Animal rights – A spiritual view on how to treat animals - part1
Published: Sunday, 29 December 2019 09:57
Michiel Haas – the Netherlands
In three articles I want to provide an overview of how we treat animals and how things could be done differently. In our society, animals are used as an efficient production tool in a way that is no longer in line with the scientific view that animals are conscious to varying degrees, have feelings and can suffer pain.
Should we use animals?
Who gives us the right to use animals as a production tool and often not treat them as living beings with feelings? Is that a biblical right? God said "Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground" (Genesis 1:28). But does it give us a licence to treat animals badly? No, definitely not. God even gave the Israelites laws for animal welfare. They had to get plenty of rest and food, to be assisted when in need and to be protected from injury (Exodus 23: 4, 5; Deuteronomy 22:10; 25: 4). The Koran is also clear about this. "He it is who made you successors in the earth. " (Quran 35:39), but still, He is clear that this responsibility is not unconditional. For those who fail to meet the conditions that limit this responsibility, the following applies: "Then we return him to the lowest of the low" (Quran 95: 5 ... ..). In short, although the sacred books make man ruler of the animals on Earth, those books are equally clear that such a responsibility is comes with duties. It certainly looks like today's society disregards those duties.
This idyllic image of cows in a meadow is becoming increasingly rare (photo © MilieuDefensie)
Read more: Animal rights – A spiritual view on how to treat animals - part1