Religion and Animals
The differences between animals and humans
- Humans have intelligence, the ability to make decisions , form opinions and appreciate art, music and literature. Humans can act in a moral way, deciding to be good or bad.
- Animals have instinct, they behave according to their instincts in order to survive, eat and reproduce. They will abandon the weakest member of the herd and do not have religious beliefs.
What rights do animals have?
- Animals must not be exploited, harmed or abused
- Animals are protected by law from cruelty and neglect
- Some creatures cannot be kept as pets such as dangerous dogs or rare birds
- Testing on animals is inspected to ensure animals are not suffering too much
- There are strict rules about animals being transported and slaughtered
The use of animals
Animals can be used as/for:
Pets, guide dogs, sled dogs, transport (e.g. horse and carriage), Indian elephants are used for logging, cormorant birds used for fishing, sniffer dogs, dogs were used to carry messages through the trenches in WW1 etc...
Animals can also have a therapeutic effect on sick people (helps with their healing)
Zoos, safari parks and aquariums
Animals are often kept in captivity in zoos, safari parks and aquariums. Many people disagree with zoos, but they have changed over many years after pressure from animal rights groups.
Arguments for zoos:
- People get to see wild animals up close
- Dangerous animals can be seen safely
- Educational activities are provided for children
- Breeding programmes help to prevent extinction
- Many zoos fund research into protecting animal species
Arguments against zoos:
- Not always a suitable environment for wild animals
- Animals kept in small cages will suffer stress
- Not a natural climate, many animals find it difficult to adjust to this
Religious vies on zoos:
Most religious people accept zoos if the animals are kept in conditions close to what it would be like in the wild. Religious people recognize that zoos can help to preserve animal species through breeding programmes. There have been two major religious conferences on animals in captivity. These were the Assisi and Ohito Declarations. The latter said that religions need to treat animals with care, sustaining environmental life is a religious responsibility and that nature needs to be treated with respect and compassion
Factory farming cs free range farming
Factory farming is intensive farming to generate a higher profit. Pesticides are used to prevent disease in the crowded conditions and often the animals' movement is restricted. Growth hormones may be given to yield more milk or eggs.
Positives - Production is more efficient and cheaper
Negatives - Cruel to the animals and pesticides can affect human health
Free Range Farming
Animals are raised to roam freely and live a life like they would in a natural environment. This costs more money but many think that the quality of the food produced is much higher and that the animals are treated with more respect. Slaughter animals are usually stunned before…