When Humans Were Pure Vegetarians ..
It must have felt unnatural at first, to eat animal flesh.. After all, we’re not so far removed from animals ourselves.. Perhaps it even felt cannibalistic.. There might not have been that much intellectual distinction between humans and other animals.. When humans were pure vegetarians, they were living in harmony with the earth and with the other creatures co-habiting the planet with them.. Their closest animal relatives, apes, were vegetarians.. Eating the products of the earth, like plants, grains and fruits that they could gather and eat would have seemed the natural order of things.. But necessity is the mother of invention.. Prehistoric men who lived in frozen geographies, or who lived in an area that became devastated by fire, would have eaten anything to survive.. Just like the soccer players whose plane crashed in the mountains of Chile, and were forced to eat the flesh of other players who died in the crash, earliest man at some point had to make the choice for survival, and that could have been consuming meat for the first time and changing human history – and health – forever.. Imagine having eaten raw foods and vegetables for eons, and all of a sudden, incorporating meat products into your system.. You may have heard friends who were vegetarians tell stories of trying to eat meat and becoming violently ill afterwards.. Biologists will tell you we’re really not designed to eat meat, but we adapted to it.. However, in the timeline of human history, eating meat is a relatively recent evolutionary development.
( vegetarianbenefits.net )
Early humans had diets very much like other great apes, which is to say a largely plant-based diet, drawing on foods we can pick with our hands.. Research suggests that meat-eating probably began by scavenging, eating the leftovers that carnivores had left behind.. However, our bodies have never adapted to it.. To this day, meat-eaters have a higher incidence of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other problems.
( Dr Neal Barnard )
Genesis 1:29 .. In this verse God gives food to mankind consisting of the seed-bearing herbs and the fruit of trees.. By comparison with Genesis 9:3, the writer believed that, until after the Flood, mankind subsisted upon a purely vegetable diet.. It may be asked how, if this were the case, man had the opportunity of exercising his dominion over fish, birds, and beasts.. If he did not wish to eat them, neither would he wish to kill them.. The truth seems to be that, according to the P version of Hebrew tradition, the first generations of mankind were intended to live without bloodshed or violence in an ideal condition, like that predicted by Isaiah (Genesis 11:6-9), “they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain”.. The prophet’s words, “a little child shall lead them”, imply a dominion over the animal world which does not rest upon force.
( Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges )
Every herb bearing seed and tree bearing fruit is granted to man for his sustenance.. With our habits it may seem a matter of course that each should at once appropriate what he needs of things at his hand.. But in the beginning of existence it could not be so.. Of two things proceeding from the same creative hand neither has any original or inherent right to interfere in any way whatever with the other.. The absolute right to each lies in the Creator alone.. The one, it is true, may need the other to support its life, as fruit is needful to man.. And therefore the just Creator cannot make one creature dependent for subsistence on another without granting to it the use of that other.. But this is a matter between Creator and creature, not by any means between creature and creature.. Hence, it was necessary to the rightful adjustment of things, whenever a rational creature was ushered into the world, that the Creator should give an express permission to that creature to partake of the fruits of the earth.
( Albert Barnes, 1798-1870, American theologian )
Genesis 1:29 .. It is evident from this grant of food to man, in the present verse, and from that to the brute animals in the next, that the use of flesh in the beginning was allowed to neither, and, consequently, that the now carnivorous animals then fed upon grass, etc., as the tame ones amongst us do at present.. The ancients mention this as one characteristic of the golden age: “Not so the golden age, who fed on fruit, nor durst with bloody meals their hands pollute.”
( Thomas Coke, 1747-1814, Methodist Bishop )
‘I have given you every herb for food’ – It seems from this, says Dr Priestley, an eminent philosopher, that man was originally intended to live upon vegetables only, and as no change was made in the structure of men’s bodies after the flood, it is not probable that any change was made in the articles of their food.. It may also be inferred from this passage that no animal whatever was originally designed to prey on others, for nothing is here said to be given to any beast of the earth besides green herbs.. Before sin entered into the world, there could be, at least, no violent deaths, if any death at all.
( Adam Clarke, 1760-1832, British Methodist theologian and biblical scholar )
The Hebrew meaning of the word ‘meat’ is bread or food.
The word ‘meat’ comes from the Old English word mete, which referred to food in general.
In the golden age, spontaneous fruits were the food of happy mortals.
( Antoine Augustin Calmet, 1672-1757, French Benedictine monk )