Were Adam & Eve Vegetarians?
-> February 16th, 2012 <-
Were Adam and Eve vegetarians? I believe a compelling case for this viewpoint can be found in scripture. Let us examine Genesis 1:29-30. (NKJV)
And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.
God tells Adam what his food should be, and there is no mention of eating animals here. Only plants. God does not give permission to eat animals untill after the fall, and after the flood. In Genesis 9:1-3. (NKJV)
*So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. *
A reading of several translations seems to confirm that God is saying "Earlier I gave you plants for food, now I give you animals too."
Interestingly enough, the passage in Genesis One says that all animals were to eat only plants, too. This makes me think of what the prophet Isaiah says in Isaiah 11:6-7 (NKJV)
“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.
Here we can see that just like in the Garden Of Eden, at some point in the future there will be peace among animals and between man and animals and that animals will once again all be plant eaters. This implies that man too will once again be a plant eater, as it wasn't until God gave man permission to eat animals in Genesis 9 that there was a fear among animals towards man. Since Isaiah describes a time in the future where that fear of man is removed from animals, it is no doubt because man is no longer eating them!
I know already that some people's reaction to all this is going to be "See? God gives us permission to eat meat, thanks for the scriptural proof!" But is that really the most important thing we should draw from this? It seems to me the most important thing to draw from this is that God created us to be plant eaters, and that it makes sense that he'd design our bodies accordingly. Yes, we CAN eat meat, but an honest comparison between man and all other animals show that we have more in common with herbivores than we do with carnivores in just about every design aspect of our physical bodies and digestive system. I recently watched a video that went into great depth of all these comparisons, and it was an eye opener. You can watch that video by clicking --> HERE.
Another observation I have made from these passages, and indeed the entire account of man's fall in the Garden of Eden involve the fact that Adam and Eve's only commandment and the one they broke involved food choices. They could eat of everything except the forbidden fruit. Is there any wonder why we are so blind to our own poor food choices? More and more evidence suggests that most, if not all of the diseases that plague western civilization are directly caused by our diet, yet we are blind to this, even at the highest levels of thinking on health and medicine. It is as if God is saying "By your own food choices you fell, by your own food choices you will suffer and die." And we continue to shovel countless calories of sugar, fat, meat, dairy, and over processed foods into our mouths until we're too ill to keep doing it, and in many cases, until it literally kills us. We look at the diseases caused by our food choices and don't see the cause and effect. We accept obesity, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, asthma, and a host of other illnesses directly caused by diet as if they were a normal part of ageing. We turn to doctors who turn to drugs to treat what we caused ourselves, and never consider that changing what we eat will cure us. We allow ourselves to suffer into old age with our own diet caused infirmities. Yet on Sunday morning we go to church and ask prayers for God to heal us and our loved ones from the diseases we caused ourselves, and praise Him when he reprieves us from death and allows us to suffer on a while longer. We praise Him yet again for His mercy in ending the suffering of our loved ones when they finally do pass. We have come to accept sickness and suffering in old age as normal and view the rare instance of someone living into old age in good health and passing fairly quickly and painlessly as some kind of miracle. Yet that is how God wants all of us to live and die. He does not want us to suffer the misery we put ourselves through.
Yes, I'm talking to YOU!! And I'm talking to me. This is quite literally one of those cases where I'm pointing one finger at you but have three more pointing right back at myself. I have been a bigger offender than 99.999% of mankind. I did not balloon up to almost 500 pounds eating bean sprouts and squash! I did that to myself.
I have had a life long problem with poor vision that has affected many things in my life, including getting jobs or promotions, performance in sports and hobbies, and many other things. Many people feel that the "thorn in the flesh" that the apostle Paul spoke of was his poor vision, so I have always felt a certain kinship with the apostle Paul in that regard. Now I have a new kinship I feel with him. Paul, because of his past actions, considered himself the "chief of sinners". When I speak about diet, believe me when I say I am "chief among sinners". And just as God was able to turn Paul's life around and use him for wonderful works, I am hoping that He is able to use me, the chief of dietary sinners, in some mighty way.
Were Adam and Eve vegetarians? I believe so.
Are you a sinner if you eat meat? No. God does give permission in Genesis 9 for man to eat meat. However, our bodies were originally designed to eat only plants. An observation you can make yourself is that everywhere on earth where large populations of people eat mostly plants with only small amounts of animal products, you'll find fitter, trimmer, healthier people with fewer instances of "western" diseases. And those populations with a more westernised diet where they eat more meat, more dairy, more fat, and more sugar, also have much higher instances of obesity, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, etc, etc, etc.
We all have choices. What's yours?