Before the Fall, God created animals (and humans) to eat only plant-based foods; eating meat was only ever meant as an accommodation to man in his fallen state and not part of His original intentions. The Bible clearly illustrates this point.
Psalm 104:14 emphasizes this point by noting that God “causes grass to grow for their cattle,” suggesting He plays an active part in providing their sustenance.
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Why did God make them?
God makes clear in Scripture that animals are more than passive objects of our pleasure; He actively provides food for animals such as cattle and young lions in Psalm 104:14 when He says He causes grass to grow for cattle and young lions to pursue prey, rather than leaving nature take care of itself; feeding animals directly is part of His divine plan! Furthermore, groupings of animals often represent human groups. Sacrificial animals on an altar to be burned up represent Israel – priestly people mediating between worshipers and Yahweh; clean but non-sacrificial animals represent Gentiles such as Melchisedek or Jethro, father-in-law of Moses while Unclean animals signify idolaters or enemies of Israel.
Prior to the Flood, animals were mostly vegetarian eaters; however, the Bible describes a time when some will start eating meat again; various groups believe this event may happen during either millennia or physical restoration of creation after.
God instructed Noah during the Flood to bring seven “clean” animals onto his ark; this would preserve species while providing sustenance for both himself and his family until plant life could resume post-Flood.
Perhaps one of the primary purposes was to teach us respect for life as sacred. Blood is used as a metaphor in scripture to represent this concept of sacredness; so much so, that animal blood was forbidden in Old Testament teachings.
God revealed His reasons for prohibiting animal sacrifice to Israel via their sacrificial system, too. Scripture teaches that any rebellion against His holiness constitutes sin and His punishment must be paid either directly by those responsible or through an acceptable substitute – animals being an excellent way of showing this point as they don’t possess free will to choose right or wrong themselves.
The sacrificial system also serves another important purpose for animals: helping us understand divine justice. Animals were used as sacrifices to satisfy God’s demands for human sin; we will see this same principle at play again when Jesus takes upon himself our sins and dies to provide salvation.
Why did He allow them to eat?
The Bible does not specifically state that humans were ever meant to eat animals, though Genesis 1:29-30 suggests otherwise. All animals were originally designed to consume vegetation like humans did; after the Fall however, some became carnivorous; thus making some animals omnivorous (they consume both flesh and plants), while others such as lions and snakes are strictly carnivorous in order to stay alive.
Due to Adam and Eve’s Fall, death spread through animal populations both before and after. Noah received a covenant from God which permitted him to kill and consume animals as food with one caveat: before eating them he must drain off all blood from their carcasses first – apparently so God could remind Noah that humankind are created in His image, killing animals does not mean murdering another human being.
God is responsible for providing food for all animals. Psalm 104:14 records this responsibility: God “causes grass to grow for cattle, herbs to yield seeds of their kind and young lions will seek meat from you”. This shows His involvement in providing all forms of life with sustenance.
As well, it is crucial to remember that God does not want us to consume animals – this would violate His command against eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – instead, He wants us to focus on eating vegetables and fruits that provide life, not dead animals that lack vitality.
The Bible teaches that God will ultimately restore all creation to its original state. This may take place during either Christ’s return and physical universe restoration or during a millennium, in either case it will include an end to eating animals; instead they can live out their lives freely alongside mankind.
Why did He allow us to eat them?
People often find Leviticus’ passages on which animals are clean or unclean very confusing, with some believing God never intended us to consume pork, shrimp, oysters and other shellfish as they contain parasitic worm larvae that cause disease in humans. Others argue that He did not create beasts to hunt down and kill their fellow creatures; He created them perfectly instead; yet these arguments fail to address facts such as vultures consuming 59 times more botulinum toxin (the poison responsible for botulism) than necessary and that pigs being scavengers spread trichinosis into people who eat meat eaten before fully cooked by eating their meat contaminated by trichinosis!
The Bible reveals that in its original “very good” creation, plants were to provide most of our food needs with animals consuming only those they couldn’t produce themselves. After man sinned and death entered our world, however, everything changed dramatically.
Some may interpret God’s command in Genesis 9:3 for Noah to eat any “living” animal as giving humans permission to consume animals over which they already held full dominion. However, this likely wasn’t meant as carte blanche permission – for one thing there are clear restrictions within Leviticus that limit human consumption to animals with scales and fins as well as any foodstuff tainted with blood (Lev. 11:4).
Restrictions were put in place to keep Israelites separate from other nations of the world as they fulfilled a special mission in history. Once their mission had been fulfilled, Jesus told Peter in a vision: “All that God hath cleansed is no longer unclean” (Mark 7:19), signifying that even previously unclean animals can now be eaten if they have been cleansed through Jesus Christ’s blood.
Why did He allow us to kill them?
God called his creation, the world, “very good”. Animals and plants lived harmoniously without hunting each other or eating each other – this was God’s original intent for creation! However, sin entered the world and changed everything; animals became predatory and started eating each other – not what he intended!
The Bible asserts that God is Lord over all his creation, including animals. When Job indicted Him over their treatment, God used the example of animals to help Job understand who was really in charge – He pointed out how He provided for them and assigned their place within His kingdom (Job 38:39-41).
Scripture indicates that animals provide an invaluable lesson about divine justice. Israel was taught through Old Testament sacrifices that rebelling against God’s authority carries with it a penalty–death–but because He is merciful and just, He provided a substitute–an innocent animal’s life–in order to maintain their relationship.
Animals serve to demonstrate the nature and consequences of sin through their death. According to Scripture, when animals die they serve as reminders of our own sinful lives; when their blood was sprinkled around the tabernacle it served as a symbolic act of atonement through substitutionary atonement.
God allows us to eat meat for many important reasons, one being its importance as part of a balanced diet. Animal flesh contains essential vitamins and minerals essential for human wellbeing – vitamins that can also be found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains.
The Bible instructs us that eating meat is permissible if it has been slaughtered humanely – this means making sure the animal does not experience unnecessary suffering during its killing process.