Religion and Life Issues


Religion & Animal Rights

Key Words

Dominion: The Christian belief that God put humans in charge of the animals 

Free-range farming farming:  Farming that allows animals to roam free and behave naturally 

Extinction: When al members of a species have died out and that species will never exist on Earth again 

Endangered species: An animal that is at risk of extinction 

'It is God who provided for you all manner of livestock, that you may ride on some of them and from some you may derive your food'

'A human may be worth many sparrows, but even a sparrow does not die unnoticed' 

'The righteous care for the needs of their animals'

90% of people in the UK are meat eaters

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Religion & Animal Rights

Do animals have rights?

There are many organisations that exist to protect animals when they have been abused. Many animlas' welfare groups are against factory farming, animal experimentation, hunting, wearing fur etc. 

In British Law animal cruelty is a criminal offence. Animal experiments for cosmetics are banned. Foxhunting and dog fighting are illegal. 

The RSPCA respond to calls regarding animals abuse, how to treat animals and to offer medical care.

WWF stops wild animals being hunted out of existence and habitats being destroyed. 

Staffordshire Guinea Pig Farm-  farmed Guinea Pigs for medical research . They recieved death threats etc. In the end the stopped breading Guinea Pigs and went back to other methods of farming. 

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Religion & Animal Rights

Christians- Believe that God created the world, including animals and people, and put humans in charge. They have a duty to car for all creations. Some Christians believe hunting is justified and God told humans to be in charge. Others believe they should protect the animals. 

Muslims- Believe the world belongs to Allah who made humans to take care of animals and treat them with respect. Cannot eat pigs and all other animals must be killed in a painless way. Islam teaches that animals have feelings and a reason for living. They may be hunted for food but not for sport. 

Religious views on zoos are that animals should be kept in the best conditions that are as near as possible to the wild. 

Religious people recognise that zoos can help endangered species by research and carefuly designed breeding programmes. 

As long as they are cared for, most religions do not object to working animals. 

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Religion & Animal Rights

Wild animals

Arguments in favour of zoos:

  • They are educational
  • It is a popular activity for families

Arguments against zoos:

  • Zoos are not the best environment for wild animals
  • Wild animals should not lose their freedom for our entertainment 

Assisi Declaration: How people should act responsibly for the welfare of animals

Ohito Declaration: Religions recognise the need to treat animals with care

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