Friday, September 24, 2010

Pets, How Do You View Them?

Keep a Balanced View of Them

As noted before, man was charged with caring for the earth and all its animals. The Bible says: "Everything [God has] put under his feet: small cattle and oxen, all of them, and also the beasts of the open field, the birds of heaven and the fish of the sea."—Psalm 8:6-8; 115:16.

How humans carry out their responsibility toward animals is important. God's Word says: "The righteous one is caring for the soul of his domestic animal." (Proverbs 12:10) Indeed, God's laws for Israel repeatedly emphasized the need to be considerate of animals. (Deuteronomy 22:4, 10; 25:4) In the course of carrying out their responsibility, humans have often made pets of domestic animals, and they have even tamed wild ones and made pets of them too.—Genesis 1:24.

It is good to remember, though, that the Bible emphasizes the distinction between humans and animals. Humans, not animals, were made 'in the image and likeness of God.' (Genesis 1:26) And whereas animals were created with a limited life span, humans had the prospect of living on earth forever. (Genesis 3:22, 23; Psalm 37:29) Jesus Christ said that to enjoy "everlasting life," we must exercise faith and take in knowledge of God—things that animals are incapable of doing. (John 3:36; 17:3) Moreover, the Bible compares those unworthy of a resurrection to the "unreasoning animals [that are] born naturally to be caught and destroyed."—2 Peter 2:9-12.

Provided for Man's Good

God created animals for the sake of humans. Animals can help them do their work and can serve as their companions or pets. They also serve to magnify God's love and wisdom. Surely it is a pleasure to observe the beauty of animals and to learn more about the Creator from a study of their marvelous instinctive wisdom. (Psalm 104:24; Proverbs 30:24-28; Romans 1:20) Just one of the many examples of such wisdom is seen in the world of insects. Remarkable indeed is the way bees communicate with one another and follow directions to food sources—not to mention how they build their complex honeycombs.

Animals may benefit man by serving as food. Originally, God provided only vegetation as food for man. But more than 1,600 years later—after the Flood of Noah's day—God said: "Every moving animal that is alive may serve as food for you. As in the case of green vegetation, I do give it all to you." (Genesis 1:29; 9:3) Thus, God made the concession for humans to eat animals. Evidently, this concession was for man's good, although originally God did not include meat as part of the human diet.

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