The Lady in the Cage

Are Animals and People Essentially the Same?
The Ringling Brothers Circus came to our town a few days ago, and it naturally drew much attention. But drawing almost as much attention was a lone figure who appeared on a busy street corner. This woman’s actions were, to say the least, unusual.
According to a report in our newspaper, the woman follows the circus throughout the country. She chooses a high traffic area before removing most of her clothing to reveal skin painted orange with black stripes. She then crawls inside of a cage and holds a sign calling for humane treatment of the circus animals. When radio stations reported what she was doing, crowds began driving by to see the odd sight.
The woman is a representative of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). It’s an organization often in the news, and people are being won to their views. According to this group, animals have rights just as do people. Other efforts of PETA are aimed at corporations like Kentucky Fried Chicken and the lobster industry. They’re winning more victories than many of us may realize.
At the heart of PETA’s campaign is this question: Are people and animals the same? If you accept the views of organic evolution, it’s hard to avoid that conclusion. If life on earth is the result of chance events, then people are merely more advantaged than their lesser-developed cousins. Should we exploit these relatives just because they’re not as intelligent as we are? Thus many have rejected practices like eating meat and wearing fur and leather because they are convinced animals are essentially the same as humans.
The Bible gives us the only reliable light on this subject. It is true that people and animals have something in common: God created them both. But there is a substantial difference between them: “So God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27, NKJV). Man, made in God’s image, will exist beyond this physical life. No such statement is made about animals.
God instructed Noah on the role of animals for man: “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs” (Genesis 9:2,3). This passage reveals that using animals for food and clothing is perfectly ethical. And let’s not forget that the clothing God made for Adam and Eve was from animal skins (Genesis 3:21).
Is it possible to be inhumane to animals? God warned against cruelty toward animals (see Proverbs 12:10, for example). But responsible use of God’s creation, whether animal, vegetable, or mineral, is a right granted to man.
Pay no attention to the lady in the cage. Hear God!

Are Animals and People Essentially the Same?

One Reply to “The Lady in the Cage”

  1. Tim, good thoughts. PETA had a billboard in Savannah, GA with Jesus on it and it said, “Prince of Peas.” It made me mad every time I had to drive by it. Thanks for your good work here!

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