What is your opinion on Animal Cruelty in the Bible?

There is allot of things that sort of bug me in terms of the activities in scriptures. Skeptics normally accuse the bible of violence based on some events in the OT, such as the murders/genocides that happened against the medianites, etc etc. I have no problem with that because i know from history, the certain tribes that the Hebrews were written to go to war with where seriously evil tribes.

My problem is the animal cruelty that the bible shows. I just watched the movie Exodus Gods and Kings and when it went to the angel of death part, i remembered the order of slaughtering Lambs for their blood. The scene was actually the most disturbing one for me… here you had an innocent animal that was carried and then murdered. You can see it’s legs dangaling in pain and all that.

I then here a message in church concerning Abraham’s test. He takes his son up to the mountain to sacrifice him and eventually an Angel came down and told Abraham to stop. So after that, there was a goat found with his horns stuck on a branch and they killed that goat instead. So it was in the message that the goat was given by God… then we move on to the NT where Peter was given a vision of all the animals, and the angels told him to kill and eat… so here’s my problem.

Why is it ok to just slaughter innocent animals? I hope no one thinks that it isn’t as bad since they are just animals because that is a sick point of view. I certainly am against animal cruelty… and it just sickens me to read this stuff.

God put animals on the earth for the benefit of humankind.

I know I always cringed at the first reading about the slaughter of lambs and some other animal related stories in the O.T.

I’m glad we don’t do this anymore…

But we all have different opinions of what pain or discomfort a animal feels. I know I wouldn’t want to have my legs/arms tied and my throat slit, and I would not do this to another living creature…

What about plant cruelty?

this is probably something not just based on the bible. people always slaughter animals for sacrifice and or food. and still do.
Humans have power over creatures and can exploit them.

Its always nice to see people who don’t do this


but its an issue you will face, wherever you look, in past societies

May I suggest the following talks by Dr. Scott Hahn:

*]Understanding the Eucharist lighthousecatholicmedia.org/store/title/understanding-the-eucharist?promoCode=104130
*]The Lamb’s Supper lighthousecatholicmedia.org/store/title/the-lamb-s-supper?promoCode=104130
*]The Fourth Cup lighthousecatholicmedia.org/store/title/the-fourth-cup?promoCode=104130

One of the things that Scott Hahn mentions (though I can’t remember which talk it is) is that the Jews were also commanded to eat, in a communal meal, whatever they sacrificed. So when they sacrificed a lamb, they then cooked it and all assembled would eat the lamb. The animal sacrifice were never thrown out.

Also, before the animal sacrifices started, the sacrifices used to be of bread and wine. Christ returned us to making sacrifices using bread and wine, but while still sacrificing the Lamb.

I also recommend anything else written by Dr. Scott Hahn and Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist lighthousecatholicmedia.org/store/title/jesus-and-the-jewish-roots-of-the-eucharist?promoCode=104130 by Dr. Brant Pitre

God Bless.

I can understand where you are coming from. It depends what one’s view of animals is. A vast amount of mankind contributes to slaughtering and eating animals on a daily basis. If one views animals as a creature that can be aware of its situation (my understanding of being rational), then all meat eaters are horrible people (though perhaps through ignorance).

However, why do you see any basis of thinking animals are any more than a beautiful complex biological machine? Is there really any reason to think they are rational/conscious simply because they act and calculate based on external stimuli? Computers do the same, but there is no reason to suppose a consciousness over and above the complex actions and reactions in it.

Anyhow, as for my opinion, because I tend to think animals are not conscious I have no problem with animal sacrifices per se. However, I do not think people who think animals are just little people are necessarily irrational, and I can sympathize with their positions.

There are parts in the Torah that speak of not treating an animal cruelly I think.

My favorite animal interaction was where the donkey spoke. I think it was to Balaam.

(Numbers 22)

*And when the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the *** with a staff. 28And the LORD opened the mouth of the ***, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? 29And Balaam said unto the ***, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. 30And the *** said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ***, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.

31Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. 32And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine *** these three times?*

The book of Proverbs also says that the righteous man cares even about the life of his animals (Prv. 12:10).

IMHO, the Biblical/religious slaughter of animals is much more humane and God-centered than our modern practices. Yes, they experience the pain of slaughter but they were well-cared for, free-range, and content prior to their killing as opposed to how we treat livestock today. I’ve seen some undercover videos that showed horrific treatment and abuse of these animals from birth. It’s heartbreaking and perhaps a result of taking God and gratitude from the equation?

And as phil19034 pointed out, the entire animal was consumed and utilized. We just had a black bear hunt in NJ last week, and it was highly polarized with vocal support and opposition. I’m not necessarily for it, but have great respect for the hunters who take and use the entire animal for food and other uses. On the other hand, I have a problem with those who take cubs instead of adults.

Remember, God Himself initiated animal sacrifice. This was in part so that His people would not be tempted to worship nature (something that is not gone, even today) and also so that they would come to understand that sin requires sacrifice.

After all, the innocent son of God, a Divine **and **human being, would one day be stretched out by His limbs to bleed to death. The sacrificial lambs slain on the altar were preparatory for that event.


Please don’t obtain your knowledge of the Bible from fictional movies such as “Exodus: Gods and Kings.” :slight_smile: It is not at all faithful to the story or message of Scripture.

The Church does teach that animals should be treated humanely, and that we should avoid cruelty toward them. However, animals are not people, and they may be used for food, for research, and other legitimate causes.

Consider that it is only relatively recently, in wealthy societies such as ours, that people have had so much food available to them that they don’t have to go out and hunt animals for meat. Nowadays, we can trot over to the grocery store and choose from thousands of options for food; and we can choose to eat meat or not (or for those who do eat meat, we can just pick it up from the shelf rather than go out and shoot the animal). If you were a poor person living in, say, rural Africa and wondering where your next meal were coming from, you wouldn’t have the option of worrying about animals’ feelings.

It was not just people in Bible times; it was pretty much all people in all societies up until recently that ate animals or used them for purposes other than pets.

This is true, too.

Do you eat meat, that was not also slaughtered?

The problem is the anthropomorphism of animals. Couple that with a degraded view of Man (evident when someone squawks that x behavior is morally acceptable because there are examples of it in the animal kingdom), and you get distorted views of both Man and animals.

Using animals for food is part of nature. Don’t you think animals like lambs feel pain when the claws and jaws of a predator hit their flesh?

Animal cruelty is unnecessary harm to animals.

Besides, we’ve come a long ways on the methodology of raising livestock.

So does this mean it is ok to slaughter animals? The value of the life of animals is redundant or something?

But from what we read in the OT such as with Abaraham, it was not for food. Why would it be ok to just slaughter an animal?

I hope you are not serious with this reply.

I’m very serious. Do plants somehow not count because they don’t have faces?

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