I am currently watching the Q&A debate between Cardinal George Pell and Richard Dawkins, and a thought struck me. Cardinal Pell in this instance, but quite a few Christians (and other religious people) besides, quite clearly separate us from animals. They believe that animals are one group and humans are another, and we were created to be above them. Could this be the answer for why so many have so little regard for how horribly animals are treated?

The moment we split ourselves from animals and put them in a subservient position, their pain and their needs become less important than our pain and our needs. Is it little wonder that so few bat an eye when details of the mistreatment of battery farmed Pigs and Chickens, or the inhumane slaughter of Cows, reaches us through the media? They are less than us. They are here to serve us. It is ok if they experience trauma, as long as it stops a human from experiencing trauma.

I am not saying that religious people, or Cardinal George Pell, don’t care about animals or don’t have feelings, or are in some way cruel. Quite the contrary, I know how deeply George Pell cares about his fellow human beings (note: human beings), as he often is the lone voice (in Australia) publicly criticizing such endeavors as the prolonged and inhumane detainment of refugees and the war in Iraq. Furthermore, my Mother is the most caring person in history and at the same time a fervent Christian. I am simply questioning whether this disassociation with animals can lead to a numbness, a lack of caring, a lack of attachment to the situation many animals find themselves in.