Bible Approves Animal Cruelty

Paul scornfully rejected the thought that God might care about the welfare of oxen and the incident of the Gadarene swine, in which Jesus is described as sending devils into a herd of pigs and making them drown themselves in the sea, is explained by Augustine as intended to teach us that we have no duties toward animals. This interpretation was accepted by Thomas Aquinas, who stated that the only possible objection to cruelty to animals was that it might lead to cruelty to humans — according to Aquinas there was nothing wrong in itself with making animals suffer. This became the official view of the Roman Catholic Church to such good — or bad — effect that as late as the middle of the nineteenth century, Pope Pius IX refused permission for the founding of a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Rome, on the ground that to grant permission would imply that human beings have duties to the lower creatures.

~ Peter Singer (1946-07-06 age:71)