Jeanne, to address a few of your points.
“You mean the God who scorned Cain’s offering of the fruits of his labors of the plantings that he was given charge of, but accepted the offering of Able’s fruits of his labors of animal husbandry that he was given charge of?…..the God that preferrs blood sacrifice instead?”
This is actually one of the more interesting events in the Bible. Prior to this, we have Adam and Eve in the Garden. They subsist entirely on a diet of gathered nuts and plants. We then see a transition with Abel, into a nomadic, hunter-gatherer type existence. People now have flocks, which means they must remain mobile in order to move their flocks to new food. Lastly we have Cain, who represents the shift from a nomadic lifestyle to an agrarian one. They would naturally cause conflict, it begins the idea of land ownership. Less reliance on God, as people begin to be capable of growing their own food.
Im not so much sure that the events of Cain and Abel reflect a favortism of Abel, instead I think they are instructionary about what happens when we forget the ultimately the earth belongs to the Lord, and therefore He is always the provider of all things.
Whether or not this story is a literal one, or a figurative one to explain the growing pains of civilization I am not sure.