In January 2015, I decided that I was going to take up a Kosher diet. It seemed pretty simple at the time. I simply wanted to do what I thought was right, in accordance with the diet set out for the Hebrews in the Old Testament and, for the most part, it was just a case of giving up pork and certain seafoods that I loved. A personal experience through that year, though, caused me to actually look at why I was following the diet. This, in turn, caused me to actually research the diet itself.
The first thing that I looked at, regarding the Kosher diet, was the ‘seething a kid in its mother’s milk’. This is found in Deuteronomy 14:21 and has the modern-day equivalent of eating a cheeseburger. In brief, my finding was that it is OK to eat a cheeseburger. The actual reason for not seething a kid in its mother’s milk is something I’m still undecided on but I found a web publishing by Keith Hunt to be a good starting point for study. You can find it HERE.
As I continued my study, looking at why I couldn’t eat pork and the other ‘meats’ that were prohibited, I came to a realization. In the Torah (I will stand corrected if I’m wrong.), there is only regulation as to how vegetation should be GROWN and not necessarily how it should be EATEN. I’d found myself doing the very thing I tell others not to do. I read the books of law with a focus on what shouldn’t be done, questioning why, with no focus on what can be done without fear of consequence.
Coupled with the knowledge that, in this period, the common man would eat when hungry, as opposed to eating food because it was there, I began to question if really our diets should be vegetarian, with an option of eating meat if it was necessary. This hit home when I read through the story of Noah, followed by Abraham and Joseph.
We could be exact about the measurement of the ark but that is for another forum. For the sake of this post, I’m going to go with the Wikipedia measurement of 450ft x 75ft x 45ft.
Pre-flood, micro-evolution had not yet begun so there were nowhere near as many sub-species as there are now. I think the ark would have been very basically populated with creatures so the question would always taunt me. How DID Noah and his family survive in the ark for almost 6 months. After much deliberation, and looking at the Kosher diet, I’ve come to the conclusion that they would have to have eaten at least a primarily vegetarian diet, if not a totally vegan diet of starches, grains or both. A heavy meat diet could have, based on the calories meat provides and how long meat lasts once an animal is slaughtered, caused the animals to dwindle in numbers very swiftly. Causing sickness, disease and, ultimately, death of the animals, Noah and his family.
Grains, starches and legumes, on the other hand give you more ‘bang for your buck’ when it comes to the provision of carbohydrates for energy and last a lot longer than any meat product.
Abraham was a nomad with many, many people in his tribe. To the point, he was able to muster a nomadic army of 318 men to rescue his nephew, Lot, in battle. His herds were enormous. Understanding the nomadic lifestyle of the time, we can again see that, in the very least, meat was only eaten if necessary, if at all. Having such a large tribe, living in a primarily desert region (We see this when Abraham and Lot part ways), a primarily meat diet or any other excessive intake of meat would have meant a decrease in animals to actually work the land, in order for any food to be planted or for any other work that strong animals could have been used for back then. The erection of large tents, for example.
What actually comes to mind at this moment of typing is that, there are very few instances in the beginning of the Old Testament where meat is used for food.
Joseph’s story sees him become a leader of the Ancient Egyptian empire. When famine was predicted, the first step he took was to create large granaries and fill them with grain. The grain lasted through a 7 year famine. There is also archaeological and historical evidence to suggest the common Egyptian man of that period would have eaten a rice-based diet. Interestingly, hair analysis of the Pharaoh mummies we have now shows that they ate more meat than their ‘common’ counterparts, which could go to show that meat is more a consumption of choice than need.
As I started decreasing my meat intake and focused on eating the right meats, according to scripture, a good friend of mine (You can follow his great mind HERE. He has a good spirit to share.) pointed me in the direction of a video called the Starch-based Diet, on YouTube.
John McDougall MD gives a lecture, where he breaks down how, scientifically, historically and archaeologically, we are to be eating a starch-based diet. He then goes on to, a lot better than I could right now, break down how the starch-based diet can better our bodies, our pockets and the environment. It’s the combination of ‘all of the above’ that has driven my decision to make this big change. I really do strongly suggest watching this gentleman’s video. You will find it most informative, even if you chose to not follow a starch-based diet afterwards.
The key aid I have in this change is my choice of sports to make headway in. That is Track & Field (400m Hurdles) and the Triathlon. Indeed, I’m currently heading down the pathway of my first Iron Man, which I hope to attempt in 2017. These sports don’t require the muscular growth of, say, a bodybuilder. I have several friends that are heavily involved in the sports of bodybuilding and sculpting. I would say that their requirement for protein wouldn’t be adequately met by a natural intake of carbohydrates and fats. My sports, on the other hand, require massive amounts of energy. The long miles, running, cycling and swimming and the constant repetitions on a track, over hurdles. These are energy-intensive feats that I have ahead.
For my vegan friends and followers reading this, I’m sorry to disappoint, but I won’t be joining your ranks. Although, I’ll be eating a primarily vegetarian diet, there is still a necessity for muscular repair (As opposed to development.) so, if you see me somewhere eating some chicken or fish to top myself up, don’t scream at me. I’m thoroughly aware of tofu and qinoa. No need to mention. Thank you!
So, there you have it! My reasoning for making a shift to a heavily vegetarian diet, which is, in my eyes, what the Kosher diet is supposed to be. Please, feel free to share any recipes you may have!
I’ll let you know how this goes in a few weeks!