Carnivores on Day 6

(A Samuel Moses) #1

The Bible says that God created animals on day 6. But Genesis 1:30 it says " And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so." which literally says that all organisms were herbivores. How do you explain the appearance of the first carnivore on the planet?

(Lynn Munter) #2

Also, what about non-green plants? And mushrooms? And what were the fish supposed to eat?

Is it possible that what the verse is really about is establishing patterns of hierarchy? Would that fit in with anything else in Genesis 1?

(George Brooks) #3


That is a Very Excellent observation! Tigers and Lions (and other felines), unlike canine species, have lost most of their taste buds for tasting carbohydrates. When TV commercials talk about the special meat-eating diets for dogs, this is really more true about cats than about dogs.

Do YECs believe that Lions and Tigers ate plants . . . but someone transformed them into meat eaters in a generation? Or, in other words, did God >poof!< selected plant eaters into notorious meat eaters?

This question should become a companion question of the increasing discussions on where did all the terrestrial species of the modern world come from if they didn’t “evolve” as soon as the Ark landed.


I hope not. Imagine all the carnivores-to-be who had the short gut of meat-eaters. They would be having voluminous diarrhea all over the place and wouldn’t thrive. The felines would die because they are obligate carnivores.

Eden doesn’t sound like a paradise, does it?

(Christy Hemphill) #5

To start with, you don’t take the creation account in Genesis as an objective historical account of the origin of all plants and animals.

(George Brooks) #6


Are you absolutely sure about that?

I wish someone had mentioned that before I started reading Genesis!!!

(A Samuel Moses) #7

Can you please explain the verse Genesis 1:30 based on this idea?

(Christy Hemphill) #8

God is revealing he is the provider and sustainer. All creation thrives under his governance. There is some discussion of this exact question on this thread if you are interested: Explanation of Vegetarianism in Genesis 1:29-30

(Lynn Munter) #9

I just read the thread about this (thanks @Christy!) and had a couple thoughts.

One, it’s my understanding that the Garden was a physically separate place from the rest of the earth, right? And there were animals both in the Garden and on the earth. But there was only a Tree of Life in the Garden. And the Tree of Life was what would have allowed Adam and Eve to live forever if they’d been able to eat of it, right?

Therefore, how could the animals outside the Garden have been expected to live forever? They didn’t have a Tree of Life. So it was expected for them to die.

(Incidentally, did the rest of the animals get kicked out of the Garden too? Or are they still there?)

But back to Gen 1:30. The context that I think is really interesting is dominion. 1:28 reads in part, “fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

So humans have dominion over the earth (day 3) the fish and birds (day 5) and the animals (day 6). Also in the next sentence God gives them the plants exactly as they are described on day 3. And then he also gives the plants to the beasts and to the birds.

Where else in Genesis is dominion assigned? On day 4, the sun and moon are made to rule the day and night which God made Day 1. But they are also “for signs and for seasons and for days and years,” and “to give light upon the earth.” It is their job to facilitate life for the creatures on the earth.

On day 5, sea creatures are assigned to “fill the waters in the seas” (waters are day 2/preexisting but seas are day 3) but not to subdue them.

So where does this leave us? Day and night are ruled by the sun and moon which are for signs, etc. (to humans for sure—probably also to beasts and plants). The seas and sky are filled with creatures, the earth is filled with plants and with beasts that are given the plants, and to humans are given the earth and the fish and the birds and the beasts and the plants. This is an incredibly strong statement of human importance!

(What was God thinking?!?)

Anyway, I don’t think strict vegetarianism was the purpose of the text or what it was trying to convey. Although I could, of course, be wrong.

ETA: Which is not to say we would not all probably be healthier if we ate more plants.

(Mary) #10

This is an important part of the discussion with YECs. If animals and humans were not supposed to die before the Fall, what was so special about the tree of life? They already had eternal life. Then when the Fall happened, why did humans and animals both lose eternal life? The animals didn’t deserve that. And then why could only humans gain it again? And why wasn’t there an animal version of the tree of life. I think it is very hard to make a coherent argument from all of those claims.

(A Samuel Moses) #11

Thank you for the link :+1:.
So it is a verse telling that God is the ultimate provider of food for all.

(A Samuel Moses) #12

In Genesis 3:21 God gave Adam and Eve ‘garments of skin’. I believe it is possible for God to have given the remains of the animal(s) to the carnivores.

(George Brooks) #13


But what nobody ever asks is did any animals die before he gave these skins to Adam & Eve?

The presumption is that God skinned the animals, right? So the first things that died were killed by God. Or did they die first … and God said, “Waste not, want not” ? ? ?


Is God really a tailor? Or is this story telling us that God provides us a covering for our sin?

(Larry Bunce) #15

This thread made me think of a George Bernard Shaw play, “Back to Methuselah,” that starts in the Garden of Eden. Eve finds a dead faun, killed by a falling branch, and worries what might happen to her if the same thing happened to Adam while he was out exploring. From that simple scene, they conclude they need to have children, and in a few minutes all of modern civilization springs.

There had to have been death before the Fall, or God’s threat of death for eating the forbidden fruit would have had no meaning.

(A Samuel Moses) #16

If there was no death soon the whole world would be filled with nothing but animals and birds crammed in a high density which would be a hazard for all organisms. So death must have been in God’s plan from the beginning.


That’s what I’ve always said. When I pointed that out here, a fundamentalist claimed that people could board spaceships and be relocated elsewhere!

(Lynn Munter) #18

That solution would only work until you ran out of the raw materials for spaceships!

The word for cells that ruin things with runaway growth instead of dying when they’re supposed to is cancer.


I wouldn’t call the spaceship idea it a solution. I’d call it desperate tap-dancing around the fact that a world with no death is unthinkable where there is reproduction.

(Phil) #20

Yes, and rather than building spaceships, the standard of living would more likely to resemble Sudan than Eden.