Animal Cruelty (nothing gross)

I’m sure that animal cruelty is a sin, but on what grounds?

I’ve read on at least one website (I don’t have the link but it belonged to the Diocese of Denver) that it’s a sin on the grounds that it violates the 7th commandment–thou shall not steal, as a pet is a possesion, but this seems like an imperfect answer to me.

I’m asking this because I’ve just heard a particularly traumitizing story about animal cruelty that seems to reflect a lot more evil residing in one’s heart than simple theft requires.

Furthermore, how is one incident of animal cruelty any different from what we do to animals in slaughterhouses?

Thank you!

from the Catechism:

Respect for the integrity of creation

2415 The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity.195 Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man’s dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.196

2416 Animals are God’s creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory.197 Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.

2417 God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image.198 Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.

2418 It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a7.htm#2418

(one Cat to another :slight_smile:

Animal cruelty is a sin because the abuser takes advantage of the gift of emotion God has given the creature being abused (sensation, memory, etc.). People choose to abuse animals because they move, they make noise, and they make recognizable expressions of pain, fear, and anger- in other words, because of those more human-like qualities- and it isn’t just an act- it’s real, and they don’t try to hide it. This motive can make animal abuse a mortal sin.

I can’t state that this is theologically correct language, but I believe animal cruelty is a sin b/c domesticated animals are trusting and vulnerable, and it is a sin to abuse any creatures that are more vulnerable than the abuser. Even when pets don’t seem to be trusting, there is some level of dependence on their owners.

It is also a sin b/c people who abuse animals are psychopaths in some cases. They are people without a conscience and without empathy who abuse other people. They often start by abusing animals and then 'graduate" to abusing other people who are vulnerable, such as younger children. I’m not saying all animal abusers are psychopaths, but some of them turn out to be.

I believe that any action that makes people comfortable with practicing violence against others (human or animal) is a sin, unless the violence is needed for something such as self-defense. Violence against animals can go along with sadism and that combination can be really dangerous as the abuser grows up.

Eating of animal flesh is not a sin, given that JESUS himself ate fish (and being caught is probably nastier for a fish than slaughter is for a land critter) even though the animal loses its life. Provided slaughtering is done without avoidable pain or distress it would not be cruelty. In Judaism, kosher meats must be killed under very specific rules that minimize the possible cruelty.

ICXC NIKA.

:clapping:

Thank you everybody for your answers.
I was looking for something a little more significant than the idea that cruelty to animals is stealing from the owner, and I think you have given me great responses.

It really bothered me that it could simply be considered stealing, when it required a particular level of malice and enjoyment of torture that is not necessary for theft.

I can’t imagine that it isn’t a sign of true evil lurking in one’s heart, even if it is only manifested in this way.
Or maybe I just love my cat too much.

:thumbsup:

We are called as Stewards… Good Stewards

:slight_smile:

Cruelty is conveyance or transposition of our sins upon others. Be it human, animal or tree. It produces nothing as to stewardship…it is anger - power misplacement

most slaughterhouses are disgusting. The abuses are terrible. I try to do my part by buying my beef straight from the farmer, if not raising it myself. That way I know it was treated with dignity and with care from the minute it was born until the minute it was dispatched. I can’t recommend it enough. Not only do you KNOW what you’re eating, but you have th comfort of knowing that the animal you’re eating was treated with respect and dignity. Plus, it tastes better :slight_smile:

I don’t think the average person knows WHERE their food comes from, which is a shame. If people would take the time to learn about the food industry, I think they would at least try to change their eating habits.

I would not say it is simply considered stealing…it is contrary to the dignity of the Human Person…we are not to BE that way towards creation…be it a cat whatever…

and also my two cats think it really cool that we are CAT-holics…:rolleyes: and we have a CAT echism. …i tried to explain but they just walk away and say they know more about these things…

from the Catechism:

Respect for the integrity of creation

2415 The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity.195 Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man’s dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.196

2416 Animals are God’s creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory.197 Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.

2417 God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image.198 Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.

2418 It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a7.htm#2418

While I accept the teachings of the Church on this matter, personally, I think its wrong to harm animals needlessly is offensive to God given that God went out of His way to make us animals for our benefit. If someone made you a blanket and you used it to line a horses’ stall then you’re offending your friend who made you the blanket. Only, the difference between the blanket and the animal is that the animal feels.

The Lord speaks in the bible of caring for sparrows. If the Great Lord would concern Himself with such a small bird, then we should take heed of that too and give consideration to our animal friends.

With that said, I’m not vegetarian, but I buy meat I know didn’t suffer in life - I’m a farm girl at heart and have been to my share of abattoir’s and seen a few home kills, those animals didn’t suffer, and their deaths were quick and as merciful as we could make it. Having respect for what God has given us means not shoving fire crackers up a cat’s backside.

Animals in slaughter are used for food. Animal cruelty usually involves domestic animals such as pets or free-roaming cats, etc. It’s an evil, horrible act that causes fear, pain and possible death. Anything that causes distruction to the innocent is gravely sinful.

I have to respectfully disagree with you. Animals in slaughter are supposed to be dispatched with dignity. For example, if a cow is too sick to walk, not only is it illegal to put it though for slaughter ( for obvious reasons), it should not be rolled across a cement floor with a tractor or forklift to get it to the dispatcher. If a bull has a broken pelvis from slipping on the wet cement floor, it should not be blasted with a water hose in an attempt to make it get up to walk to the dispatcher. Animals do not need to be needlessly poked and prodded with hotsticks. They don’t need to be kicked either. Believe me, it’s not hard to work cattle through a shute and set them up for slaughter. It should be done quickly, and with compassion, and with as little pain as possible. They don’t need to be walking around half dead.

Animal cruelty involves any act that causes fear and pain to any animal. Just because it is destined for the freezer doesn’t mean you can’t do so with dignity and respect.

For example, when chickens are lined up for slaughter, a circulating saw goes through the line to cut off their heads. Those that get slaughtered the first time are the lucky ones. The rest of them are terrified and in pain as they have been half-sliced though, or part-way sliced though, and someone has to go through and dispatch them.

When chickens are raised in a egg factory, they are crammed into cages to the point that they can’t move. They peck at each other (if their beaks haven’t been snipped), fight with each other, eat each other (and each other’s excrement). The cages are piled on top of each other so that when birds defecate, the excrement is dumped on the birds in the cage below them. They are sick and unhealthy and have to be treated with medications. Most are given hormones to help them lay bigger and more eggs. If they’re lucky enough to live outside of cages, they are crammed in a barn, all of them. Somewalks through every day to pick out the dead ones. Those meat birds in the above paragraph lived like this as well before they were sent to the lineup.

Not only is it cruel, but what are people eating when they eat the meat of these birds, or the eggs? Believe me, the majority of people have no idea what it took to get that package of cellophane-wrapped meat or chicken.

Veal is calves that have been confined to a pen just large enough to accomodate them in a standing position. They are prevented from making ONE move, because if they move around, it will make their meat less tender. Believe me, you do not have to treat calves like this to get great veal.

They don’t need to be domesticated animals in order to suffer cruelty at the hands of their human stewards. I could go on and on about how animals are tortured needlessly to get to our tables. Or how tainted our food supply is in the name of a dollar. I really wish more people would patronize their farmers or at least make sure the food they eat doesn’t come from torture factories…

I respectfully* agree ***with you. Terrible, horrible things. Rarely do we think of it. I’m not much of a meat eater but hearing things like that makes me want to give it up for good. My son won’t touch meat so the transition wouldn’t be difficult in my household.

This is what I meant when I asked how it was any different from what we do in slaughterhouses.
The story that I heard involved the death of an animal that was killed in a fashion similar to how it might be killed in a slaughterhouse–excluding any humane slaughterhouses, of course.

So why is it wrong to kill a cat that way, but not a cow? Because the cow doesn’t exist for any other purpose but to be killed for food and the cat is a beloved pet?

I am not trying to make a case for vegetarianism here. I heard a horrific story of animal cruelty, but then realized that the cruelty that the animal suffered was little different than how a cow or chicken might be killed in a slaughterhouse.

I’m just trying to make sense of all of this.

From the Catechism:

2418 It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly.

This goes for a cow, a cat, a bird, an elephant…

(my two cats add: “especially regarding cats”)

Indeed. And certainly, in recent history, it was necessary for humans to consume animals. I live in a beef producing state, and just 50 years ago, humans here would not have gotten sufficient protein from non-animal products.

Today, in the United States, all animals that die for food die needlessly. I have been a vegetarian for 6 years, I get more protein than the average meat-eater, and no animal has died for my existence or pleasure in the past 6 years.

I assert that it is wrong for any financially-comfortable person in the United States to eat meat. Certainly not a grave wrong, but a wrong nonetheless.

Well, it’s hard to answer you without knowing the circumstances. For instance, where I live, you can shoot a dog on sight on your property, especially if he has been caught worrying your livestock or other animals. However, if, instead of shooting that dog dead, I decide to shoot it with a paintball gun, or a BB gun, I can be charged with animal cruelty. Because the way the law is written here, you can kill an animal marauding, but you cannot hurt it.

And BTW, a reputable meat processing plant takes the care to ensure it’s cattle is dispatched quickly and painlessly. It’s definitely illegal to run them through when they’re sick. The stories you are hearing about are the ones who are breaking the law and not following guidelines.

I like my meat, that’s for sure, and I will have it, but I’d rather have it MY way :slight_smile:

And what does she feed her cat

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