So one of the common commercials that plays on a local tv station is for the SPCA. It starts out with a sorrowful looking lady mourning the abuse that animals suffer everyday. Now, I love animals. My family has almost always had a cat, dog or some combination thereof, and I am so thankful that God gave them to us.
However...animals are not people. They are not made in the image of the Triune God like people are (Genesis 1:27). In the commercial I previously mentioned, you could replace almost every mention of "animal" with "people" or "kids" and it would sadly hold true. I'm currently reading a book about adoption (about which I will blog later) that contains snippets of some horrific stories these kids experienced. You may accuse me of being a cynic or animal hater (which I am most definitely not), but I'm not--I simply believe that people are the most important. Jesus died for people, not animals.
Should we care about animals? Absolutely. (Genesis 2) Value them on the same level as people? Not so much.
[I have seen some statistics about Americans spending enough on pet care in one year to essentially solve world hunger. I did a little bit of googling to this end, but didn't come up with much. Just found one site that said Americans spent an estimated $40.8 billion on pet care last year. If anyone has any facts to confirm or deny this, they would be very welcome.]