OK, so when you're six years old, the cowboy code respecting women and being kind to animals means it's OK to kiss your horse but "you don't want to be kissing no girls." Later on in life we discover kissing girls is kind of fun, but as cowboys, we are still respectful. We are also always kind to animals.
There is a special bond between a cowboy/cowgirl and their horse. There are usually special bonds between anyone and a pet they love.
It pains me greatly to see a dog (or any animal) chained to a tree or living 24/7 in a cage (like some puppy mills) with no shelter in winter or summer, ignored most of the time and fed occasionally (when their owner remembers). Yet no matter how abused, neglected or hungry they may be, they will pick up their head, wag their tail, eyes full of hope, for just a bit of attention from their owner. I can't think of any animal (including humans) that sets a better example of Jesus' unconditional love.
I have heard a couple of people in my lifetime say that the Bible says animals don't have souls. However, I have not been able to find where in the Bible it says that. What I did find in my search is where it says in Genesis 9:9-10 about how God made a covenant with Noah and ALL the living creatures.
And in Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 where it talks about the kind of animals that Hebrews could eat and those they were not supposed to eat, it goes on to say that they were not supposed to eat the blood of any animals. We find in the writings of the official Jewish historian of Jesus' day, Josephus, (The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 3, chapter 11, verse 2) that this rule existed because it was believed that the "soul and spirit of the animal was contained in the blood."
We know from the books of Isaiah and Revelation that there are horses in heaven (great news, cowboys/cowgirls) and the part about how the lamb will lie down with the lion and the lion and ox will eat straw together. So God obviously treasures the lives of all his creation. Proverbs 12:10 tells us about how we are to treat animals and how cruelty to animals is wrong.
Also in Jonah, chapter 4, verse 11, God says, "And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than 120 thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left and also many animals?"
Animal cruelty should not take place if man truly understands God's command to be caretakers of the earth. And, as far as we know, only humans were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.
The Rev. Billy Graham, once said, "God has prepared a place for our perfect happiness in heaven and, if that means my dog being there, I believe he will be there."
Robert HonderichGravetteEditorial on 07/10/2019
Print Headline: Cowboy code, Part 2 -- Being kind to animals