Read: Genesis 8:18-19
When Noah finally stepped foot on land after many months, God told him to “bring out with [him] every living thing that [was] with [him] of all flesh” (v.17). God didn’t forget about the animals in the flood! When Noah built the ark to prepare for the flood, the reason God told him to make it so large, was to account for all the animals he would be taking in.
Because Noah followed the commands of God and built the very large ark, the animals had a place to be apart from the flood. This is a huge part in the second creation. Genesis 2:19 says that God made these animals from the same soil that He made man from. We were formed together but man is the one that received the breath of life when God breathed into his nostrils.
God told Adam and Eve to have dominion over all the living things on this earth (Genesis 1:28), meaning plants and animals. When God said we have dominion over animals, we were given a responsibility to be caretakers of Creation. This is no small task. Dominion doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want. Theologian Andrew Linzey says, “humans have ‘dominion’ over animals. But that ‘dominion’ (radah in Hebrew) does not mean despotism [the exercise of absolute power, especially in a cruel and oppressive way], rather we are set over creation to care for what God has made and to treasure God’s own treasures.”
Because of God’s commands, we are morally obligated to treat them with respect and love. Animals are made of flesh and blood as are we, and they were made by God, just like us. Additionally, Scripture talks about advocating for the weak and voiceless. Animals indeed fit into this category and should be defended as part of God’s creation. Of course, we can never hold the same value to animals as we do in humans but they are still important and should be loved and cared for.
Humans are sinful and selfish. Animals have been slowly dying off and becoming extinct as a result of the selfish and harmful choices we make. We are literally killing off God’s creation. God placed them on the earth for us as humans, but that being said, we must respect God’s creation.
We should do as much as we can to care for and look after animals. This means not intentionally damaging their habitats, doing what we can to help them thrive. We should do everything we can to diminish animal cruelty and suffering. Killing animals without justification is wrong and we will be held accountable for this in our own lives. Animals are just another form of creation from the same God.
However this is possible in your own life, see what you can to minimize your impact on animal cruelty and what you can do to love God’s creation better. We need to repent as a nation of harming and killing off God’s creation.