Thank you for your reply. I do appreciate it; however, you have not answered my question: do you feel any mercy or compassion for those animals' suffering? How do you think it would feel to have been killed with a bow and arrow? Also I note your extreme defensiveness and hostility toward me in your reply. To enjoy killing innocent beings is not one of the ten commandments. I suppose from reading your website you condone all killing of animals for any reason. What do you think of canned hunts, sport killing, bull fighting, etc? Do you really think that this is justified by God?

Here is a classic response from a person holding a radical view. Such people see their particular topic in black and white terms. Since it is easy to prove from the Scriptures (yes, the same document that includes the Ten Commandments) that God gave man permission to eat meat (Genesis 9:3), the questioner immediate assumes that Christians who eat meat also get their jollies out of torturing animals. Notice the charges in the extreme: "condone all killing", "for any reason", and "enjoy killing." It makes you wonder if they ask the lion if he enjoys killing, whether he has any compassion for his victims, or how would he like to have his throat ripped out as he does to his prey.

The Bible speaks of killing animals for a variety of reasons:

Animals can be killed for food:

"Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs" (Genesis 9:3).

"Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'These are the animals which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth: Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud-that you may eat" (Leviticus 11:2-3).

"However, you may slaughter and eat meat within all your gates, whatever your heart desires, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, of the gazelle and the deer alike" (Deuteronomy 12:15).

"These you may eat of all that are in the waters: you may eat all that have fins and scales" (Deuteronomy 14:9).

"All clean birds you may eat" (Deuteronomy 14:11).

"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer" (I Timothy 4:1-5).

Since the same author of the Ten Commandments gave specific instructions allowing the eating of meat, it is obvious that the Ten Commandments do not forbid the killing of animals for the purpose of food.

Dangerous animals or animals involved in sinful practices were to be killed:

"Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man" (Genesis 9:5-6).

"If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, then the ox shall surely be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be acquitted. But if the ox tended to thrust with its horn in times past, and it has been made known to his owner, and he has not kept it confined, so that it has killed a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death" (Exodus 21:28-29).

"You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, 'Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch its base. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. Not a hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot with an arrow; whether man or beast, he shall not live.' When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come near the mountain." (Exodus 19:12-13).

"If a man mates with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal. If a woman approaches any animal and mates with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood is upon them" (Leviticus 20:15-16).

Animals were killed for sacrifices to God:

"He shall kill the bull before the LORD; and the priests, AaFebruary 20, 2005d all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting" (Leviticus 1:5).

"And if the burnt sacrifice of his offering to the LORD is of birds, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves or young pigeons. The priest shall bring it to the altar, wring off its head, and burn it on the altar; its blood shall be drained out at the side of the altar" (Leviticus 1:14-15).

"If he offers a lamb as his offering, then he shall offer it before the LORD. And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of meeting; and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle its blood all around on the altar" (Leviticus 3:7-8).

Many more verse could be cited, but I believe these make the point. Hence, not only did God justify the killing of animals, He commanded that it be done as part of His worship under the Old Testament covenant.

See also:

Questions and Answers about Animal Rights
Questions and Answers about Vegetarianism
Was Jesus a Vegetarian?
Animal Rights and the Bible

March 15, 2005