Questions From Readers
● When meat is cut in the course of preparation for cooking, or when it is sliced after it has been cooked, a reddish fluid may run out of it. Is such meat suitable for eating by a Christian?—U.S.A.
A Christian may eat meat only from animals that were drained of their blood at the time they were slaughtered. The Bible commands: “Keep abstaining . . . from blood and from things strangled.”—Acts 15:29.
Of course, even the meat from properly bled animals may appear to be very red or may have red fluid on the surface. This is because bleeding does not remove every trace of blood from the animal. But God’s law does not require that every single drop of blood be removed. It simply states that the animal should be bled.
Then, too, there is extravascular fluid in the meat. This fluid may mix with traces of blood and take on a red color. The extravascular fluid filling the spaces between the cells is known as interstitial fluid and resembles blood plasma. But it is not blood and therefore does not come under the prohibition respecting blood. Hence the presence of a reddish fluid does not in itself make meat unsuitable for food. As long as an animal has been properly bled, its meat may Scripturally be used for food.
There may be times, however, when a Christian has reason to believe that an animal may not have been bled properly. If there is no way for him to get the facts, he may choose not to eat the meat and thus avoid disturbing his conscience. This is in harmony with the principle stated at Romans 14:23: “If he has doubts, he is already condemned if he eats.”