Religion and Animal Rights

Religious Studies B: Unit 2, Life Issues

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  • Animal Rights
    • Buddhism
      • Animals should be treated well - part of the cycle of rebirth
      • 1st Moral Precept - Do not harm any living thing. Applies to animals
      • Practice 'metta' - loving kindness to all creatures
    • Hinduism
      • Believe in the sanctity of life
      • All creatures should be respected, they are part of Brahman (God)
      • All living things are bound in the cycle of birth, death and rebirth of souls
        • Being reborn as an animal is seen as a punishment
      • Have a duty to protect animals and not to harm them
      • Cows are sacred
    • Christianity
      • God created the world and put humans in charge (Genesis 1:28)
        • 'Rule over...every living creature' 'subdue it'
          • 'dominion'
      • Have a duty to care for all creation, stewardship
        • Jesus believed every creature has value. (Luke 12:6)
          • 'Five small birds...God does not forget and of them'
    • Islam
      • World belongs to Allah who appointed humans as stewards over it
        • Must care for animals and treat them with respect
      • Animals have feelings and purpose in their lives
        • Those that are cruel will answer to Allah
        • Animals must be killed in a painless way (Halal)


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