Question:

Do I have to become a vegetarian to be a Seventh-day Adventist?

Answer: It is necessary to first say that no one is saved because of what he or she eats or does not eat. Salvation depends on our relationship with Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord.

As God is our Creator, He cares for us and knows what is best for us. The Bible reveals God's original design for healthful living, and we honour Him by doing our best to follow His plan.

Originally, human beings were created to follow a vegetarian lifestyle (see Genesis 1:26-30). However, circumstances have changed due to sin entering the world and conditions were so different after the Flood (Genesis 6) that God allowed humans to eat meat (Genesis 9:1-4).

God still respects that we no longer live in the Garden of Eden. Our aim is to live as much as we can in accordance with God's original plan as is possible, in spite of the consequences of sin on nature and on our own bodies.

In Leviticus 11, a more detailed list is given, telling which animals were clean for food and which were not. This list reflects animals living in the Middle East area of the time, and we will have to apply the basic principles to our animal world according to analogy. Among the most commonly eaten animal mentioned as prohibited in this list is the pig, a rule which both Jews and Muslims share also today.

In conclusion, you do not have to be vegetarian to be a  Seventh-day Adventist.