First off, this may be difficult for a non-believer to grasp. But, as a Christian and, as this is written in the Bible – my stand of authority – this is my stand on the role of humans and animals.
Genesis 1:26 ¶ “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Even though we are all the same basic material – flesh, blood, etc… – we, humans, are the only creatures created in God’s image. Humans and animals also differ in spirit.
Because of that, we are to “…have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Animals are there for our own resources. Yes, some say that we are also “animals.” Technically, yes. However, we are also HUMANS. Sure, we may sometimes act like animals – trust me, I’ve had meals with pigs before. *wink*
We also have the ability to rise above acting like an animal. Let me ask you, if we were truly animals, why is it that we are the only ones that can communicate on a whole different level; we have powerful governments and nations that have risen over the course of history; and we have technologies that the rest of the animal kingdom can never hope to ever replicate?
Of course, even though we are given dominion over animals, we are not to abuse that power.
We are to be good stewards of what God has given us. Proverbs 12:10 “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”
God does not view us as mere animals. In fact, He loved us so much, He sent His only begotten Son to die for us:
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”