Sadistic human beings often visit cruel and senseless suffering on lower animal forms. Accordingly, there is a place for protesting such. As is often the case, however, that which is good in moderation becomes bad when carried to an extreme. This has happened in the “animal rights” movement. Groups such as PETA are lobbying and protesting against fur coat manufacturers/ wearers, medical experimentation on animals, and consuming animals as food. They seek highway memorials where animals have died.
Consider some observations:
In effect, these folk equate lower forms of life with human life (one of the many implications of Darwinian evolutionary theory). If a researcher experimented on human beings instead of white mice or guinea pigs, he would be arrested or carried off in a straight jacket (or both), but his practice would be consistent with the premise of the “animal rights” extremists.
Where do the activists stop? If we let them take experiments on animals away from us, what do they suggest in their place? Will they offer themselves in place of lab rats? If they get so upset over fur coats that they throw paint on them as their owners wear them, will they tolerate a plain leather coat? Do not these folk wear leather belts and shoes and carry leather purses? Where do they stop?
This subject has implications concerning abortion. Amazingly, the same activists who work themselves into a frenzy over a Tennessee snail darter, an unhatched eaglet, a spider, or a whale, see no hypocrisy in screaming for a woman’s “right” to murder her baby in her womb. Such warped, perverted, insane “logic” is incomprehensible to rational folk, but it occurs every day in our confused and sappy age.
What does God’s Word say about “animal rights” and man’s place in the “animal hierarchy”? First, the very order of creation shows that man is God’s crowning achievement of it (Gen. 1:26). Second, God gave mankind dominion over all other life forms (Gen. 1:27; 9:2–3). Third, God was the first to make clothing for humans out of animal skins (it must not be too sinful) (Gen. 3:21). Fourth, the Bible clearly distinguishes between men and “brute beasts” (2 Pet. 2:12; Jude 10). Fifth, Jesus said that men are worth much more than lower forms (Mat. 6:26; 10:31; 12:12).
We should not inflict unnecessary, purposeless cruelty upon the lower life forms. However, God created men as masters of them and made them to serve our needs. Let us not be driven from this sensible position by radical and extreme elements.
Adair Church of Christ is located on Highway 69 (3 blocks south of the main traffic light) in Adair.
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