Author Topic: "Animal Rights"?  (Read 1277 times)

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Offline PaulLuke

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"Animal Rights"?
« on: November 01, 2012, 02:15:42 PM »
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  • What is the traditional teaching of the Church with regard to animals? To what extent, if any, do we have a moral obligation to their treatment? I believe I have read that animals have temporary souls, but they do not have immortal souls, and they are definitely not made in the image of God. Any links to good, traditional sources would also be much appreciated!

    Offline cassini

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    "Animal Rights"?
    « Reply #1 on: November 01, 2012, 03:48:20 PM »
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  • Quote from: PaulLuke
    What is the traditional teaching of the Church with regard to animals? To what extent, if any, do we have a moral obligation to their treatment? I believe I have read that animals have temporary souls, but they do not have immortal souls, and they are definitely not made in the image of God. Any links to good, traditional sources would also be much appreciated!


    The traditional teaching is that man was given dominion over all the animals. So animals have no rights.
    That said. man has responsibilities. I have no doubts that deliberate acts of cruelty are sinful. There is however a problem in determining what is an act of cruelty around today. In our countries, usually common sense prevails and society has enacted laws to abide by. There are of course extremests who believe an animal and a human being should be treated equally.
    The Scriptures do not go down well with such people. God requested animal sacrifices and millions of animals were killed to appease Him.
    I have often pondered on this. Knowing God as we do, I have no doubt that animals do not really know what is about to happen to them as a result of man or nature and therefore have no suffering in any way that we would call suffering. Yes, animals do feel pain. Only God knows how He has protected them. We who know Christ know He he is compassion incarnate and must have provided for this even with animals.

    Hope this is the kind of reply you sought Paul.


    Offline Nadir

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    "Animal Rights"?
    « Reply #2 on: November 01, 2012, 04:15:55 PM »
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  • Genesis 1:
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    [20] God also said: Let the waters bring forth the creeping creature having life, and the fowl that may fly over the earth under the firmament of heaven. [21] And God created the great whales, and every living and moving creature, which the waters brought forth, according to their kinds, and every winged fowl according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. [22] And he blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the waters of the sea: and let the birds be multiplied upon the earth. [23] And the evening and morning were the fifth day. [24] And God said: Let the earth bring forth the living creature in its kind, cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth, according to their kinds. And it was so done. [25] And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, and cattle, and every thing that creepeth on the earth after its kind. And God saw that it was good.

    [26] And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. [27] And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. [28] And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth. [29] And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat: [30] And to all beasts of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon. And it was so done.

    [31] And God saw all the things that he had made, and they were very good. And the evening and morning were the sixth day.  

    http://www.drbo.org/chapter/01001.htm

    Offline PaulLuke

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    "Animal Rights"?
    « Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 09:38:43 PM »
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  • Thanks, cassini. I knew we were given dominion over the animals, but I hadn't thought about all the animal sacrifices. Not to mention what the Old Testament laws said with regard to how animals should killed for eating.

    But do we have a moral obligation to limit their pain? I say this as I know some vegans who oppose the suffering (or pain, as cassini puts it) typical of industrial farming these days. Is there a line that we must not cross in our treatment of animals? I am by no means an animal activist, and there is too much human suffering and infanticide to even think about spending time on animals, but I have often struggled when thinking about this.

    Offline cassini

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    "Animal Rights"?
    « Reply #4 on: November 02, 2012, 06:22:41 AM »
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  • Quote from: PaulLuke
    Thanks, cassini. I knew we were given dominion over the animals, but I hadn't thought about all the animal sacrifices. Not to mention what the Old Testament laws said with regard to how animals should killed for eating.

    But do we have a moral obligation to limit their pain? I say this as I know some vegans who oppose the suffering (or pain, as cassini puts it) typical of industrial farming these days. Is there a line that we must not cross in our treatment of animals? I am by no means an animal activist, and there is too much human suffering and infanticide to even think about spending time on animals, but I have often struggled when thinking about this.


    Obviously there is Paul, and I speak as a retired mink-farmer. Compassion and responsibility encompass both humans from conception to animals and their keep and deaths. There are many considerations and for me the particular nature of the animal is a major consideration. For example, compare chickens and dogs. Chickens show little or no comprehension whereas dogs do. To see chickens in coops it is obvious they are content. To see dogs caged up they are obviously stressed. To see how dogs are treated in China for example makes me sad. Cows overwintered in a barn have no problems either, so long as they are fed and watered properly. Similarly mink. They are quite 'happy' in clean cages and hay next boxes. I could never have been a mink farmer if cruelty of any kind was involved. On the other hand I could never have been a fox farmer, that is very borderline for me even. Birds in cages? Certanly not caught wild birds, they obviously are 'terrified.' Bred birds looked after properly seem O.K. My sister has one for 20 years now and I always bring fresh green grassseeds for it when visiting. Zoos, well they are borderline for me too regarding certain animals, big cats for instance. But perhaps zoo-keepers know their animals better and know there is no real 'suffering' involved.

    Finally, consider how God provided for the animals He created. I do not go along with the interpretation of Genesis that says there were no fauna deaths before the fall. There is an eco system created, where a vast number of fauna live by eating other creatures. For us some of these deaths are horrific. To see a young animal been stalked and killed is like seeing a horror movie. But there again I have to believe there is no what we humans experience 'suffering' involved. We believe God has infused into creatures a 'no-suffering' mechanism that allows such 'killing for survival' earn the title GOOD. Well that is my belief.


    Offline Traditional Guy 20

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    "Animal Rights"?
    « Reply #5 on: November 02, 2012, 06:28:43 AM »
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  • Quote from: PaulLuke
    I am by no means an animal activist, and there is too much human suffering and infanticide to even think about spending time on animals,


    Why not spend time thinking on both?

    We have an obligation not to be cruel to animals, and the government can be used to do that. Yes that includes leash laws, speaking out against the cruelty of factoring farming and slaughterhouses, and against the cruelty against cattle and dogs the 'Catholic' Mexican immigrants do when trying to cross the border into America.

    Offline JohnGrey

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    "Animal Rights"?
    « Reply #6 on: November 02, 2012, 11:46:47 AM »
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  • Quote from: PaulLuke
    I am by no means an animal activist, and there is too much human suffering and infanticide to even think about spending time on animals, but I have often struggled when thinking about this.


    There is, I feel, a link between the two.  Let me say first that sin of infanticide is obviously worse than that of animal cruelty, and that a child is of immeasurably greater worth than an animal.  That said, both animal and child are given to the dominion of man, the former universally, the latter in the person of its parents.  The road to rationalizing infanticide, or any unlawful killing, is so often first taken in animal cruelty.  When one can justify, or worse still take pleasure in, the mistreatment or cruel death of something that is without malice and given into one's protection, the very notion of the sanctity of life and the demand of corporal mercy are degraded and ultimately disregarded.

    Offline Traditional Guy 20

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    "Animal Rights"?
    « Reply #7 on: November 02, 2012, 02:55:32 PM »
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  • Quote from: JohnGrey
    When one can justify, or worse still take pleasure in, the mistreatment or cruel death of something that is without malice and given into one's protection, the very notion of the sanctity of life and the demand of corporal mercy are degraded and ultimately disregarded.


    As an animal lover I can definitely agree with this.


    Offline JohnGrey

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    "Animal Rights"?
    « Reply #8 on: November 02, 2012, 04:36:47 PM »
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  • Quote from: Traditional Guy 20
    Quote from: JohnGrey
    When one can justify, or worse still take pleasure in, the mistreatment or cruel death of something that is without malice and given into one's protection, the very notion of the sanctity of life and the demand of corporal mercy are degraded and ultimately disregarded.


    As an animal lover I can definitely agree with this.


    Oh, don't misunderstand me.  I still take a thoroughly utilitarian view toward animals.  They exist for our material good but we must not be short-sighted in considering the material good of the moment and ignore the material bad that may occur in the future (e.g., the ecological impact of hunting a species to extinction).  We may be at ease in killing a member of a lesser order, but it is rightfully done so in a way that minimizes the pain inflicted and in thanksgiving to God for what He has given us.

     

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