Plants and Animals Are Distinct
There is no hint, of course, in the Genesis account that God equated the replicating systems of earth with the living creatures later created on Days 5 and 6. Much has been written to justify this equation, but neither the Scriptures nor science supports it. There is a vast difference between the most complex plant and the simplest living organism. If one uses the biblical distinction (blood, Leviticus 17:11) as the wall between plant and animal, the differences are even greater.
There is no question that God created the various categories of grass, herbs, and fruit-bearing plants. The gulf between “dirt” and “plants” is huge! No naturalistic scheme can adequately account for such wonder. But according to God’s words, they do not have “life.” Plants do replicate within their kind, but so do certain crystals and some chemicals. They replicate within kind, but they are nowhere said to possess chay (life) or nephesh (soul), the Hebrew words for living things. Job 14:8-10 is cited as evidence that plants die like people die, but that passage most certainly does not use the words for life. The supposed comparison is really a contrast between plant and man.
The food created by God as a “good” product and part of the process to maintain life cannot be equated with the awful sentence of death pronounced by the Creator on His creation. Animals and man have life. Plants do not.