However, it is my strong conviction that all living things are worthy of the same respect and deserve to be treated with the same consideration.
Were this true, animals would have already taken over the world as they do in the science fiction movies.
While it cannot be denied that humans are the most intelligent and complex creatures on earth, it is my firm belief that animals also deserve respect and appreciation.
Despite documentation of vicious training practices, people still flock to see animals perform in circuses.
We can and should enjoy our lives and the bounty that God offers.
While people generally have affection for dogs and cats, most people support exposing dogs and cats to the horrors of vivisection.
While people recognize that farmed animals have feelings and should not be abused, most do their best to remain ignorant of the actual experiences of animals on farms while sponsoring cruelty against farmed animals by purchasing the products of factory farming.
Currently those least able to defend themselves the animals are the principle victims of this inconsistent and self-serving moral standard, but this moral standard is too easily applied toward any group of outsiders, including vulnerable humans such as minorities, women, children, people with disabilities, and people who are different (such as homosexuals or people who dont recognize the obvious truth of the state religion).
I think one reason our churches have been so reluctant to talk about animal issues is that popular, contemporary views are so obviously inconsistent, contradictory, and morally bankrupt.
While people nearly universally agree that we should not be cruel to animals, they generally regard those who consider animal interests as comparable to human interests as bizarre at best, obscene at worst.
Nevertheless, as Andrew Linzey has argued persuasively, respect for animal rights is firmly rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition.