God has great love for the animal kingdom and asked Adam to name the animals for us. (Genesis 2:19-20). Our Lord made animals for man’s companionship and service. Mankind has a responsibility to humanely care for them because they are God’s gift to us.
There are many scriptures that teach us to treat animals well. Here are a few verses:
Exodus 23:5, “If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.” We are to help animals – even if the animal belongs to an enemy.
Deuteronomy 25:4, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” The ox deserves to eat the food it is treading.
Deuteronomy 22:6-7, “If a bird's nest happens to be before you along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, with the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young; you shall surely let the mother go, and take the young for yourself, that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days.” Here is a promise of a longer life if you treat birds well.
Deuteronomy 22:10, “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.” A donkey is not strong enough to bear the load with an ox.
Proverbs 12:10, “The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.”
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) We look forward to the time when Christ reigns on earth. Then peace and harmony will rule mankind as well as all living creatures!