In the book of Genesis we find the birth of the Earth and all that is on the Earth, including plants, animals, the sun and moon, and mankind. In Genesis 1:18,19 we find these words, “The Lord said, it is not good that man should be alone” so he created Eve for Adam. The passage continues with “out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and we brought them to the man to see what he would call them.” God then gives dominion over the fish and birds and every living then. -Genesis 1:26-27
Some argue that humans were vegetarian before the flood. This is based on verses in Genesis that relate to eating fruit, greens, and seeds, but there is no overt ruling against eating animal flesh. The earth was created perfectly in balance and the Garden of Eden must have contained everything that was needed. After the fall there is mention of Abel tending the sheep while Caine was tending the gardens. As masters, humans are to be mindful of creation as responsible stewards and in Genesis reference to the two offerings made by Cain and Abel in Genesis 4:3-4. Cain offers produce and Abel offers his firstborn lamb.
However, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has recently created a new version of the Creation Story. Its modern version “targets Generation Z and includes an animal rights religious message. It is ‘filled with vegan teachings and tells of a cruelty-free story of creation.’”[i] In this version the sentient being is protected. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines sentient as “capable of sensing or feeling: conscious of or responsive to the sensations of seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, or smelling.” No creatures were harmed for food or clothing or sacrifice. This is an attempt from PETA to elevate animals to the level of humans.
More than one family has pondered the decision to adopt a family pet because of the watchful eye of organizations that would elevate dogs to the status given to people. They ask, “if I don’t do everything the veterinarian deems necessary for my animal, will I be fined or even arrested? Will someone call animal control if I speak harshly to my dog in public?” PETA, founded in 1980, defends the rights of animals. It disallows any experimenting, eating of, wearing, entertaining with or abuse of any animals.[ii] They are deemed sentient beings. Taking this to its fullest meaning, should animals be kept in any form? Should there be no leash laws and animals of all kinds left to roam and do as they wish?
The answers lie in the word of God. Going back to the verse giving dominion over the animals. God is pleased when we are responsible for His creation and take care of the earth. Sin in the world has caused creation to be at the mercy of money, greed, idolatry, and lust. Much of creation has been destroyed by mankind. The Christian response is to be thankful for everything God has made and treat animals and growing things with respect and economy, but not to worship them. When we raise animals to the level of man and man is made in God’s image, they become idols. Nothing can come before God in our worship. Be careful when you let the dogs out.
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