Western Religions, Animals in
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—often called the Western, or Abrahamic (traced back to the biblical figure Abraham) religions—have a mixed record with regard to human-animal interactions. All three traditions regard animals as subordinate to human beings because of a special connection between God and humanity. Adherents of all three traditions kill and eat animals, though the dietary restrictions of Judaism and Islam are concerned with quick and respectful slaughter. Each tradition also holds strong religious impulses toward compassion and kindness. Accordingly, many Jews, Christians, and Muslims provide religious reasons for becoming vegans, vegetarians, and animal activists. This brief entry describes mainstream teachings and practices in each tradition and does not claim to represent the many sects and dissenting positions.
DOI / Publisher URL
Meyer, Eric D., "Western Religions, Animals in" (2017). Theology Faculty Works. 9.