord, and did give thanks unto him.


My reasoning for this will sound a lot like the reasoning for the quail in point #3. When traveling through the wilderness, it’s very difficult to get enough calories from vegetation alone. If you’re in an area where there aren’t many sources of fruit, root vegetables, grains, etc., it will be hard to get sufficient calories. In these times, it is actually a blessing that our bodies can temporarily survive on high calorie foods like meat to get by, sad as it is to have to kill. I, for one, am certainly grateful that I’m not in Nephi’s position. However, we do see that once they reached the land Bountiful, they were overjoyed at all the fruit growing there, which was a sign that they would prosper.

4 And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness.
5 And we did come to the land which we called Bountiful, because of its much fruit and also wild honey; and all these things were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish. And we beheld the sea, which we called Irreantum, which, being interpreted, is many waters.
6 And it came to pass that we did pitch our tents by the seashore; and notwithstanding we had suffered many afflictions and much difficulty, yea, even so much that we cannot write them all, we were exceedingly rejoiced when we came to the seashore; and we called the place Bountiful, because of its much fruit.

Also, we are taught in the Doctrine and Covenants that unless we are in times of hardship, such as a famine, it is pleasing to the Lord that we spare the animals lives and not use them for food or raiment, as we see in these passages.

D&C 89:12-13
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.

D&C 49:21
21 And wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need.

11) Amulek set bread and meat before Alma.

Alma 8:21
21 And it came to pass that the man received him into his house; and the man was called Amulek; and he brought forth bread and meat and set before Alma.

Alma was a chief and high priest over the land, meaning he was in a high political office. Eating meat was common among upper classes and royalty, not only in the scriptures, but all throughout history and in just about every culture. That doesn’t make it right, but it was a cultural norm, just as it has become a cultural norm for the majority to include meat in nearly every meal. Let us not forget, though, the story of Daniel from the Bible, and how he was prompted by God to Abstain from the king’s meat and wine.
Also, lest we forget, in verse 22, Alma eats the bread, but was never mentioned eating the meat.

22 And it came to pass that Alma ate bread and was filled; and he blessed Amulek and his house, and he gave thanks unto God.

That doesn't mean he abstained from meat, and also, "meat" does often mean general "food" in the scriptures, but still, it's a cool idea.

Daniel 1:8
8 ¶ But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

12) Many Lamanites ate nothing but raw meat.

Enos 1:20
20 And I bear record that the people of Nephi did seek diligently to restore the Lamanites unto the true faith in God. But our labors were vain; their hatred was fixed, and they were led by their evil nature that they became wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness; feeding upon beasts of prey; dwelling in tents, and wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins and their heads shaven; and their skill was in the bow, and in the cimeter, and the ax. And many of them did eat nothing save it was raw meat; and they were continually seeking to destroy us.

In this case, the Lamanites were being described for the wicked things they did, including eating meat needlessly by killing/eating predatory animals (which messed with the natural population control of the animals), consuming raw meat, etc. It was an example of things that righteous people should definitely NOT do.

13) The Gadianton Robbers Had Nothing To Eat But Meat for their Subsistence.

3rd Nephi 4:19
19 And because of the scantiness of provisions among the robbers; for behold, they had nothing save it were meat for their subsistence, which meat they did obtain in the wilderness.

I’ll set aside the fact that the Gadianton robbers were not a righteous people, therefore they were keeping themselves from blessings of prosperity in the first place. But when it comes to having nothing but meat to survive, obviously, no one wants to be in that position. However, if all a person had to eat was meat, few people would choose to starve. It’s a sad thing, especially during times in history when people have had to resort to eating their own pets to survive, but in times of need, who could blame them? Clearly, though, if we don’t need to eat meat because we’re not in dire need, then it’s best to abstain.

So there you have it. After all that, the most basic argument would be that, due to the limited food and resources of the time period, abstaining from animal products was just not an option for most people, including even our savior. When some people come across this idea, they may get upset or discouraged, wondering how Heavenly Father could be so “cruel” to create circumstances where we had to eat and wear animals to survive.

To that I say, it’s not God. Satan is the one who is evil. Because of the balance and nature of creation, when we sin, (without Christ’s atonement) the outcome is death. When we sin, we remove ourselves from the blessings Heavenly Father can provide us and instead submit to Satan. Yes, that makes life difficult and even tragic at times. But remember, this life is a test. If it were easy and always perfect, what would be the point? How can anyone know true happiness or accomplishment if they’ve never experienced sorrow or failure? That is why Christ atoned for us, so we could repent and be worthy to live with our Father again. Consider the words of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:

The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship

April 2014 General Conference

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Sadly enough, my young friends, it is a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods, smooth gods who not only don’t rock the boat but don’t even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds.11
Talk about man creating God in his own image! Sometimes—and this seems the greatest irony of all—these folks invoke the name of Jesus as one who was this kind of “comfortable” God. Really? He who said not only should we not break commandments, but we should not even think about breaking them. And if we do think about breaking them, we have already broken them in our heart. Does that sound like “comfortable” doctrine, easy on the ear and popular down at the village love-in?
And what of those who just want to look at sin or touch it from a distance? Jesus said with a flash, if your eye offends you, pluck it out. If your hand offends you, cut it off.12 “I came not to [bring] peace, but a sword,”13 He warned those who thought He spoke only soothing platitudes. No wonder that, sermon after sermon, the local communities “pray[ed] him to depart out of their coasts.”14 No wonder, miracle after miracle, His power was attributed not to God but to the devil.15 It is obvious that the bumper sticker question “What would Jesus do?” will not always bring a popular response.
At the zenith of His mortal ministry, Jesus said, “Love one another, as I have loved you.”16 To make certain they understood exactly what kind of love that was, He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”17 and “whosoever … shall break one of [the] least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be … the least in the kingdom of heaven.”18 Christlike love is the greatest need we have on this planet in part because righteousness was always supposed to accompany it. So if love is to be our watchword, as it must be, then by the word of Him who is love personified, we must forsake transgression and any hint of advocacy for it in others. Jesus clearly understood what many in our modern culture seem to forget: that there is a crucial difference between the commandment to forgive sin (which He had an infinite capacity to do) and the warning against condoning it (which He never ever did even once).

My overall message is not that eating meat is a sin, and it’s not that veganism is a commandment. You can have a temple recommend and still eat/wear animal products. Still, as it says in D&C 89, it is pleasing to God that the animals not be used unless we are in times of dire need.

Even more clear than the points I’ve made in this post is the fact that we should not need a commandment for everything we do or don’t do. We were given the gift of discernment through the light of Christ so that we can tell good from evil in our own hearts. Just as it says here:

D&C 58:26-27
26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.
27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

I have a testimony that the true gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to this earth and that the LDS church is true. I also testify that eating in this way, in the manner of the Garden of Eden, of Noah on the Ark, and in the way that we will eat after Christ’s second coming, I have strengthened my faith and knowledge of Heavenly Father’s love and Plan of Happiness for all of us. He wants us to be healthy, and he wants us to live long in our joyous existence on this earth. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Peer reviewed studies on the health benefits of plant-based/vegan diets:

Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets:

A Plant-Based Diet, Atherogenesis, and Coronary Artery Disease Prevention:

Diet, lifestyle, and the etiology of coronary artery disease: the Cornell China Study: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002914998007188

Vegetarian diets are associated with healthy mood states: a cross-sectional study in Seventh Day Adventist adults:

Dietary effects on breast-cancer risk in Singapore:

Red and Processed Meat and Colorectal Cancer Incidence: Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies:
A Low-Fat Vegan Diet Improves Glycemic Control and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in a Randomized Clinical Trial in Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes:

Atherosclerosis across 4000 years of human history: the Horus study of four ancient populations: