Though there are multiple mentions in the Bible of partaking of animal flesh for food, this is not the way things seemed to have started out.
In Genesis 1:29, God is speaking to Adam and Eve about food in the Garden of Eden: “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” God then goes on to speak about the food of all the living creatures of the earth: “And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creeps on the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” As we can see by these passages that occur before the Fall of Man, a plant-based diet was what God intended all creatures to live on. It is only after Eve gives into temptation and tastes of the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge that flesh food comes into the picture. The eating of this fruit is allegorical for the pollution of the body, which is our God-given Temple. When God has discovered this discretion, He casts Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. They are left to feel pain and suffering, shame, and to age and die as mortals. They are never allowed to return to the paradise of purity that is The Garden.
Most people look at this allegorical story as simply a lesson in following God’s instructions and the evils of temptation, but there is much more to it. The fact that all of God’s creatures are given the seed bearing herbs and fruit to live on is symbolic of true non-violence and compassion. In a world where all creatures live on the naturally occurring fruits of the earth, there would be no cause for suffering or for violence toward other creatures. It is only after the bodies Temple has been violated that suffering and death come into the picture. This to me shows that violence breeds violence, and the killing of innocent animals for food is what has brought humanity down the horrendous path that it is now on. God intended all creatures to live in harmony with one another, and to live off of the land. If this would have happened to plan, we might all still be living in The Garden as well!