Didn’t God put animals here for us to eat?

Why would a loving, benevolent God create animals who can suffer and then have humans be the cause of that suffering?

If you believe in the God of the Bible, you can see that he created a vegan world and intends for us to return to a vegan world.

Immediately after the creation, 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 of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food. And it was so.” (Genesis 1:29-30)

In God’s perfect world, all living creatures were created as vegans. Humans, who were created in God’s image, were created to eat seeds and fruit, a diet that did not even kill plants.

In Genesis 3, when God sentenced Adam and Eve to a life outside of the Garden of Eden, he said:

“And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground” (Genesis 3:18-19).

Three times in the first three chapters of the Bible, God instructed man regarding his diet. Each time, the Bible records only where God permitted man to eat vegetation (some of which could be made into bread).

During the flood, Noah, his family, and all the animals spent 370 days on the Ark (one lunar year on the Ark, plus ten days, according to Genesis 7:11–13 and 8:14–20). If there were only two of every kind of non-human animal, they all must have been eating only the plant-based food that was brought along.

After the flood waters subsided, there was presumably very little to eat left on earth.

In Genesis 9:1-5 we read:

Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal.”

So in the imperfect world after the flood, humans (and other animals) were permitted (but not required) to eat meat.

Later on in the Bible, Isaiah describes God’s future Kingdom.

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. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:3-9)

This passage describes God’s future Peaceable Kingdom. In his kingdom none of God’s creatures, including humans, will harm or destroy each other.

Of course, there are many other religions in the world as well. While some followers of all of these religions are vegetarian, many are not. However, I don’t know of any religion that requires its followers to consume animal flesh or secretions or prohibit veganism.

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