Man Named the Animals

 Weekly  Sabbath Survey
Man Named the  Animals  —  6-15-13
In the beginning, way back in the Garden, God gave man dominion over the  animals and one of his first jobs from God was the privilege of naming  them. The unfortunate outcome of this after The Fall, was that animals were  at the mercy of a sometimes cruel, heartless and unfeeling race of  humans. Before you jump to conclusions, I am not a vegetarian or a  member of PETA. I wear leather shoes and keep animals confined  for my use and enjoyment. And, I eat some of them. BUT, I treat them  with the respect and regard that all God’s creatures deserve. (I avoid  dangerous wild animals for obvious reasons.)
Some years ago, I began to think there was more to animals than what we  have believed. Dogs are particularly known for intuitive interaction with  humans. Many of them have an empathetic trait about them as they sense when we  are sick or sad. And some cats have saved the entire family in the event of  a fire at night. Then came the gorilla that was taught American Sign  Language used by the deaf. I’ve read several articles about her and how much she  understood of abstract thoughts and feelings. I also read that elephants mourn  when a member of the herd dies, and in that process they cry tears just like we  do. And while most people think birds who talk don’t know what they are saying,  there is a lot of evidence to the contrary from people who keep parrots and  interact with them regularly. While they may not know what the sounds mean,  the birds connect them with certain activities and even feelings and  use their words at the appropriate time. This would be the beginning  language of humans when the baby’s brain connects ‘Bye-Bye” with somebody  going. 
By keeping and observing chickens, I have seen how the flock works like a  family. They have special friends among themselves and the pecking order is more  effective than the way humans handle the chain of command and power order among  ourselves. The chickens appear to mourn when part of the flock is sold.  The flock dynamic changes with both additions and subtractions. Adjustments  take time. I can also tell you that they are not stupid as some people  think. 
My first indoor dogs, Boxers, served to open my eyes to the wonder of dogs  as family members, not just pets. My dogs were wonderful companions. I  preferred them over many people I’ve met in the business world. They were also  very bonded to each other.  When I lost one to cancer, the one left mourned  more than I did.  I tried to comfort her but she was lost in her loneliness  that went on for weeks. I decided the cure was a new puppy. That goofy  little tyke ignored the growls and warning snaps, trying time after time to  lure the older dog out of her pain. We had breakthrough when Jolene finally  allowed the intruder to nap by her side. Within a month, we were a  happy two dog household again, and our grief was assuaged. Will Rogers said it  all with “If dogs don’t go to heaven, I want to go where they  do.”  Could some dogs be angels in disguise?
I have come to believe that animal abuse is a SIN. We have been  charged by God to be above the animals. But that does not give us permission to  beat them, starve them, neglect them, torture them, or kill them with the malice  or thrill employed to murder a human being. Despite theological  teaching that animals have no soul, I believe they do. God gave them life  and feelings. While they also have instincts, so do we. Who are we to think  we know all about this mystery of creation? I firmly believe that some  people are going to be held accountable before the Lord for the way they  have treated animals.
Here’s an except from the book Animal Wise by Virginia  Morell:
Animals have minds. They have brains and use them as we do for  experiencing the world, for thinking and feeling, and for solving the problems  of life every creature faces. Like us, they have personalities, moods, and  emotions; they laugh, and they play. Some show grief and empathy and are  self-aware and very likely conscious of their actions and  intents.
Not so long ago, I would have hedged these statements, because the  prevailing notion held that animals are more like zombies or robotic machines,  capable of responding with only simple, reflexive behaviors. And indeed there  are still researchers who insist that animals move through life like the  half-dead, but those scientists have been left behind as a flood of new research  from biologists, animal behaviorists, evolutionary and ecological biologists,  comparative psychologists,and others sweep away old ideas that have stymied the  exploration of animal minds. The question now is not “Do animals think?”   It’s “How and what do they think?”
Jesus asked, “Aren’t two sparrows, sold for a farthing  (less than a half-penny)?  And yet, one of them cannot fall to the ground  without your Father seeing.  Matthew 10:29
Charlene  Reams Manning
Believer  in the Lord Jesus Messiah 
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