Religious Studies: Animal Rights


Definition of Animal Rights - Moral treatment of animals by humans in order that their lives and welfare are protected.

Sanctity of Life- The idea that life is a special gift from God.

Stewardship - The duty that God gave humans to take care of the natural world. Christianity + Islam follows this

Animal Rights- It is a behaviour that should naturally be given toward a human or animal because it is a living creature with physical feelings and emotions. Rights are not privileges, they are entitlements.  

Factory Farming - Intensive farming, for example one thousand chickens being reared in a battery house. 

All religions believe that animals are of a lesser importance than humans because of human intelligence and soul/spirit which gives human beings the ability to make conscious decisions. Therefore, animals are used to benefit humans, examples of this are:

Christian view - Quakers believe that animals are equal to humans, where as roman catholics believe that animals do not have rights but they should be cared for by humans. "Into your hands they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you" -Genesis 9:3 

Animals are part of God's creations, it is part of their duty (stewardship) to protect animals and not exploit them. They may agree on the use of them for experiments but would insist on humane conditions or they would oppose animal testing for make up. "A good man is kind to his animals" 

Islamic view - "Do not take life...except for just cause" -Qur'an 17:33 

The Qur'an teaches that animals have feelings and purposes in their lives. The prophet Muhammad told stories about the duties that humans played on animal lives. Testing should be done fairly and only for important medical research. There should be no repetitions of experiments.

Hinduism/Buddhism -  believe in reincarnation which is is where the human soul is reborn into a new form after their living self dies. It is considered that being reincarnated  as an animal is a step backwards, therefore the human-animal equality is non-existant. 

However, all religions…




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