In many ways, living things and plants are dependent on each other. Many museums use this concept to suggest that things have evolved to fill a certain niche. We depend on plants for food and oxygen; plants need the carbon dioxide we breathe out. Some species exhibit complex symbiotic relationships, without which they wouldn’t survive. No living thing exists in a complete vacuum.
From a biblical perspective, we would expect all of life to be interconnected to some degree. In the beginning, God created plants for us and the animals to eat. His completed original world was perfectly capable of continuing to thrive. However, Adam’s sin corrupted the original perfection of the world.
The Curse God placed on His creation (Genesis 3:14–19, cf. Romans 8:19–23) introduced new dynamics into the world. It was after this time that many animals became carnivorous. Eventually the present-day “food chain” developed. However, this is not upward evolution. Rather it is a downward “devolution” from the original order of things.
We can marvel at the symbiotic relationships that don’t involve the death of nephesh creatures. However, we need to keep in mind that this world is not the one that God originally created—it is a fallen, cursed version. We still see abundant evidence of God’s creative genius, power, and handiwork. But we also see evidence of His righteous judgments at the Fall and the Flood. And in some cases, we get glimpses of the original non-carnivorous creation (and the one to which it will eventually be restored). For example, pigs and tigers live together in harmony in a zoo in Thailand. In another situation, a lioness grew up refusing to eat meat. (D. Catchpoole, “Tigers and pigs … together?” Creation 27:3, June 2005, pp. 28–29 and D. Catchpoole, “The lion that wouldn’t eat meat,” Creation 22:2, March 2000, pp. 22–23.)
For more information, see www.answersingenesis.org/suffering/.