Animal Farm

In Kenya there are many text messages that are being sent inciting violence and hatred.  They use language that dehumanizes their opponents and calls them animal names. Are we animals? 

In H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds aliens from Mars farm people in much the same way that we would farm sheep.  Of course, they are portrayed drinking human blood through a straw, which adds drama.  Do we have a right not to be farmed?

PETA has run ads which accuse those of eating meat of committing murder.  They give dignity to life.  They equate human life with animal life.  The Smiths in the 1980’s released an album called, “Meat is Murder”.  Is eating an animal murder?

J. P. Moreland says that naturalism has turned animals into machines and that animals have souls.  If they did not have a soul there would be no animating factor and therefore no life?  He does not believe animals can be saved.

People who work for UNICEF want to promote human rights.  Why does a human have value?  Why do they have rights?

Hitler isolated groups within Germany by making them less than human and then killed them.  How would you argue against him?


About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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9 Responses to Animal Farm

  1. Eddieray says:

    Act 10 11-13    11   And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: 12  Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.   13   And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.     God himself said to Peter to kill animals and eat.
    It also says somewhere in the word that the souls of the animals goes down.

  2. rookie1987 says:

    Humans have value because we are God’s special creation. I mean think about it. If God didn’t give us worth where would we get it from? Each other…. yeh that’s not fleeting at all. In arguing against Hitler I think maybe bringing up murder being wrong and all the places in the Bible that is true along with talking about hate and maybe how we are all equal before God. That would be for starters. Hitler would not be a hard person to talk to about this. Those other groups would be harder such as the group talking about animals having rights…. where does the animals rights end.
    Salt and Light

  3. servantofone says:

    Kenya… As humans, we are individuals created in the Image of a Holy God. It is that fact which sets us apart from the rest of creation– we are Image Bearers and at our worst, that only in potentiality; at our best, that in reality. Our human-ness, our Image-ness, sets us above the animals and the rest of creation in that we are not merely created, but created in the Likeness of God. We are not animals. The dehumanizing of others through speech and name calling is a tried and true method of first dehumanizing mentally and then dehumanizing through action. The Nazi’s, for example, had this to say about the Jews: “In this way, they (the rats) spread disease, plague, leprosy, typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery, and so on. They are cunning, cowardly, and cruel, and are found mostly in large packs. Among the animals, they represent the rudiment of an insidious and underground destruction – just like the Jews among human beings.”- Nazi propaganda film, “The Eternal Jew”Once Jews are compared to rats, it makes it easier to see them as lesser forms of humans, which then makes it easier to either commit crimes against them or turn one’s head when acts are committed against them. Likewise the current issue in Kenya: When one is being inundated with constant messages to view a certain group as less than human, to turn them into the authorities, to kick them out of their houses… these things all make it easier to push them aside, to defend one’s “right” to look upon others with disdain– one becomes numb. somewhat less interesting is that these messages are sent via text. Thus, the only way to stop these messages is to turn off everyone’s sms capabilities, which would be costly since Kenya is already in such turmoil and this would further limit an already limited means of communication between people. This puts cell phone providers in a sticky situation. UNICEF– humans have rights because we are created in the Image of God. One conversation during class had our group trying to figure out what inherent dignity or worth humans would have, if not that given by our Creation in the Image of God. We couldn’t find one that didn’t break down at some point. That’s what gives us our dignity and our rights. One other volunteer at a soup kitchen I work with, Henry, was proud to tell me that he is 16 and agnostic. We began discussing how helping the homeless works in with his worldview (of course, not using that term exactly)… We had to cut the conversation short because it was time to start the meal, but we’ve just begun to arrive at this point– if you take away people being created in the Image of God, then what reason do we have to treat fellow humans with any sort of dignity? His rationale was breaking down quickly, and will continue to do so the next time we chat. Without God, we have no reason to treat people with respect. With him, we have every reason.

  4. Riggs7400 says:

    @rookie1987 – Sorry to go off on a tangent like this but, I agree that perhaps it would be easier to argue with Hitler about the value of a human life than it would be to dispute the proper use of animals with a P.E.T.A. (People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals) militant. I am a professional bird dog hunter and have been approached by a number of people who saying that what I do is wrong. Each one has backed down after about five minutes after I ask them what is wrong with buying packaged meat from the supermarket, listen to their longwinded response which usually includes the same basic idea that people have no right to use animal products, than I take that idea to extremes (which should be easy for a P.E.T.A. activist) by asking them if they drive a car that runs on gasoline. Next I ask them if they know where the fossil fuels that go into the production of that gasoline come from. To my amazement about half of them didn’t know the answer to that question! So after I explained that scientific fact, they can usually tell where I am going and get angry (realizing that they have no programmed response for this scenario) saying something about being realistic, or necessities. If they haven’t already walked away I do.

  5. Tyson2424 says:

    Equality is one of those issues that we are still trying to work through today. The Diversity chapel is evidence of this. We still struggle with the idea that all humans are equal. Though this is not the same thing as the genocide of the Jews, the fundamental principle that some people are not worth the same as other is still the same. In James 2 the Bible clearly outlines that we should treat nobody differently based on outward appearence. We also see in 1 Corinthians 6 that our body is the Temple of God. We have value because God gives it to us, we our worth so much because Christ payed so much.  Our worth stems out of the fact that we were purchased with such a high price.

  6. ashleewilson says:

    I do not agree with the statement that animals have souls.  The soul is the essence that allows humans to enter into eternity after death, and animals have not been given that measure of equality with humans.  If God created animals with souls, then why do they not have the chance to spend the eternity in heaven?  What distinction would there be left to acknowledge that God created humans to rule over animals? 
    However, according to Moreland, animals have souls because they have life and animation.  When a human dies, it is not because their soul has died, but rather it is because God has willed it to happen.  Their soul is still very much alive, it just is no longer contained by the physical body after death. 
    The Bible says that if all of mankind ceases to praise God, then even the rocks will cry out.  Because that situation would give them temporary animation and life, does that mean that they temporarily possess a soul?  Or do rocks have souls all along but they are only seen if humans stop praising God?  If the rocks do start crying out praises to God will they continue to do so or will they lose their soul?   

  7. The heavens pour forth speech, but no-one is claiming that the sky is animated. In the same way rocks speak without animation.Animal souls do not have the capacity for an eternal relationship with God. They do not have that capacity. It could have something to do with what we would call spirit.

  8. alexgoreham says:

    Animals are important and we do need to take care of them. We should not abuse animals. I think dog fighting is a horrible crime and people should go to jail for it. I also think when people abuse animals, it shows others that they have some unresolved issues that they need to address big time. With that said, the Bible is clear that man are the top of the pecking order. Although the Bible does not say it like that. We have dominion over all of earth. We are also more important to God then animals. How do we know this? Well, Jesus died for us. Jesus did not die for animals, he died to save the lost people. He died to show people how much he loves us. A human has value because of God. God first loved us so that we can love God. If i love something, it has value to me. For example, I love my summer job, therefore it is valuable to me and i am willing to invest in it. Its the same with God and people. Human right are important. Sometimes i think that people try to separate human right from the Bible, which is not the best idea. Human right issues are addressed all through out the Bible. Issues of slavery to unjust imprisonment and so on. Alex Goreham

  9. Ssparling says:

    Animals do not have souls. How can one equate humans with animals? In Genesis, when an account of creation is given, it says that man was made in the image of God and made to have dominion over animals. True, it has been observed that animals are intelligent, but it does not equate them to humans. How can you even begin to compare the slaughter of animals to the sluaghter of humans? In my opinion, there is no comparison. The value of human life far outweighs that of animal life. There are many animal rights organizations who cry wolf over an abused cow but do not blink over the many babies whose lives are ended before they even begin through the process of abortion. I do not advocate cruelty to animals, but it disgusts me how some people value the life of an animal more than that of a human. How do you meausre the worth of a human life? God made all things and declared them to be perfect, but he created man and woman in His image and declared us the crowning glory of His creation.

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