Saturday, March 23, 2019

A Christian Response To Animal Rights Activism

        Animal rights activists are well-known for their radical stances against us treating other creatures as our property, using them in scientific experimentation, and eating their flesh. It is maintained by people who uphold this position that we should not utilize animals for such purposes. Some who campaign for animal rights even believe that the critters they so defend should be granted the same rights as people, thereby eliminating the distinction between man and beast. The reasoning behind this position is that us using animals for our benefit results in their pain and suffering. However, modern-day animal rights activism is a house of cards.

        The most basic problem with animal rights activism is that it is simply not workable. It is not a livable philosophy. If people who advocate for animal rights were to achieve their goal of imposing that way of life on the rest of us, then everything would come apart at the seams. Consider the following points: 1.) Leather is a made from animal skins, 2.) A great deal of our clothing is made up of animal furs, and 3.) Tires, shampoos, and toothpastes also contain animal ingredients. Therefore, taking up an animal rights activist mindset would require us to make modifications to fundamental aspects of our lives which we have not even began to prepare for.

         If we were to endorse animal rights activism, then what are we to do with all the carnivorous animals? If we are merely animals ourselves, then what objective basis would there be for us to not eat meat? If we were to join the animal rights movement, then why not also establish a plant rights activist movement? If animals are to be treated in the same manner as humans, then they also need to be held to our standards of punishment when caught misbehaving (which would cause them pain and suffering). It is also ironic to note that many animal rights activists are supportive of abortion. So much for taking a stand for living creatures.

          How are we supposed to treat animals? The answer to that question depends on the moral principles we hold. Ethics always begins with an objective standard. Mankind was created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). This is why Scripture prescribes the death penalty for murder. But the eating of plants and animals has been permitted by God. We have been called to exercise good stewardship over His creation, which includes animals. Animals are not to be killed to the point of extinction or for our own enjoyment. Animals are not to be treated cruelly. Animals cannot have rights because they are unable to make free choices and act with moral accountability.


Justin Horn said...

I really like this article Jesse. You have made some very good and logical points.

Russell said...

Excellent job, Jesse,

First of all, sorry for getting back to you so late, but I’ve been away from the computer for a while.

But your article is great. You’ve got some really good points.

I’ve always seen these groups, such as PETA, etc., as left wing wackos. Just to be clear, I am certainly not advocating neglect nor cruelty to animals in any way. I, myself, love animals (like pets, etc.), but these people have gone off the deep end. Theirs is a perversion of God’s intention for mankind and the world. It’s as though animals have more rights than people. Many times, these types of groups raise animals to the level of (or even above!) human beings.

God created animals (at least partly) to benefit MANKIND (e.g., Genesis 1:26; Proverbs 14:4). As you stated, it is only mankind that is made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). But man was made to rule and have dominion over animals.