Physical Death Provides for Life

"Sure is mighty hot, Luke. You sure we can make it to the next town?"

"Yep. Not much father, Clem. Then you, me, and these hosses will get watered."

"Them vultures look impatient for us to give up the ghost."

"They gotta eat too, ya know. But it won't be us."

Luke was right, and after plenty of water and cooling down, Clem commenced to cogitating on the physical part of life and death. We see carrion birds eating roadkill, and know that some scavengers are not too proud to drag off a carcass as a present for the wife and kids. But there is a great deal of activity in death of which we are unaware.

Our Creator provided life for animals and organisms through death. Buzzards, crows, vultures, other things have to eat, too. Also, dead things are removed so they do not provide health hazards for the living.
Credit: US National Park Service / Sally King (usage does not imply endorsement of site contents)
Our Creator knew that with sin, death would enter the world (Romans 5:12). Things die, but can't just lay there. He made provision for them to go away — eventually. It's interesting that some of the microscopic organisms that help creatures survive also help break them down. Sort of like working at a gathering and then having to help with the cleanup detail afterward. No chance of fossilization happening under normal conditions, old son.

Now I'm going to warn you that the disgust factor is very high in the rest of this post. Scavengers are not the only things benefiting from death. There are microbes in the decay process, the patch of land gets fertilized, predators eat scavengers, and so on. The whole process is both disgusting and fascinating. Even more interesting is that Jesus died, but his body did not have decay before he arose from the dead — which fulfilled prophesy (Psalm 16:10, Acts 13:37).

By the way, I reckon that people who get afraid of the "zombie apocalypse", where dead people attack the living, seem to put science aside, and know nothing of the necrobiome. If decay stops, then it's magic or aliens, and you have just another sci-fi horror story. But I'm just speculating here.
Quick show of hands. How many of you have spent time watching an animal decay? Anyone? Unless you live on a farm, the closest you’ve come is probably a squashed squirrel or skunk. You catch a flash of innards as you drive by and that’s enough. Yuck!

But all vertebrates (animals with backbones) go through a similar process when they die. In fact, by all appearances, God put in place a sophisticated system to deal with dead things. Death wasn’t part of the original “very good” world (Genesis 1–3), but we can be glad that after Adam’s sin brought death into the world, the Creator made sure dead animals get absorbed back into the dirt.
For more "yucks" (but still a very interesting subject), click on "Death's Cleanup Crew".