Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 talk about the various animals that are clean or unclean. It may be surprising to find out that Seventh-day Adventists today still follow these dietary laws.
In the Adventist church the health message is nearly as old as the church itself. In a time when basic health, nutrition, and sanitation were not really known of, the church brought a new and healthier way of living to many people.
Adventists today encourage a vegetarian diet, so eating meat isn’t such a huge issue. On the other hand, Adventists also believe that the health laws set in Leviticus and Deuteronomy still apply-that they were not ceremonial laws, so much as God laying out perimeters for healthy living and sanitation. As Christians we believe that God knew what he was doing when he made the health laws and that he wants the very best for us. The health laws are not a matter of salvation, but Adventists follow them to be the healthiest they can be.
When Did Adventists Stop Eating Unclean Meat?
In 1863 Ellen White had a vision in which God gave her the health reform message. Part of this message was that Adventists should give up eating pork because it would cause health issues including cancer.
For many years the argument against eating pork was purely for health reasons and had nothing to do with the unclean meats of the Bible.
Overtime other (unclean) meats were pulled into this category by various SDA members. Ellen White eventually made some connection to the Biblical health laws saying that the difference “between articles of food as clean and unclean” was not “merely ceremonial and arbitrary regulation, but was based upon sanitary principles.” She also stated that the Jewish people had such great health due to their practice of abstaining from unclean foods.
Time continued to press on and today, most Adventists stay away from all unclean meats so that they can be as healthy as possible to serve God.