Throughout human history animals have been thought of as property to be used by man. In the Bible animals have been used for servitude, riding them for transportation and warfare (Nehemiah 2:12; Psalm 32:9; Proverbs
21:31; Matthew 21:1-7), and plowing the fields (Deuteronomy 25:4), etc. Animals were used for religious sacrifice beginning in the Garden of Eden when God killed an animal and made coats of skin for Adam and Eve after their fall (Genesis 3:21). God was pleased when Abel brought the sacrifice of an innocent lamb (Genesis 4:4). God instructed Israel to offer animal sacrifices (Leviticus 1-5). From the time of Noah, after the Flood, God ordained that man be allowed to eat both animal flesh as well as plants (Genesis 9:3).
If God made animals for man’s service, sustenance and companionship, do they have “rights”? That argument has been debated for the last couple of centuries and is still being debated. Although we believe that animals do not have “rights” as we perceive the meaning of the word, we, nonetheless, have a responsibility to humanely care for them because they are God’s gift to us. Jesus’ incredible sacrifice was for humanity, not for animals. However, animals play an integral role in God’s grand design. God had great love for his animals and asked Adam to name them (Genesis 2:19-20). The prophet Isaiah alludes to the role animals will play in the future peaceable kingdom on earth. “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6) From the above scripture we learn that animals will no longer be predators, but will be tame, loving vegetarians.