Was Jesus a Vegetarian Animal Rights Activist?

Was Jesus a vegetarian activist? Did he come to bring salvation to animals? Does the "Gospel of the Holy Twelve" contain the truth about the lost years of Jesus?

The Gospel of the Holy Twelve was published in 1901, by Rev. Gideon Jasper Ouseley. He was born in Lisbon on the 15th October, 1835, the younger son of Sir Ralph Ouseley, brought over to Ireland on the death of his father, on 14th May, 1842, by relatives, and educated in Dublin University, in which he graduated in 1858. On the 9th of December, 1906 he passed away at the age of 72.

He was, for a time, a missionary in Ireland for the Methodist Church, and ordained as a clergyman by the Bishop of Down and Connor in 1861. He left the denomination, and in 1870, voluntarily renounced meat eating, alcohol and tobacco use as inconsistent with the humanity and the true religion of Christ. He was subsequently received as a priest of the Catholic Apostolic Church, an Old Catholic sect. He then founded the Order of At-one-ment and United Templars Society, having for its motto:

One God, one Religion, various names, various forms.”

Such a statement is clearly a Theosophical one, and one which appeals to modern Cultural Marxists who want to maintain at least an outward form of religiosity. Its object was to bring about a reconciliation of opposing ideas, things, persons, and systems; creating a universal religion. Because of these occult leanings, the church first suspended him. When this did not serve to bring him to his senses, he was excommunicated.

Ouseley then decided to publish his work, “The Gospel of the Holy Twelve,” claiming that it had been hidden away by members of the Essene community to keep it from being corrupted by orthodox Christians. It was claimed to be a translation of an original Aramaic document, discovered by Ouseley himself.

The text itself is clearly a mixture of the four canonical Gospels found in the New Testament and Theosophical occultism. However, Dowling changes many of Christ's teachings to fit his own extreme vegetarian worldview. The stories in the Gospel of the Holy Twelve deviate from the Gospel accounts in many ways. For example:
  • Elizabeth is told that John the Baptist "shall neither eat flesh meats, nor drink strong drink."
  • Mary is told not to eat meat during her pregnancy.
  • The magi are in such a hurry to find Jesus that they neglect to attend to their thirsty camels. The star of Bethlehem disappears from their sight until they give their camels rest and water.
  • Jesus rebukes a man who beats his horse, and later rebukes a crowd of men who torment a cat. When one of the men gets angry with him, Jesus causes his arm to wither. The next day the man returns admitting his sin, and is healed.
  • Jesus rebukes a man for beating his camel, asking, "Wherefore beatest thou thy brother?" Then it says, "the camel knew Jesus, having felt the love of God in him."
  • Jesus states that he has come to end the temple sacrifices, and after his resurrection, goes to the temple and puts an end to the sacrifices with a replay of the temple cleansing.
  • There is no Passover lamb at the Last Supper; Judas Iscariot asks why there isn't any meat to eat.
Is the Gospel of the Holy Twelve legitimate? 

The fact is, it is rejected by academic Biblical scholars as an invention of Ouseley's vivid imagination, and has been dismissed by modern theologians and even historians and advocates of the animal rights movement. 

In response to a campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which claimed "Jesus was a Vegetarian", the Reverend Professor Andrew Linzey1 referred to The Gospel of the Holy Twelve and similar publications, stating, "try as I may, I can find no evidence for their antiquity and I deeply fear that they are works of fiction." 2

Richard Alan Young, a Professor of New Testament Studies has similarly stated, "It appears that Ouseley created The Gospel of the Holy Twelve in support of animal welfare and vegetarianism." 3

Yet again we find that fringe history, fake gospels and occult philosophy provide nothing but lies.

1Anglican priest, theologian, author, Theological Faculty member of Univ. of Oxford.
2Was Jesus a Vegetarian?in The Animals Agenda, Jan./Feb. 2000
3Is God a Vegetarian? Open Court Publishing, 1999