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Going Ape

Should primates be treated as humans?

Published: June 28, 2008


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Visitor Comments: 26

(26) Anonymous, December 8, 2008 9:14 AM

I love all animals and am grateful that it says in the Torah all that it says about not causing suffering and the other laws that also apply to animals. However, I spoke with my Rav and I will have to ask for th specific source, yet animals have a different life source unlike humans and they do not go to animal heven. Their life is a one time life whereas humans can become gilgulim(reincarnated.) In other words, doggies don't go to doggy heaven. Interesting. Not to be take n as a mean thing. No one is more kind than Hashem. Animals are meant to serve man and man should never hunt for sport or abuse them, yet to equate them as equals as humans- no.

(25) Anonymous, July 9, 2008 4:08 AM

Kevin, you are right that the Torah commands us to be kind to animals, and, if fact, before the great flood humans were not permitted to eat animals since they were both creations of Hashem, on equal footing. However, during the great flood, Noah saved the lives of some of the animals in the ark. Humans and animals were no longer on an equal footing, since the animals now owed their very existence to Noah. From that time on Hashem permitted the consumption of animals by humans. There is a very significant difference between humans and animals. Humans were given bechira (free will) to choose good *or* bad. Jews have 613 mitzvos that they must observe, and non-Jews have the seven Noahide laws. The fact that they have free will makes them accountable for their choices. Animals, on the other hand, have no free will, and therefore they have no Torah obligations. The fact that the torah requires nothing from animals is proof that they do not share equal status with humans. To equate an animal to a human, and attribute to it human traits and choices is beyond absurd. Animals are just that -animals. The torah requires that we treat them with kindness and compassion, but not to bestow upon them human rights and privileges.



(24) chavi, July 2, 2008 8:50 AM

The dog in Perek Shira

In Perek Shira (The song of the universe) each of Hashem's creations sings His praise. The very last creature is the dog. Immediately following, it states that Rabbi Yeshaya fasted 85 fasts, because he said, "It is written that dogs are greedy and do not know satiation--should they merit to sing praise of Hashem?"
I asked my father, who is a holocaust survivor and a learned Rabbi, why Rabbi Yeshaya had such a problem with dogs singing Hashem's praise- they are so cute and lovable! My father answered,"To you they seem cute and lovable. But the dogs of the Nazis that we saw during the war were vicious killers. They would rip a person apart with great satisfaction. They thirsted for human blood." Today, we know that pit bulls can be killers, too. Some of it is attributable to the training they got from their human owners, but some of the cruel traits are inherent in the animal.

(23) Kevin, July 2, 2008 3:10 AM

y

If the torah says be kind to animals why do humans eat kill animals.

(22) EB, July 2, 2008 2:37 AM

Be kind, but kinder to humans

It's important to be kind to animals, but that is so that WE are kinder people, not because they have rights. It's just not good for US to do cruel things.

Unfortunately, Rabbi Solomon is right. Instead of animal protection movements signifying improved kindness and sensitivity in the human race, it ususally signifies a lessening of appreciation of the values of humans.

Case in point is when Nazi Germany outlawed shechita as one of their first laws. Another area is where owners treat their animals like members of the family, and sometimes the real family suffers.

Bottom line - don't be cruel, and if an animal is in trouble, you should certainly help. But people come first! Make sure all your (human) relationships are in order before you head out to save the blue whales

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