Don't only human beings have a soul?
There are many people who believe in the traditional religious view that only human beings are made "in the image of God" and that only humans have souls. Although I personally do not agree with this view, this view is held by some vegetarians and animal rights activists. Vegetarians with this view would point out that regardless of whether or not animals possess a soul, animals still feel pain and suffering just as we do, and animals still value their lives just as we value ours. Therefore, many of the people who believe that only humans have souls still agree with the principle that it is wrong to inflict death and suffering on animals simply for the pleasure of tasting meat.
Although it is possible to believe in animal rights while still adhering to the traditional religious view of animals, I would like to point out that this traditional religious view of animals is inadequate. For example, the traditional religious view states that only humans are made "in the image of God" because only humans have the ability to make moral decisions, and a soul is required to be able to know the difference between good and evil. However, we now know that other animals do know right from wrong. In fact, they sometimes know it much better than we humans do.
Follow up questions:
What evidence is there that other animals can make moral decisions?
Doesn't the Bible specifically state that it is ok to kill animals for food?
If God did not want us to eat meat, then why did he place animals on the Earth?
Don't humans have dominion over the animals?
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