Perspectives of Roman Catholic Church on Animals

Respect for the integrity of creation
The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present and future humanity. Use of the mineral, vegetable and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man's dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbour, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.

Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence thy bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.

God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals within reasonable limits, is a morally acceptable practice since it contributes to caring for or saving human lives.

It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals, one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.

(Ref: Catechism of The Catholic Church, Publication Service, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, English translation in Canada (1994), Part III, Section Two, Chapter Two , Article 7-II, pp.490-491)


Kashrut (Jewish Dietary Laws)

Kosher are food conforming to the requirements of the Jewish dietary laws. Such laws deal with what foods Jews can and cannot eat and how those foods must be prepared and eaten. A wide range of animals are not used for food, but all fruits and vegetables are considered kosher (except grape wine).
(Leviticus 11; 17:10-16)


Islamic Dietary Rules

Muslims also have similar strict rules on food. Muslims are generally allowed to eat meat of all four-footed animals and all water-games, but not allowed to eat dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine except forced by necessity.
(Ref: Islamic Topics, By Hassan El-Najjar, January 2004)

In general, they can eat of what the earth grows, such as pot-herbs, cucumbers, garlic, lentils, onions, etc. Guidance can be found in the Qur'an, i.e. "Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of the Evil One, for he is to you an avowed enemy." "Eat of the good things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah, it is Him you worship."
(Surah 2: 169, 172)