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Adam amd Eve being vegans

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Rabbi Ari Shvat

Cheshvan 11, 5781
Question
Why were Adam and Eve were vegans?
Answer
The original plan was for Adam and Eve to be vegetarians, for that is obviously more moral. 1. The most common reasons given for the allowance to eat meat after the flood are: a. Because the vegetation was destroyed in the flood. b. The environment, air etc. was damaged in the flood and man needed more nutrition (proteins) [Rambam]. c. Because man’s physical and spiritual well-being go together, and with that generation’s spiritual failings, came physical failings, as well (so man needed more nutrition/proteins). d. In that generation which was sleeping with animals and “eating” humans, God wanted to clarify the enormous difference between the two: humans (who have a Godly soul)-you marry, animals- you eat! Incidentally, Rav Kook already wrote extensively about vegetarianism already 115 years ago. 2. There are countless cases in history and in life where an unfortunate situation temporarily (!) necessitates a “second-best” approach (in Hebrew: “bdi’eved”) which meets the challenge better.
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