In Gods initial and ideal world, represented in the book of Genesis by the Garden of Eden, there was no suffering, no exploitation, and no violence at all.
God said, See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth,
and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth,
and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food. And it was so. God saw everything that he had made,
and indeed, it was very good.
The consumption of animal flesh was unknown up until the great flood. But since the great flood,
we have had the fibers and the stinking fluids of animal flesh stuffed into our mouths...
Jesus, the Christ, who appeared when the time was fulfilled, again joined the end to the beginning,
so that we are now no longer allowed to eat animal flesh.
I live on bread and olives, to which I only seldom add a vegetable.
Clementine Homilies XII, 6; rec. VII, 6
(Adversus Jovinanum 1:30)
Matthew lived on seed, the fruit of trees and vegetables without meat.
Clemens of Alexandria,
Paidagogos II, 1:16
John never ate meat.
Church historian Hegesipp according to Eusebius,
History of the Church II 2:3
Jacob, the brother of the Lord, lived on seeds and plants and touched neither meat nor wine.
Epistulae ad Faustum XXII, 3
In the earthly paradise, there was no wine, no one sacrificed animals and no one ate meat.
As long as one lives frugally the luck of the house will increase; the animals will be safe;
no blood will be shed, and no animal will be killed.
The cooks knife will be useless; the table will only be set with fruits which nature offers to us,
and one will be satisfied with that.
From the epistles of Basilius the Great (329-379)
Jesus' message is about love and compassion, but there is nothing loving or compassionate at factory farms and slaughterhouses, where billions of animals endure miserable lives and die violent deaths.
If Jesus lived in our culture of violence, he would do everything he could to confront the structures of death and call for a new culture of peace and life.
Hosea: "I desire mercy and not sacrifice."