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Genesis 1:29-31 (ESV):

29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Is there any room for the possibility that animal flesh was eaten during this period? Was veganism the norm in the Garden of Eden before the fall?

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  • Can you say why you think this passage doesn't leave room for that possibility? Apr 2 at 17:59
  • @AnthonyBurg - because of objections raised to a similar question asked on Christianity: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/82586/… (notice the update and the close-votes) Apr 2 at 18:02
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    @AnthonyBurg - Oh, I think I misunderstood you. You said why I think it doesn't leave room. Well, the text appears to say that people and animals are expected to adhere to a plant-based diet. If any of the two groups had the permission to kill animals for food, I would've expected that option to have been mentioned here too, but it wasn't. Apr 2 at 18:06
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The list of food listed for human consumption in Gen 1 consisted entirely of plant based food. More specifically, to humans:

Gen 1:28 - Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit contains seed. They will be yours for food.

For animals:

Gen 1:30 - And to every beast of the earth and every bird of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth—everything that has the breath of life in it—I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

Thus, there was a slight difference between human diets and animals diets: man's diet was seed bearing plants; animals were to eat great plants (there is a bit of overlap here but let's not get delayed with details).

It was only after the flood that animal flesh was permitted:

Gen 9:3 - Everything that lives and moves will be food for you; just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you all things.

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Life in Genesis 1 seems simple.

29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

Animals were not to be eaten by man or by other animals. And it was so. That's the normal practice.

Is there any room for the possibility that animal flesh was eaten during this period?

Any person or animal that did that would be abnormal behavior. I suppose that it was within man's power to do so.

28b Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.

I doubt that Adam or Eve ate animal meat before the fall.

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  • Do you think animals were reproducing at this point? Apr 2 at 18:45
  • 22God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
    – Tony Chan
    Apr 2 at 19:03
  • That's interesting, because if there's no predation, you have to wonder what would keep the populations in check. Apr 2 at 19:14
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    We need to remember two things. 1. Scripture is not clear regarding the length of time this is referring to. 2. There's no reason to look for naturalistic explanations in this situation. Creation itself was a miraculous event, what would prevent God from sustaining his creation during this period?
    – WnGatRC456
    Apr 2 at 22:51
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    @AnthonyBurg - do you mean what method would God have chosen to keep overpopulation in check had Adam not sinned? I don't know, that's up to God. I was just trying to make the point that there are alternatives to predation if that's the goal. Apr 3 at 3:59

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