Religion poll? Interesting facts - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-21-2011, 09:12 AM
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Hopefully this wont degrade into a poop throwing contest.

I found it interesting that there was a religion poll on this forum. That suggest several things.

1). Religion, in general, is important to the people here.

2). The results clearly show the people who don't eat meat tend to reject religious belief (Lots of arguments as to what constitutes a religious belief).

I find that a fascinating fact. Especially since I read somewhere that the ancient Hebrews were vegetarians. The argument I read said that they didn't start eating meat until after the Babylonian captivity. Granted, the truth of that statement can be argued till dooms day. But, the article made a good argument that early humans didn't eat meat.

I really want to hear from the Atheist and agnostic group since you folks are by far the largest group. Does your world view, you thoughts on religion, influence your decision not to eat meat?

I'll throw you some background on me. I consider myself a Christian with a heavy Buddhist influence. I was a philosophy and religion major in college. I personally see spirituality in everything but, I respect your right to figure out your own way. I do not intend to try and sway you to what I think or believe. My purpose is to read your thoughts, see through your eyes. Perhaps I have missed some sliver of reality and you can provide that.
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#2 Old 09-21-2011, 01:03 PM
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No.

I'm a Philosophy student. Everything I come across, I think about. I do my own research, and find what makes sense for me. Atheism was the result of my personal research into religion, and veganism came from a part of my own personal ethical code. The two aren't particularly connected.


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#3 Old 09-21-2011, 01:48 PM
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Religion (or lack thereof), had nothing to do with my choice to become a vegetarian.

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#4 Old 09-21-2011, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by falconbrother View Post


I found it interesting that there was a religion poll on this forum. That suggest several things.

1). Religion, in general, is important to the people here.

2). The results clearly show the people who don't eat meat tend to reject religious belief (Lots of arguments as to what constitutes a religious belief).

The poll only reflects the views of the poll's respondents. It's a stretch to say that there is anything conclusive or meaningful in the results.
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#5 Old 09-21-2011, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by AeryFairy View Post

I do my own research, and find what makes sense for me. Atheism was the result of my personal research into religion, and veganism came from a part of my own personal ethical code. The two aren't particularly connected.

^
Same here for me.

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#6 Old 09-21-2011, 02:07 PM
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Well, I will say that over the years I have noticed that most Southern Christians will eat meat at every meal. That's not a judgement, just an observation. Nearly all of the vegetarians that I have known through the years were just not very "religious" people. After seeing the poll it kind of made me wonder.

As a Philosophy student I first rejected Christianity then found it to be beautiful. I stumbled upon Buddhism when a buddy of mine's 10 year old little girl died of brain cancer. I studied human suffering and found it's causes and solutions. So, I'm kind of a hybrid. Mix that with retired guy turned construction worker and there you go. What they tell you is the truth is generally a lie intended for their own purposes. The truth you must find on your own. Searching without personal bias and keeping an open mind is the hard part.
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#7 Old 09-21-2011, 02:19 PM
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I'm honestly surprised that more Christians (I know more Christians than any other religious group) aren't vegetarian. It would seem to me that being vegetarian would fit quite well with the philosophy.

I am not religious, but spiritual, and I meditate with a Zen group on Sunday mornings. I found Buddhism long after I found vegetarianism. I'm also surprised that more Buddhists aren't veg. They're supposed to be, but most come up with excuses why it isn't really necessary.

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#8 Old 09-21-2011, 02:39 PM
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Actually, I was still a Christian when I became a vegetarian. Although, to be quite honest, I wasn't really thinking about my beliefs at the time. I never thought for one second about the notions that "God gave us dominance over animals" or "The only reason God gave us animals is so we can eat them". The only thing that was on my mind were all those animals getting killed just so I won't go hungry.

Basically, my beliefs, or lack thereof, really have nothing to do with my decision. Although, next time someone does make the "God gave us animals..." notion, I could say, "Dude, I'm an atheist. Pick a better argument."

Also, I am a member of atheistforums.org and the majority of them are meat-eaters. At least from what I've read in their posts.
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#9 Old 09-21-2011, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by falconbrother View Post

Hopefully this wont degrade into a poop throwing contest.

I found it interesting that there was a religion poll on this forum. That suggest several things.

1). Religion, in general, is important to the people here.

2). The results clearly show the people who don't eat meat tend to reject religious belief (Lots of arguments as to what constitutes a religious belief).

I find that a fascinating fact. Especially since I read somewhere that the ancient Hebrews were vegetarians. The argument I read said that they didn't start eating meat until after the Babylonian captivity. Granted, the truth of that statement can be argued till dooms day. But, the article made a good argument that early humans didn't eat meat.

I really want to hear from the Atheist and agnostic group since you folks are by far the largest group. Does your world view, you thoughts on religion, influence your decision not to eat meat?

I disagree with your first conclusion. The fact that there's a religion poll only proves that religion is important to one person here - the person who started the poll. It really doesn't imply that religion is important to anyone else. In fact, only 125 people have answered the poll so far. There are currently over 50,000 registered VB members, and over 500 browsing VB as I write this. In the grand scheme of things, it's a pretty small number of VBers who answered the poll, though I suppose that's a pretty good response for a VB poll. And of those who did respond, I'm sure I'm not the only one who really doesn't care about religion, but is enough of a VB addict to respond to just about any poll that's posted, without sticking around to read the whole thread that comes with it.

I've never heard of any historical sources claiming that the ancient Hebrews were veg. I know about the Pythagoreans, but those are the only ancient veggies I know about. Of course, Adam and Eve were vegan in Genesis, but I don't consider that any sort of reliable historic source.

As for the correlation between atheism and veg*nism, I don't think it's a coincidence, but I also don't think it's a cause-effect relationship. Like others who have answered in this thread already, my reasons for becoming an atheist and a vegetarian were unrelated to each other. But I think that having an open mind to the possibility of rejecting societal norms played a part in both decisions. I think that's the shared personality trait of most atheists and veg*ns that led them down those paths, and why there's so much overlap between the two groups.

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#10 Old 09-21-2011, 03:24 PM
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I've never heard of any historical sources claiming that the ancient Hebrews were veg. I know about the Pythagoreans, but those are the only ancient veggies I know about. Of course, Adam and Eve were vegan in Genesis, but I don't consider that any sort of reliable historic source.
--Fromper

I don't recall any ancient "Hebrew" vegetarianism, either. There's surprisingly little legitimate research done in this area. Colin Spencer's "Vegetarianism" is the most thorough work I've seen on the history of vegetarianism and he covers religious groups. It's not great, but worth a read.
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#11 Old 09-21-2011, 07:18 PM
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I was agnostic theist my whole life, though I didn't realize it. My mom is a Christian and I was baptized as a Catholic, but I never went to church, I just knew basic teachings about God, but I had never picked up a bible in my life. I became vegan in May, and not long after I've started leaning more towards agnostic atheist, and I've started admitting this to friends. I think my belief in one or the other is not linked, but I do think that being vegan has made me realize my religious beliefs, because being vegan is different than others, and so is agnosticism, so I think I've just been less afraid to have different beliefs from others as a result of going vegan
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#12 Old 09-22-2011, 12:32 AM
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I have a lot of atheist friends and have frequented atheist forums in the past. There does appear to be a correlation between being an atheist and being a vegetarian - I would estimate that 10% of my atheist friends are either vegetarian, or do not consume much meat or fish, which is higher than the national average for vegetarians (approx 5%) Most atheists are rational thinkers - a lot of vegetarians are too. Once you learn critical thinking skills you can apply them to other subjects, so becoming an atheist may lead you to question your other beliefs, and vice versa. So I would tentatively suggest that there is a slight connection. (I remember having a similar discussion on an atheist forum when we discovered that there were quite a few vegetarians on the boards.)
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#13 Old 09-22-2011, 10:32 AM
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Cave paintings from the earliest times have shown men hunting.
I suspect that there were vegetarian's throughout all of time, but I also suspect that in the very early years the word vegetarian equated to "Bad Hunter"

I am naturally basing this on evidence found in those paintings on not some article written to promote or ridicule vegetarian's. I also will refrain from using the Bible, although it was clear that after Adam and Eve, (who by all best guesses were vegetarian), man was a meat eater.
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#14 Old 09-22-2011, 11:34 AM
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I'm honestly surprised that more Christians (I know more Christians than any other religious group) aren't vegetarian. It would seem to me that being vegetarian would fit quite well with the philosophy.

I am not religious, but spiritual, and I meditate with a Zen group on Sunday mornings. I found Buddhism long after I found vegetarianism. I'm also surprised that more Buddhists aren't veg. They're supposed to be, but most come up with excuses why it isn't really necessary.

I'm the opposite: I'm actually surprised there are so many Christian veg*ns. Many Christians, I think, tend to take the line that animals were put on the planet by their god for man's use, including for eating.

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#15 Old 09-22-2011, 11:57 AM
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I was atheist long before I was vegetarian. Maybe it does go hand in hand to the extent that if a person is willing to analyze and question one set of social norms (religion) that they would go on to question other socially accepted norms (eating animals.)
That said, there are religions that are pro-vegetarian (Seventh Day Adventist Christians, many Latter Day Saints,) so the results of the poll just may reflect that atheists may be more likely to respond... maybe due to being in the minority and seeking out confirmation that there are others who are similar. Just putting that out there from my point of view and not from any research on the subject.
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#16 Old 09-22-2011, 12:04 PM
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Religion poll fatigue may be in play. People who have been here awhile may stop answering polls about their beliefs when they see threads going the same way over and over again.

Q: How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? A: 1001...one to change the bulb, 1000 to say it's already been done.
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#17 Old 09-22-2011, 01:57 PM
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Religion poll fatigue may be in play. People who have been here awhile may stop answering polls about their beliefs when they see threads going the same way over and over again.

Yeah.

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#18 Old 09-22-2011, 02:11 PM
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Religion poll fatigue may be in play. People who have been here awhile may stop answering polls about their beliefs when they see threads going the same way over and over again.

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#19 Old 09-22-2011, 02:15 PM
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Personally, being vegetarian, made me question the way the church community I was a part of viewed animals or the earth. In my experience with Christianity, for whatever reason, they don't see a need to be vegetarian. A lot of Christians I know believe animals were sent here to be eaten, even though that's a contradiction from Adam and Eve. According to the Bible, God gave humans the permission to eat animals after the ark landed. Most don't realize it was permission, not a requirement..
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#20 Old 09-22-2011, 02:53 PM
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I'm the opposite: I'm actually surprised there are so many Christian veg*ns. Many Christians, I think, tend to take the line that animals were put on the planet by their god for man's use, including for eating.

Pure laziness on their part. Actually digging into the Bible instead of toeing the party (church) line seems to be too much effort for most Christians these days.
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#21 Old 09-22-2011, 03:54 PM
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I am a Christian and I been saying on each religion thread that I am a strong Bible believer. I believe that animals was put on earth because we were suppose to take care of them not eat them. I find it that the more strict the Christian are the more meat they bring into their homes. I was raised with various beliefs of doctrines and creeds and understanding of the Bible, I also got married to a Baptist and we attended since married Bible churches or Baptist churches. However, him and I both been checking into the dangers of factory farming and animal products, what it causes with the environment and health and ETC However, we don't go around and say that those that don't eat meat are for the devil like some Christians do.
My animal rights and political stance is not according to the Bible , It don't need to be because the Bible is a spiritual book and instruction manual for life for Christians and other believers.
Now for athiests they have their own reasons to be Vegetarians and Vegans and for the animals, they have their own focus what they want to live by. I think they are not doing nothing wrong because they are taking care of the animals, looking after the environment and helping each other, that is what the Bible states to help each other and look after each other and bear each other burdens.
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#22 Old 09-23-2011, 02:23 PM
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I am also agnostic, but I was surprised to learn what the Pope said about animal rights and factory farming. Maybe it could be helpful to quote him when discussing with die-hard meat-eating Christians.

I translated it from the german Peta-Site..
Answering the question of animal rights, he said:

It is a very serious question. By all means one can observe that they were given to us to care for them, and that we must not treat them arbitrarily. Animals are god's creatures.
Certainly, the type of industrial breeding where ducks are bred to have an oversized liver, or barracked chickens become caricatures of their species - this degrading of living beings to products seems to me indeed to contradict with the correlation of humans and animals which shines through in the bible.


Animals are god's creatures. He surrounds them with his constant care.
They bless and glorify him with their mere existence.
That is why humans owe them friendliness. We should remind ourselves about the gentleness in which Saints like Franz of Asisi or Philip Neri treated animals.
It is a contradiction of human dignity to let animals suffer or die unnecessarily.
What do you think?

Here's the Source, if anyone cares.
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#23 Old 09-23-2011, 02:33 PM
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I'll go ahead and actually answer the OP's question:

No. Being an atheist did not influence my decision to stop consuming animals. And my decision to stop consuming animals did not influence me to be an atheist.

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#24 Old 09-23-2011, 02:58 PM
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I've been an atheist for about 8 years now, though when I was younger and "Christian", I'm pretty sure I was really agnostic. I didn't quite grasp that I was supposed to believe all those stories happened. A death in the family led me to researching different religions and what it meant to be atheist.

I started looking into veg*nism in April of this year and have been a solid vegetarian since July 17th. Weight loss is what initially led to me start researching it, but it has stuck with me for many other reasons. It had nothing to do with atheism.

I might agree that perhaps atheists are used to being the odd woman out, so becoming veg*n and being the odd woman out there, too, isn't that much of a stretch. I dunno. Basically, atheism makes sense for me. Vegetarianism (and hopefully soon to be veganism) makes sense for me. And they aren't related in my case.

Vegetarian with vegan tendencies.
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#25 Old 09-23-2011, 03:01 PM
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I don't recall any ancient "Hebrew" vegetarianism, either. There's surprisingly little legitimate research done in this area. Colin Spencer's "Vegetarianism" is the most thorough work I've seen on the history of vegetarianism and he covers religious groups. It's not great, but worth a read.

http://asisrimoni.blogspot.com/2011/...tarianism.html
also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History...nd_Middle_Ages

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#26 Old 09-23-2011, 04:14 PM
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Very Cool. Thanks! I think I was confusing the Essenes with Gnostics, you know, both left ancient scrolls in ceramic vessels in the desert... Spencer did write about them in his book I mentioned, as it turns out.
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#27 Old 09-23-2011, 04:25 PM
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I notice that most Christians are not vegetarians and further have opinions that regard animals as foodstuff put here by god solely to serve us humans...
I don't really adhere to any religion. But I can relate to Hinduism and Buddhism to an extent, maybe because to them vegetarianism is acceptable and associated with a higher spirituality.
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#28 Old 09-23-2011, 04:32 PM
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Very Cool. Thanks! I think I was confusing the Essenes with Gnostics, you know, both left ancient scrolls in ceramic vessels in the desert... Spencer did write about them in his book I mentioned, as it turns out.

You're welcome ^.^ Gave me something to google about for a few minutes :P

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#29 Old 09-23-2011, 06:27 PM
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Religion (or lack thereof), had nothing to do with my choice to become a vegetarian.

Same here.

I don't think it's interesting that there's a religion poll on this site considering almost every forum no matter what the subject has at least on thread on religion.
We also had a poop poll at some point....now that was interesting and yes the results suggested that there is a connection between veg*nism and frequent pooping!
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#30 Old 09-23-2011, 06:33 PM
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I think people that question the meat-eating norms are also more likely to question the religious norms.
For me, I was just raised in a secular family, nothing to it. I don't think it has much to do with my vegetarianism other than that I was brought up trying to think for myself.

ÂIf man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.  Mark Twain
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