John Betten will be defending his Honors College Thesis: When Animals Became Meat: The Human Diet in Genesis 1-9 on November 20th at 11:00am in the ENV 225A. You can download a copy of John's thesis HERE.
In his 1967 article "The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis," Lynn White Jr. argued that the account of creation in Genesis 1-2 is anthropocentric and allowed for the development of an indifference to the nonhuman world in Western Civilization. While most of the debate and controversy this article sparked has concentrated on the creation account in Genesis 1, my thesis explores the relationship between man and animals in Genesis 1-9 and why that relationship changes in Genesis 9 when God first permits humans to eat meat. By understanding why God allows this change in the human diet, readers of the Bible may better understand the way Genesis 1-9 answers a question that environmental philosophers address today: what is appropriate for humans to eat?