Does the catechism mean it's wrong to have pets?

it says we can’t spend money on them that should as a priority go to relieving human misery. what money are we talking about exactly? every penny that we spend that we don’t necessarily need to could relieve human misery

well, if you have a pet, you need to buy them at least food and take them to the vet. or does it mean excessive spending, like buying cutesy outfits and expensive spa treatments?

also it says it’s wrong to give affection that’s only for humans. what does that mean? I do love animals very much so I’m not sure what it’s referring to here. is it more like people who are concerned about animals but then are pro-choice?

does it also make it wrong to work for animals rescue groups or donate money to shelters?

sorry if these are stupid questions, I’m just confused by the wording. and also by people who are not animal lovers and make it seem wrong.

It’s wrong to place undue emphasis on “things”.
No it’s not wrong to have a pet. It’s wrong to not properly care for a pet. But things like designer clothes, special beds, remodeling one’s house to accommodate them when people are homeless? Yeah. Not a good use of our $$$.

The bible tells us we are supposed to care for animals, as they are Gods creation, they are living breathing things, it takes money/ supplies to care for them, so I dont think its wrong at all to spend money on them. I help the 3 local animal shelters quite a bit, this is something I hold close to my heart.

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.

We must always remember that human life has a far greater value that animal life. Many people today seem to value animals more than human life.

To me it is a matter of perspective. Jesus died for our sins. Animals, per se, don’t commit sins. Jesus came for all of mankind (yes that means men and women). He even says that even though God takes care of all His creatures that we are worth more that a thousand sparrows.

I’ve had pets of all kind and missed them when they were gone. But I would not put one of them ahead of any human being. My reading of the passage is that you can have pets, you can love your pets, but love all of mankind first and only second to God.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Not love your pet as yourself.


I think its a matter of prudence. Knowing when and how much.

Also as TARRAT said… .a matter or perspective.

The Bible says that the righteous man would take good care of those animals under his or her charge. This means, proper care and attention would be given to them… i.e. their needs would be met with care and attention.

I don’t think at all that means that our love and attention has to stop right after an animal’s needs are met. It just means that we don’t abuse them, use them.

I think where it goes overboard is when we pay undue attention to an animal and ignore our other responsibilities… such as needs of our family members, needs of our community. If one is properly responding to those duties I don’t think there is a problem. Its a problem when someone makes anything an idol. If one gives to a animal rescue group, then also give to a human charity also- the same amount or more.

There are needs everywhere. Animal welfare is certainly a need of the community… maybe not the most pressing one, but a need none the less.

Why do we have to put one above the other? Life is life. Duties to others are duties none the less. You do your highest priority of duties first.

I do understand that there are those who value animals more, and I do say that is not good. But I fear when that statement is said it means to many people : don’t value animal life.

Should we value any life on being lesser scale? (<-- that’s real question I have and am asking here.) I’m so reminded of people who say that a fetus in the womb is not a human but a lump of flesh. Why is it ok to think of animals (LIFE) in the same way? (lesser value)

In other words, I don’t believe it is about lesser value, but about priorities- first duties done first… others to follow. Human life= Highest Priority. Animal life=lesser priority.

My answer to the bolded part is: Because Jesus did.:slight_smile:

Yes, i see that now… Matthew 10:31 Thank you. However…

But does that mean only that TO GOD we are more valuable… I’d say sure… But to us… should we think we are more valuable than animals… does that not invite abuse?

Still questioning it. (Not saying you are wrong, just questioning)

If we insist on a strict prioritization, then we must choose the one single most important area of human suffering, and spend every spare penny on it and only on it.

That of course would be ridiculous. Common sense tells us it is fine to give to cancer research, the American Red Cross, the Heart Association, and the Disabled American Veterans, and we can volunteer at a soup kitchen as well as an animal shelter, and coach a Little League team.

We’re supposed to be kind to all creatures, so why not take care of pets?

You can do two kindnesses at once: Take your dog or cat to a nursing home (with permission of the administrator) to visit the residents - the residents and animals all love it! :slight_smile:

No, it is not wrong to have pets or to work with animals or support animal rescue organizations.

And as far as the stipulation that we love ALL people above ALL animals, this is also a non-starter. Ask a home-bound person, whose only companion is a pet, if they love it more than probably any person; I don’t think their answer would be “wrong.”

I think God ‘endows’ a certain number of people with a great caring for animals, and of course, others, he endows them with a great love for humans, Personally, I help with animal related causes, but generally dont help out with human charities, but I think God made it this way on purpose, so there would be enough people having love for both, that both will get the assistance they need.

I remember even when I was in 2nd grade, I had a stronger caring for animals that most other kids/ people, and I recognized it, that is something that has not changed, I am still this way, its not something I can change, thats just the way I am.

Dont get me wrong though, I love and care about humans/kids/ adults too, but animals are just something I holder closer to my heart, animal abuse is something I just cannot stand, they are innocent, all they have is love for us, I dont understand why anyone would desire to harm them, makes me sick to hear about these things. I could probably easily become an animal rights activist, but I do draw the line at that, however if I came across someone harming an animal, I would take action to stop it, even if it meant harming the person…again though, that is just how I am ‘wired’, its not something I can change, God made me this way for a reason I think.

That home bound person needs to keep in mind that if it were not for people she would probably cease to exist. That person’s pet may keep them company but many people are making it so she can exist and have a pet. She does not live in a bubble. She must be thankful for the farmers that grow the food she eats, the people that work on those farms, the people who drive the trucks that bring that food to the market, the people who drill for the oil that keeps the trucks running so they can go to the farm and then the market… I hope you can see that there are many people for her to be thankful for. Don’t forget the people who pray for that person even though they don’t know that person. I know our congregation prayed for all home-bound people at our mass today.:blush:

“Then the dog, which had been with them in the way, ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail.” Tobias 11:9

Tobias had a pet dog.:slight_smile:

Another relevant thing, have any of you ever noticed, in situations when dogs or really any animal senses something evil, like an evil spirit, ghost, etc. they growl and get defensive of their human owners? I think this shows they are good natured and DO sense right from wrong.

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