There is a rather subtle movement going on by followers of PETA, the Humane Society, the philosopher Peter Singer, and others to elevate animals to equality with humans. I believe it’s rooted in evolutionary theory, eastern mysticism, pantheism, and panentheism. Those who buy into macroevolution think all life forms evolved from primordial soup and are of the opinion that genetic commonalities amongst humans and other life forms gives evidence of essential sameness. Eastern mysticism teaches that animals are reincarnated humans and should be revered to some degree while pantheists and panentheists teach God is in everything and/or everything is part of God, including animals. Efforts to downplay the huge differences between humans and animals are terribly misguided and are further proof that when one dismisses God and the Bible, one is prone to embrace worldviews that fly in the face of God’s order of things.
The Bible has many instances that prove humans are superior to all other creatures, but I will highlight five of them.
- God gave man dominion over all his earthly creation in the beginning. Humans were the last creature God made, but the last became first in his earthly order and the only creature to be made in his image. Mankind was assigned the job of taking care of everything on earth, including animals (Genesis 1:28-31).
- Noah and his family built the ark and saved the animals from the flood. God didn’t tell any of the animals the plans for building the ark, when the flood would come, or how to get themselves into the ark. It was Noah and his family that took care of all of that because animals are of a far inferior intellect.
- Jesus died for man’s sins and for man’s salvation. Animals, although they will one day reap the benefits of Christ’s kingdom, were not the Lord’s target for his blessed hope of eternal life. Jesus was made like his brothers–humans–and not like any of the other creatures, which proves humans are way more valuable than any animal or group of animals.
- Jesus said that God cares about sparrows, but that man was more valuable than many sparrows. In Luke 12:1-7, he told his disciples not to be afraid to share the gospel and confess him before men, reassuring them that if God was mindful of some cheap sparrows, he would certainly be much more mindful of their well-being since they had much more value than an innumerable amount of birds.
- Jesus freed the Gadarenes man from the Legion of devils and ordered them into a herd of pigs (Mark 5:1-13). He obviously thought the man’s health was of far greater importance than a whole group of pigs. As a matter of fact, the pigs were of no value to Jesus compared to the value of the man’s life and he was the one who created the pigs.
Claiming that animals are the same as people only ends up devaluing human life, as shown in this recent legal case.
Harry A. Gaylord