We All Were Vegetarians Once…

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

Genesis 1:29-30 – Scripture of the Day (March 20, 2014)

Today being the first official day of spring, it’s appropriate that my desk calendar of scriptures chose this one to be today’s Scripture of the Day.  However, there’s a lot more that’s in this passage than just symbolism of springtime…

First of all, this passage is telling us that both man and animals were not carnivorous at the beginning.  Adam and Eve, and all the animals in the Garden of Eden…all were vegetarians.

In fact, there is no indication of men or animals eating meat until centuries later after the flood.  Check out what God said to Noah after he stepped off the ark…

And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.  The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea.  Into your hand they are delivered.  Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you.  And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.”

(Genesis 9:1-3)

That explains a lot…

Think about it.  One of the biggest mocking challenges given to the Genesis account of Noah and the ark is the jeering question, “Wouldn’t the T-Rex have eaten up Noah and his family and all the other animals on that ark?”  Now we know the answer.  The T-Rex, the lion, the tiger…all of them weren’t carnivores when they were on the ark.  So Noah wouldn’t have looked like a tasty snack to them.  On the contrary, he would have fed them leafy greens right alongside the brontosaurus and the cow…and he and his own family, for that matter.

It also explains why puny man is able to tame animals who are far bigger and stronger than we are.  Look again at Genesis 9:2.  God put the fear and dread of us into all animals.  Sure, we are still killed by animals from time to time, yes…but it does explain something I’ve always wondered:  why any horse would tolerate lunkheads like us sitting on its back for hours on end when it could stomp us to death if that was its wish.

Just remember this.  We all used to be vegetarians once.  Imagine that…

3 thoughts on “We All Were Vegetarians Once…”

  1. This is an interesting thought. However, I’m not for sure the case is as absolute as you seem to indicate it is. Does the absence of information about meat eating definitively prove that such was not done at that time? Consider other topics. Does the fact that we do not read of homosexuality before Sodom and Gomorrah mean that such was not practiced before that time? The same could be asked about a great number of Biblical topics: drinking, adultery, incest, or any other moral sin. I understand those are sins, but the concept of something not occurring before it is mentioned is the idea that I am curious about. Like I said, I haven’t really considered this before now. (In that respect, this is truly an interesting idea to explore.) I realize that this idea should and what position one takes is not (or should not be, from what I can ascertain) a test of fellowship. I suppose, just off the top of my head, could we, for instance, suggest that no one practiced keeping their hair long before Samson? (No pun intended.) I am not for sure because I have not looked, but again, off the top of my head, it seems like Samson was the first mentioned that practiced this. I’m not sure why, but I just question the certainty you express, that something was not the case when it is not stated that before Noah, both men and earth creatures were exclusively vegetarians. I cannot say they weren’t. Further, do your assertions have any insinuations about the miraculous in the events surrounding and including the ark? Again, I’m not sure they do, but this question popped into my mind while reading your post. As for the reason that Noah was not “attacked” by carnivores, I had always assumed that one of two things were behind such: either God miraculously intervened to prevent such from happening or the animals on the ark were young and small. Again, I cannot say for sure. One more thing: what is the purpose of this study? Does it really matter? Is there a lesson for us to learn from this, or is this just an interesting thought? Again, I do not claim to have the answer for that either. In reality, I guess all I have is questions, ha ha. At any rate, I’d be interested in reading your thoughts on this. Thanks again for an interesting post. It is good for us to think.

    Saul

    1. Good questions, Saul. Glad you asked them.

      1. You mentioned that the absence of any mention of homosexuality before Sodom/any other moral sin doesn’t mean that it wasn’t practiced before that time. That is true. However, the difference between those illustrations and the point I made in the article is that God specifically told man and animals that they were vegetarians, and didn’t command that they eat meat until hundreds of years later after the flood. While it is true that man could have made the decision to violate God’s wishes in this respect and eat meat anyway, animals certainly would not have done so because animals do not have the ability to make the choice to sin. So we can say without a reasonable doubt that at the very least animals were vegetarians, and thus would not have been trying to eat Noah on the ark.

      Plus, the fact that God felt the need to tell the eight humans left on the planet that they can eat animals strongly implies that such a notion had not crossed their minds before, thus implying that mankind in general were vegetarians before the flood/

      2. The purpose of the study is the purpose of all these “Scriptures of the Day” I post: to give commentary and thoughts on various scriptures in God’s Word. Proverbs says that every word of God is tested (Prov. 30:5), and Paul said that all Scripture, including this passage, profits man in order to make us more complete and equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Therefore, studies on even more obscure passages like this one in order to glean relevancy and other notions which we might not have thought of before from them is always a good thing.

      Thanks for reading and thanks for the thoughts!
      Jon

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