Question: Did not God create everything to be herbivores, not eating meat? If He did this how do you account for the differences in the teeth of carnivores and herbivores today?
The Bible does present a picture of creation where everything that was made was designed to be a plant eater of some type:
29. And God said, 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.
30. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. Genesis 1
People have a problem with this idea that all animals were designed by God to basically eat grass, and leaves, and trees. They have difficulties not only the because of the teeth of the carnivore, but also for other reasons related to construction and nature such as claws, the instinct to hunt and so forth. But let us stop and think about the matter a bit.
First of all it would be necessary that there would be no flesh eaters among the animals God created, because for animals that eat flesh to survive killing must occur. The Bible makes it clear that death does not enter the world until Adam sins. His fall takes all of creation with him. This of course poses a problem the skeptic and honest inquirer alike is quick to latch on to and that deals with the construction of certain animals.
Why do they seem to be so well equipped to be killing machines? Well, let's see if they really are. Most of the animals that prey on others, the cheetah being the foremost example I can think of, find it necessary to sneak up or run up and make a kill quickly or they fail to succeed because they lack endurance for a long chase. Others, such as hyenas and wolves, find it necessary to hunt in packs in order to be very successful. Often they will choose to eat something that has already died or been killed rather than to hunt for themselves if they can. Their foremost live prey is the old and sick among the animal kingdom. Maybe the predators of this world are not very good killing machines at all. Some of them like crocodiles and alligators are often pretty dependent upon waiting for targets of opportunity when their victims do not realize they are there. Savagery should not be confused with efficiency for most carnivores have a number of failed attempts for each successful kill they make.
Next we have the issue of animal construction of which the most prominent issues are the teeth of carnivores. The assumption is that these evolved to be useful for stripping meat. Some Christians, who do not believe in evolution, think they might have become more efficient for that purpose through the process of selection within species, The problem with evolutionary ideas is the finding of a chain of intermediate models for just about every idea they come up with and in this case this is also true for the Christian selectionists. Teeth we often identify as being carnivore like can have a high efficiency for stripping vegetation, just as claws can be useful for grasping and tugging.
Another thing we have to look at is the preference of carnivores for meet. Preference does not mean necessity. Bears for instance often eat berries, roots, and grubs even insects. Their basic necessity for high protein intake is to prepare them for hibernation. If it had not been for climactic shifts related to the global flood, would hibernation be either necessary or useful for bears? The answer is no. Then, let us consider cats. Watch what they do when they go outside. They are going to eat some grass to keep their systems in order. Carnivores suffer frequently from intestinal gas, and if you are around them when this is occurring you will suffer from their gas too! This is evidence that a different diet would be better for them. If we go to a zoo where they have some aging cat like a lion or tiger you will find that the handlers frequently prepare a special diet for them. The idea is not only to make up for failing teeth, but also to provide intake that is easier on their digestion and good for their bodies needs. They eat it. They do not need meat diets.
Of the prehistoric animals, none stands out like the fierce looking Tyrannosaurus Rex, who was touted as the chief of dinosaur killing machines. But people are taking a second look at old Rex today and asking if he really was a meat eater. They are coming to the conclusion that just maybe that fierce mouth and jaw of his was for the purpose of stripping vegetation. One of the reasons people got started on this chain of thought was the fact he had such small forearms that they would be utterly useless for anything related to combat with other dinosaurs or even for tearing meat from downed prey. They would be useful to help hold a tree limb or vines as they were stripped however. People argue that he would be hard put to make it as a brush eater and support his massive body. Elephants do it and what about whales whose main diet is plankton? Size does not have anything to do with requiring that an animal eat meat.
Finally the Bible holds a promise of an idyllic state where the lion lays down with the lamb. We understand from Genesis that this will not be a new order but a return to the original order that God called good. You just cannot improve on what God calls good. The Bible says nothing about a change in the construction of these animals but only about a change in the age in which they live. It will be one where the Lord has redeemed the world from its burden of sin and it is blessed by His divine presence and rule. Where the
 We wrote a Daily Thought on the subject of the first animals deaths.
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