Were we meant to be vegetarians?

Now in context of today’s study, I am a meat eater, I love my steak and potatoes.  I am in no way advocating a society without meat, I am merely examining the scriptures and learning something about our earliest ancestors in the process.  With that Let’s begin:

Genesis opens up with the creation of everything, including our ancestors Adam and Eve.  One of the very first things that struck my attention when I started to read about Adam and Eve were their living conditions, or more precise their eating habits.  God says in Genesis 1:29 “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you“.  The interesting thing we find here is no mention of meat.  At this point it’s safe to say that they were vegetarians, or at least to the extent of what the Bible tells us.  But did this truth only pertain to man?  Did animals have a different set of standards, I mean what else would a shark be eating if not meat?  Well, let’s allow the Bible to answer it for us, verse 30 says, “and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food“.  Another verse that dictates a vegetarian lifestyle is found in Gen 2:16 “The LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;'”, again no mention of meat.  In fact the first mention of eating meat comes to Noah after the flood, Genesis 9:3 “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.”.  So our next question is why?  Why now?  He had given them plant before and they sustained life very well and assumedly healthy as they lived longer years than we do now.  I think to answer that question we need to think about what the environment was like at this point, I mean the world had just been flooded.  What happens to vegetation that becomes flooded?  If anything, the farmers in the US, have taught us that just as a drought destroys crops, so does over abundance of water.  It is therefore possible that God allowed man to eat meat because there were not enough edible vegetation to sustain life, or at least sustain it long enough to produce more vegetation.

I know what your thinking! Acts 10:9-15 allows us to eat meat.

Acts 10:9-15:

About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

True enough, but you could argue that eating meat was still a result of the fall and not necessarily an acceptance of it. A perfect example of this kind of thought pattern is with divorce; God said he was against divorce but told Moses because of their hardened hearts he “allowed” divorce.

Personal conclusion:
God’s initial intention for us was to not be meat eaters, imagine if Adam never sinned and God did not curse the ground because of it.  Where would we be right now?  In the Garden of Eden and what do you think we would be eating?  Based on the facts above we would probably be eating fruits and veggies.  However because of our fall and because of the flood we are now meat eaters.  We have been given the ability to eat it, therefore do not take this study as a persuasion of turning vegetarian nor any kind of condemnation thereof.  God clearly allows us to eat meat now.

Does this resonate with your mind as well?

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