Why do Mormons eat meat?

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September 14, 2011 12:28AM

The LDS (Mormon) scripture called "The Word of Wisdom" was prescribed in the mid 1800's as a code of dietary health. The code includes abstaining from strong drink (alcohol), hot drink (coffee and tea), and tobacco. It also recommends eating meat "only in times of winter or famine", eating plenty of grains and herbs, and fruits.

It was originally a recommendation and not a commandment. Many years later, LDS leaders announced that members should consider the ban on the addictive substances (coffee, tea, and tobacco) binding as a commandment, explaining that those who had been addicted had been given time to overcome their addiction and extended the ban to any illicit drug use as well.

The eating of meat, however, was never elevated to the level of commandment.


The reason Mormons eat meat is because it contains essential nutrients for a healthy body - in other words, the same reason why anyone else eats meat.

The answer above is incorrect. The commandment regarding the eating of meat by Mormons was and is a commandment, and was better answered in another question and answer on this site: "Mormons do eat meat, but part of the Word of Wisdom says

"Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;

And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine."

This is found in Doctrine and Covenants, section 89, verses 12 and 13.

I'm new to this and don't know how old this question is, but for anyone who stumbles upon this to understand mormonism and meat I wanted to clarify this a bit. The quote is accurate, but to further the answer think of how often a modern day Mormon finds him/herself in a time of winter/cold/famine and in need of meat to survive, which is what the commandment is meant to signify. Beyond those scenarios meat "should not be used" which is to say that for any Mormon not starving to death they ARE commanded not to eat meat. This passage also states that this commandment is to be followed by the LEAST of the Mormons (saints) meaning this is the bare minimum. Now, most Mormons do not follow this as it is prescribed, which is unfortunate, but true, and requires a separation of true Latter Day Saint religion from the culture. The religion requires members not to eat meat unless starving, and therefore be at least vegetarian if not vegan. The culture unfortunately shows that most Mormons eat meat with every meal, so the short answer to the question is no, Mormons cannot eat meat, unless starving that is, but in direct violation of their own commandments, they do.