Do We Humans Truly Have A Right To Have Dominion Over The Animals?
To begin to have a real conversation around this question first we must define the word Dominion.
Then we must distinguish between the words dominion and domination. Then we must remember that the bible was written far longer ago than the rules of commerce that came much later and have been siding with those making money off the sale of animals or the lands they roam rather than most effectively protecting those that have no voice or defense.
Webster's defines dominion as: supreme authority, control or power over or the authority to rule.
The biblical view of dominion is of stewardship and taking care of those in our care. The bible states that man has dominion over the animals.
The word domination as defined by Websters is: supremacy or preeminence over another or the exercise of control or influence over someone or something, or the state of being so controlled.
It's always fascinating to me how humans tend to bend language to meet their own needs or perspectives, especially when money is involved. On the one hand we tend to say, " Humans are superior to the animals."
On the other hand we tend to say,"Humans are more intelligent than the animals because we can think and reason and animals cannot." We use the bible to say, "Man has dominion over the animals." And on another hand we tend to say, "We need to take care of their innocence and protect them from greedy, arrogant people who will take advantage of them or turn them into a commodity."
Having spent a lot of time in the company of animals(wild and domestic) it baffles me when people believe in the superiority of humanity over the animals due to the ability we have to reason and be aware of our future.
I say this because in truth we humans are the #1 predator creating the most amount of damage and destruction to our planet and every species upon her and we do this knowing that we are doing it.
We know full well about our over-consumption of just about everything and yet still continue to do this because we do not want to give up our wants and needs even when we know we will completely destroy ourselves and everything else living on the earth.
Yet we still claim to be superior to the animals, who if left to themselves would not only create thriving amongst themselves but amongst the entire planet.
The reality is that the animals are still connected to their natural instincts for self regulation which leads them to follow the flow of the energy of when to move or to migrate and allow earth to replenish herself.
Humans seem to have lost this innate instinct and will settle in an area until they consume and deplete all of the resources in that area. Then they will move onto the next area and do the same.
Apparently with all our "superior intelligence" we still haven't figured this out yet.
It's important to recall that the word dominion can easily be interpreted based on the motivations of the people using it.
For instance, if I raise animals for sale or consumption of any of their parts, then it would be in my best interest to view the word dominion as having authority or control over an animal and to speak of them as inferior to me or put here to serve MY purposes.
Yet if I am an animal care taker or lover then it would be to my advantage to view the word dominion as being a responsible guardian or caretaker and take a more protective stance in regards to those animals in my care.
This is perhaps why we see a dog or a cat or a domesticated horse as something to protect but perhaps a wolf or a lion or a bear as something that could cause us harm or threat.
The word domination seems pretty clear that one has the motive to control or govern another in the way they see fit. This word takes the point of view that the one doing the dominating has every right to decide the fate of another. But here we again need to ask the question of intelligence.
If we have been given dominion over the animals and we are supposedly the most "intelligent" species on the planet and we are capable of seeing how integral these species are to the entire make up of our planet and we possess the forethought that we are pushing them to the brink of extinction, then how intelligent can we actually be by dismantling the rules governing the laws of the natural world to ensure their survival and thriving on the planet. Especially when we know that their very existence largely contributes to ours and the health of our earth.
Seriously, how intelligent is that? Just sayin'.
As we look at the laws being passed today by our current President that are setting the animals up to be slaughtered en mass and taken off of the endangered species list we must question if we are exerting dominion or dominance over the animals. Dominion is the way of stewardship that protects them and allows them to thrive as the creator intended.
And the truth is that without humans on the planet many of the animal species that are facing extinction would be thriving.
Domination through destroying their packs, herds, and families on a whim with no understanding of who we are killing and that by killing the mom, the strongest or the wisest we are destroying the health and vibrancy of their DNA, as well as their social structures and education sources so we can simply steal, rape and deplete the earth's resources for our daily endless over-consumption and pleasures with no care or thought for the whole of how our world was actually designed to exist in balance and harmony among all living animals including humans by its creator just does not sound very intelligent or even contain much common sense in it at all.
Perhaps the time has come to use our intelligence to grasp the reality that all life is sacred, all life was created equally, man is still an animal and to give respect to all beings the way the creator intended.
It seems quite apparent that when in his "superiority" man chooses to exercise his dominion over the animals without a deeper understanding of the intricate and interconnected web of all life that everything suffers.
Perhaps its time to return to a more holistic and scientifically verified view that the web of life is a sacred hoop and we all exist as necessary to each other in that hoop. And seek more to use our intelligence to become re-aquainted with the fact that humans while we believe we are more intelligent are equal to all other beings
Having spent a significant amount of time in the company of many different species I am continuously blown away by the level of intelligence, integrity and inter-personal relationships they possess.
All animals are actually capable of using reason to figure out their world. It just is so interesting how little time humans spend actually observing them and their intelligence rather than simply labeling them and attributing group characteristics to them like: savage, killer, terrorist, threat, rather than seeing them for the true stewards of the earth that they truly are.
Domination and dominion are definitely worth looking at more closely.
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