Every spring, when I am rototilling the garden, I have this odd thought that cries, “Why is no one concerned with earthworm rights?” Here I am, literally uprooting and probably chopping earthworms from their sleepy beds and no one cares! Why is there no PETA action group that declares “We are here to stop speciesism...the belief that other animals are inferior to human beings – not just different... and that means standing up for all animals – even mice and rats who experience feelings just like anyone else.”
Of course, as I write this obviously tongue-in-cheek commentary about the state of our thinking, I am liable to be called insensitive by those who love animals. But what I am really talking about is a worldview that is consistent with what God says, not what a people-action group says.
Again, tongue-in-cheek, when it comes to equality in species, perhaps the bears ought to be concerned about abortion of babies. Or perhaps the elephants from the now-defunct Ringling Brothers need to be concerned with people squashing spiders in their homes. Why aren’t the penguins upset at the leopard seals for eating them?! The misunderstanding is in what it means to “have value.” In that, I’d agree that all life – bees and snakes included – has value. But Psalm 8 makes it clear that value does not mean equality. God gives a very clear picture of the order of His universe, and we are NOT at the top – He is. Then comes the angels, man, the animals, plants, and non-living things, in that order. Each is somehow tied to their position and must care for and use, not exploit and abuse, those things under him. And that caring and use is also to be done to honor God, because it is His world!
Therefore, the further we get from God’s order and understanding of the world, the more problems we cause for ourselves. At ICS, we are about instilling a biblical worldview, one that never bashes those we disagree with, but rather cogently and kindly helps to make truth be as clear as possible and then leaves to God the results of our work. I do not want my grandchildren to follow cleverly devised tales that do not take into account what God has to say about His world, but rather I want them to hear the life-giving hope of His work in a world that is too often tied to its own political and economic ideologies.