After the flood, man was permitted to eat the flesh of clean animals.
It is taught that the primary reason for eating meat is for its protein. Doctors tell vegetarians that they will have health problems if they are not consuming animal products to meet the body’s protein needs. But when God created man and gave them the perfect plant-based diet to meet all of their nutritional needs, protein no doubt was part of God's plan. There are many fruits and vegetables that contain protein, and if we are eating a balanced diet and a variety of foods then we will get all of the protein the body requires, and actually it does not require much.
According to Dr. John McDougall the body’s protein needs are minimal in comparison to the typical standard that is currently promoted. “Proteins provide important materials to build and maintain our hormones, enzymes, muscles, and many other body tissues. Accurate estimates of human adult protein needs determined by careful studies show that as little as 2.5 percent of our daily calorie intake can be safely provided in the form of protein. This amount is equivalent to a little less than 20 grams—two-thirds of an ounce—for an adult man. The World Health Organization (WHO) has established a higher minimum daily requirement for protein to be approximately 5 percent of the daily calorie intake, but many populations have lived in excellent health on less than this amount.
An average working man consumes 3,000 calories a day, so 5 percent of the total would be 150 calories from protein. Since each gram of protein is equal to 4 calories, this would represent 37 grams of protein. An average woman consuming 2,300 calories a day needs 29 grams of protein…This quantity of protein is almost impossible to avoid if enough food is consumed to meet the daily calorie needs. For example, 3,000 calories of rice alone would provide 60 grams of highly usable protein, or the same amount of white potatoes would provide 80 grams of protein.” The McDougall Plan, pg. 95
Soy beans are the number one source of vegetable protein, and are a complete protein that contains all of the essential amino acids. Each cup of cooked soybeans offers 29 grams of protein. Next in line are white beans, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, navy beans, pinto beans, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, corn, artichokes and potatoes. Fruits have less protein than vegetables but nonetheless, protein can be found in fruits too. Cantaloupe, strawberries, navel oranges, watermelons, and banana's to name a few contain a modest amount of protein.
So, why did God allow man to eat the flesh of animals that He created if in fact the vegetable kingdom has adequate amounts of protein? Was it for the purpose of adding additional protein to the green herbs? Absolutely not, because proteins were already part of their diet. And, if in fact it was the protein from animals that was the missing link needed in boosting up the health, as some would argue, then why is it that immediately after eating the flesh of animals man’s life decreased precipitously? (See the genealogies)
Adam 930 Noah 950
Seth 912 Shem 600
Enos 905 Arphaxad 438
Cainan 910 Salah 433
Mahalaleel 895 Peleg 239
Jared 962 Nahor 148
Methuselah 969 Terah 205
Lamech 777 Abraham 175
"God gave our first parents the food He designed that the race should eat. It was contrary to His plan to have the life of any creature taken. There was to be no death in Eden. The fruit of the trees in the garden, was the food man’s wants required. [nutritionally it met the needs of the body] God gave man no permission to eat animal food until after the flood. Everything had been destroyed upon which man could subsist, and therefore the Lord in their necessity gave Noah permission to eat of the clean animals which he had taken with him into the ark. But animal food was not the most healthful article of food for man…After the flood the people ate largely of animal food. God saw that the ways of man were corrupt, and that he was disposed to exalt himself proudly against his Creator and to follow the inclinations of his own heart. And he permitted that long-lived race to eat animal food to shorten their sinful lives. Soon after the flood the race began to rapidly decrease in size, and in length of years.” CD 373
"The Lord plainly told His people that every blessing would come to them if they would keep His commandments, and be a particular people. He warned them through Moses in the wilderness, specifying that health would be the reward of obedience. The state of the mind has largely to do with the health of the body, and especially with the health of the digestive organs. As a general thing, the Lord did not provide His people with flesh meat in the desert, because He knew that the use of this diet would create disease and insubordination. In order to modify the disposition, and bring the higher powers of the mind into active exercise, He removed from them the flesh of dead animals. He gave them angel’s food, manna from heaven.” CD 375
As the children of Israel continued their journey with the Lord towards the land of Canaan, God removed from them their flesh diet and gave them manna to eat to prepare their mind, body and spirit for the work that He had for them to do to possess the land. So it is with us, the closer we get to the heavenly Canaan the more restricted our diet should be. God is trying to lead His people back step by step to subsist upon the things that grow in nature; fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables. We have been told that "Greater reforms should be seen among the people who claim to be looking for the soon appearing of Christ." CD 382