Some rasta eat meat, but not pork
Some rasta don't eat any meat, but eat some fish
Some rasta are vegetarian (I wont say I-tal because that is more than a diet)
And so on......
The reasons for this are varied and often depend on the individual. But, as ever, many of the Ras dem do so out of scriptural instruction.... or what they believe to be in the scriptures.
Christians, tend to eat anything. Whereas Jewish / Hebrew and Islamic followers have similar confusion when it comes to diet and its relation to scripture
But how do the I-dem see these instructions by YHWH?
To GARVEYS AFRICA it seems as though the God of the Old Testament contradicts (him)self on more than one occasion on this issue which leads to the confusion..........
"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. 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."
Note: 'Meat' in this part of the Bible uses the Hebrew word 'oklah' which means to consume / devour / EAT. It does NOT mean the 'Meat' as interpreted today (ie meat - food) which would have been written in a number of different ways including baruwth or mat·am
It is very clear, that God gave the first people the plants and the trees for food. Some people try to twist this scripture to mean other things, and try to argue that this does not prove people were eating only the fruits and plants / it was allowing man to eat vegetables as well as meat, but this is wrong. Humans did not meat eat until after the flood according to scripture:
Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I NOW give you everything.
"And Yahweh spoke unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which you shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parts the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and chews the cud, among the beasts, that shall you eat. Nevertheless these shall you not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the coney, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the hare, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he chews not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall you not eat, and their carcass shall you not touch; they are unclean to you"
Note: For those that don't know, clovenfooted and those that 'divide the hoof' are the same thing: a hoof split into two toes. He who 'chews the cud' refers to the digestive process of rumination. Cud is a portion of food that returns from a ruminant's stomach to the mouth to be chewed for the second time.
Animals that don't fit the billing include swine; but also rabbit, camel....
- Deuteronomy 14:4-8 gives the same set of rules about rumination and clovenfooted animals only for consumption.
"These shall you eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall you eat. And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination unto you; you shall not eat of their flesh, but you shall have their carcasses in abomination. Whatsoever has no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you"
Note: Fish with no scales include whiting, cod, mackerel, puffer-fish, catfish..... and the bigger / exotic one dem like sharks. These fish don't love their life too? A none Italist might argue fish - like mackerel - are one of the best sources of Omega-3. Where is the abomination? Unless your looking at it from the point of view of protecting LIFE in which case why some fish and not others?
"And these are they which you shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey, And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; Every raven after his kind; And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind, And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, And the swan, and the pelican, and the eagle, And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat"
- Seems like a lick out against Chicken! Dread them that look to the Bible as the reason they don't eat PORK but still eat chicken and fish should explain..?
Numbers 6:3-4 (re:Nazarite Vow)
"He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes or dried. 4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk."
Note: This verse is not JUST talking about abstinence from alcohol. It is quite clear nothing from any part of a vine tree. This includes grapes, raspberries, blueberries, kiwifruit and MELON. For those who didn't know.
There are lots of other contradictory or changing statements in relation to food within the Pentateuch. Like the example I gave for Deuteronomy 14:4-8. Also Genesis 32:32 after Jacob fights with God / an angel and "the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank."
Not to mention the biblical references to Israelite cannibalism and eating of children (Ezekiel 5:10, 2 Kings 6:29, Lamentations 4:10)....but this will be a side-track in this reasoning. So sticking to the topic.....
The I dem buy into these verses? And their reasoning for WHY certain foods should be avoided? Clovenfooted = clean. Animals that don't ruminate = unclean????? Certain fish is OK but certain fish isn't???? Any sources outside of the Bible to justify this?
The I dem that don't drink alcohol / or have claimed to be on their 'Nazarite vow' abstain from ALL the fruits of the vine as mentioned? Or just grapes / wine? What about melon or even a kiwi? Any of the I dem think is OK to drink alcohol as long as is not wine? (A brethren once reasoned this with me)
Any further conflicting / confusing instructions on diet the I can find?
- Note: If I had to choose I'd stick with the original Genesis instruction. But Ital is vital for reasons not found within scripture.