Animal Rights? (...cont)


An article by Dwight Schuh
Reprinted by permission from Bowhunter Magazine Oct/Nov 1999 issue

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A Biblical View



Essentially the animal rights/anti-hunting movement asserts that killing animals is wrong, based on at least two concepts:

1) Killing animals is cruel and causes unacceptable suffering.

2) Man and animals are created equal, giving animals the same rights as human beings, including the right to life. Surely other variations come into play, all animal-rights philosophies lead to the same conclusion - killing animals is wrong, and those of us who do kill animals are "sinners."

To judge whether that really is true, we have to answer some questions: How do we determine whether killing animals is right or wrong? Is the whole issue relative, something each individual must decide for him or herself? Or is there an absolute, a written manifesto, a higher power, that dictates whether killing animals is right or wrong?

I believe, indeed, there is a written manifesto. Itís the Bible, and it describes a Higher Power, God, Who laid down an absolute relationship between Himself, man, and animals. Most of us who believe in hunting and the use of animals by man subscribe to a Judeo/Christian worldview, which is to say, a biblical view of the relationship between God, man, and animals. In light of that fact, we must seriously ask ourselves: In Godís view, is hunting or killing animals wrong? When the 10 Commandments say, "Thou shalt not kill ..." does that refer only to human beings, or to animals, too? Does the Bible prohibit the eating of meat? Now, if the Bible condemned the killing of animals, hunting, or the eating of meat, many of us who adhere to the Judeo/Christian worldview would feel compelled to quit all of these practices. But it does not.

Which brings us to the crux of the issue - and to the real division between animal rightists and animal users. Animal rightists place animals at the same level as human beings - even above in extreme cases. Itís one thing to defer from hunting because you donít like killing animals. Iím sure many God-fearing people take that stance, and I have no problem with that. However, itís another thing entirely to say that animals are equal in value to human beings. In essence, people who believe that either deny the existence of God altogether, or they deny the biblical God and manufacture a god to suit their own philosophies.

Perhaps even worse are those who twist biblical truths to support manmade philosophies. Yet, that is exactly what PETA has done with itís new campaign promoting: "Jesus was a Vegetarian, Show respect for Godís creatures - follow Him." The group has erected billboards with that message, and it has created an entire Internet web site dedicated to perverting Jesus and biblical doctrine in the name of animal rights. This web site "proves" that Jesus ate no meat (including fish), that he disapproved of killing animals, that God did not give man dominion over animals, and that man must live at peace with animals.

If someone said, "Look, I donít believe in God or the Bible. Iíve just decided for myself that killing animals is wrong," I could accept that. Even though itís dead wrong, at least itís an honest statement. But to twist the Bible to brainwash people and promote a twisted agenda? Thatís the ultimate perversion - one that demands a response.

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