Recently I have heard sermons which infer that animal rights activists like myself are worshipping animals, or at least putting them before other human beings who are created in God’s image (which animals are not). I find this line of thinking insulting and totally untrue, even if it is said by the pastor of a Christian church.
I am a born again Christian and I worship only God. I love other people fervently and do, indeed, try to be there for them in the way they need. I give my tithe to help them and offer up fervent intercessory prayer for them. I say this not in self-righteousnes, but as a testimony that I am not indifferent to God or to other human beings. I do not worship golden calves, cats or dogs, I just want to see them treated humanely.
I relish the unique beauty, personality and lifestyle of each species (and even each member of that species) and I praise their Creator for blessings us with them. Sometimes an animal goes on a rampage, injuring or killing a human being. Sometimes that animal must be euthanized. But it should be done humanely. Still, I believe in the magnificent work that Cesare Millan, “the dog whisperer”, and others are doing to rehabilitate animals (when rehabilitation is possible).
I am also aware that it is mankind who takes the time and trouble to rehabilitate animals (not the other way around). Some people gets bitten in the process (a sacrificial act on the part of the human being which the animal does not understand and for which it is not grateful). This clearly shows me the difference in the spiritual and moral structure between man and beast and I do not deny it. To me it is one of many aspects of the human being that indicate that only the human being is created in God’s image.
It is true that some people care for animal welfare, yet are seemingly indifferent to humanity (particularly the abortion of human children). That is certainly a grave moral blindness which I see as nothing short of horrific. It is probably the cause of such sermons.
Still, we who work for animal welfare are not all in that category. I distresses me to think that members of some of these congregations might begin to feel false guilt about their concern for animals and give up the fight to help them. I pray that does not happen.
We humans are given dominion over the animals by God. However that, to me, infers that we should care for them as good stewards. We have been permitted to eat them since Noah and his family got off the ark. But slaughter of them for food should be humane. However, a book I read years ago notes that the lifetime of people began gradually decreasing after that point from hundreds of years to about 70 or 80 years. Is there a health message for us in that fact?