All About Animals: Secondary Teachers: Lesson Plan 3: Animal Rights? Let’s Debate!

Teachers’ Note: Read the quote from John Austin Baker below and ask the class to think about the implications of what he says. Ask:

  • Why isn’t this the prevailing view of Christians?
  • How would this view, were it held by all, alter our relationship with animals?
  • Do you think that eating animals is a sin?
  • Are there any other religions which don’t believe that animals were placed on Earth for man to use at will?

Visit the Quotes section of this site where you will find many other quotes you could substitute for this one to give you a whole year’s debating material!

John Austin Baker, Bishop of Salisbury:
In the very first chapter of the Bible it is said that in the beginning, when things were as God meant them to be, animals were not created to be food for humans. The animals were to eat grass, foliage and cereals; human beings, fruit and nuts. Only later, when sin was rampant in the world, were animals granted to humankind for food, with the sinister words: ‘The fear of you and the dread of you shall fall upon all wild animalsand birdsand fish; they are given into your hands.’

Speech given at the Christian Consultative Council for the Welfare of Animals Conference in Westminster on 25 January 1986