It's something that has stumped me since I was a kid:

  • What did the carnivores/predators eat on the Ark?

Did Noah also round up sufficient vegetation to feed all of the animals? Or did they somehow maintain the circle of life on the Ark for 40 days and 40 nights?

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    I get really bored seeing Ark-related questions. But the problem is worse than just keeping the animals alive for 40 days. You also have to add in the time it took for the waters to subside. Mar 9, 2012 at 0:50
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    Amen, and Amen. Mar 9, 2012 at 1:21
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    @Jon on the contrary... more significantly you also need those carnivores to have something to eat when they get off, when there are no sustainable populations for the carnivores, and no unspoilt vegetation (just flood-damaged mud) for the herbivores; given that many carnivores eat many of a single type of animal a day, this is a huge problem. Mar 9, 2012 at 6:49

3 Answers 3


Genesis 6:21 has your answer

You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”


In addition to Affable's answer, there is also Genesis 9:3 which indicates that at least mankind did not eat meat before the flood:

Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.

It is arguable that animals did not prior to the release from the Ark, as well - they also were not afraid of men until after (the previous verse):

The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered.

However, regardless of whether animals were carnivorous prior to the flood or not, we know that God provided for them via Noah's efforts to lay-up stores in the 100 years before the flood.

Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

  • Perhaps mankind did not eat meat. But then one must question Why Jabal raised livestock. "Gen. 4:20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock." I think the only thing you can argue definitively is that animals were not carnivorous before the Fall and man was clearly not supposed to eat meat before Gen 9:3. After that it is not clear. To be fair, Jabal was part of Cain's wicked line, so ...
    – user3961
    Mar 30, 2013 at 7:07
  • Abel (Adam's son) also offered "of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions" (Ge 4:4; NASB). This certainly sounds like killing animals was allowed. Would it be merely for sacrifice? It's not addressed directly, but there's at least a suggestion that humans could have been consuming meat. Another alternative is that this phrasing was used to relate to Genesis' expected audience rather than offer a precise meaning to the offering.
    – mojo
    Mar 5, 2015 at 21:14
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    In Ge 6:19-20, there's a suggestion that God would be instrumental in bringing all the animals to Noah to put on the ark. Do we need some sort of biological reason for this urge affecting the animals that were saved, or is the providence for the animals also a part of the miraculous events of the flood?
    – mojo
    Mar 5, 2015 at 21:17
  • Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you You seem to be contradicting your answer by citing scripture. ?? Nov 21, 2017 at 17:49
  • @KorvinStarmast - the Flood is over and done with by Genesis 9:3. How is that a contradiction in my answer?
    – warren
    Nov 21, 2017 at 19:05

When we read in Genesis Ch.7 that Noah was to take with him seven of all clean animals, of course taking both male and female/ and two of all unclean animals, also male and female.
Scripture then continues in verse 3 saying

also seven each of birds of the air, both male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. (NKJV)

As we know, birds lay eggs that can either be eaten as such or hatched for a supply of poultry. Also, nobody is taking into account the fish that would be available. The bible clearly states later in verses 17-24 that he destroyed all living thing that breathes air and lives on dry land, never speaking of things that swim in the waters below.

The simple answer may be that the carnivores ate fish

When I think even deeper into the situation, animals such as small rodents would procreate rapidly and maybe were also used as a protein source for the animals. Bugs may have been another source of protein for some.


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