AQA Religious Studies - Animal Rights

This covers most of the key information for animal rights, as per the AQA Relgious Studies unit. 

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Islam - Views on Animal Use

  • Allah loves all animals - he created them for human beings. They must be treated with kindness
  • He will therefore call upon people on the Day of Judgement to see if the animals they killed/used were used had been done so with 'Just Cause'.

The quote for this is "Whoever kills a sparrow or anything bigger without a just cause, Allah will hold him accountable on the day of Judgement."

Another quote is - "There is a reward for acts of charity to every beast alive." This suggests that Allah wants each Muslim to act compassionatley and kindly to any living thing - including animals.

Muslims can: Kill with just cause - for food, as long as it is killed humanely. Be rewarded for charitable acts towards animals. Use animals for human benefit with just cause.

Muslims can't: Use animals for sport - animal fighting. Cut manes and tails. Neglect animals. Mistreat or overwork animals. Factory farm animals.

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Christianity - Views on Animal Use

  • Christian views are split into two over the use of animals. It is a relatively recent development that animals are to be treated kindly in the Christian view.
  • In the past, it was thought that humans were superior to animals, and therefore they mostly ignored the suffering of animals, because they claimed that it was natural for animals to be preyed upon. 
  • They said that God created animals to exploit in any way they wished. They also thought that animals have no souls. This basically authorised them to do whatever they wanted. 
  • More recently, Christians are animal friendly. St Francis of Assisi (Birds), St Antony Padua (fish), St Brigit (Cows), St Columba (Crane) and St Brendan (sea monsters), were all saints with animal's interests at heart. 
  • Quotes: "Yet not one animal is forgotton by God."
  • "Abraham sacrifices a lamb to God."
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Animals VS Humans

Animals: Animals adapt to their surroundings. Highly evolved senses for survival. Communicate in varied ways. Instinctual behaviours. Biologically similar - respiration, reproduction. 

Humans: Better understanding of the world - medicine, science (e.g space travel) are all developed by humans. Highly developed language and culture. 

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Key Terms

Stewardship: The belief that God has chosen humans to care for animals.

Extinction: Where there are no animals of the species left - the species will never exist again.

Zoo: A place where animals are kept in captivity for humans to view.

Safari: A place where animals are kept in 'as wild' conditions, but within a large enclosed area for humans to drive and see them.

Aquarium: A place where fish and marine animals are kept in captivity for humans to view. 

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Eating meat - arguments

  • For: Meat is healthy in appropriate amount, Humans are naturally omnivorous, meat is 'cheaper', other things can be just as unhealthy, animals also eat meat, "fact of life", organic and free range are fair.
  • Against: Meat transportation (dehydration, stress) is unfair, meat is unhealthy (cholestrol etc), animals treated unkindly - cruel, foot and mouth disease example, factories pollute atmosphere, not eating meat isn't unhealthy, humans should take moral upperground, old fashioned views - like women's rights and slavery. 
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Fox Hunting

  • For: Foxes can be a pest, it's traditional and enjoyable, foxes migration has caused incidents involving people.
  • Against: Inhumane, no control over dogs - can't get them to stop.
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Animal experimentation

  • For: helps medical advancement, weapons testing, prevents human death, find cures for diseases that devastate, for the greater good, human happiness, safer to test on animals - although they have no choice; humans can assume this responsibility.
  • Against: pain and suffering for animals, results aren't reliable, not as accurate as testing on a human, use computer models instead, weapons testing promotes war and further death, vanity for cosmetics testing. 
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Wavy J

Great, thanks

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