The catechism and animals


what does it mean that we can love animals but not give them affection due only to humans? what are considered human only affection?

also, it mentions spending money on them that should go to relieving human suffering instead. how much is too much? food? shelter? medical services? donations?

what about working for animal rescuing? is that seen as a waste of time since we should be helping humans?

I really have a love and concern for animals but it seems the church almost makes it wrong


The true church isn’t truly making it wrong at all.

In some societies we would be surrounded by family and neighbours, our animals and theirs, and wild ones. You and I nowadays have to be a universe all by ourselves.

Commonsense says:

  • don’t be sentimental or neurotic (if you know what I mean)

  • do be empathetic to all God’s creatures

  • don’t go right out of your way to use a lesser good as an excuse to actively prevent a greater good

  • inform your conscience as you go

If your dog needs its foot bandaged but you were wondering whether to put more in the poor box, do what you want and ask God to show you more detailed guidance afterwards. Maybe the dog is a great evangeliser!

The CCC isn’t a treatise, it merely takes a stab at some of the basic principles and it does so in a way that’s quite dry.


When we put all our efforts and attention towards animals.

Buying organic animal food and paying a higher price when there are starving children all around us. (In some countries, people literally give animals table scraps. They see specifically buying animal food, for example, to be wasteful).

Paying hundreds of dollars for an animal’s medical care when we should be giving alms to the poor and needy people.

When we fight tooth and nail against animal cruelty, yet turn a blind eye away from the horrors of abortion.

When our hearts break for neglected animals, yet we don’t see the homeless in our own backyards.

“Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto Me.” – Jesus

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have animals or that they don’t require care, but that it should never be treated with greater love and respect that a human being. All within moderation.




No designer clothes for pets. No leaving your wealth to them in your will.
Common sense.
We are to care for all of God’s creation, but not to go overboard with ANYTHING.
Obsession is obsession.
Practical matters are just that.
You know this already.

I really wish you would simply submit to the notion that the Church wants people to thrive, and that others sometimes need help to thrive. We have teachings in place so that people can live with dignity and that we can eventually make it to heaven, which is our goal.

Laws and restrictions free us from sin, temptation, gluttony, pride, sloth, lust, everything bad for us. Why fight it or question it’s validity? 2000 years of policy.
It’s a good thing.


Im not sure I agree, I have always had a strong love for animals, even going back to my early childhood, and its always been much stronger than other people, I have gone out of my way to help animals many times over the years…that is just how I am, and thats never going to change.

I think God gives certain people certain concerns, that they feel very strongly about, for some, its unborn babies and their rights, for others, maybe its elderly people and caring for them, others, its animals that is their main concern, the point is, if enough people care about many different causes, there should be enough to support everything.


yeah, that’s the thing I struggle with.

many table scraps are actually really bad for animals. and we don’t treat their medical conditions?

so I can’t feed my dog pet food? or take him to the vet if he needs surgery?


no, I agree we shouldn’t go overboard.

but those seem to be extremem examples

the wording in the catechism sort of makes it seem that normal things are too much though.

animals need food, medical treatment, rescue from abuse, all these things cost money. but it seems like if we’re giving them these things, we’re not giving this money to humans who need it more

but of course, I could just be overthinking


Good questions. Please consider reposting them on the “Ask an Apologist” forum.


You have extreme examples Angel.
Do you seriously think the church doesn’t want you to feed your pets?
Really? come on.


Prudence and right judgment on conscience (or with the assistance of a confessor as the case may be). We care for animals …but within reason and temperance etc.


Can you image a world without animal protectors!

Of course you can feed your pet what you can afford and take them to the vets. I believe that we should only have what we can afford, with reason. We can help both people and animals, some people just have more desire to help animals, nothing wrong with that.


Sorry Angel but where do you come up with these nonsensical conclusions?
I really think you must talk to a priest/spiritual director


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