Fair to say it would have been a slightly different tale (and perhaps a bit nightmare-inducing) if the first chapter of The Bible had been set in the “Slaughterhouse of Eden” rather than the Garden of Eden. Thankfully that is not the case. And while there is plenty of mention about animal sacrifice and frying up fish in Ye Good Book, there’s also evidence that supports a vegetarian diet may have been the original plan before the humans went and f-ed it all up.
The concept and practice of vegetarian has actual scriptural and historical support. According to The Bible, before the fall (ahem, let’s just ignore the fact that was brought on by an animal and a fruit…), human and nonhuman animals (beings that have or are an ānima, Latin for soul) were completely vegetarian, and “it was very good.”
So says the King James version…
Behold, I have given you every 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.*
p.s. Call your mother, she misses you.
God, *Genesis 1:29
Some people are so convinced that God’s original intention for humankind included adhering to a vegetarian diet, they actually practice something called “The Edenic Diet.” The Edenic Diet was strongly advocated by Reverend Sylvester Graham (1794–1851) who proposed a “diet without meat—especially pork, shellfish, fatty sauces, spices, salt, sugar, coffee, tea, condiments and alcohol.”
Alas, wine is one of those biblical foodstuffs I’d really like to hold onto. And if you want to take it away from me, you’ll have to pry it from my kung-fu death grip. I’m Catholic. What can I say? Sorry, Edenic Diet.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Remember that little line stuffed somewhere between “listen to your parents” and “no adultery?” What was it again? Oh, yeah. Thou shalt not kill – with no specification differentiating the slaughter of animals as better or worse than the slaughter of humans.