Religion and Animal Rights

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Animal Testing


  • Can test for cures for diseases
  • If products aren't tested on humans, they could seriously harm humans
  • There is not yet a stable alternative that is safe to humans
  • Animals have a shorter lifespan than humans, so are easier to mature and test on


  • Cruel and inhumane
  • Studying cells could be an alternative
  • Drugs that are safe for animals may not necessarily be safe for humans
  • Some animals are abused and suffer greatly
  • Animals testing is more expensive than other types of testing
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Animals in Sport

  • Bullfighting is a traditional sport in Spain, seen as a great source of entertainment.
  • The bulls are stabbed repeatedly to weaken them.
  • Days before the fights, the bulls are kept in enclosed spaces, stabbed and poked.
  • The angrier the bull, the more entertainting the fight
  • Dog fighting is illegal in the UK, but still happens illegally
  • One dog wins when the other fails to scratch or bite, is dead or jumps out of the pit
  • The loser is usually killed by its owner by shooting or beating, if it isn't already dead
  • Horse racing is seen as an innocent sport, but in reality, the horses may be treated badly
  • The horse is worked until exhaustion, fed an unnatural or insufficient diet or even drugs to enhance its performance
  • The horses may be whipped to go faster
  • Muslims believe that animals should onyl be used for food and not to entertain people
  • Christians believe that animals were created for the use of humans however they please. However, many modern christians believe that the mistreat of animals is sinful and wrong
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  • Pets provide unconditional love and affection for their owners
  • They protect and are very loyal, to the end
  • Some dogs also serve as guide dogs for the blind, while others provide comapny for young and old cancer patients.
  • However, some animals are kept in small spaces, dont get enough food or are generally mistreated.
  • Some pets are loved when they are young, but neglected when they are old and/or ill.
  • This is inhumane as the animal will be scared and wonder why its owner has left.
  • Guide dogs may be very helpfu;, but after  5-10 years, are forced to retire
  • This is cruel to both the dog and human as they have built a bond and is emotionally wrong to take that away
  • Buddhists believe in Karma, and that everything is reincarnated.
  • Buddhists shouldn't harm anyliving thing as it could be someone important in another life and will bring bad karma
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Working animals

  • Large animals such as horses or donkeys are used to transport humans and smaller animals are used to transport supplies.
  • A working animal is one that is used by humans to perform tasks, which is unfair to the animal as they shouldn't be forced to do something against their will or that is dangerous
  • The animals are often overworked and underfed.
  • Heavy weights can cause the animal's spine to deform
  • Muslims believe that all animals are equal and all animals should be treated with respect as we are all equal
  • Christians believe that it is wrong to abuse animals. If the animal is treated well, it is ok to use it for work
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  • People go to zoos and aquariums for enjoyment and education
  • Visitors can see dangerous or wild animals and learn about them


  • Children or adults can learn about the animals
  • Breeding programmes can help save endangered species


  • Breeding programmes- none of the animals are released back into the wild
  • The animals are kept in small spaces
  • They are trained to perform tricks
  • Some animals can suffer and are killed prematurely
  • Some are sold to make money or not fed to save money

Christians believe that people have a duty to care for all animals. Jesus spoke about the value of all creations

Some muslims believe that animals shouldn't be kept in zoos as it is cruel

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Vegetarianism & Veganism

  • Vegetarians are people that don't eat meat, including chicken, fish, birds etc.
  • Vegans are people that don't use any animal products, including dairy, meat, fur, leather etc.
  • People might choose to be vegetarian/ vegan because they:
    • Don't want to harm animals
    • It is part of their religion
    • They dont like the taste of meat etc.
  • Vegans believe that there is no need to harm or use animals to get vitamins

Buddhists and hindus are vegetarian because they believe that killing an animal might mean killing the body of one of their ancestors ( reincarnation)

Jews believe that animals were created by God to provide food for humans, but may also be vegetarian

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Fur Trade

  • The fur trade deals with the aquisition and sale of mammals' fur


  • Creates jobs
  • Keeps humans warm
  • The empire is worth a line


  • The animals are killed in brutal ways- electrocution, stoning
  • The farms produce tons of toxic waste
  • Fake fur is a very lifelike alternative
  • Animals are kept in small spaces to preserve their fur

Christians believe in stewardship- humans should care for animals. However, some Christians believe that humans were created superior to animals

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Cloning Animals

  • This is creating an exact copy of an animal with the same DNA and genetic material


  • Possible to repopulate endangered species
  • Create identical tissues or cell for transplants
  • More animals for testing


  • Animals may suffer if the process goes wrong
  • May lead to cloning of humans
  • May lead to animals being cloned just for money
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Ivory Trade

  • Ivory trade is the sale of ivory from elephants', walrus' etc. tusks, which is often illegal
  • This may lead to the endangerment or even extinction of a species
  • Hong Kong and China have the largest amount of ivory products for sale
  • These may be used in medicines or jewellery
  • In some countries, the profits are used to fund military operations
  • Some poachers hunt elephants out of poverty, particularly in Africa
  • In 1989, UN made ivory trade illegal, but EU has approved the sale of 108 tonnes of ivory trade to China
  • However, some say that allowing legal trades only encourages poachers

Religious teachings- see fur trade

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Animals Experimentation

  • Animals are tested on using products that humans use in their everyday life
  • The products are to make sure they aren't harmful to humans
  • Animals are tested on to find cures for diseases or check for harmful side effects

Christianity allows animal testing to create new and better medicines, however this must be done in the most humane way. Cosmetics testing is seen as immoral

Islam believes that animal testing is fine if it is for a purpose, but unnecessary testing or pain is immoral. The animal must be respected

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Genetic Modification

  • Scientists use enzymes to insert the DNA of one organism into another


  • Disease could be prevented
  • Insulin can be quickly provided
  • Animals with desirable characteristics can be created


  • The inserted gen may have harmful effects
  • GM food may not be safe for humans
  • Some believe that scientists are playing God
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Religious Teachings

Luke 12:

  • All living beings have value, but humans have more worth than humans
  • If God looks after animals, so should humans

Genesis 9:

  • Mankind has control over all living things
  • Humans have the right to do whatever they want 

Genesis 1:

  • Stewardship
  • God has created animals for man to rule over
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