Fido Has Rights Too

A family is sued for causing psychological damage to their dog. Lawsuits are filed suggesting the ownership of animals violates their rights and perhaps laws against slavery. Some even argue that all human rights apply to animals, making humans and animals equals!

Much of this is an overreaction to the mistreatment of animals by researchers, “sportsmen,” dollar worshippers, and irresponsible pet owners. However, something subtler is at work. When humans elevate animals to the level of humanity, they devalue humanity. This is a back door attack on the biblical claim that God created only humans in his image and that they are to have dominion over all living things (Genesis 1:26-28). Responsibility for proper care comes with dominion. No genuine Bible believer desires to see any animal suffer. Cruelty toward animals is ungodly: “A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, but the compassion of the wicked is cruel” (Proverbs 12:10).

There is truth in Immanuel Kant’s statement, “We can judge the heart of a man by the way he treats animals,” but we must not be carried away on the wings of emotionalism. Fido does have rights, God-given rights! However, God did not create Fido in his image.