Vegetarian?

Q. In Gen 1:29-30 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. Does that imply that no one ate meat before fall of man? Meat only came as a result from killing and death, so we were initially designed to be perfectly sustained as “vegetarians”? Ch 9:3 gives more context for God also giving animals as food. But question about vegetarian is still valid (I think)?

A. Yes. Before the Flood every plant and every fruit were given to man and animals (beasts, birds, reptiles) for food. That extends to all green plants for everything that breathes. After the Flood this vegetarian restriction was lifted, and animals were included as food:

  • Gen 9:3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

Up till the Flood men and animals were all vegetarians. There were no carnivores at that time.

Not only that, the world’s conditions will be similar under the Lord’s rule during the Millennium and the new heavens and a new earth:

  • Isa 11:6-9 The wolf will live with the lamb,
        the leopard will lie down with the goat,
    the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
        and a little child will lead them.
    The cow will feed with the bear,
        their young will lie down together,
        and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
    The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
        and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
    They will neither harm nor destroy
        on all my holy mountain,
  • Isa 65:25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
        and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
        and dust will be the serpent’s food.
    They will neither harm nor destroy
        on all my holy mountain,”
    says the Lord.

Some asked, “If all animals were meant to be vegetarians, why do carnivores have sharp teeth and claws? Doesn’t it mean that they were designed to be meat-eaters? Or did they evolve?” The answer is in:

  • Gen 1:24-25 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

God created herbivores and carnivores after their kind, substantially as we have them now. They did not evolve. However, God foreknew that mankind would fall, that the earth will be filled with violence (Gen 6:11, 13), that He will destroy all flesh with a flood (Gen 6:17), and that He will permit the eating of meat after the Flood (Gen 9:3). So the sharp teeth and claws or predatory features were designed in anticipation of post-Flood conditions.

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