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Photo: 'Give a Hand', by gilad, used with generous permission of Gilad Benari.

Why We Should Care About Animals

Animals Matter

     When war, famine and poverty affect so many humans, why should we care about the    
     suffering of animals? We create the kind of society we live in through our daily actions.

     When we tolerate cruelty to animals we are tolerating cruelty itself, and cruelty has a
     harmful affect on human society. Civilization and peace need co-operation to exist, and
     cruelty does not promote

When we allow our children to see animals suffer,

we teach them to ignore all suffering.

Children learn from adults how the world should be. Many of us will rely on the care of our children as we age. We will also rely on the care of other people's children: doctors, nurses, paramedics, and anyone else who will affect our lives in our vulnerable years. Surely we want our future care-givers to be sensitive to our needs and concerns.

If we teach children to be insensitive to pain and suffering when they see it in animals, we might find they are not so sensitive to human pain either.

Photo: 'Give a Hand', used with generous permission of Gilad Benari. See more photos by Gilad at: http://gilad.deviantart.com/gallery/

Humans are more powerful.
Doesn't that mean we are more important?

     Some people believe that 'might-makes-right' and it is acceptable to mistreat animals simply
     'because we can'.  If we follow this theory entirely, then humans would live in a constant
     state of war and aggression where the strongest of humans kill off the weaker. Is this the
     kind of world we would choose to live in?

     If we want protection for ourselves from stronger individuals and nations, how can we justify
     a 'might makes right' way of treating other species?

Major World Views and Ways of thinking about Animals

     Some people believe humans were created by God and animals were created solely
     for their use. 

Photo: 'New Generation', used with generous permission of dennis73.See more photos by dennis73 at: http://dennis73.deviantart.com/gallery/

If this is what one believes, then isn't it disrespectful to God to treat the other creatures He created in an irresponsible way?

If animals were created by God, then their ability to feel emotional and physical pain, as well as their needs and behaviours were defined by God.  Who then are we to ignore the needs of animals if those needs were instilled in them by God Himself?

Are we humans really so arrogant that we believe that God cares only for us and not for the other sensitive, feeling creatures that He created?

     Other people believe in evolution of the species: that all of the world's creatures,
     including humans, descended from common ancestors.

According to this life view all of the earth's inhabitants evolved in ways that best adapted them to their environments. Deeply ingrained characteristics like emotional/social needs, and physical behaviours, are hard-wired' and would need countless generations to change. If then, all creatures - both human and non-human - have social, physical and emotional needs that are deeply ingrained and necessary to their well being, is it not irresponsible for humans to deny animals these evolutionary needs? 

Neither of these views justifies how humans continue to cause animal suffering.

What do you think?


Do animals matter to you?


What are your reasons for caring about animals?

Photo: 'Enjoying the sun', used with generous permission of dennis73.See more photos by dennis73 at: http://dennis73.deviantart.com/gallery/

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