Vegan AND Mormon: An Anomaly?

{Updated 9/16/2012:  Please note the link to the essay to which I refer, no longer works.  I have had no success tracking down the author of the site to find out if the article was transfered to another site or domain.  I apologize–it was a really great essay on the topic! Also, for more thoughts, see my Thoughts… post}

{Updated 4/2014: Jane Birch has written a fantastic, comprehensive book about the Word of Wisdom & plant-based diets–Discovering the Word of Wisdom: Surprising Insights from a Whole Food Plant-based PerspectiveI highly recommend it. She also has a blog along those same themes–check it out, HERE.}

{Updated 6/2014: You might be interested in an hour-long interview I did for the Mormon Vegetarian podcast. You can listen to it here, or download it on iTunes.}

Part 2 of Mormon + Vegan, HERE.

 

I must say first, that this is by no means a religious-themed blog.

But I feel I should address a religious aspect of me being vegan, or rather how my faith influences this choice, as my faith encompasses and touches everything in my life, including my dietary decisions.

I belong to the Mormon faith, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have been a member of this church my whole life. I am active, and always have been active in my faith; holding callings (serving in various capacities in my ward), attending weekly church services, and practicing my religion in my home (scripture study, prayer, ect.). I tell this not to say, look how righteous I am, but rather to indicate that I do believe and act on my faith. Indeed I have a testimony of the doctrine(s) of my faith. This may come as a surprise to some Mormons, as being vegan and Mormon cannot exist in their minds. And I don’t understand why this is.

Let me explain.

If you’re not LDS or familiar with this faith, we believe in what we call the Word of Wisdom. It is included in our canon of scripture, more in particular, in the Doctrine of Covenants. Essentially, it is a code of living, or rather a code of health that includes abstaining from tea, coffee, alcohol, drugs but it also includes the “do’s” such as grains and herbs/plants are good for the body, and meat should be eaten sparingly, among other things. I recommend you read it for yourself and see what amazing counsel it is, especially considering that it was issued in the 1830’s, long before any of the ill effects of tobacco, coffee, or alcohol were known.

If you’re not LDS, you are probably thinking, where’s the dilemma?

Sounds like vegetarianism doesn’t conflict with the Word of Wisdom, in fact it sounds like it lends itself to a plant-based diet, right? Perhaps, but in practice, the fact is, most LDS people are not vegetarians, and some are even supicious, wary, or even hostile of the thought.

[If you want to know more about how I respond to inquiries about the word of wisdom and vegetarianism, check out one of the comment sections from a prior post, here.]

I mention all this to you because I came across the most interesting essay that I highly recommend, especially if you are Mormon, that really outlines my feelings about the WOW (word of wisdom) and how it pertains to me being Mormon & vegan. I have never come across anything that so thoughtfully and objectively outlines the dilemmas and situations that Mormon vegetarians or vegans find themselves in. Specifically, that of feeling a little alienated at times by the fact that we chose not to eat meat yet, the WOW is very clear in supporting a diet based on plants with little or no meat. Further, I have yet to find a scripture in all of the LDS canon, that suggests that I must eat meat or animal products to obtain salvation, or to be a righteous latter-day saint. Yet as the essay points out, Mormon vegetarians/vegans can be met with some degree of hostility from fellow saints regarding their dietary choices.

To me, this makes no sense. An LDS person could be on the Atkins diet for example, or eat a wide range of extremely unhealthy junk/processed foods, or just eat the SAD (standard American diet) which is largely based on animal products, all options which are not healthful or wholesome, and is never questioned as to their following the Word of Wisdom. Yet, if that person were to chose to become vegetarian, they would find themselves being questioned as to their commitment to the Word of Wisdom. I find this discrepancy a perplexing issue.

I am able to relate to this man’s experience outlined in his essay about going to church social/functions and seeing the gaping holes between the culture and the doctrine (at least what is presented in the WOW regarding meat, that is that meat should be used in times of famine or winter) as without fail, one or more of the following are always served as part of the main part of the meal: steaks, turkey, hams, hot dogs, hamburgers, or chicken.

Let me be clear. This dilemma in no way inhibits my Mormon faith. Rather, I understand that culturally we seem to be living something much different than what is suggested in scripture. But isn’t this the case with so many aspects of the gospel?  We are commanded to love our neighbor.  Yet which one of us loves our neighbor perfectly?  And we are commanded to love God with our whole heart, mind, might, and strength, yet again, which one of this does so?  I suppose all I am saying is that the Word of Wisdom suggests we eat a diet primarily of plants, yet meat seems to be the staple for most of our meals.

It is never my wish to get into an argument or even heated debate with anyone about this issue. Really, my experience with others within my faith has been quite positive. That is not to say that I’ve had many in-depth discussions with other members about it.  But rather, people’s reactions have been one of politeness and acknowledgement. Like, “oh you’re vegetarian, that’s nice.”  And notice how I say vegetarian, not vegan.  I find that using the word vegan is still much too polarized for people, and some don’t even know what it is.  Not only that, I don’t particularly like labeling myself which usually lends itself to negative stereotyping, like “you’re vegan? did you help burn down that fur factory last week?”

The bottom line is this. I believe that how you practice your religion is your business. In my case, I am Mormon and believe there are a few people within my realm who do it make it their business to know how I am living and how this relates to my spirituality. These people happen to be my spiritual leaders: my bishop and stake president. And thus far my experience with these people as it relates to being vegan has been positive. One bishop actually wanted to know more about incorporating a plant-based diet because he suffered from a number of health problems some of which included high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol. Another bishop said, “Oh I need to eat less meat and more vegetables.” That’s it.

People, fellow LDS saints no different, typically say, after hearing that I’m vegetarian, “Oh, yah, I don’t eat very much meat either,” or “I try to eat vegetarian a couple times a week,” or “I really should be doing better with my diet.”

It’s funny to note that I get that “I don’t eat very much meat” comment a lot, and I guess the amount of meat you think you are eating really depends on the person. Because someone saying that, may eat meat for only 2 meals instead of 3, or only use meat as a side dish with every meal instead of a main dish, which I think does not fit under the category of “not very much meat.”

It becomes subjective when people use these very imprecise gauges, and what I would call an inordinate amount of meat someone else would call a “sparing” amount. But as mentioned before, I think it’s clear what “sparingly” means: in times of famine or winter (and winter back in the 1830’s did mean very few food options, not so today). Which really is in alignment with the fact that our bodies have no nutritional dependence on animal products (meaning we can survive, even thrive without them) but we are able to eat and digest meat and it does have some nutritional properties that can save our lives if we were ever in a state of starvation/famine.

I don’t go around telling people to “put down that hamburger, you’re not obeying the word of wisdom!” I would hope fellow saints would be kind of enough to do the same and not say, “put down your beans and rice and get yourself a steak, you’re not obeying the word of wisdom!”

I understand for a lot of people they claim the “moderation in all things,” argument, quoting this as scripture, which it is not, but rather a quote from Terance, a Roman comic dramatist. I think balance is good, but moderation can and does kill. Poison in moderate amounts, is still as deadly as poison in large amounts.

I think there are a lot of things we tell ourselves so we don’t have to face the reality of certain situations. The truth, as they say, is hard to swallow sometimes. Not only that, but cultural traditions, especially as they relate to our diet, are deeply embedded and are often very difficult to change.

Finally, I would say to anyone who has objections to a vegetarian diet because they are Mormon to consider their own health. I find it interesting that a lot of these objectionists, are often themselves in a state of poor health due to dietary/lifestyle choices that could have been prevented by eating a more healthful plant-based diet based on those foods emphasized in the Word of Wisdom. Not that I go around judging people’s health, this is simply my observation based on my encounters over the past 3 years as I have been vegan.

Whatever your dietary choices may be, it simply is not my business. If your LDS, as with any commandment given, it is up to you, the individual to study, ponder, and pray and decide for yourself how you will apply the knowledge and understanding given to you.

One last thought.

I believe in God. I believe that he wants us to be happy. I know that part of that happiness depends on how well we care for our bodies, as well as how we care for our fellow creatures (animals included).


Comments


  1. Bec
    on June 11, 2016 at 11:39 pm said:

    Thank you so much for a well thought out and eloquently spoken article. I’m a vegan Mormon of 3 years and I regularly feel like people in our Ward see our family as vaguely deviant because of it. It’s ok though, I’m confident in my decision (after having grown up vegetarian, and now my Mum is vegan after 30 years of vegetarianism and none of us have been struck by lightening yet 😉) and none else has to answer for it but me. It’s just nice to know there are other vegan members of the church out there. Thank you!

    • sean bergbower
      on October 8, 2016 at 7:49 pm said:

      I am a Mormon vegan

      • Jessica Atkinson
        on January 19, 2017 at 7:55 pm said:

        Me too

  2. Manda - www.frugalnutritarianfamily.wordpress.com
    on December 11, 2015 at 10:48 am said:

    Thank you for writing this, Janae! I especially liked the “this makes no sense” paragraph, the one after it, and the part about “moderation in all things” (I, too, have pointed out to people that it is not a scriptural phrase, etc.). I will have to read the pages you linked to as well.

  3. Liz
    on March 31, 2015 at 11:45 am said:

    I loved this article, being vegan and LDS myself. And the word of wisdom states in D&C 89:13 that you shouldn’t eat meat unless you’re starving to death. We’re all earthlings. That’s the truth.

  4. Janae Wise
    on April 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm said:

    Hey all!

    Jane Birch has written a fantastic, comprehensive book about the Word of Wisdom & plant-based diets–Discovering the Word of Wisdom: Surprising Insights from a Whole Food Plant-based Perspective, available on Amazon: http://astore.amazon.com/whofoovegmom-20/detail/1493684965. I highly recommend it.

    She also has a blog along the same themes: http://discoveringthewordofwisdom.com/

    Check out both–I think you’ll find both super helpful & inspiring.

    • Jane Birch
      on April 7, 2014 at 7:48 pm said:

      Thanks, Janae!

      I hope my book will be a blessing to those who read it and that every reader will find some treasure in it. No one should feel they need to agree with everything! I love diverse thinking and believe we all have something to contribute to the conversation. You can read the first two chapters here: http://discoveringthewordofwisdom.com/buy-book/about-the-book/.

      Living a whole food, plant-based lifestyle has been such a joyful experience, I love sharing what I’ve learned and learning from others. I’m finding there are people all over the world who are making fundamental changes to their lives because of the Word of Wisdom and reaping great blessings as a consequence. I’ve started a website to feature their stories, and I invite others to contribute, if they are willing to share their stories: http://discoveringthewordofwisdom.com.

  5. Dave
    on April 4, 2014 at 7:23 pm said:

    Last comment…

    Matt, you’re as much a Mormon as I am a Martian. Please don’t suggest you’re a member of the church, concerned about the WoW and spew the negative garbage you’ve added to this thread.

    You’re welcome to your beliefs, just don’t attribute them as LDS beliefs because it appears you know and believe little of what the church teaches.

    Later.

    • Matt
      on April 4, 2014 at 10:06 pm said:

      Thought you were leaving us Dave, but thanks for coming back and again doing nothing but attacking me personally and not focusing on what the WoW actually says. I’m sorry I’ve put so much cognitive dissonance in your life, but the truth is the truth, no matter how many false beliefs you throw at it, and no matter how many personal attacks you throw at those that are willing to speak it. I realize you are the majority in the LDS Church, but it makes you no less right simply because you choose to go along with crowd and take the easy way.

    • LDSPatriot
      on August 1, 2016 at 8:33 pm said:

      Thank you Dave, I find it interesting how so many members of this church pick & choose which scriptures they believe in. Because these vegans totally disregard Scripture that goes AGAINST such belief. Which goes along with conspiring “men/women”, take some time to read D&C 49 (preface,heading) & 17-19, enough said. All must refrain from this pick and choose attitude to justify their choices. But as my husband says you can’t get through to a fanatic

      • Jane Birch
        on August 1, 2016 at 8:50 pm said:

        I know many Mormons who eat a totally plant-based diet who also love the verses in D&C 49 and embrace them. Nothing in D&C 49 tells us we can’t eat a vegan diet. It only says we should not forbid others from eating meat, if they choose. Like Section 89, Section 49 suggests meat is good for our use, but in limited situations: “And wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need.” (D&C 49:21). See also this longer explanation: http://discoveringthewordofwisdom.com/about/the-word-of-wisdom/wow-faqs/command-to-abstain/

      • Mat
        on August 2, 2016 at 2:05 am said:

        I’ll just leave Jane’s response right here, in case you missed her post. That you sided with Dave is not a good sign, but just in case, here you go:

        I know many Mormons who eat a totally plant-based diet who also love the verses in D&C 49 and embrace them. Nothing in D&C 49 tells us we can’t eat a vegan diet. It only says we should not forbid others from eating meat, if they choose. Like Section 89, Section 49 suggests meat is good for our use, but in limited situations: “And wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need.” (D&C 49:21). See also this longer explanation: http://discoveringthewordofwisdom.com/about/the-word-of-wisdom/wow-faqs/command-to-abstain/

        • Carl
          on August 2, 2016 at 3:06 pm said:

          This is why I left the Mormon church (but remain friends with many who remain) – too much analysing and in-fighting. Its a shame.
          My understanding of D&C 49 is 1. only eat flesh when totally necessary – and in these days of overseas imports and abundance it is hardly ever necessary. 2. Do not force your opinions regarding the consumption of flesh upon others and 3) Wo betide anyone who consumes flesh when there was no need.
          I think that pretty much sums it up – no-one needs to eat meat if they don’t feel compelled to.
          I see no fanatics here – judges yes, but no fanatics.

  6. Matt
    on April 4, 2014 at 2:42 pm said:

    Just so we can stay on topic and not get sidetracked by the “sparingly” arguments, let’s take a look at what the WoW actually says.

    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.

    14 All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;

    15 And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.

    One cannot simply stop reading at section 12 and call it a day, one must read the rest. When one does you find “sparingly” to be defined as only only in times of cold or famine, that’s it. It’s not “sparingly” as virtually every Mormon would like it to be, that is a temporal reading and even then it is wrong, but the actual definition and spiritual meaning of that phrase is further defined by the verses that follow it.

    It is not being proud to point out when false doctrine is being spread in order that others are not led astray.

  7. Matt
    on April 4, 2014 at 2:41 pm said:

    Just so we can stay on topic and not get sidetracked by the “sparingly” arguments, let’s take a look at what the WoW actually says.

    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.

    14 All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;

    15 And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.

    One cannot simply stop reading at section 12 and call it a day, one must read the rest. When one does you find “sparingly” to be defined as only only in times of cold or famine, that’s it. It’s not “sparingly” as virtually every Mormon would like it to be, that is a temporal reading and even then it is wrong, but the actual definition and spiritual meaning of that phrase is further defined by the verses that follow it.

  8. Jessica
    on April 4, 2014 at 1:03 pm said:

    I hope you guys have all gotten a copy of Jane Birch’s Discovering the Word of Wisdom. Great book! It takes a really spiritual outlook on health and expresses healthy goals while not judging other members of the church who don’t choose to eat our way.

  9. Dave
    on April 4, 2014 at 11:36 am said:

    There are many great comments on this thread. There are also many sad and misguided comments, in my opinion.

    Here is something that people in this thread should consider…

    Are we taking something positive (veganism) and turning it into our central belief as it relates to the gospel?

    Are we lifting ourselves above everyone else – including our church leaders – because of our pure and undiluted devotion to the vegan cause?

    Here’s a quote from a great talk to Elder Oaks given in 1992 regarding turning our strengths into weaknesses:

    http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=570

    “But our weaknesses are not the only areas where we are vulnerable. Satan can also attack us where we think we are strong—in the very areas where we are proud of our strengths. He will approach us through the greatest talents and spiritual gifts we possess. If we are not wary, Satan can cause our spiritual downfall by corrupting us through our strengths as well as by exploiting our weaknesses. I will illustrate this truth with a score of examples.

    1. My first example concerns Satan’s efforts to corrupt a person who has an unusual commitment to one particular doctrine or commandment of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This could be an unusual talent for family history work, an extraordinary commitment to constitutional government, a special gift in the acquisition of knowledge, or any other special talent or commitment.

    In a memorable message given at the 1971 October conference, Elder Boyd K. Packer likened the fulness of the gospel to a piano keyboard. He reminded us that a person could be “attracted by a single key,” such as a doctrine they want to hear “played over and over again.” He explained:

    Some members of the Church who should know better pick out a hobby key or two and tap them incessantly, to the irritation of those around them. They can dull their own spiritual sensitivities. They lose track that there is a fulness of the gospel, . . . [which they reject] in preference to a favorite note. This becomes exaggerated and distorted, leading them away into apostasy. [Boyd K. Packer, Teach Ye Diligently (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1975), p. 44]”

    Just for clarity, the WoW says meat should be eaten sparingly – not abstained from. Clearly this is not happening in the church, but I love the recent comment from Chana that they are going to live as an example and follow their personal beliefs.

    We should live by example of clean living and not berate people – inside or outside the church – because they don’t live up to our personal standards.

    We’ll attract way more people to veganism by being kind, loving, and teachable vs. condemning.

    • Rebecca
      on April 4, 2014 at 1:35 pm said:

      Thank you for your comment, I feel the same way. People will be more open to veganism if we are kind and considerate versus having the “holier than thou” mentality.

    • Giulia
      on April 4, 2014 at 1:59 pm said:

      I agree with you, Dave. Great points illustrated by those quotes. Love what you had to add to this discussion. This is a sensitive subject and some of us, for a variety of reasons, do get “excited” about the WoW (especially at first, isn’t that the case in life in general?) and often “calm down” after a couple of years. With time and maybe increased understanding or wisdom, we don’t feel the need or the urge to “defend” the way we eat as we might do at the beginning of our journey.
      I personally do realize the Gospel of Jesus Christ is much more than abstaining from eating meat, it is about loving God and His children and agency is sacred. Of course we should be loving and not self-righteous. On both sides. This is valid for every principle: from our diet to the choice of our children’s education, from the way we choose to keep the Sabbath day to how frequently we choose to attend the Temple…the list never ends.
      Janea’s post resonated with me when I first read it two years ago and there is a reason this discussion keeps developing.
      It can be hard to feel understood or accepted in the Church when we choose to take a closer look at the WoW and maybe make changes in our diet. Some people feel almost attacked by our (often silent) decision to abstain from meat. I am not saying I have encountered only negativism and judgement, not at all, a lot of people have expressed curiousity at first and sincere interest and respect since the beginning. When we choose to change or improve the way we eat, we don’t think about other people or say “everyone else must live in sin if they eat meat”, I never felt that way. We don’t need to bash or argue, we should simply accept and respect each others.
      And yes, the Gospel is more than just a principle but everything is related, so the way we eat does influence much more than just our physical body.

      • Dave
        on April 4, 2014 at 2:07 pm said:

        Excellent comments.

        I actually have had people from church say negative and ignorant things to me, but it usually makes me laugh.

        We are all products of our environment to some extent and people are just repeating what they’ve heard, or their parents have told them, or something. They’re ignorant, and that’s okay. We are all ignorant about something, even though we often think we’re not.

        I usually just ask them what part of the WoW they’re referring to and they can rarely give any specifics. Sometimes they talk about D&C 49:18, but I tell them I’ve made a personal choice and I’m not preaching to anyone unless they ask and I don’t preach it as doctrine at church.

        I enjoy talking to people about it because I hope to open their minds a bit in a friendly way. When I met a member of the church years ago who was vegan we had some discussions and he explained his views in a calm educated way. I wasn’t convinced to become a vegan at that time and thought he was pretty strange.

        We all have something to learn from each other.

    • Matt
      on April 4, 2014 at 2:30 pm said:

      Would you say the same thing if only a fraction of the LDS Church abstained from alcohol and you were the only one at church who wasn’t an alcoholic? Probably not, you would probably be just as aghast at the lack of gospel in the lives of those around you in church under those circumstances as most of us in the “vegan cause” are to the glutinous meat eaters we deal with. Spiritually speaking there is no difference between being a meat eater and an alcoholic, so think in terms of what the gospel is, not in terms of how you can label those who follow the gospel as vegans so you can dismiss them.

      • Dave
        on April 4, 2014 at 2:38 pm said:

        “Spiritually speaking there is no difference between being a meat eater and an alcoholic.”

        Is this quoting from the Gospel according to Matt?

        This type of thinking has nothing to do with LDS teachings. Zero. If you want to preach something different, you’re welcome to do it, but just don’t be upset when you get very confused looks at church when you accuse these “gluttonous” meat eaters that they’re akin to alcoholics.

        Maybe just answer this question for me…

        When Adam and Eve are found naked in the Garden of Eden, who gives them what?

        Answer that in your head, then think about what the implications are regarding animals and their role alongside humans in this world.

        • Matt
          on April 4, 2014 at 2:47 pm said:

          Does the WoW say to abstain from alcohol? Yes. Does the WoW say to abstain from meat unless you are starving to death? Yes. So unless you’re starving to death Dave, eating meat is the same as drinking alcohol, so yes, spiritually speaking they are the same thing. Not my rules Dave, just the WoW.

    • Matt
      on April 4, 2014 at 2:33 pm said:

      “Just for clarity, the WoW says meat should be eaten sparingly – not abstained from.”

      Yet another Mormon who has not even read his own scriptures. I am sorry Dave, but you are totally wrong. Why don’t you actually look at what the WoW says, not what you think it says.

      • Dave
        on April 4, 2014 at 2:43 pm said:

        Here’s the quote:

        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.

        So here’s my paraphrase: So meat is okay to eat, but it is pleasing to God if they were eaten sparingly – in times of winter, cold or famine.

        I’m sure you have a different interpretation, but you can see where it’s open to a few different interpretations and I’ll leave it up to the church to provide the official one while leaving it up to Matt to provide the interpretation he chooses to live by (as long as Matt also gives me the same freedom).

        • Matt
          on April 4, 2014 at 2:44 pm said:

          You are free to eat meat Dave, as long as you’re starving to death…

          • Dave
            on April 4, 2014 at 2:49 pm said:

            Matt, I’m sorry to tell you, but I’m vegan. Have been for the past two years.

            Sorry to disappoint you.

            Again, if you want to interpret the WoW according to your liking, please live it, but don’t accuse other people who see it differently (including the leaders of the church and Joseph Smith himself) of spreading false doctrine.

            It might be false doctrine according to Matt’s church, but it isn’t false doctrine according to official church doctrine and your rants here and at church (I’m guessing) are only making things worse for yourself and others.

            Did you read my original post? Did you think for a minute if you might be plinking on the single note of veganism on the gospel piano?

            That’s what I’m hearing. Hopefully that’s not the case and you’re not as worked up with your gospel hobby as it sounds.

          • Matt
            on April 4, 2014 at 2:54 pm said:

            Not able to reply to you directly anymore Dave, not sure why that would be, but you are simply wrong. You say things that are in direct contradiction to the WoW. Joseph Smith said the words “only in times of famine” and then you say those words mean nothing… not sure how to argue with someone who refuses to accept the words printed on the paper. You are arguing with the WoW, not with me, vegan or no vegan.

      • Giulia
        on April 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm said:

        Matt, I think Dave has looked at the WoW, read what he wrote…his points are good, we should not be obsessed with one single principle and neglect kindness of brotherly love or whatever else…the Gospel is a rich and delicious feast. We all have so much room for improvement and are in this together.
        We are blessed according to our faith and obedience to what we know to be true. We all have a different journey in this life and understand certain things at different times. I know wonderful people who happen to be meat eaters that are full of love and patience and I have so much to learn from them. Some of them like Dave said maybe have not had the chance or the need to dig a little deeper on the WoW…I think someday at some point they might but we cannot force that process the same way we should not force conversion. It is a personal affair, sacred grounds.
        Our associations can be based on kindness, love, respect and we can abstain from meat and still admire and learn from so many other people.
        I feel that way about so many of my dear friends and family members in Italy and here in the USA who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints.
        We don’t have to be radical.
        I appreciate Dave’s comments, he is quoting some amazing talks.
        We would attract many more people if we kept in mind those important principles and points. I say what I say respectfully, hopefully it is received that way. Thank you all.

        • Matt
          on April 4, 2014 at 3:06 pm said:

          Thank you Guila, but it is not quite that simple for me. If those who preach “sparingly” would then accept alcohol, tea, tobacco and other drugs “sparingly” as well then fine, they have a valid argument, but unfortunately they are the ones who have singled out specific doctrinal issues for this “sparingly” argument, not me. I am only pointing out that such a philosophy cannot be used on this one issue alone without it being hypocrisy, and that such a reading of the WoW on this and all other parts of it are in fact incorrect. It is not an interpretation, it is actually wrong.

          I also try to understand that those who eat meat and preach “sparingly” have no idea the evil they support by doing so. The animal food industry is beyond the pale, and while I understand most do not want to face this, it gets hard in a day and age when ignorance is a conscious choice.

          I am very happy Dave is a vegan and I hope he stays that way, but I cannot sit by and allow him to state things that are not accurate when the cost of that might be even one person who reads and thinks “yeah, sparingly, no big deal. I’ll eat 6 ounces of meat every meal instead of as much as I want.” People have told me that’s the “interpretation they were taught as kids, and then they live it that way. Someone has to start preaching the truth about this, or that kind of thinking will continue forever.

          • Dave
            on April 4, 2014 at 3:13 pm said:

            This’ll be my last comment here as Matt has set himself up as the only one with the truth and anyone who see’s things differently is spreading false doctrine.

            A discussion can’t exist under those conditions.

            I wonder why Matt never answered this question:

            “When Adam and Eve are found naked in the Garden of Eden, who gives them what?”

            I’d also like to know why Joseph Smith didn’t live a vegan lifestyle if there’s only one way to interpret the WoW.

          • Rebecca
            on April 4, 2014 at 3:17 pm said:

            I don’t think that we should assume the position of authority on this subject, on God’s will, especially when modern Church leaders have spoken on the subject specifically and have stated that meat is to be eaten sparingly. The Gospel Principles Manual talks about this clearly and concisely: https://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-29-the-lords-law-of-health?lang=eng

            Instead of pointing at other’s flaws, it is important that we look at how we can better live the Word of Wisdom. It is about so much more than just what we should eat and what we should avoid.

          • Matt
            on April 4, 2014 at 3:19 pm said:

            Sigh… Dave attacking the messenger and refusing to address what the words actually printed on the paper that make up the WoW actually say. I have not set myself up as anything but someone who is willing to point out what the WoW actually says, and point out when someone says something that contradicts what those words actually say. I am sorry you are unwilling to address that Dave, but that is your choice.

            Adam and Eve I can’t help you with Dave-all I know is a snake gave Eve an apple. If you’re trying to say that means all animals are evil, as are all apples, well, again, that is your “interpretation” then so be it, best of luck with that.

            Joseph Smith drank and smoked and had sex with lots of women who were not his first wife too… many of them very very young in fact. Does that mean I can drink and smoke and commit pedophilia “sparingly” Dave?

          • Giulia
            on April 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm said:

            The first time I watched the “earthlings” documentary I thought my heart was going to break. Like break forever and stay that way, I cried so much and vowed I will not, ever, be part of this shameful, unspeakable, horrendous animal holocaust. All for money…what have we become? I would ask myself. Both my husband and I watched it, we already had chosen to not eat meat (for religious reasons, according to our understanding on the WoW) but when we watched that documentary we felt we had a whole new level of awareness.
            Sometimes people just don’t know or don’t want to know because they are not ready to make changes.
            It is so important for us to not judge those people, even those that you describe, those who are hypocrites. It is sad and I agree with you on some of the things you say. But aren’t we all in a way hypocrites?
            Who can say that he/she lives a principle of the Gospel in a perfect way?
            I can’t, I constantly fall short and have much to repent about.
            Maybe I live the WoW but then I find myself yelling at my 9 year old.
            You know what I mean?
            I appreciate your passion on this and your love for God’s creation.
            There will be a day of redemption for these animals and my soul finds peace in the Gospel and God’s plan. I wish we could change the way the system is…I am an historian and if you or I only knew how things really work in politics, wars…international matters..we would be very depressed to say the least. The god Money rules in this world but Christ asked us to not be part of this world, to live in it and let His Light and Love shine.
            I feel your heart though and your concerns and definitely I can sympathize.

          • Matt
            on April 4, 2014 at 3:26 pm said:

            Rebecca, your comment is the standard appeal to authority, since as you point out the vast majority of mormons do not live the WoW as stated, and they defend this practice by pointing out that others do not live the WoW either, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to live this way-at least not if you want to conform to the WoW. Just because a general authority smokes doesn’t mean you should.

          • Matt
            on April 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm said:

            Guila, first of all thank you for putting yourself through that. To say it is not easy to put yourself through the pain of watching that is an understatement at best. I will admit to being more confrontational that is the norm in mormon circles, but I don’t apologize for that on this issue. If one is a hypocrite about drinking coffee, or even paying tithing, those issues do not harm others. When people take direct part in the evil that is the animal food industry when they do not have to-and are even commanded not to-I have no sympathy. For those of us who have to live in countries like the U.S. and others that kill people all over the world every single day in the name of oil or other forms of money, that isn’t within our power to do anything about. We have to live somewhere, but we don’t have to eat meat or any other animal product. God bless you Guila and keep doing what you feel is right.

  10. Brittany
    on April 4, 2014 at 1:18 am said:

    Yes! I love it when someone puts my own thoughts into a blog post! I’m a (mostly) vegan Mormon too. Have you ever seen my YouTube cooking show, Uncooking 101?

    I love meeting kindred spirits. 🙂 Yay for you.

    • Janae Wise
      on April 4, 2014 at 7:27 am said:

      Awesome Brittany! Glad to meet another fellow veggie-loving Mormon. I haven’t heard of that cooking show, I’ll look into it. Thanks for the recommend! & thanks for taking the time to comment.

  11. Nathan Yeung
    on February 8, 2014 at 11:51 pm said:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20100927181134/http://www.mormonculture.org/2008/04/meat-and-mormonism-part-i-insulated.html

  12. Nathan Yeung
    on February 8, 2014 at 11:49 pm said:

    I found the essay: http://web.archive.org/web/20100927181134/http://www.mormonculture.org/2008/04/meat-and-mormonism-part-i-insulated.html

  13. Reed
    on November 29, 2013 at 5:00 pm said:

    Just want to add my small voice as another faithful Latter-day-saint who feels we owe better to the animals of this world. Pray for the return of the Savior. Only He can right the horrors that have been inflicted on them.

    • Reed
      on November 30, 2013 at 2:10 am said:

      Hi, I’m replying to my own comment to provide a link to a letter my wife and I wrote to help our LDS family and friends accept our “border line” vegan eating habit. It is packed with quotes from great men and women as well as church leaders encouraging avoidance of eating animal flesh. http://ldsvegan.webs.com/

    • Carl
      on February 9, 2014 at 4:51 am said:

      While I agree that we must all do what we can to improve the lives of the animals of this world, I cannot agree that only the Saviour can right the horrors we have inflicted upon them.

      It is for each of us individually to make our stand in this world and to be a leading light to those around us to change the world to be a better place so that when the Saviour does return, He will be able to say, “It is good”.

      • Matt
        on April 4, 2014 at 10:53 am said:

        I agree with Reed. The cumulative horrors that humans have inflicted on animals and the planet are so beyond the scale of any one of us living properly that only the Savior can save us now. Maybe if all several million Latter Day Saints actually lived the Gospel there would be a chance, but with a few scattered Saints here and there, and a few scattered non-LDS vegans, there is just no way to overcome the wave of evil that is human-kind. This doesn’t mean that we are not still responsible for our own behavior in any way, but to save His creation and His creations, just no way humans are up to that task.

  14. anonymous
    on August 16, 2013 at 10:58 pm said:

    I don’t know how you stay in the church. Honestly I find the judgmental and hypocritical attitude of people too much toward vegans, especially when you are told you are not living right because you choose to live a compassionate lifestyle. The WoW is clear and when members, including the higher ups, can’t even follow their own basic scripture it makes you wonder. I’m not trying to be harsh, but seriously, how can a church keep you out of its temple for drinking coffee but not care about your meat consumption when these two things come from the same “revelation”?

    • anonymous
      on August 16, 2013 at 11:01 pm said:

      I might add that it is quite refreshing to see a few Mormons recognizing that animals have feelings, something I never saw as a Mormon.

    • Matt
      on August 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm said:

      Anonymous,
      I completely agree with you, and just wanted you to know that. There really is no explanation for why three whole paragraphs of the WoW are devoted to eating meat not at all or only when starving, yet no one cares about that, but one little line about “hot drinks” and you can’t touch coffee. There really is no excuse for those who follow Christ to kill, ever really, but certainly not unless they absolutely had to… even that shows me how silly it is even to kill an animal if we were starving, but something tells me the revelation was given knowing what humans are like and that they would kill if needed, even if it wasn’t the most Christ-like thing to do. I’ve never been in that position so I don’t know how I would behave, but as far as the WoW goes, that’s a no-brainer. For what it’s worth I totally understand your difficulty staying in a church full of people who pick and choose what parts of their gospel they want to follow, especially when the parts they don’t choose cause so much un-imaginable suffering, and then they profess to be all about peace and love. Just know there are others out there, just not many unfortunately.

      • anonymous
        on August 17, 2013 at 7:28 pm said:

        Hi Matt and thank you for your comments. Oh how I wish Mormons, and all Christians for that matter, could believe what you do. It’s encouraging that veganism is growing in Mormonism. My cousin decided to go raw and felt amazing but her mom didn’t agree with her diet and told her “moderation in all things” which simply baffles me. This coming from someone who eats meat three times a day. Also, did you know the Church owns and operates cattle farms. It’s just so depressing.

        • Matt
          on August 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm said:

          Yes, I know about the cattle farms, which are justified as part of the church welfare program but anyone who has taken Biology 101 in college knows you feed a lot more people with plants than with animals, so they could feed a lot more people if they farmed that land rather than ranched it.

  15. Marcie
    on August 16, 2013 at 11:19 am said:

    Hi! I am an LDS from Chile, an also a vegan. It is so nice to find other people at church like me. I was born in the church and also became a vegan little by little since my teenage years. Now I am a mom of two. It is so hard to be a vegan at church here in my country, me and my husband are being mock for that. We do not like go to church activities that have food as part of it, because they have to have a barbecue on it. It is awful.
    I have a question, does anyone know how many vegetarian/vegan mormons are in the church? I would love to say next time someone try to make fun of me, something like this: “yes I am vegan, and we are 1 million of vegan mormons “.

    • Matt
      on August 17, 2013 at 3:36 pm said:

      Marcie,

      I can’t imagine the church would keep track of how many vegans there are, and those that are out there get tired of listening to the hypocrites preaching false doctrine to them and probably end up keeping to themselves eventually. Whenever someone makes fun of you, just remind them it’s not you they are making fun of, but the WoW, and you find it strange someone would come to church to make fun of the gospel. I have yet to have anyone respond to me or make fun of me again after I’ve said that to them.

      • Carl
        on February 9, 2014 at 4:54 am said:

        Wise words; well spoken.

    • Jessica
      on August 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm said:

      Try searching for the group “Mormon Vegetarians” on Facebook. It’s a great support group for living the WoW the right way.

  16. vegan mormon
    on July 10, 2013 at 4:09 am said:

    Starting a new blog about being a Vegan Mormon who’s in high school! Would love you to check it out!

    • Matt
      on August 18, 2013 at 2:31 pm said:

      We need a link!

      • Amanda
        on August 18, 2013 at 10:20 pm said:

        Try clicking on the name 😉 great first article by the way!

        • Matt
          on August 18, 2013 at 10:30 pm said:

          (Face-palm). I’m the one comment you’ve got on that site, so somehow I was able to find it and then forget that I’d found it… or how.

  17. Rebecca
    on July 2, 2013 at 11:24 am said:

    Thank you for this post! I am also LDS and vegan and I appreciate your insight and thoughts. Very well written.

  18. Matt
    on May 28, 2013 at 12:15 am said:

    I always follow up the “moderation in all things” comment with, “right, so moderation in coffee, tea, tobacco, illegal drug use, and alcohol then too.” I know, it isn’t exactly non-confrontational, but I get so sick of 99% of members JUDGING ME because I follow the WOW and they don’t. I’ve just given up and would rather shut them up than listen to their nonsensical and incorrect opinions on the matter. I would also leave you with some thoughts I came up with just from Genesis I. We are clearly supposed to be eating little to no meat, anyone who says otherwise is no Christian, and has not read their scriptures… and that includes prophets unfortunately.

    1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    -The killing of any “living creature that moveth” is the killing of a creation of God that He gave life and saw was good.

    1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

    -Here He blesses “every living creature that moveth” just as He blesses people (Genesis 1:28), and commands them to “Be fruitful and multiply” just as He commands people. This means that the killing of “any creature that moveth” is the killing of a creation of God that He has blessed as He has blessed people, and is in opposition of his command to those creatures to “Be fruitful, and multiply” making the killing of any “living creature that moveth” just as sinful as the killing of a human being.

    1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our like-ness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    -God grants man “dominion… over all the earth, and over every… thing… upon the earth.” By definition then earth is man’s domain, over which he has supreme authority, absolute ownership, or sovereignty. This definition in no way implies the conquering, enslaving, and destroying of this or any other domain. Free agency allows for someone to do such things to their dominion if they choose-just as someone can sin in any other way if they choose-but as it stands, God has granted man dominion over his creations just as He grants man and woman dominion over the children He sends them. Earth may be man’s domain and it’s creatures in dominion to man, but this merely means man is the earth’s caretaker, not it’s conqueror, enslaver, or destroyer. The man who conquers, enslaves, and destroys His blessed creations is in conflict with His plan at the most direct and basic level. It is likely that this sin of man is at the root of all others.

    1:29 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.

    -It doesn’t get much simpler than this.

    1:30 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.

    -This may indicate that carnivores were not created by God, and they are a product of this natural world, but the behavior of animals and their possible conflict with His plan is not the concern of men-men’s conflict with His plan is the concern of men. This passage points out yet another way in which the animals of earth were blessed and commanded and provided for in the exact same manner as were humans, making the only difference between us that we were created in His image and were given “dominion” over the other created and blessed creates, who were also commanded to be fruitful and multiply, and to use “every green herb for meat…”

    • Jessica
      on May 28, 2013 at 7:37 am said:

      Very good thoughts on this. I generally don’t push it with whether it’s right to eat meat because I don’t think many people are ready to see the WoW that way. I love your scripture quotes, especially Genesis 1:29, because it uses the word “meat” in reference to plants, therefore signifying that when “meat” is referred toin the rest of the scriptures, it could also be talking about plants.

      • Matt
        on May 28, 2013 at 11:16 am said:

        Maybe you can help me understand, since you seem much more understanding than I am, but how is it anyone can see the WoW in any way other than how it is actually written? How does only in times of famine turn into in moderation, which is then lived as moderation in every single meal? This type of self deceit is like someone deciding that they are living the WoW by thinking they can drink alcohol in moderation with every meal, it makes no sense, yet I have met all of two members of the church that see it the way we do… you would make three. How can they possibly “see” it the way they do?

        • Jessica
          on May 28, 2013 at 9:04 pm said:

          It truly is like someone living the WoW by thinking they can drink alcohol in moderation with every meal. I think they decide to just ignore that part of it because it does not compute, doesn’t make sense, so they pass over it, do not even consider it. It doesn’t help that America is so indoctrinated about the health benefits of meat and dairy. Or there’s my dad, who decides that because Jesus ate fish that must mean that we should, too, WoW disregarded. He studies the WoW and decides he should really only eat meat once a week during the summer, but can eat it all winter long, but isn’t really going to worry about it too much. In fact, he has convinced himself that he’s following it exactly how it was meant to be followed.

          It’s like people who are absolutely convinced that Joseph Smith was a fake, or, in Christ’s day, the handful of people who were convinced Jesus was using the power of the Devil to do miracles. People believe what they want to believe. Some are simply not considering that they need improvement, especially since church leaders never bring it up. But church leaders DID bring it up at a handful of points in history, and people never listened, so I think that it was sort of dropped, shuffled off for another decade when the members are ready for it. That’s not today. For all we know, there might actually be church leaders today who don’t eat meat unless it’s served to them by unassuming members. I doubt they would make such a matter public, for the same reason that I’m sure many of us vegan mormons don’t bring it up unless necessary.

          I admire your blunt approach. It makes me think about taking the same sort of stand, but I’m already struggling in a war against fruit loops in the nursery, and primary leaders who actually think this constitutes as a “healthy snack,” so putting meat on top of it might be a bit over-the-top at the moment.

          • Matt
            on May 28, 2013 at 10:38 pm said:

            I am beyond impressed to find someone who has actually thought about these things. Christ eating fish is one I have thought about as well, and it appears as simple to me as the WoW allowing such meals in times of famine, which from what I read was exactly what was going to happen if Christ did not feed the people. Christ also drank wine (Luke 7:34), is your father aware of that? I am at liberty to be more direct with my position (which I believe is His position as well) because I am a convert and never worried about fitting into mormon culture, only living as close to the Spirit as I possibly can. I have found mormon culture to often be at odds with being a Christian, so when there is a split, I don’t even think twice. I will say this much, at least your father is reading and applying what he reads, even if I don’t agree with him. I presented the parts about eating meat in the WoW to a missionary once and she said, and I quote, “I’ve never read that before… I don’t know what to make of that.”

          • Jessica
            on May 29, 2013 at 6:56 am said:

            Yes, actually my dad’s not LDS, he’s a separate break off the church, so I have seen him drink wine a handful of times in my life. I’m a convert to the LDS church, so I see the matter a little more black and white, obviously. I’m not entirely surprised that your missionary hadn’t seen that part of the EoW before. I was in Relief Society listening to a lesson on the WoW in which everyone was thoroughly involved in discussion – this was the first time the meat thing clicked for me, about a year after I was baptized. But no one even mentioned that part during the lesson. It was like it wasn’t there. If I’m ever in another lesson like that one I know I’ll be more gutsy and bring it up.

  19. Amanda
    on May 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm said:

    I am so happy I found this blog! Seriously, I do that same exact thing where I say I’m vegetarian but I’m really vegan… people tend to give mormon vegans a weird look when they ‘come out of the closet’ and make their change public. My friends bombard me with questions like, ‘Where do you get your protein?!’ and ‘But how do you stay full!’ so I really don’t say much about the way I eat. Anyway, if you fellow MV’s have any advice for a newbie here, everything is appreciated!

    xoxo
    Amanda

    • Jessica
      on May 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm said:

      I don’t tell anyone unless I have to. It’s been referred to as “weird” to be a vegan by friends of mine in my ward who don’t know. My husband’s co-worker wanted to seriously argue about how stupid it is. My own dad thinks it’s wreckless. I told someone who I thought would accept it and she was like “it’s just so controversial,” and that was the end of that. We have friends in the ward whom we happened to discover are high raw vegans and it was so nice to talk to her and relate, but most won’t understand, or will feel judged. I just keep it under wraps unless it comes up directly. I even manage it at relief society activities and such. Most of the church just isn’t ready for that sort of thing. After all, the Word of Wisdom was adapted for the weakest of saints, as it says.

      • Katelyn Wickizer
        on May 14, 2015 at 11:45 pm said:

        She

  20. Jessica
    on May 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm said:

    Little late on this comment versus your post date. I work in the nursery at my LDS ward and was feeling completely lost after witnessing how the children are being fed – one child of which is my son. For the past 2.5 months we’ve been making the transition to a whole foods, plant based diet, and are almost completely there ( some more than others; husband still eats butter). So I had an emotional moment, came home and googled “whole foods plant based mormon” because I didn’t want to feel alone. I love what you say here and am so glad that someone said it on a public forum. I have personally had the Holy Ghost testify to me that a whole foods, plant based diet is what we should be trying to do, the same spirit that told me to join the church. Because of that, the gospel and my diet are now forevermore intertwined in my heart. But it’s difficult when the community we’re given in order to relate in our beliefs no longer believes in all the same ways you do. I personally think it’s because the church as a whole isn’t ready. After all, the Word of Wisdom says it’s for the weakest saints. Anyway, thank you for your post. Nice to know I’m not alone.

    • Heather
      on January 18, 2015 at 2:59 am said:

      I know this is a really old thread, but I wanted to share a little of my own journey as I too have had a strong spiritual experience that lead me to become vegan.
      One year ago, as I laid on my couch for the third day in a row feeling ill. I prayed to know what I needed to do to feel better. I was having terrible health issues, not like a cold or something. I was led to a book called Eat to Live. I felt very strongly that this was the way I should be eating. As I read it, I felt it was just the WoW and that I had always known how I should be eating. The whole book was such a ‘well duh’ for me. It was promising me that all of my issues of hypoglycemia, kidney stones, heart palpitations, etc would all be healed. They have. I am a new person. I am an active (mostly) whole food vegan mormon. I say mostly because I still cook meats for my husband and children and find it so hard to know if their dinner turned out unless I taste it. But that will change soon as I have been rubbing off on those around me. First in my ward. As other people in my ward find out, they are always wary at first that I will try to change them. As I tell them my experience, they always understand and seem to support me. I am ready for anyone who wants to start to move towards whole food veganism and I want to help them. My calling is with the young women. When I fist started going there was so much candy and junk food being brought for everyone. I never said anything about it, I would just bring fruit to share. When I was offered a treat of theirs, I would have to explain why I wouldn’t eat it. It helps others feel more comfortable that I can say it makes me ill. So it is a must not just a want. Though now, I wouldn’t go back even it didn’t make me ill. Pretty soon, people felt bad that they didn’t bring something I could eat. They started to bring something special just for me to show their love for me. Then, two of our girls decided to go off refined sugar so fewer people were eating the junk foods. Then one of our girls was diagnosed with both celiac disease and lactose intolerance. With all of the diet restrictions I think the other leaders gave up and have just started bringing fruits and veggies for a snack.
      Now its my family. Six days ago my husband announced ‘I am now vegan’. I have come looking for new inspiration for recipes as his tastes are different to mine. My children all want to as well, but are finding it difficult at school for lunch. I wish in my heart that I had raised them from birth this way. Or well before birth, to more exact. I always used to wonder why mormons as a whole aren’t all at least vegetarians if not whole food vegans but since no one else seemed to be, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. I was wrong, it is a big deal. Now you can say you know of two more mormon vegans and three mormon kids that will get there over time, who hopefully will help to break the cycle. Thank you for your blog and for sharing.

      • Jane Birch
        on May 15, 2015 at 7:40 am said:

        Dear Heather:

        Your story is amazing and inspiring! Thanks for sharing it. I share stories of Mormons who are embracing the Word of Wisdom on my website, Discovering the Word of Wisdom:
        http://discoveringthewordofwisdom.com. Janae Wise shared her story here: http://discoveringthewordofwisdom.com/wfpb-story-janae-wise.

        Would you be willing to allow me to share your story? You can contact me here: http://discoveringthewordofwisdom.com/contact-me.

        Thanks so very much! Jane

  21. Marsha
    on December 26, 2012 at 12:37 pm said:

    I was so happy to find your website today. I have been working on eating more plant-based for the past year and have experimented with vegan eating (making different recipes, trying it for a month, etc.) I feel good when I eat that way, but the social aspect of it is such a challenge…well, among other things. I’ve heard so many arguments against giving up animal products, but I keep feeling drawn to it, mostly because of the word of wisdom. I said to myself…there must be mormons out there who are vegan..I put “mormon vegan” into a google search, and there you were! I am hoping to make the whole switch. Thank you!

  22. Deb
    on November 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm said:

    I am also LDS and vegan. I have been vegan for about three months. We switched over when I was suspecting heart disease in my husband. Before we were following Joel Furhman’s diet, Eat For Health, which we had tried to follow for the last three years, and the moderation we practiced as he says a little meat is okay, got us into a terrible mess with my husband’s health. He ended up with one 99% blocked artery and one 100% blocked artery. Now we are following, strictly, Caldwell Esselstyn’s diet, with no moderation. In our case, moderation was introducing poison into my husband’s body. We are hoping our new diet will reverse his disease. He’s only 49 and we have seven children. All of our kids are supportive, thank Goodness. We are grateful for his second chance at life!

  23. Dave
    on November 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm said:

    The essay can be found via the Wayback Internet Machine where it’s been cached:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20100927181134/http://www.mormonculture.org/2008/04/meat-and-mormonism-part-i-insulated.html

  24. Quinessa
    on November 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm said:

    I just want to say thank you for this wonderful article! I was doing fine with what people would say to me when I would tell them we no longer at meat or dairy at my house, until just last week when a member of the YW presidency gave a lesson on eating healty to my 4 teenagers daughters (who have all struggled with this diet change). This lady has been very open to me about how “stupid” we are for eating this way, and she made that very apparent with the lesson she taught. I don’t think she realizes how much contention she just caused in our home, although at this point with her actions in the past I am inclined to feel that maybe what she was hoping for. Anyway, I am thankful for this post! My cousin just sent it to me, and now I have shared it with other friends who are also LDS and have also gone to a plant based diet! I also see that you home school, I do as well, and I am excited to read those posts also!

    • Devin
      on November 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm said:

      Quinessa, it’s really too bad that we are encouraged, as members of the church, and also as humans in general, not to punch others in the face for their stupidity. I live in Salt Lake and am just barely out of my teenage years myself. I’m going into vegan culinary arts and love “veganizing” recipes and I would be happy to offer some advice to your daughters, having gone through the same experience myself as a young woman.

  25. Janna
    on September 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm said:

    I just watched “Forks over Knives”, “Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue” (both on Netflix) and “Vegucated” (on Amazon Prime). At first I thought, I will try to eat less meat, eggs and dairy. But as I pondered it more and more, I thought I really should just do it all the way. I love how “Forks over Knives” referred to it as a plant-based diet. That really does make it fit right in with the Word of Wisdom for me. I thought it silly at first, but I decided to pray about this decision. I felt really good about it, but I was scared, too. I was hesitant to tell my husband, but he has been really supportive and not critical at all of my decision. In fact, he forwarded the link to this article to me. I am actually doing the 28 Day challenge of the Engine 2 Diet. I have been mostly scared to talk about it with my friends, especially my LDS friends, except the one who is vegetarian. I am grateful that I can have some online support and ideas to try my best to change my diet for good, and I hope to have a positive effect on my family and perhaps my friends. Thanks for this post!

  26. francia
    on August 7, 2012 at 5:30 pm said:

    I believe that the word of wisdom is perfect just the way it is, I also believe in personal revelation, if you feel that it is better for you and your family to eat little or not to eat meat then go with your prompting, but do not expect that because you feel that way everybody else need or should feel the same way, for me, less is better, now there is only one with the keys to receive revelation for everyone. To me the problem with eating meat or not, is the way it is produce now days which is mostly wrong, a long time ago, you needed to grow it your self, buy from someone who grew it in a small farm or go hunting. Lets live by example and let everyone else grow at there own pace.

    • Janae Wise
      on August 9, 2012 at 11:35 pm said:

      Francia, you are articulate & have thought a great deal about this issue. Thanks for taking the time to share your insights into the matter. No doubt, we could all do better about thinking & pondering more about certain points of doctrine. I agree: “let’s live by example & let everyone grow at their own pace.” Well said.

  27. Owen Blackmer
    on August 6, 2012 at 4:16 am said:

    I to have a blog about health etc and I am a Mormon as well. I really love your blog and this article. You have pretty much cut to the point here. I have re-posted a link to this article so more people, Mormon or not can come read it. Thanks again. Inspiration.

  28. Giulia
    on August 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm said:

    Wow. How I loved this post! I was sure ready to read it today. I find it brilliant…just like Kevin’s comment. Our paths are all different but one thing I know. God gives to all those who desire to know. He inspires us and guides us and even gives us the strength to change our ways. We must desire to really know, though. This is not just about following the WOW, it is about ANY Gospel principle. I found comfort and inspiration in your words. You have expressed the very thoughts and feelings of my soul. I have always strived to be “healthy” but it has been a month now that my husband and I have received some very strong spiritual impressions and confirmations reading D&C 89. There is no misunderstanding there…it is exactly how you put it. We coulnd’t ignore those feelings. It is not easy to change your diet (although in my case I have always been careful with what we ate, meaning I enjoy cooking and everything has always been homemade and never from a can or the frozen isle) but nowadays with the internet you can have access to SO MUCH information and knowledge! There is SO MUCH out there to support the choice to embrace the WoW. Now I am learning how to cook a huge variety of grains and legumes I never really used. We feel SO good. I could write a whole post myself on our journey and perhaps I will do so on my blog, but this is a comment and I am sorry I took so much space. I sure am grateful for you! Thank you!

  29. Carl
    on August 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm said:

    Hi – I also found it strange that a Word of Wisdom should teach its followers to eat meat sparingly and only at times of famine and yet the majority of church members were over to heavy meat consumption in their daily diets. It wasn’t the only discrepancy I found in my years as a LDS but I will not hi-jack your blog to voice my own opinion with respect to you.
    The Word of Wisdom is a wonderful gift to humankind and a blueprint for healthy living. If people lived by this Word the world would be a more peaceful place, more compassionate to animals and we would have enough food to feed everyone in the world and much to spare.
    I personally cannot accept the justification in killing one of our animal brothers or sisters to feel the satisfaction of hunger.
    Peace to you and your loved ones. Shaanti, namaste.

    • Janae Wise
      on August 4, 2012 at 9:44 am said:

      Hi Carl! Yes, it saddens me that the culture of the church in this respect is often contrary to the principles set forth in the WOW. I agree, the Word of Wisdom is a wonderful gift. Those who choose to follow it, are blessed in so many respects. Yes, imagine if we all followed by it’s precepts. What a world that would be.

      Thank you for stopping by & sharing your kind thoughts.

    • Giulia
      on August 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm said:

      And Amen to that! What animals go through BREAKS MY HEART. (and I shamefully admit that out of ignorance I used to judge animal activists).
      God is sure not pleased with that.
      Peace to you!

      • Carl
        on August 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm said:

        There were many members in my old ward who justified eating meat because it was in the WoW. It goes to show you can justify anything if you twist words and meanings without being open to the truth and to let it change you instead of the other way around.
        My understanding of the Word of Wisdom is that in extreme cold, winter or famine, you CAN eat meat. It doesn’t say you MUST.
        In these days of artificially raised flesh foods and the way that lead and mercury are increasing in the fish of our seas, I choose not to eat animal products and I am grateful that there are many plants that are wholesome and good for the body without resorting to killing animals.
        This brings me to a subject which is close to my heart at the moment. I watched the documentary DVD The Cove tonight. It exposes the annual slaughter of thousands of bottle-nosed dolphins in Taiji, Japan. They are forced into a tight cove by fishing boats and then hacked to death by hand harpoons. It is sickening. I implore you to contact your embassy in Japan to put pressure on Japan to stop this barbaric annual act.
        I am sorry to soap-box here but I am trying to get this message over to as many as will hear and act.
        more info here: http://www.takepart.com/cove

        • Matt
          on April 4, 2014 at 11:01 am said:

          “There were many members in my old ward who justified eating meat because it was in the WoW. It goes to show you can justify anything if you twist words and meanings without being open to the truth and to let it change you instead of the other way around.”

          I still am amazed every time I see that someone else got it… so few out there.

  30. Chris Peterson
    on August 3, 2012 at 11:33 am said:

    Your blog is inspiring. I am also LDS and vegan. I greatly appreciate your confidence in telling your story.

    I am currently writing a program for weight issues for LDS women. I am using the Word of Wisdom to over come food addictions and to go back to a normal healthy weight.

    You are very refreshing and I wish you all the best. I feel almost exactly the same as your comments and statements here. Keep sharing!

    Chris Peterson

  31. Anonymous
    on May 16, 2012 at 1:49 am said:

    Thank you for this post. I am also a vegan and LDS, and I have found comfort here because I too have encountered much criticism for what way of life allows me to feel closer to God and more perceptive to all things spiritual.

  32. Janae Wise
    on May 4, 2012 at 9:36 pm said:

    Allison: So glad we found eachother. I checked out your blog, too. How fab you are. Looking forward to getting to know, & I too am glad I'm not alone in this 🙂

  33. Allison Holden
    on May 4, 2012 at 9:23 pm said:

    I am so happy to have found your blog. I am a vegan mom as well, and started a blog a while back. I am so glad to not be alone in this!

  34. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on April 24, 2012 at 10:22 pm said:

    Kevin: Thank you for sharing! I'm working on updating this post & would love to share some insights from a few readers who are LDS & vegan, & would love to have you contribute your thoughts if you're interested. If you (or anyone else who is LDS & subscribing to these comments) want to contribute a few of your thoughts/experiences that I could use as a part of a greater post, send me an email: janae(dot)wise(at)gmail(dot)com. Thank you so much!

  35. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on April 24, 2012 at 10:19 pm said:

    Karen: I believe that website has changed & I've had no success finding the original site. I'm still looking for it (it was such a great one), but I plan on revisiting this post & updating it soon, to make it a bit more relevant & current (since it's been 3 years since I posted on the subject!). Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  36. Kevin
    on April 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm said:

    Hi my name is Kevin and I really enjoyed this post. I have been LDS for 29 years and about 3 years ago became vegan after receiving my own personal revelation on the topic following a re-read of D&C 89. I had just discovered I had cancer at a younger age and in my patriarchal blessing I've been told I have the ability to solve my own problems so I took it to the Lord and hey presto I found my problem!I have suffered plenty of grief equally from members & non members alike and I've realised that I was becoming a bit preachy about things (only because I was so excited about the improvements in health I wanted to share) so I pulled back with some of my comments as I was Bishop at the time too. However people are curious and ask me questions frequently and I have no problems sharing the knowledge I've gained with them. I've read probably in excess of 100 books on diet and the evidence is quite compelling towards a plant based diet free of animal protein being the the one that is the best for humans. As a Home Teacher I have helped one of my families who had a problem with diabetes with the knowledge I've gained, and my wife and I have even run classes at a Ward level and for a Stake Activity on healthy food options which went amazingly well so it's not been all bad : )Luckily for me after getting a huge amount of grief initially from my wife & kids about refusing to eat meat or drink milk even they too have studied the topic themselves (to try and talk me out of it) and now we are all vegan except for a body builder son who is still stuck in the 'animal = protein' mentality but given time things may change especially given he's at a higher risk of prostate cancer at an early age as I was.In terms of my health I've truly never felt better and have I have a giggle when I read 89 and it states "shall run and not be weary" as I started running again after 20 years to do something with the bursts of energy I experience. My sleep has changed (I only need around 5-6 hours of sleep), my allergies have disappeared so too has arthritis I was developing in a shoulder, I think with more clarity and as a result I know it sounds weird but I feel a greater love for all creatures and whilst this journey started off as a health related one I now truly believe the animals are here for so many other reason that just to be eaten! Part of the promise for being obedient to the WOW is that we can find 'wisdom and great treasures of knowledge even hidden treasures' and I can honestly say that this is how I feel in terms of all this knowledge being there before but it was just hidden to me. I do at times feel compelled or prompted to share my experiences and I like the comment from the gentleman who said he qualifies his position by stating he's on a plant based no animal protein diet as this is more or less what I state too but if I'm labelled vegan that I'm fine with that too. So far we have a good number of friends who've studied the info too and have changed their eating patterns which gives me a buzz as I truly believe it will benefit them too.Thank you for the post and great to see all the comments.

  37. Anonymous
    on April 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm said:

    Whole Foods Vegan Momma, the link to the interesting essay you mentioned is not working for me. Could you try posting a link again? Thanks! I'd love to read it.Karen – a whole foods vegan grandma

  38. Stephanie
    on April 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm said:

    Hi, I am not vegan or vegetarian…yet, but I am LDS and have been my entire life. I find it sad that members of the church would openly criticize other peoples right to eat what they want, especially when your way is so much closer to the WOW then the SAD diet that most people follow! For the last month, I have been doing a lot of research into diet. I decided within about a week of research to switch my family to a whole foods diet with A LOT less meat. As my research continues I keep finding more things that I want to incorporate or do away with. This has been difficult in a lot of ways with my family, but as I make these changes I try to teach my kids WHY we are no longer buying Lucky Charms, for example, or eating things with artificial dyes, or processed sugars and High fructose corn syrup.As I have started to make the changes I realized that we were actually following closer to the Word of Wisdom than we EVER have. I have been seriously contemplating about trying to make the switch to vegetarian, but it's gonna take a little more time for me to learn more and have more practice preparing meals without meat since it is such a foreign concept from what I was raised. I appreciate the help that you give through your blog to those who want to understand it better and to make the switch. Right now, I need all the help that I can get to understand cooking and food prep for a plant based diet, whether it's vegan or vegetarian.Now, in reference to what Jenn said above about Vegan's not following the Word of Wisdom…I went back and reread D&C 89 again, just to double check on what she said, it says: 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.(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 89:12 – 13)I understand where she is coming from on them being ordained for our use, but it still says only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine. It is also talking about the flesh of the animal, not the product. It says nothing about what the animal produces such as eggs or milk. There are plenty of people that cannot have cows milk, for example, does that mean they are not following the Word of Wisdom? Of course not. Some people don't like eggs, are allergic to them, or choose not to eat them. Are they wrong for making that choice? No.I personally, see nothing wrong with a persons choice to be vegan, and I definitely do NOT agree that they are not following the word of wisdom. Sadly, they are following it closer than probably 98% of the members of the church. The calcium found in cows milk cannot even be used by our body and actually promotes osteoporosis (I know totally foreign from what we have been taught). Believe it or not…the statistics of the rise of both cow milk consumption and osteoporosis are not coincidence. Cow's milk is perfect for calf's, just like any mother's milk is perfect for her baby…of the same species. Calcium is readily available from plant sources, and is absorbed 10 times (if not more) easier. Not to mention, the fact that many studies have shown that a diet of animal protein of only 20% (most people eat/drink WAY more than that) is the perfect breeding ground for cancer related diseases. It basically feeds the cancer, whereas plants do not.All this coming from someone who is NOT a vegan, or a vegetarian, but actively working on becoming one. Heavenly Father has blessed us with these beautiful animals and they are way more useful in ways then just eating them or using their milk or eggs. Without going into tons of detail because this is already long enough…Animals are great for the earth and growing things. God made things the way he did for a reason, sometimes we just need to remind ourselves what that reason was!

    • Matt
      on August 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm said:

      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.

      Stephanie, thank you for your open minded approach, let me just point out one thing to you. Verse 12 notes that flesh is to be used “sparingly,” which is followed by verse 13 that adds, even though it is to be used “sparingly,” it is “pleasing unto me that they should not be used.” So while we can use it “sparingly,” it is most pleasing unto Him if we do not, and then if we do we are to use it “only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.” This is the common sense straightforward reading of these verses, and even at that are only parts of the three whole paragraphs devoted to telling LDS not to eat meat that are found in the WoW.

  39. Jenn
    on April 11, 2012 at 8:59 pm said:

    I'd like to say something. I am life long devout LDS. One of my passions is healthy eating, nutrition, & the Word of Wisdom. There is a difference between VEGAN & VEGETARIAN. There are different levels of vegetarian, & the WOW doesn't say it's wrong. But becoming total vegan IS a different story. The scriptures tell us specifically that fowl & flesh of the earth ARE for the benefit of man. While I DO believe it's ok to not consume meat (& if you do, it needs to be extremely sparingly – which is how we do it) – – – I do NOT believe becoming a complete Vegan follows the WOW. That means you will be getting ZERO benefit from any animal products, including dairy, eggs, etc. Read a copy of "The Word Of Wisdom – A Modern Interpretation", by Elder John A. Widtsoe (an apostle). It specifically addresses this issue, & it says if you do not eat meat, you MUST consume enough dairy/eggs to get the other required nutrients your body requires. I'm all for no dead animal meat or very little dead animal meat. But PLEASE people, if you don't consume dairy or eggs or any animal product at all, do more research from an LDS point of view. Please. Heavenly Father blessed us with these beautiful animals & I am so grateful I found the book by Elder Widtsoe (as well as many entries in the Journal Of Discourses & from past prophets/leaders) on the subject of WOW/nutrition. VEGETARIAN = OKVEGAN = PLEASE NO!

    • anonymous
      on August 18, 2013 at 12:01 am said:

      Um.. no. This is what the book said “However, studies of the protein or flesh-forming constituents of plant and animal foods, point to the conclusion that it may be desirable to include some animal protein– milk, eggs, meat– in the human dietary. ”
      This is a far cry from you MUST eat dairy and eggs. He goes on to say
      “it was demonstrated by scientific methods that all known substances required for the nutrition of the animal body were found in varying proportions in all plants”

    • Matt
      on August 18, 2013 at 2:04 pm said:

      “The scriptures tell us specifically that fowl & flesh of the earth ARE for the benefit of man.”

      This absolutely false and is testimony to how much false doctrine is preached on this subject. If this were true you would be able to provide the statement. While the section in the WoW does denote all faithful LDS should be vegetarian-unless starving to death-Genesis 1 is all we need to know that we should be vegan, and that conversation I have included elsewhere in these comments. As far as nutrition goes, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Tell this guy he’s not healthy and then report back to us: http://www.vegetarianbodybuilding.org/

    • Matt
      on August 18, 2013 at 2:29 pm said:

      “Read a copy of “The Word Of Wisdom – A Modern Interpretation”, by Elder John A. Widtsoe (an apostle). It specifically addresses this issue, & it says if you do not eat meat, you MUST consume enough dairy/eggs to get the other required nutrients your body requires.”

      Forgive me for not researching this and adding it to my original response, but this needs to be addressed. This book you mention was published in 1950… 1950! You get nutritional advice from books published in 1950? You think a non-scientist knew more about nutrition in 1950 than modern science tells us today? This explains a lot, and I understand your confusion about this issue a lot better, so I don’t mean to embarrass you in this comment section, but this had to be addressed so anyone else reading these comments does not get bad information from your post. Maybe in 1950 people could not live a healthy vegan lifestyle, maybe they could, I don’t know, but that has nothing to do with modern nutrition, what the WoW actually says, and how much healthier a vegan lifestyle is than a flesh based one.

  40. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on February 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm said:

    Anonymous: I'm sorry I can't be of more help because I don't have any answers about the non-leather scriptures. I still have the same set (leather bound) from high school and haven't bothered to check into getting something different. I agree with you about the idea of wrapping up God's word in what used to be an animal is a little disturbing. Definitely fit's well with OT times when animal sacrifice was the way things were done, but doesn't quite mesh with our current times, does it?

  41. Anonymous
    on February 18, 2012 at 4:47 am said:

    I'm BUMPING Susie's post about the non-leather scriptures! I'm a possible convert who is trying to find a quad bound in pleather/vinyl, canvas or other fabric/library-grade buckram. As it is I can't even have a nice set for myself because they seem not to exist in this fashion.I've e-mailed the LDS Bookstore, Deseret Books, and some other LDS storefronts, but expect I may receive the Mormon Cone of Silence on the matter: http://ldsconversionconfusion.com/2010/03/26/the-mormon-cone-of-silence/I've read it all in paper form years ago, but it's very off-putting to not have a reasonable alternative, especially since the Old Testament directive of humans having animals for their own use made since in primitive times, but like a lot of OT material, has been overturned by the New Testaments (i.e. – forbidding the eating of pork, et al). Wrapping up God's Word in a sheath of dead flesh is a rather ironic and disturbing idea!Surely someone out there knows of a resource I can turn to; otherwise I'll be carrying around very tattered paper-bound copies the rest of my life.

  42. The Pines at Castle Rock
    on December 11, 2011 at 11:34 pm said:

    Couldn't agree more. I have been vegan for three months since watching "Forks Over Knives" and it is strange how resistant mormons are to it. However, MUCH of the mormon outlook is governed by cultural outlooks too, so it makes sense in this light. Nothing about our actual faith discourages being vegan in any way, but everything about our culture does.

    • Matt
      on August 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm said:

      “Nothing about our actual faith discourages being vegan in any way, but everything about our culture does.”

      I would only add that everything about our faith encourages us to be vegan, but the culture, well, that has nothing to do with faith sadly.

  43. Anonymous
    on December 5, 2011 at 8:58 pm said:

    Thank you for this. Last Friday I had a very spiritual experience and a very wise friend helped me to see the spirit of the Word of Wisdom and how it relates to eating meat. Not only the WOW but also helped me feel a greater reverence for animals who are God's creations and have a sacred life within them. I feel like I did when I found out the Church was true. I know the path ahead of me but I'm not quite sure how to proceed. I never imagined my life would take this turn. But where God guides, He provides and I know He'll help me along. Thank for your example.

  44. Anonymous
    on December 2, 2011 at 7:14 pm said:

    Nice post. I do believe that animals are ordained for the use of man, but the blood of animals are required at our hand. (JST GEN 9:10-11). I take this to mean, "Animals are for your use, but use them wisely because you must answer for how you regarded the sanctity of their lives." My wife and I have been eating a vegan diet for about 5 or 6 years. We started by trying to live closer to the WOW, and it was clear to us meat is to be used sparingly, if at all. So, we experimented with no meat (We had been off dairy and eggs for a year already for other reasons.) now it has been a few years, and we're happy. I'm currently serving as a bishop, fwiw. When asked about it by curious people, I generally refer to our diet a "a plant based diet, free from animal products." ive found this has less negative stereotypes than does the label "Vegan".Blaine

  45. Brodie Hurtado
    on November 4, 2011 at 12:16 am said:

    My name is Brodie, and I've been a Vegetarian for 4 years and just became Vegan (which I NEVER thought I'd ever do) last month. I love it, although I do miss Costco Pizza and eggs. Ha. Anyway, I randomly typed in "Mormon Vegan" into Google and your blog popped up first. I want to thank you for posting this. I haven't met another ACTIVE LDS member who is also Vegan. And to top it off, I'm also gay. However I am a fully active member of the church, I pay tithing every pay check, etc. Anyway, not to give you my life story, but I really related to being alienated from others, just for being Vegan/Vegetarian. I don't advertise that I live a homosexual lifestyle off the bat either. So it's sometimes difficult to do what I believe. Which is that animals have feelings, and just because they can't do everything we can, doesn't mean they deserve to be eaten because humans are too lazy to cook something without meat.

  46. Lifeafterdeath
    on August 31, 2011 at 6:17 am said:

    I am totally inspired! Thanks soooo much for your post

  47. Kevin
    on June 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm said:

    Hi, I am LDS and practically Vegan (no meat, dairy, eggs, or honey) and I am always happy to see members of the Church who live a plant-centric diet. I wanted to invite those who are on Facebook to the Mormon Vegetarians group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_2247600845. I am also hoping to start some kind of Meetup group in the Salt Lake area for LDS vegetarians. Feel free to contact me at kpomeroy@gmail.com especially if you live in Utah.

  48. Anonymous
    on February 19, 2011 at 9:57 pm said:

    Hello! My name is Rachel and I just want to say thank you for making a blog about Veganism with a Mormon perspective. I have been wanting to do something similar for a while but haven't gotten around to it. Seeing everyone else's comments on here also makes me feel less alone. Keep it up!

  49. Susan
    on January 15, 2011 at 5:47 pm said:

    Hello,I have an odd question for you. Long story short, I bought scriptures for the first time the other day. I have been given scriptures, but after 16 years decided it was time for a new set. I have leather bound scriptures. I also have a cousin who is vegan in how he eats. But he still uses his leather bound scriptures and stuff like that. But this got me thinking, what kind of scriptures do vegans use? I know there are other scripture options besides leather bound ones. I hope this question doesn't sound ignorant. I am genuinely curious. I've been looking on line for someone who may have addressed this but haven't found an answer yet. I did like your post and think it's very informative and very well written. Thanks for your time 🙂

  50. Janice
    on November 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm said:

    Hi, I'm Janice and I've also been an active member of the LDS church my entire life. About a year ago I turned vegan, literally overnight. I caught the vision of the word of wisdom and realized for the first time that I had not been fully living the principles taught there nor had I been teaching my family the correct dietary principles. I eat a whole foods, plant based diet, no refined foods or junk foods. This is clearly what the Lord intended and to only eat animals when there is nothing else to eat such as when you can't grow crops in a time of famine.Although there are members of the church who don't understand why I've made significant dietary changes, my experience has been most people are accepting and several are curious and want to know more. I've been very influential to others who have also changed their diet as they too are attempting to live their lives in accordance to the desires of our Heavenly Father. For those few who seem to be full of negativity and "concern" I'm somewhat amused that they are worried about my health and well being and I thank them for their input. And leave it at that. I love eating this way! I feel great and have more energy and vitality. I'm stronger physically and have greater mental clarity. All of my senses are heightened my compassion for others is deeper. My sensitivity to all things spiritual is greater. It has changed my life! I'm clearly healthier than I was a year ago.

  51. JulieMichelle
    on November 4, 2010 at 2:46 am said:

    here is a pretty cool ebook to read about vegetarianism, or veganism… Not saying what all in the book is true but intriguing to think about nonetheless and a very good read in my opinion! Just make sure you keep reading because for me the beginning was a little slow to catch me but by mid way into the 1st chapter I was hooked! www.thegate.us (there is the link to the ebook)

  52. Rebecca Fuller
    on September 30, 2010 at 2:32 am said:

    Hi – my name is Rebecca and I am totally LDS, and I am also Vegan. I have problems saying this word to others because of the funny stares I get. My definition of Vegan is mainly no meat or dairy. I also stay away from GMO products and processed foods. So… I've used the term "vegan" trying to say that I eat as healthily as possible. I've read the word of wisdom over and over to try and be as healthy as possible. I'd like to read more of your posts. Sounds like we are a like.

  53. Chana
    on August 2, 2010 at 12:18 am said:

    I realize this post is "late to the game", but I am being baptized tomorrow as an LDS. I have been a vegetarian for 20 years and a vegan for two. I was delighted to read D&C 89:15 and the "scarcity and famine" quotes. I was a little concerned about how I would fit into my branch (only 25 active members!) as a vegan. And I have decided to do what I have always done. Live my life according to the principles I believe to be true – and let others see the results. If they are positive, hopefully, they will ask why. I agree with you on the observations of diet and health. So many of the branch's members are terribly, terribly overweight. To the point (for some of them) of almost being unable to walk…so, to answer your question as to whether you can be a vegan AND a Mormon….Gee, I hope so…! In fact, I'm staking a lot on it! Many blessing for your efforts – the animals thank you…

  54. CourtCourt
    on June 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm said:

    Hi,My name is Courtney and I too am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. For the last year I have been trying to become a vegan, and I too have found so much opposition and negativity/ concern from other members about this choice. I just want to thank you, because you have taken every thought in my head and clearly, calmly and accurately formatted this into words. Thank You!I admire your goals and lifestyleGod BlessCourtney Thompson