1:26… “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
1:28… “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
These are two of the biggest “Bible Boogers”. They have directly or indirectly contributed to some of Humankind’s worst attitudes.
Worst of all is the attitude that we humans are somehow above and beyond the rest of nature.
I believe this assumption to be very false. It is true that we have the most advanced brains of all the Earth’s beings, with the possible exception of Cetaceans. Humans also possess superlative dexterity and mobility. Beyond this, all the tangible evidence points to Homo Sapiens being nothing more than an advanced mammal.
We are conceived as all mammals are, through the union of egg & sperm (except for J.C.!) We develop as all mammals do, in our Mother’s wombs. I could go on & on… but the point is, one of the most simple forms of life on Earth, the bacterium, can kill us all! The mere fact that we humans have to poo & pee is enough to prove that we, too, are what we’d call ‘animals’.
Genesis 1:26 and 1:28 have made it easy to justify despicable human behavior- they’re ONLY animals, right? I have heard these words far too often; “God put the animals here to use as we see fit.” How vain.
We all know about things like loss of habitat due to Humankind’s “progress”… and the deplorable treatment of animals on our “factory” farms… or the raising of birds & mammals for the sole purpose of being shot by some “mighty outdoorsman” on a “canned” hunting reserve… or the millions of dogs & cats that have to be destroyed each year, because the animal shelters cannot shelter them all… not to mention the despicable fur trade, Canada being a huge offender with their baby seal slaughter (they allow up to 300,000 pelts to be “harvested”). Sad to say, these are all a given. For the most part, they are accepted by mainstream society.
There has been some good news in recent years- like the re-emergence of the Bald Eagle in the lower 48. Organizations such as The Nature Conservancy are doing their share by helping to preserve “wild” land for habitat. Local animal organizations such as P.A.W.S. are trying their best to help stray & abandoned dogs & cats. And the number of people who are Vegetarians and Vegans has been steadily increasing.
Many conservation efforts are too little, too late. A particularly sad example is the plight of the Bengal Tiger. Just 5 years ago, they numbered about 3,500- in 2007 there are estimated to be only 1,500 individuals left, despite the luke-warm efforts of the Indian government to save them. The primary cause has been (of course) habitat loss. Damned “progress”…
I have been accused, several times in my life, of caring more about animals than people. I’m sure my “accusers” never took it into account that people ARE animals- no matter what the “good” book says!