Jarvis explains why the 7th Day Adventist Church is so focused on vegetarianism. "SDA vegetarianism is rooted in the Bible, according to which for food God gave humans "all plants that bear seed everywhere on earth, and every tree bearing fruit that yields seed" (Genesis 1:29)."
January 1, 1902
Why I am not a vegetarian
Eating by the Book?
SDA vegetarianism is rooted in the Bible, according to which for food God gave humans "all plants that bear seed everywhere on earth, and every tree bearing fruit that yields seed" (Genesis 1:29). Meat is said to have become a part of the human diet after the Flood, when all plant life had been destroyed: "Every creature that lives and moves shall be food for you" (Genesis 9:3). Adventists are taught that the introduction of meat into the human diet at that time decreased the human life span from the more than 900 years of the first humans to today's "three-score and ten."
However, the Bible warns against confusing dietary practices with moral behavior:
For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace. (Romans 14:17)Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink. (Colossians 2:16)One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables, let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgment on him who eats. (Romans 14:2-4)
It also seems to condemn vegetarianism:
The Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some in the church will turn away from Christ and become eager followers of teachers with devil inspired ideas. These teachers will tell lies with straight faces and do it so often that their consciences won't even bother them. They will say that it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat meat, even though God gave these things to well-taught Christians to enjoy and be thankful for. For everything God made is good, and we may eat it gladly if we are thankful for it. ( I Timothy 4:1-4, Living Bible)
SDA Church pioneer Ellen G. White (1827-1915) was a proponent of vegetarianism even though she did not practice it herself. Like the Grahamites of her time, she taught that gradually the earth would become more corrupted, diseases and calamities worse, and the food particularly animal foods unsafe. In 1902 she wrote that the time might come when the use of milk should be discontinued. Although White was an advocate of science and chiefly responsible for making SDA healthcare a science-based enterprise, clearly she did not anticipate twentieth-century advances in public health and medical science. Despite the record longevity now enjoyed by people in the developed nations, vegetarian zealots within the church caught up in the doomsday hysteria of the 1990s have decided that the time has come to give up all animal foods and are fervidly preaching veganism.