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Do Animals Matter? (Page 2)

Explaining a difference of Opinion

Perhaps at one time or another you’ve heard someone say, “You’ve got the wrong attitude.”


If so, the chances are that the quarrel is caused by a clash of values. Values is a word used to highlight that that we all have things that matter to us such as friendship, fair-play, good health, safety and excitement in life – just to mention a few. When people disagree about how to behave in a given situation, it might be because one person knows something that the other doesn’t but as often as not, it’s because they disagree about what aspect matters most.

Where do Values come from?

You learn your values from your parents, teachers and friends and also via your own experiences of life. If you’ve grown up in a musical family, perhaps you love music and cannot imagine life without it;

But if you were forced to have piano lessons even though you hated them perhaps you value the freedom to decide for yourself how you spend your time. Values and beliefs are connected. Many of your values relate to your deepest beliefs such as what you believe about the nature of humans compared with other animals.


The role of religion

Religious communities play an important role in helping people learn what to value. Most religions have something to say about how humans and non-human animals are related. In the two videos below, scholars from Hinduism and Christianity explain how the beliefs that are set out in their religious traditions influence how they value the other animal species on Earth.

Finding out the Facts and Making Difficult Decisions

There are scientists at the RSPCA who investigate what different species of animals need if they are to be well cared for. In an ideal world you might think that this information would then be used to ensure that every animal has its needs met perfectly. In reality humans choose to treat some animals better than others as this video explains.

© 2011 LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion)