Was Pre-Flood Mankind Vegetarian?

Q. My grandson watched the movie of Noah recently. When we were discussing it, I made the comment that mankind did not eat meat until after the flood. He then stated that non-believing pagans did eat meat because they didn’t care. My question is: Did only Adam’s line not eat meat until God gave permission post-flood that they could and that at that post-flood animals would no longer be under the dominion of man? For example, was Cain and his line meat eaters pre-flood as well as non-believers in God?

A. Genesis 4:20 tells us that a descendant of Cain’s named Jabal was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. He was in the sixth generation from Cain. It doesn’t say what the livestock were for so we can only speculate as to whether there were any meat eaters by then or not. You are correct in saying that God didn’t authorize man to eat meat until after the flood (Genesis 9:1-4).

As for whether animals were no longer under man’s dominion after the flood, it depends on how you read Genesis 9:2. Some believe by saying He was giving all the animals, birds and fish into mankind’s hand He was giving us dominion over them. Others believe He was only giving them to us as a source of food.

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