I’d use scripture…Proverbs 12:10, “The righteous man regards the life of his beast.” Genesis 9, after the flood, it is mentioned five times that “I will make a covenant with you and with all living creatures.”
In the Book of Genesis, God created animals to be our comanions in the Garden of Eden. It seemed to be God’s original idea of paradise.
Animals are wonderful companions to people. For some lonely, and shut ins, they may be the only friend a person has. Some have referred to dogs as “man’s best friend”, because they love more unconditionally. It doesn’t matter whether we are rich, poor, popular, unpopular, sick, healthy, dirty, or clean, animals can love us.
They are a tremendous comfort to the elderly.
They are a superb creation of Our Lord. I simply look at animals and my faith is immediately strengthened as I see the beauty and perfection of life in God’s creatures.
Some people have been given the gift of evangelization, prophecy, interpreting dreams. Others have the skill of caring for God’s creatures.
God went through a lot of trouble with the animals, first to create them. The animals have been there from the beginning even before us! There they were in the Garden of Eden, loaded up on the ark with us, used for our sacrifices, our food, clothing, companionship, work.
What would the world even be without its animals?
St. Francis of Assisi referred to the animals as “brothers” or “sisters”. He once even preached to the birds, telling them to praise God. They broke out into song.
Didn’t a raven once even feed Elijah?
In the Book of Numbers, what about the donkey who was punished for doing good until he finally spoke? He helped save his master!
Further, there are numerous true, real-life stories of how animals help us everyday. Here, in Mexico, we have rescue animals who save people, dig them up out of rubble in earthquakes. There are also seeing eye dogs for the blind. There are some for the deaf who will jump up and down if the phone is ringing. There are ones that pull disabled folks.
There have been true accounts of animals, who, after their owners have died, have laid on the grave, in some cases, for many years, till they ultimately died! Statues have been erected, and people for generations have been inspired by their loyalty.
Animals protect us.
Our relationship after the Fall of Adam was distorted. After that, things were never quite the same, but once when our relationship is restored, we are told that even the lion will eat grass, and they would become our friends, again.
As to common animals who don’t go out saving people’s lives and acting as our eyes or ears, are also wonderful. I live alone and have a cat. There have been times, as a person with a disability, it has felt everyone has rejected me and that animals have sometimes been my only friends! They can be more loyal and love more unconditionally than us people!
So, don’t underestimate the power of an animal. They teach us to love, unconditionally. The Book of Job tells us Job 12: 7-10, “Ask the birds, ask the beasts and they will teach you.”