How did respect for animals end up under the 7th commandment? And how did the “fleshing out” of all the commandments come about?
The seventh commandment? Do you mean “Thou shalt not kill”? In Catholic use, that is generally counted as the fifth commandment.
If so, the answer is that the Hebrew verb in this verse means specifically “murder.” It does not include the slaughter of animals.
I’m not sure if this is the question you’re asking.
No, respect for animals is listed under the 7th commandment, thou shalt not steal. I am wondering who decided this, and in fact, since the 10 commandments are written as bare bones law, who fleshed them out to include all the other ancillary sins they include.
I cannot answer with authority as I wasn’t on the Catechism’s drafting committee, but this is how I’ve always made sense of it. Care of creation, which includes care for animals is something we are to do so as not to “steal” these resources from future generations.
What other commandment would it fall under? I wouldn’t put it under the 5th Commandment because we do not want to equate killing animals with killing people.
Well, maybe they mean thou shalt not steal an animal’s food? Or, thou shalt not steal somebody’s animal? Not sure what they mean by it. By respecting animals, surely, we mustn’t steal their food! Is anyone in this country really THAT hard up? (I’m being silly, here – it sounds ridiculous.)
The Seventh Commandment is generalized to cover all the goods of creation, which God provided for the whole human race. In the short time that we are alive, we are not owners but only stewards of the earth and all of its goods: animals, plants, minerals, air, water, etc.
The Catechism on respect for the integrity of creation:
This post would probably get more helpful answers under the apologetics tag.
Genesis 1 says we have “dominion” over animals , to “rule over them” and to use them for “meat”, yet we can’t steal them from the Earth…
Ok I’m glad we’ve cleared that up.
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