Wild Animal Suffering



Recently, watching animal documentaries, I’ve been thinking about the theological purpose of wild animals suffering, and saarching in the forums I made the same objections that the author did. The problem is, the article the author writed is clearly a Militant-Atheist article, so it doesn’t have an answer…
So I ask, why do wild animals suffer? Considering all the wrong answers the article exposed.

This is really troubling to my Faith, I love animals and I need help discerning God’s Will in this.


People cause themselves a lot of unnecessary angst by worrying too deeply about things that don’t really matter in the end.


Sin threw things out of harmony. so that’s why animals suffer.


Human sin (Original Sin I assume) leads animals to suffer? Even though animals can’t sin? Even though science is pointing that the nervous system and physical death existed before the apparition of humans? (Original sin seems to have carried Spiritual death and Hell, not physical death and physical suffering).


Original sin is different from the first sin.


Which animals are suffering? Amoebas are suffering? Ants? Dogs?


Lions, for example, I was watching a video on how they kill themselves for territory slowly . Maybe pet deaths can make us strenghten our faith or compassion, or teach us something but what about wild animals?

Also, Amoebas aren’t animals and they don’t seem to suffer because they don’t have a nervous system.


I would think that the higher functioning an animal is, the higher it’s capability to suffer will be. The two seem to be inseparable.


An amoeba is part of a different kingdom than an animal.


So suffering is the price for being more biologically superior? Well, that is a good explanation, but I still don’t know why our Lord couldn’t create a less cruel system for creatures that cannot really sin.


why do we all suffer, why did the fully human Jesus suffer


Well, that’s because Christ sacrifice and our own redemptive suffering save/cleanse us of sin and spiritual death.

Popular Catholic Theology, however, seems to reject the idea that animals are saved (as the article says) so this can’t be really an argument.


yes it is an argument, there is suffering and death and pain on earth.

do you fish? eat meat, or dairy products? use blood and bone on your garden? what products do you use that use natural colouring in food, one of the ingredients is beetle shells.

do you eat product that contains palm oil


I have seen this debated several times. The Bible is clear that prior to the fall, animals did not suffer. Indeed carnivores were vegetarians. Now taking the best possible interpretation, that this is metaphorical, we can conclude that animals suffer because or original sin. So far so good. But then we have the equally persuasive, if metaphorical claims of the Bible that animals were created each after their own kind. And many were therefore created to parasitise, predate and tear apart other animals and, in virtually all cases unassisted by people, die in fear or pain. These don’t hand together two well. And then there is the reasoning applied to people - sin causes pain, pain is temporary, we are able to achieve eternal bliss. But animals are not. Another insurmountable contradiction. Catholics with whom I have discussed this previously have raised arguments such as ‘pain is not a bad thing’, ‘we just don’t know’ and other utterly unpersuasive words. I’d like to think there was someone on CAF who could do a better job. While I have relied on the Bible I think you will find tradition unhelpful also, as the welfare of God’s other creatures is not a principal concern of many Church Fathers or leaders.


If you think about human suffering for a moment. The more conscience one is of their suffering, and it’s perceived or actual consequences, the worse the suffering is.

Now imagine a heavenly spirit’s suffering. How much more aware is a heavenly spirit of everything? So how much greater will their suffering be?

An animal has it’s own share of suffering based on what God has given it. It is surely less than human suffering and far less than any angelic sadness.


It isn’t an argument because human suffering and the innocent Christ’s suffering have a purpose. Now, as you say, I eat meat, but why do I? Why did God create an ecological system in which I have to kill a sensitive being to survive?

To me, the answer to no-vegetarinism, however is to make the animal suffer the least possible while killing it to eat.


Jesus Christ, God, has a purpose for suffering, it is to take on our sin.

Do we have a purpose in suffering? Some say yes, some no, some say offer it up to God, some don’t believe in God.

If you eat meat, you are contributing to the suffering of animals, because they must go on that trip to the slaughter house, its stressful, injures them, and of course they know whats coming at the slaughter house.
Do you fish? fish feel pain. do you eat coloured foods, animal products create that colouring, the list goes on.

God gave us this food. God gave wild animals other wild animals as food.


Rebellion in heaven lead to rebellion on earth. Death entered the world via the envy of the devil (Wisdom 2:23-24).

Suffering is universal to all living things and derives from that rebellion.


The short answer is because He created you in His image and likeness.

Do animals ask this question before they eat one another? No. Do we? Yes, because God made us to be able to ponder these things. It’s a gift. The appropriate response is to show respect for the animals, just as you have said you would. It’s intuitive for most people to do so.


Animals think: is this other animal edible? Does it pose a threat if I attack it? Is it part of my kin group (generally)? Does it provide me with a benefit. Then they eat it, or not. Much like we do.

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