God Never Permitted Noah's Clan to Kill and Eat Animals. Go Vegan！By Dr. Chapman Chen
Introduction: Soon after Noah emerged from the Ark, God said to him, "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things" (Genesis 9:3 KJV). Many flesh-eaters seize upon this verse to claim that God thereby gave humans permission to kill and eat any animals they fancy. However, judging from its context, this verse is much more likely to be a descriptive preview of what atrocities humans were going to do to the animals on earth (cf. Wescoe 2017), a visualization of what horror Noah and his offspring were going to inflict on the inhabitants of the world, than an authorization to abuse animals. In this connection, at least six verses in Genesis will be examined below.
1. To Keep Animals' Seed Alive
Firstly, the animals that God ordered Noah to take to the Ark were not for human consumption but for preserving their species:-
"And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark... Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth." (Genesis 7:1-3 KJV)
This was reiterated by God when He asked Noah to come out of the Ark with all the preserved animals:-
"Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth." (Genesis 8:17 KJV)
2. God Detested Noah's Animal Sacrifice
Secondly, God was apparently displeased by Noah's murdering innocent living creatures after the Deluge. It turns out that immediately after emerging from the Ark, without God's order, Noah took the initiative to sacrifice some of the preserved animals as burnt offerings to God. Upon smelling the aroma of the burnt offerings, God commented in His heart that the imagination of humankind's heart is evil from their youth, although He will not again curse the Earth again as a consequence:-
"And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth..." (Genesis 8:20-21 KJV)
This argument is further corroborated by God's denouncement of animal sacrifice in Hosea 6:6 -- "I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE" (Legacy Standard Bible) and in other places (cf. Chen 2022).
3. Animals being Terrorized by Humans
Thirdly, immediately before saying "Every moving things that liveth shall be meat for you," God predicted that human beings would terrorize all the other animals on Earth:-
And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. (Genesis 9:2 KJV)
4. The Vegan Prescription
Fourthly, "even as the green herb have I given you all things" (Genesis 9:3 KJV) is a reiteration, a reminder of the vegan diet prescribed humans by God in Genesis 1 (cf. Denny 2022:107):-
"And God said, Behold, I have given you very herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. " (Genesis 1:29-30)
The contradiction between the first limb and the second limb of Genesis 9:3 is not easily resolvable unless the former is seen as a warning instead of a permission.
5. Do not Eat Flesh with Life and Blood!
Fifthly, immediately following the ostensible "permission" to murder animals and eat their flesh, God commanded,
"But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." (Genesis 9:4 KJV)
The laws of kashrut actually interpret this line as God commanding humans to drain all the blood out of an animal before they can eat it. But this is "mission impossible"; it is to say the least physically infeasible. For blood is a symbol as well as a fact of life. That's how the word "lifeblood" comes about. For all sentient beings, life is blood, blood is life. Genesis 9:4 is therefore an unequivocal prohibition on eating animals with life and blood.
Based on this condition, given the scarcity of food due to the Deluge which had destroyed most plants on Earth, as an expedient measure, it might make sense for God to allow Noah and his clan to consume the corpses of those animals drowned by the Deluge, before the plants began to grow again for Noah and his people to eat, according to Wescoe (2017). But nowhere here does God grant us permission to slaughter any of His innocent creatures.
6. God's Covenant with Every Animal
Sixthly, after the Ark event, God made His covenant with not only humans but also with every animal on Earth, clearly showing His mercy covers both humans and other animals:-
"And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth." (Genesis 9:9-10 KJV)
To put it in a nutshell, Genesis 9:3 is God's preview of how Noah and his offspring are going to avariciously murder and consume God's innocent creatures. For the original purpose for which God ordered Noah to take a few pairs of each kind of animals to the Ark was to preserve their species (Gen. 7:3), not to provide food for Noah and his people. When Noah took it upon himself to slaughter some animals and sacrifice to God after getting out of the Ark, God said in His own heart that humans were evil (Gen. 8:21), obviously disapproving of this murderous act on the part of Noah. God then envisaged that all the animals of this world will be terrorized by humankind (Gen. 9:2), because Noah and his offspring mostly will violate God's vegan dietary prescription in Genesis 1:29, and see every moving creature on Earth as food (Gen. 9:3) rather than as fellows. God, therefore, reiterated the prohibition of humans to eat the flesh of any sentient beings with "life" and "blood" (Gen. 9:4). To confirm His love for the animals, God made His covenant with both humanity and every other animal (Gen. 9:10).
Chen, Chapman (2022). "Meatism is Animal Sacrifice Detested by God." HKBNews, 29 Jun. https://www.hkbnews.net/post/meatism-is-animal-sacrifice-detested-by-god-by-chapman-chen-hkbnews
Denny, Andrew Michael (2022). Shifting the Torah Paradigm: Exploring the Animal Sacrifice in the Context of Creation. Bloomington: LifeRich Publishing.
Wescoe (2017). "Permission and Going the Extra Mile." Swords to Plow Shares, 28 March. https://swords2plowshares.com/2017/03/28/permission-and-going-the-extra-mile/?fbclid=IwAR3vOmY1wIerXKrFOy7iwwNYZOU-CduKHHNW05MhckgnUIF0WbV1RXgM0Nk