The persecuted vegetarians
Today, you are not regarded askance as a vegetarian anymore, rather admired. Because it is a trend not to eat meat any more. 4.000 people switch to the vegetarians only in German every week. In the meantime, 12% if the German women and 3% of the men do not eat meat any longer. This is already an average of 8% of the total population, tendency is clearly increasing.
Just 20 years ago, only 0, 6 % of the German forwent „animal body part“ as foodstuffs. At that time, vegetarians have been devaluated as „corn eaters“ as this is still the case in some Eastern Bloc states today. In the country of the pope, in Poland, it is still hard for the vegetarianism to exist in the catholic-middle-class environment. Advertisements for vegetarian events etc. are still rejected by newspapers because of sectarianism. This might sound like a joke for us but it has a brutal tradition in the catholic history. Although it becomes more modern to nourish healthy and meatless in the west, this was a serious and deathly outrage under the sovereignty of the Catholic Church in the past: hundreds and thousands vegetarians and vegans have been persecuted, examined and killed on the initiative of the church for many centuries. Whole districts were depopulated, whole villages were destroyed and whole communities were exterminated. An example: Due to indulgence promises of the pope up to 200.000 people were attracted and formed a kind of crusade gang in the south of France at the beginning of the 12th century. This Gang dug into the villages and stabbed, decollated or burned all people including women, children and old men – just because of the suspicion they could be vegetarians or vegans of the community of Albigensians or Catharists. 20.000 people died in the village Beziéres on one day. Why? The Catharists living vegetarian/ vegan disapproved of killing animals. In the same way they rejected the brutish cruelness and animal carnage which were supposed to be ordered by God in the Old Testament. They kept to the Ur-Christendom: They believed in reincarnation and rejected a churchly hierarchy as much as sacraments, especially baby christening and the ritually Last Supper. They did not believe that bread will be transformed to human flesh (the flesh of Jesus) and wine in human blood (the blood of Jesus). They also rejected the adoration of saints and the adoration of human body parts (relics), they rejected the oath and private property. The Catharists/ Albigensians were radical pacifists who did not even defend their own life.
This way of life in the footprints of Jesus of Nazareth impressed many people so that the movement of Albigensians/ Catharists augmented so strong and also gained more importance and respect under the Catholics that they became a serious competitor for the papacy at 1200 a. D. Therefore, the papists organized a large-scale destruction campaign in 1209 which had the goal to eradicate the Albigensians/ Catharists and their doctrines completely. Within few years the Albigensians and the total peaceably occidental culture was destroyed.
But the fight of the popes against vegetarians has already started much earlier: Pope John III. (561-574) already announced an anathema against the vegetarians at the 1. synod of Braga in Portugal. He wanted to get hold of the community of Manichean of which was known that they lived vegetarian.
An anathema has a disastrous effect on the concerned vegetarians and was like a death sentence as the banned person was regarded as „outlawed“ and had lost every protection. That means this person could be killed by everybody without getting any penalty. Furthermore, this person lost its civil rights.
The knowledge that Jesus and His apostles and followers were vegetarians was rampant in the first centuries after Christ. There is no doubt today that the love for the animals is and was an important point of His doctrine. This is proved by ancient writings (see interview with Carsten Strehlow in „Freedom for animals“ 1/2003 „The hidden love for animals of Jesus“ and the brochure of the same name in the publishing company Das Brennglas). Even Jerome who composed the Bible wrote in his letters about this fact although he was not allowed to add this truth to the Gospels.
Additionally, traditions of the first church fathers prove that the Ur-Christs have been living vegetarian.
A further enlightening occurrence happened in 692 a.D.: Justinian II. convened the trullanic synod (also called quinisext). At this synod the pope rejected the following provisions determined on the trullanic synod: »The Holy Scripture prohibits eating of animal blood. A priest who ingests blood will be punished with his degradation and a layman will be punished with the excommunication.«
The basic attitude of the Catholic Church against vegetarian costs the lives of many thousands people over many centuries. You can even say: whole communities which tried to live the principles of Ur-Christendom were persecuted by the church and preferably exterminated by the church’s exercise of influence. An important part of these principles was vegetarianism/ veganism. This eradication started at the Manicheans over the Bogumiles, the Waldensians to the Albigensians and Catharists, including many little groups in Italy and France.
You can find an example how bishops sentenced vegetarians to death in a book about papacy from 1904:
»In 1051, several persons were sentenced to death as they have rejected to slaughter chicken at the bishops convention in Goslar...«
If we want to reconstruct the faith of this communities persecuted because of their love for animals we will find nearly no writings and legacy which confess something about their faith. The inquisition has raged too thoroughly. Merely some scratch paintings of the Bogumiles on stone are preserved – see illustration on this page.
But there, where you assume it fewest, you find evidence about the life of the persecuted vegetarians and vegans – in the records of the inquisition interrogations. The high ethic of these Ur-Christs amazed thereby. It is ahead of the today’s people light-years away. Would the people today have and life this knowledge – animals and nature would be better.
The persecution of vegetarians by the church
New publication – publishing company Das Brennglas - Röttbacher Str. 61 - 97892 Kreuzwertheim
Reports of the inquisition prove:
Many heretics lived vegetarian and vegan and were for this reason persecuted by the church.
The Manichean lived vegan:
• »However, they do not eat meat as well...
• They do not eat even eggs...
• They are not allowed to nourish from any death bodies...
• They also do not drink milk...«
The Bogumiles lived vegan :
• »The consumption of wine and meat, of milk and milk products, cheese and eggs … was prohibited.«
The Catharists lived vegan:
• »... they were not allowed to kill animals.«
• »... they often prayed, fasted and forwent meat, eggs and cheese every time....«
The fait of Manichean:
• »They believed that herbs and trees live in that way that the life which is in them feels and suffers when they get hurt. This was their opinion.«
Anathema of a pope against vegetarians
»If somebody thinks that meat meals, which God gave the people for consumption, …are impure ….and renounce them, ….this person should be banished.«
Pope John III. (561-574) announced this anathema on the first synod of Brage (Portugal).
»Durch die Bischofsversammlung in Goslar
im Jahre 1051 wurden mehrere als Ketzer zum Tode verurteilt, weil sie sich geweigert hatten, Hühner zu töten...«
»Because of the bishop convention in Goslar
many have been sentenced to death as heretics as they rejected to slaughter chickens in 1051...«