A Christian Response to Animal Cruelty, by Faith V.

Faith V. (15 years old) used the following manuscript to deliver her first Rhetoric 1 speech for the Master’s Christian Academy. Her delivery was excellent and met the 6-8 minute timeframe. The class has met weekly on Tuesday mornings from 10:30-12:30 during the 2014-15 academic year. For this speechFaith composed nearly a dozen annotated bibliographies on books, magazine and news articles, and websites, some of which are cited.

 

“In 2010 I saw a short video on the news. This video showed a teenage girl throwing several squealing newborn puppies into a fast moving river one by one. The puppies were only 6 months old. What really makes this video so horrible is that the girl was shown to be smiling as she took them out of the bucket and tossed them in. How could humanity be so heartless as to smile when puppies are drowning.

This is only one incident of abuse that happens daily. Most known cases are of physical abuse (like the one above) which is the infliction of physical pain, suffering or even death upon an animal when not necessary for self defense. But another kind is neglect. That is the failure to provide basic care required for an animal to thrive. It can be found in everyday pet owners homes. This issue is important for me because I believe animals need to be cared for and looked after by us because they cannot do it themselves. And I think that we as Christians are not doing this job to the best of our abilities like we should. More and more animals are being abused every day and hardly anyone is doing anything about it.

There are many stories of animal cruelty happening in the United  every day. Stories like a cat or a dog deliberately set on fire, or kittens being put in boxes and thrown out with the trash to be crushed by machines. The humane society has reported that of 1880 cases in 2007 64.5% involved dogs, 18% involved cats and 25% to other animals (Humanesociety.org). That is 1,212 dogs, 337 cats and 470 others just from 2007! Imagine how many have suffered since. And the animal defense fund (Aldf.org) says that in the last 10 year over 30% of the cases have been neglect. That means over 30% of the animals were deprived of what they needed to thrive every day. I believe that the problem with this is that very few people are doing anything about it. I mean how many times have you seen one of those animal shelter commercials showing the abused caged animals on TV and just flipped the channel because you didn’t want to see the poor sick animals but didn’t do anything about it? We as Christians must help put a stop to animal cruelty.

We need to do something about animal cruelty for many reasons.  First- because Genesis 1:26-28 says that animals, made by God, were placed under our dominion which means he intended for us to care for them. Second- because abusing animals could make them violent. Animals who are abused will lash out at anyone who is near as a form of self-defense because they are scared. And third because serial killers often start out abusing animals before going to their human victims. This means animal cruelty is connected to domestic violence (Stecker, Domestic Violence and Animal Cruelty Connection).

By doing something about the abuse of animals you are caring for them. You should be kind to animals because they were made by God. Genesis 1:26-28 tells how God made us in his image to rule over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the sky. Over the livestock and all the  wild animals of the earth. And if we are made in his image why are we letting his creations be abused. By taking care of animals we are showing good stewardship of what God has given us. And again in Proverbs 12:10 it says “whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.”

Another reason is because abusing them could make them violent. Animals who are abused start to become scared of people so whenever someone is around they may get frightened and lash out as self-defense. It could bite you and because it thinks you would harm him. It also makes it hard to find homes for pets. Hundreds of animals are euthanized each year at shelters because of abuse (Humanesociety.org). The animals go there very sick and in such horrible condition that there is nothing the shelters can do.

The last reason I will be discussing is the most serious. Serial killers often start out as animal abusers (Stecker, Domestic Violence and Animal Cruelty Connection). Jeffery Dahmer,  and Albert De Salro, also known as the Boston Strangler, both had histories of abusing animals as children. They would trap animals in boxes and shoot arrows at them or impale them on sticks. In fact around 95% of killers have admitted to starting on animals. They would practice on them until they perfected it then once mastered turn to their human victims. Even as children they would burn and torture animals. Cynthia Hodges writes on the website animallaw.info that men who abuse animals are 5 times likely to be arrested for violence towards humans, 4 times more likely to have committed property crimes and 3 times more likely to have records for drugs and disorderly conduct offense. This right here shows that animal abuse doesn’t just affect animals. It affects humans to. We need to help stop abuse not only to save animals but also maybe to save a human life as well.

Some people would argue this saying that animals do not reason, think, or feel pain like we do. Sure they do not reason but they do feel pain. When you step on a cats tail does it just sit there and do nothing? NO. It lashes out and bites or scratches you because you hurt it. God gave animals a sense of pain as well. And they can tell when they’re hungry or thirsty. They have feelings just like ours in that way. You shouldn’t just abuse an animal or  sit by and let it happen just because you’re bigger and better.

Others could take this to far in the other direction and say that even hunting and eating meat is abusing them because you kill the animals for means other than self-defense. But I say again- God gave us animals to eat. He gave them to us to use as well as to care of. People have been eating meat since the Bible times. It is better for a deer to be shot and eaten by humans than to be shot or injured and left to die. It’s part of what they were created for.

And then we have the old “we owe them so we can’t be mean to them and they have rights (Rollin, p.9).” We do not owe them anything. And they do not have rights. It is mostly evolutionists who say this because they believe we evolved from them so we owe them in some way. We did not evolve from them as the Bible says that we were created by God in his image. They do not have rights because they are animals. They are not living humans who deserve things.

And because of this a lot of people associate this issue with becoming vegetarians (Singer, p.171). Because if you become a vegetarian you are not harming a poor helpless animal. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to solve the problem. You could do things as simple as teaching your kids the importance of being kind to animals. Or you could donate to different shelters or organizations that work with this. You could make a one time donation or monthly donations. Or when you have done all your research and know you want to get a pet, adopt from shelter. It’s like giving a forgotten animal a home again. There are organizations such as the humane society that are dedicated to helping put a stop to this. The girl that  drowned the puppies was caught and fined. Many abusers are caught and fined by different organizations. You  can also help by taking care of your own pets. By doing this you are making sure at least your pet is safe. If you have the time you could volunteer at a local shelter making sure that the animals have some care and attention. Christians need to set an example to the rest of the world by being good stewards of the pets and animals God has given to them. If Christians are being mean to animals and not showing love to them even in little ways what would the will the world think? We need to show them how a biblical worldview and a belief in God can change our attitudes toward animals and the world around us and help put an end to animal cruelty.”

 

Bibliography: Humanesociety.org, Aldf.org, Stecker-“Michigan Bar Journal”,  Hodges-animallaw.info, Rolin- “Animal Rights and Human Morality”, Singer- “Animal Liberation.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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