Is Your Pet a Person?

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Is Your Pet a Person?

 Is Your Pet a Person? 

“Your pet is a person too,” the newspaper advertisement proclaimed. Some people apparently believe this. Large sums of money are spent to buy pets and care for them. An ordinary pet, such as a puppy, may cost several hundred dollars. Veterinarians are trained to treat your pet as your child. But, no, your pet is not a person. Consider these Bible facts about man and his pets.

1.    Man is created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26). Therefore, man thinks, reasons, imagines, and plans. We communicate with words. Most importantly, God communicates with man. God revealed His love and care for us. God has given man standards of conduct that reveal His holiness. We choose to obey or disobey God’s commands. We choose to accept or reject His love. Your pet is not able to do these things.

2.    A pet does not provide the level of companionship that man needs. After God created the animals and man, He brought all the cattle, wild animals, and fowl to Adam. Adam named them all and surveyed God’s vast and wonderful creation. Yet none of these was a suitable  helper and companion for Adam. In response to Adam’s need, God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and took a rib from him. From the rib, God formed Eve and brought her to Adam. In joy and wonder, Adam exclaimed, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” This account establishes the fundamental differences between man and animals. See Genesis 2:18-25.

3.    The family is God’s provision for the companionship and reciprocal love each person desires. Love is the key ingredient in the Bible formula for a happy home. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children” (Titus 2:4). Christian families understand love by the unselfish, sacrificial love of Christ. Your pet cannot understand love in this way.

4.    A pet may provide useful services to you. A pet may be a Seeing Eye dog, have good  cattle-herding skills, or provide security and warning to someone living alone. The Scriptures teach that man should have dominion over the animal kingdom (Genesis 1:26). God planned for us to use and train animals to perform useful services.

5.    Your pet may be a hero. Animals may display exceptional powers of courage, endurance, sense of direction, or awareness of danger. Many stories are told of animals that have saved the lives of their masters or have performed heroic rescues. These acts are performed by instinct or training, not from moral choice.

6.    All animals must be treated with kindness and consideration. “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” (Proverbs 12:10). Animals used in service for men must not be over-worked or abused.

7.    Pets should not be viewed as persons, because wrong ethics toward people will develop. We cannot draw a parallel between what is right for your pet and what is right for a person. It is right to humanely end the life of a sick pet. It is not right to do so to the elderly. The grand-father has an eternal soul; the pet does not.

8.    Pets should not be viewed as persons, because they may take the place of children in the home. One man was asked if he had any children. “No,” he replied, “a dog is cheaper.” Our society is rejecting God’s plan for marriage. Some reject the marriage of a man and a woman, in favor of alternative lifestyles. Some are unfaithful to their marriage commitments. Some marry but choose not to have any children. Pets appeal to persons involved in broken or sinful human relationships.

      In Conclusion

Man and animals share some common experiences. The breath of life is shared alike. And both need food, water, and shelter. Both will die and return to the dust.

One very important difference exists between man and animals. “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” (Ecclesiastes 3:21). When your pet dies, its existence is over. Its body decays, and its spirit ceases to be. When you die, your body will be placed in the earth and your spirit will go upward to its accountability before God. You will live eternally, either in heaven or hell.

True meaning and fulfillment in life cannot be found in your pet. A living relationship with Jesus Christ will meet the inner needs of your soul. As you grow in comprehending the love of Christ, you will be able to extend that love to others. You will develop relationships with other people that will add warmth and depth to your life. Jesus said, “I am come that they [people] might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

–Eldon R. Martin

Rod and Staff Publishers, Inc.
Crockett, KY 41413
Telephone: 606-522-4348
Tract #3389

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