Let’s consider “eating meat or killing animals” first and then we’ll offer a word on “killing insects.” The following scriptures teach clearly that God has provided animals for mankind to eat.

  • Genesis 9:1-3: “So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them….And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you” (NKJV).
  • 1st Timothy 4:1-5: “In the latter times some will depart from the faith…speaking lies…and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

Again, these scriptures are clear; God has created “every beast of the earth” to be “food for you.” This begs the question: Why do some teach that it is a sin to kill and eat animals? They often turn to Genesis 1:30 which says, “I have given every green herb for good.” In the beginning God restricted man’s food to vegetation, but we saw from Genesis 9:1-3 that after the flood God allowed man to eat animals. Regarding “killing animals,” in order to “eat animals” we obviously have to kill them first. Those who refuse to eat animals and teach no one should eat them also point to the Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13, KJV). But this commandment is NOT referring to killing animals, but to killing other human beings in an act of premeditated murder.Now let’s look at some scriptures pertaining to insects:

  • Leviticus 11:20-23: “All flying insects that creep on all fours shall be an abomination to you. Yet THESE YOU MAY EAT of every flying insect that creeps on all fours: those which have jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth. THESE YOU MAY EAT: that locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind. But all other flying insects which have four feet shall be an abomination to you.”

God put Israel on a special diet, which included certain insects. All “clean insects” could be eaten, and as we saw in the case of animals, if God is providing them for food one must kill them first.

It should be said in closing that even though God has provided animals and insects for food we are NOT free to kill them for mere sport (where one takes pleasure in the act of killing). To do this would be cruel. I recall seeing children killing ants and other insects by holding a magnifying glass up to them and allowing the sun to burn them to death. Other acts of cruelty have taken place against animals. Though this is not specifically addressed in the Bible, these acts should not be committed by one who fears God and who knows that He has a purpose for “everything that creeps on the earth.” The only exception there would be for killing insects other than for food would be to keep them damaging your home or if they are harming you in some way (as is the case with mosquitoes, bees, wasps, etc.). (250.3) (DO)