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Religion and Animal Rights. REVISION. What are animals used for?. Transport and Work. Animals are used as a form of transport in some countries (e.g. Donkeys). Some animals are used to search for drugs and explosives. These animals are well looked after even after they have ‘retired’.

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Religion and Animal Rights

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transport and work
Transport and Work
  • Animals are used as a form of transport in some countries (e.g. Donkeys).
  • Some animals are used to search for drugs and explosives.
  • These animals are well looked after even after they have ‘retired’.
  • Not their natural life
  • Many animals are not fed or rested properly and suffer all their lives
  • Animals are used more commonly for farming.
  • Most people in developing countries have very small farms with few animals.
  • In the UK we see battery, organic, free-range farms - Supermarkets sell meat from all those.
  • Animals not cared for properly because they are just products.
  • Forced to breed at unnatural rates.
  • Nature vs. Profit – farming is a business.
  • In many sports animals are highly trained and well looked after.
  • Mistreatment leads to punishments (e.g. prison).
  • Some animal sports involves animals fighting each other (e.g. Dog/Cricket Fighting)
  • These are illegal in most countries (Dog fighting in UK)
  • Cruel to make two animals fight.
  • Animals die/get injured, for the entertainment of humans.
  • Even well kept animals are slaughtered when they are not good enough.
  • When animals are chased and killed for food.
  • FOR: - food, fur, sport.
  • A ‘Blood Sport’ in UK.
  • Not all animals are hunted for food – useless.
  • Animals have slow and painful death.
  • Hunting can cause extinction of endangered animals.
  • National Sport of Spain.
  • A bull is annoyed and hurt by a Matador’s moves.
  • Ends with the bull being killed by stabbing it through the heart.
  • Obviously cruel.
  • Bull has a slow and painful death.
  • Bulls suffer poor treatment for injuries caused.
  • A place where animals from all over the world are kept and looked after for people to see them.
  • Not natural environment.
  • Animals in all zoos caged over night (during most of its active time in the wild).
  • Breeding programmes are very expensive.
  • Animals used to test the harmfulness of new drugs and products.
  • Animals killed at the end of the experiment.
  • Cruel – animals suffer (though for greater good?).
  • Other alternatives – tissue culture, less harmful.
  • Not all experiments are successful.
  • Coincides with stewardship which is looking after God’s creations
fur and ivory trades
Fur and Ivory Trades
  • Fur comes from battery farms in countries like Korea where animals are electricuted for its fur.
  • Ivory – Elephant tusks. Illegal all over the world.
  • We don’t need fur or ivory.
  • Fur farms are very cruel.
  • Ivory hunting causes endangerment of species of elephants.
genetic modification and cloning
Genetic Modification and Cloning
  • DNA of animals taken and modified for scientific research and modification.
  • Cloning – Dolly the Sheep
  • Planting DNA from one animal to another to create an exact replica.
  • Could be a way to save endangered species.
  • Costs a lot of money.
  • Cloning – playing God.
  • The wiping out of species, so that none can be found in any surveys over a set period.
  • Humans have already made some animals extinct.
  • 15,000 species are endangered.
  • All species have a role in the ecosystem.
  • Species we lose could be helpful to medicine or research.
  • Our children will inherit a depleted world (won’t be able to see the creatures)
  • Do we have a right to hunt which causes extinction?
  • People are vegetarian because of their…health, upbringing, religion and personal opinions on eating meat.
  • Vegetarian - someone who doesn’t eat meat.
  • Vegan - someone who doesn’t use any animal product whether it be fur, meat, milk or leather.
christianity islam judaism
Christianity • Islam • Judaism
  • Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths allow meat in their diets.
  • Some Christians fast at certain times of the year.
  • Muslims and Jews are not allowed to eat certain meats. They are only allowed to eat ritually slaughtered animals (Muslim – Halal, Jews – Kosher).
  • Reflects upon the idea that God gave dominion over animals to be used by humans (e.g. food).
hinduism buddhism
Hinduism • Buddhism
  • Hindus and Buddhists on the whole are vegetarians because of two beliefs:
  • Ahimsa (non-violence).
  • Respect for all life
  • All forms of life have the spark of divine within them – the ultimate reality, divine spark (Brahman)
  • Hindus are vegetarians and certain animals are considered sacred – Cows
  • Law of Karma guides people’s behaviour therefore hurting animals goes against that


  • By avoiding harm to animals or nature, humans will become ready for eternal life. (Laws of Manu)
christian attitudes to animal uses
Christian Attitudes to animal uses


  • God made the world and gave humans dominion over it. (Genesis)


  • “Scientists must abandon laboratories and factories of death” (Pope John Paul II).
  • God cares about even the sparrows. (Jesus)
  • The earth and everything in it is the Lord’s. (Bible)
  • As human’s, we stewardship over the earth and everything in it, because the earth is the Lord’s and he expects it back in good condition on judgement day.
  • “Thou shall not kill” (The Ten Commandments).
dominion vs stewardship
  • After the Ark landed, God gave Noah dominion over animals.
  • We were made in God’s image so that may mean we’re more important.
  • In the book of Genesis Adam and Eve were told to look after all of Gods creations.
  • We are made in God’s image so should be as compassionate and benevolent as him.

Key Definitions

  • Stewardship - Being responsible for Gods creations and looking after them
  • Dominion - Have the freedom to do as we like with animals and Gods creations
  • Vegetarian - someone who doesn’t eat meat
  • Vegan - someone who doesn’t use any animal product whether it be fur, meat, milk or leather
exam practice
Exam Practice
  • What is factory farming? (1 mark)

(b) Give two reasons why many religious believers are against the fur and ivory trade. (2 marks)

(c) ‘Religious believers should not eat meat.’

What do you think? Explain your opinion. (3 marks)

(d) Explain the attitudes of religious people to experiments on animals. Refer to religious teaching in your answer. (6 marks)

(e) ‘Animals are not as important as humans.’

Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer, showing that you

have thought about more thanone point of view. Refer to

religious arguments in your answer. (6 marks)