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Were animals originally meant to be eaten?

God gave man “authority” over every animal, which could mean they were to be eaten or simply that humans were smarter and had dominion over them. Abel, Adam and Eve’s son, sacrificed an animal for the Lord and the Lord was pleased. It does not say he ate it.

The next thing we see is Noah’s ark and while Noah takes two of every animal, he takes some extra animals onboard—seven of the “clean” animals, those used for sacrifice. While we’re not sure that they were eaten, it’s possible. If they were eaten, then God only designated certain animals for food (sheep, lamb, cow).

When Noah gets off the ark, God makes a clear announcement about eating meat:

Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. Genesis 9:1-4

Now it appears man can eat everything and the relationship between man and beast changes. God does warn man against eating food that is rare, still with the lifeblood in it. Rare meats carried disease and were used for pagan practices.