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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

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The Ethical Treatment of Animals

A message from Al . . .


Could you please answer a question for me . . . I don’t understand why God hates animals. I know he gave man free will. Animals depend on humans to take care of them. But humans do such horrible things to them and they can’t take care of themselves. Please help me understand. Thank You.

My response . . .

God loves his creation.  Genesis tells us that God gave the stewardship and subjugation of material creation into the hands of humanity.  Pope Francis and others would remind us that sometimes we have failed in this sacred charge, trashing the environment and either abusing the animals with which we share the good earth or even speeding certain species toward extinction.  The fault as with all sin is a misuse of human freedom.  The problem is not God but the callous way that we as men and women treat what God has made.  Humanity stands between the two created realms— the spiritual and the material.  Our souls possess a kinship with the angels while our bodies make us a part of the mortal and physical world.  Certain animals like dogs have developed a shared affinity and friendship with the human race.  Others are used as beasts of burden and as food.  This might seem harsh, but it is all part of the nature of things. Even if animals should not have immortal souls, nothing is lost in God. We can have certitude that all things continue to exist as eternal paradigms in the divine mind.  If people fail to show compassion to other human persons, should we be surprised when animals are mistreated?  Maybe God has given you this keen appreciation of the status of animals so that you might become an advocate for their ethical treatment?    

One Response

  1. I appreciate you answering me but with all due respect, your answer is a cop out. It does not answer the real question as to why does G-d not help or take care of the animals he created. He is supposed to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. As I said, I understand he gave man free will. But the animals look to man to take care of them. PLEASE if you get a chance, go online to the website called DODO. Just look at what G-d has done to his creations. I never thought of G-d as being cruel.

    FATHER JOE: The animals are a gift from God. Some give us companionship, others assist with our work and still others are food. I would be more concerned about man’s inhumanity to other men. Indeed, millions of unborn children are aborted every year in the U.S. and throughout the world. How could men and women be so cruel?

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