In the garden of Eden, there were no carnivores animals. Both people and animals ate plants. Genesis 1:29-30 tells us: “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.”
We learn from the above passage, that man was to eat of the produce of both field and tree, in other words of grain, nuts, and fruit; the animals, to eat of “every green herb,” vegetables, or green plants, and grass. At the beginning, God didn’t design that people should massacre animals for food, or that animals should prey on one another; therefore, the sad destruction of life by man and animals is a direct result of the entrance of sin into the world (Romans 5:12). Even ancient heathen myths tell us of a golden age of goodness, when people didn’t kill or destroy animals (Ovid Met. I. 103-106).
After the Flood
Only after the flood, the Lord allowed people to eat of the flesh of animals (Genesis 9:3) and for animals to be carnivores. “The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”
This allowance was due the temporary ruin of all plant life during the Flood and the depletion of the food resources that Noah and his family took into ark. Because of this situation, God permitted people to eat the flesh of only clean animals (Exodus 22:31; Leviticus 22:8).
The New Earth
The prophecies of the new earth by the prophet Isaiah tell us that no animal will be killed then. In the New earth, there will be no sin and therefore no shedding of innocent blood:
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:6-9).
“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” says the Lord” (Isaiah 65:25).
Humans and animals were herbivores in Eden and until the flood. The clear teaching of the Bible shows that death came into the world by sin which means that the Lord initially intended that neither man nor animals should kill in order to provide themselves with food. There will be no carnivorous animals in the new earth. All animals will live in perfect harmony with one another and with man.
In His service,
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