We heard God’s covenant with Noah and all living flesh today in our reading from the Hebrew Scriptures.  And at first I was contrasting, as I read about how Noah was given all flesh to eat (excepting the blood, the life, which belongs to God), I was contrasting this in my mind with the garden, where Adam was given all the plants to eat.  It was only after the fall that people were no longer vegetarians.  Eating meat was not part of God’s original plan for us.

And even here, the blood, the life, belongs to God.  Human life blood, if taken, is singled out for special retribution.  But all life blood is God’s.  It is all talked about together in the same context.  And God’s covenant is made with all flesh, Noah and his descendants and all living creaatures.

So, we can eat animals.  But their lives always belong to God.  They are in this sense sacred.  And their welbeing is part of our care as God’s stewards of creation.  They are not just for our use (and abuse) as we see fit.  They have their own place with us in our covenant with God.