Answers

By   •   August 16, 2010   •   Topics:

Q:

My pets mean a lot to me, and I hate to see people neglect animals or treat them cruelly. Does the Bible say anything about how we should treat animals? God made them also, didn't He?


A:

Yes, God made everything that lives on the earth — including the animals. In the beginning, the Bible says, “God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals….’ And it was so” (Genesis 1:24).

And yes, the Bible commands us to take care of the animals under our care. One of the signs of a righteous man, the Bible says, is that he takes care of his animals (see Proverbs 12:10). Even the animal of an enemy was to be treated kindly: “If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to take it back to him” (Exodus 23:4). One reason God commanded His people to rest one day out of seven was so their animals would be refreshed (see Exodus 23:12).

In fact, the Bible says we must never treat any part of God’s creation with contempt. When we do, we are indirectly treating our Creator with contempt. Instead, God calls us to be stewards or trustees of His creation, and the Bible reminds us that we are responsible to Him for the way we treat it. We’ve often forgotten this — but it’s still true, and when we ignore it we not only hurt God’s creation but we also hurt ourselves.

Most of all, however, God calls us to put Him first in our lives. He loves us, and our greatest calling is to respond to His love by opening our hearts and lives to His Son, Jesus Christ.

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166 Comments

  1. Judy barrett says:

    Enjoyed reading. This answers some questions I had. Thanks for the article.

  2. Stephanie Ocken says:

    Does it say anything in the Bible about taking care of the earth & keep it healthy & clean?

    1. BGEA says:

      Stephanie, here’s a short response from Billy Graham with some Scripture references for you: https://billygraham.org/answer/does-god-care-about-the-environment/

  3. Barbara says:

    Most of us can relate when we talk about animals that are pets, such as dogs and cats. But how is, or, is this applicable when it comes to the standard agricultural practices in regards to cows, chickens, and pigs? I have recently seized eating meat due to the reality of current practices and the intense cruelty taken place in regards to animals we consume. It is because of my faith in Christ I am burdened by the reality of slaughterhouse cruelty. If it is a sin to mistreat an animal, is it a sin to pay someone else to do it for you? I understand this might be a highly controversial question and I only ask out of my burden for this subject. Thank you for this article.

    1. Rose says:

      “The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.” Romans 14:3

  4. Tasha says:

    Does God still heal? Does God heal animals if we send prayers up? Does God care when his animals hurt?
    Thanks,
    Tasha

  5. Marvis Bosarge says:

    I have been so worried about people doing so much animal abuse. Dogs are being so mistreated physically, and brutally starved. I’ve read in the Bible to be kind to animals. I hurt so to see the horrible things people are doing to them. Please post about these Scriptures on animal cruelty about being kind to them. I love my three little dogs and treat them good, and feed and care for them. I can’t understand people hurting and starving and doing terrible things to these fur babies.

  6. Kerry Mills says:

    Thank you for this article about bible and animal care.

  7. frances says:

    I’ve always wondered about this. Now my most puzzled question: why do animals like lambs (gentle creature) have to be sacrificed as told in the Bible? I just don’t understand why an innocent gentle creature had to be used for sacrificial man’s use. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

    1. BGEA says:

      Frances, the innocence of the lamb illustrates the innocence of Jesus Christ taking on our sins. The lamb, a gentle creature as you said, did nothing wrong, but our sin demands atonement; it cannot go unpunished. The price of that sin is death (Romans 6:23), so blood must be shed to pay for it. A sinful creature cannot pay the price for our sins; only a perfect one can. Before Jesus’ time, lambs were slain to atone for people’s sins as they looked forward to the coming of the Messiah. Once Jesus died on the cross, those sacrifices were no longer needed; He alone as the only perfect Person who’s ever lived took on the sins of the world once and for all. That’s why He’s sometimes called the Lamb of God. As John the Baptist said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

  8. Cynthia says:

    My best friend is a wonderful Christian woman. On Monday, I went with her to have her beloved pet euthanized because it tried to kill her other dog (AGAIN). She has tried so many things, including medication. However, Ginny (the pet I’m speaking of) was only getting worse. My friend has a broken heart and wonders if God is angry with her. I have prayed for her and have tried to get her to see that she has not sinned by taking the action that she did. I want her to be at peace, but I don’t know what else to say. Personally, I believe God does not hold us to the same standard with animals as he does with people. In any case, she really was out of options where Ginny was concerned. Any ideas or scriptures you can share with me?

  9. Rodilyn Diaz says:

    Thank you so much for your article. May God bless you.

  10. Patricia says:

    Thank you for the scriptures. My dog was with me for 16 years, she died last September. I worry when I read about animal cruelty in the news. It’s heartbreaking but the Lord loves us all, all his creation, amen.