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Following the example set by the question-and-answer columns in the early Journals, when Mary Baker Eddy was Editor, this column will respond to general queries from Journal readers—such as the one above—with responses from Journal readers. It will not cover questions about how to interpret statements in Mrs. Eddy's writings. There's more information at the end of the column about how to submit questions.

QUESTIONS: Does vegetarianism express a higher sense of right than eating animal flesh?

From the May 2005 issue of The Christian Science Journal

A1 Any action that is based on a desire to express love to God's creation—be it animals, the environment, or whatever form it takes—is to be respected. At the same time, any spiritually minded individual would want to be careful not to place undue emphasis on the material body and what goes into it. How one balances these issues can only come from prayer and listening—from each person's individual relationship with God. And one can trust that divine intelligence will guide others into what is right for them, without framing the question in theological terms of absolute right and wrong.

Jesus did have something to say about eating in general: "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink ... is not the life more than meat ...?" (Matt 6:25). This helps me see that what I take into my consciousness about God and my relationship to Him is more important than my diet. When my thought is stayed on God, my habits are more constructive and natural.

I've come to see that something is responsible for everything that we eat or drink. To me, it's not animal instincts, dietary theories, or psychological reactions, but divine intelligence. We can think of this divine intelligence as influencing everything we do.

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