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Garden Of Eden

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This is an interesting question with no official answer. To be honest, I'm not sure it's ever been considered. The fact is that we can eat meat and animal byproducts now, so the Church probably doesn't concern herself with this question.

As a theologian, I would speculate that they may or may not have been vegetarians before the Fall. The fact that they were dressed in leather garments after the Fall by God Himself seems to indicate that killing (including eating and sacrificing animals) was okay after the Fall, but the question pertains to time before the Fall. Adam and Eve had dominion over the animals, but we have no idea what that specifically means, other than that man, being a rational creature, is higher than animals and the implication seems to be that before the Fall made everything topsy-turvy, man used to have animals under his natural control (whereas after the Fall, animal control, including domestication, seems to require a concerted effort and is frequently ineffective). Still, that has little to nothing to do with vegetarianism. So we can't assume one way or another whether our first parents were herbivores or carnivores. What we can take as a matter of faith is that it's okay to eat meat and animal byproducts now, however, the general trend of theology on the proper treatment of animals does seem to lean toward prohibiting inhumane living conditions and means of killing animals, since while we can kill animals for valid reasons, killing or harming them without valid reason is violating our duty to protect them.

As for veganism, this may be my personal bias against it, but I don't see any reason to believe that they were vegan. Eating unfertilized chicken eggs or drinking cow's milk (or goat's milk, as may have been the case) seems to do no harm to animals or to the natural order. They may or may not have had a diet including such foods, but if they didn't, I don't think it had anything to do with a matter of sin.

God bless,


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