Questions From Readers
● To what extent is a householder obligated to see to it that the meat he purchases is drained of blood? Should a guest, knowing it is the custom of the country not to drain the blood from certain meats, such as fowl and rabbit, keep silent and eat, or should he mention that the practice is unscriptural and refrain from eating?—D. W., England.
In countries where it is the general practice to drain the blood from butchered animals it hardly seems necessary to make specific inquiry at the time of purchase, or when eating meat prepared in a home or restaurant of such lands. However, if it is the custom of a country not to drain the blood from certain meats, the purchaser would be aware of this and could hardly disclaim responsibility for eating the blood. A variety of excuses and flimsy reasonings may be offered in justification of eating things strangled or unbled, but none of them are valid in view of the explicit Bible ruling: “For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you, except these necessary things, to keep yourselves free from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things killed without draining their blood [from things strangled, margin] and from fornication. If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you!”—Acts 15:28, 29, NW.
If you are a guest in a home where meat “from things strangled” is served, you should not eat it. If the host or hostess is not a witness of Jehovah you may not choose to state your reason, or you may, depending on circumstances known to you. However, if the one serving the meat is one of Jehovah’s witnesses it is proper to call the wrong practice to his attention, for his own spiritual welfare as well as in explanation of why you are not partaking.
This case is not the same as that of meats sacrificed to idols. When such meat was part of a sacrificial meal at a pagan temple or elsewhere and constituted a partaking with the demon gods represented by the idols, it was forbidden to Christians. But sometimes not all the meat from the sacrificial animal was used in this way; it was turned over to the shambles or meat market for selling to others. Under these circumstances Christians could buy and use this meat, or eat such meat served to them in the homes of others. They need make no inquiry. Only if another Christian, less mature and perhaps with a weak conscience, thought the eating of this meat was wrong would the mature Christian refrain from eating, in order not to stumble his weaker brother. There was no real wrong in eating this meat that was no part of a sacrificial meal. This situation cannot be compared with the eating of things strangled, which eating of unbled meat is wrong at all times and in all places.—1 Cor. 8:1-13; 10:25-33.