I just listened to a recording put out by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) by Father John Dear, explaining why Chritsians should be vegetarians. It goes like this:
In God's initial ideal world, represented in the book of Genesis by The Garden of Eden, there was no suffering, no exploitation, and no violence at all. People and animals were vegetarians. As we read in the first chapter of Genesis, God said, "See, I have given you every plant-yielding seed that is upon the face of the earth. and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food." Immediately after creating this non-violent, non-exploitative world, God describes it as very good. This is the only time in the narrative that God calls creation "very good.," instead of merely "good." And this immediately follows God's command for vegetarianism. But after the Fall, people waged war, held one another as slaves, ate meat, and committed every atrocity imaginable.
Not only did man become wicked when--or because--he ate meat, but something completely miraculous must have happened as well. The moment Eve bit into the fruit, animals became predators. Christians who believe in the literal Garden of Eden story should ask themselves this: was predation spontaneously created by the sin of Eve, or did God create it? Was it Eve or God that caused venom and fangs to spontaneously grow on snakes and venom immunity to spontaneously occur in some mammals? Did Eve's or God's actions spontaneously create microorganisms that feed solely on other microorganisms? Is man's sin so powerful as to create flesh-tearing teeth in the lion, that once laid with the lamb?
I have to ask: what does a vegetarian Lion look like? How could there have existed any such big cat? The very definition of big cats requires that they be carnivores. The large lung capacity and high haunches of the cheetah are there in order to run down prey. The powerful claws, teeth, and speed of the lion are there to chase, catch, and tear into antelopes, and fight other lions for their mates. It makes the image of a lion lying with a lamb not so remarkable, considering the lion would look pretty much the same as a lamb.
The answer, according to pro-meat christians is clear. God did it. Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis has said that God of course knew that man would fall, so he inserted a backup plan in the DNA of animals (so that's why we have DNA). All the venom and teeth necessary were in the genes of animals, including the T-Rexes and Velociraptors that roamed the garden, so that the animals could be the successful predators that they are today. In other words, God set evolution in motion on the day of the Fall. That gives 6,000 years to evolve lions and eagles and all the assorted scavengers. If only God had decided to let man evolve. If 6,000 years can make a tiger out of a goat, imagine what humans could be today!
Getting back to vegetarianism: if God decided to evolve efficient carnivores,and not change man at all, then He intended for us to become ruthless meat-eaters. If the church is telling us to humbly accept the curses God placed on Adam and Eve's descendents--curses such as hard labour and childbirth pain, then we should also humbly accept the the only decent curse God gave us: the curse of meat-eating. The curse of backyard barbecues and Hot-Wing nights at the corner pub.
Thanks for listening.