Religion and Animals

Miraal Ali
Note by Miraal Ali, updated more than 1 year ago
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GCSE Religious Studies (Religion and Animals) Note on Religion and Animals, created by Miraal Ali on 05/02/2016.
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Religion and Animals ( Unit 1 ) : The Difference between Animals and Humans? -Humans are intelligent - ( We are creative, caring, and communicative). -Humans can act in a moral way, deciding to be good or bad.Thus all religions believe that humans are of greater importance and status than all other animals. Humans are at the top of the animal hierarchy due to our intelligence and soul/spirit which gives us the ability to have a God-Like Consciousness. -Animals have instinct, they behave according to their instincts in order to survive, eat and reproduce. Animals do not share the great qualities to an advanced degree as we do as Human beings. What Rights do Animals have? Animals must not be exploited,harmed or abused Animals are to be protected by law from cruelty and neglect Some creatures cannot be kept as pets such as dangerous dogs or rare birds Testing on animals is inspected to ensure animal are not suffering too much There are strict rules about animals being transported and slaughtered What is the problem when considering Animal Rights? As Humans we recognise ourselves as top of the Animal Hierarchy, and thus all the 'Creations' are not equal to us. For some this means Animals do not have the same rights and can be treated differently. Animals can be used not only for Food, but could be to an extent of treating them cruelly, harming & abusing them for entertainment (e.g Bullfighting).As they are not equal to humans we can often consider them as lesser creatures without physical feelings and emotions and thus desensitise our actions towards them, treating them without compassionHow do Societies try to help Protect Animal Rights?Mainly done through the work of animal welfare groups e.g RSPCA ( Royal Society for Protection of Cruelty to animals) or WWF ( World Wide Fund for Nature)Uses of animals? Guard Dogs Pets Transport e.g. ( Horses and Camels) Zoo's, Safari Parks and Animals as Pets?Advantages of Zoos: People get to see wild animals ( Gods Creation) up close, Dangerous animals can be seen safely Breeding Programmes help to prevent extinction Many zoos fund research into protection animal species Disadvantages of Zoos: Animals are suppose to be free and live in their natural habitat Not always a suitable environment for wild animals Religious Believers on Zoo's?- Most Religious Believers accept Zoo's as long as the animals are kept in safe and similar conditions to what it would be like in the wild. - Religious Believers recognise that zoo's can help preserve animal species through breeding programmes. Advantages on Pets: Are often regarded as part of a family. People love & care for them with respect and compassion.Disadvantages on Pets:Some owners may mistreat their animals, abusing them or keeping them in very restrictive, claustrophobic caged environmentsReligious Believers on Pets?- As long as the animals are in an environment where they are evidently content, then for religious people =, there is no issue with keeping animals as pets. However Religious people would question what quality of life the animals has ( e.g. Birds are kept in cages, they cannot naturally by instinct -Fly).Religious Believers on Humans affect on Wild Life Animals?- Humans have mistreated wildlife through ; Hunting for the entertainment of killing.In addition through pollution and deforestation we are guilty of destroying the habitats of animals, thus killing off species. For Religious Believers, this shows outrageous disrespect for Gods Creation.

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Animals in Sports?Most religious people accept that animals can be used in sports. If they are cared for and treated with respect and compassion the exercise surely adds value to their life. However, sometimes the animals safety and life is put at the risk for the sake of entertainment for humans. Hunting - (E.g. Fox Hunting) The foxes are killed by packs of dog hounds mauling them. This is very inhumane. However, sometimes fox hunting is done out of of necessity by farmers in order to protect their livestock, (e.g. Free-range chickens). Danger - (E.g. Bullfighting) In Spain, bulls are taunted by a matador, who has to dodge the charges of the angry bull. Arrows and spears are eventually shot into the Bulls. Working Animals?Most Religious people find it acceptable to use animals for work. As long as they cared for, then such use is moral; humans were given 'dominion' (control) over them by God. However some religious people use animal for entertainment working purposes, such as performing tricks e.g. (in a Circus), it is an abuse as it is disrespectful and some may say we are laughing at them for their 'freakish behaviour'.Examples of how animals are used for work? Transport- e.g. Camels are used to travel through hot deserts Human Assistance - e.g. Guard dogs help protect people & properties/ Sniffer dogs help detect drugs and etc for the cops Entertainment - e.g. Circus animal Animal Experiments? This is where animals are tested with medicinal drugs to allow humans to assess there usefulness & see its side effects, ( whether its safe or not). This is how vaccines for humans have been developed. It is for the benefit and safety of humans. Cosmetic products also used to be tested on animals, but this is now against the law, in UK Animals have been cloned/genetically modified. Again for the benefits of humans, help create treatments and drugs for diseases e.g. Humans DNA has been injected into cows eggs to create embryos which have been used for research to help find cures for Alzheimer's disease. Many Religious people are against such practices as, by altering the natural 'make-up' of an animal, we can be accused of trying to be like 'God' by changing his design. However for others, discovering cures for diseases can be considered as humans simply using their god-given talents/intelligence to preserve the sacred gift of life ( Sanctity of Life) Arguments for Animal Experimentation? Experiments on animals are essential for creating better treatments, perhaps cures, for serious illnesses and health problems Improve quality if life for millions of people Animals are often cared for before , during and after the experimentation Arguments against Animal Experimentation? Animals suffer from cruelty Animals cannot communicate pain etc Experimenting/ Altering Gods creation, is very disrespectful. The Fur Trade? Over 55 million animals are killed yearly for the fur trade. Fur farms use cruel methods of slaughter such as electrocution and fur farming. Fur Farming is banned in the UK For some Fur trade is acceptable, as it allows hunter to make a living & farmed animals are renewed through breeding programmes, also endangered species are not used. However famed animals are often kept in poor living conditions, and are killed in very inhumane ways e.g. Electrocution. This is ignoring the rights of animals as God's creation and having a scared life. The Ivory Trade? This is where animals with tusks (e.g. elephants/ rhinos) are killed for the ivory that their tusks are made of. Religious people are against the ivory trade as it ignores the animals life is sacred gift from God, simply to full fill the selfish desires of those who buy the product However other people see ivory trade as providing income for poor hunters Factory Farming?Factory Farming is an intensive farming to generate a higher profit.Pros? Very cheap process Production is more efficient Job Opportunities Cons? Animal Cruelty - The animals that fall victim to the cruel conditions of factory farming live very sad lives. They are packed into incredibly small areas, often indoors, and fed additives in order to fatten them up. This is the only life that they know until they are killed to be processed. Health Concerns- The health and well being of the consumer should also be looked at. The bad conditions that the animals live in breed disease and illness within the animals. This could translate to contaminated and dangerous meat, affecting Human Helath Free-Range Farming?Animals can roam freely and live a life like they would in the natural environment, thus they are not caged in or in small pens and huts as in Factory Farming.Pros? Quality of food produced is much higher Animals are treated with respect Slaughtered animals are stunned or as muslims do it the halal way, is to slit the animals throat. These are all quick methods of death, so they don't suffer Cons?It is costly/expensivePeoples Attitudes towards eating meat? Many people think it is wrong to use animals for food and either choose to become vegans or vegetarians. Vegetarians - Person does not want to eat meat Vegans - Person who does not eat any animal product, including eggs and cheese May not want to eat meat, as they might not like it May not want to eat meat, as it is against their religion May not want to eat meat as they believe its healthier Religious Attitudes towards eating meat?Christianity? Have no laws regarding meat After the flood, Noah was told he was allowed to eat the animals Islam? Muslims cannot eat pork, carrion or blood Must only eat halal food

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