What differs human beings from animals.Some suggest we are really just animals too and that their is no superior animal. I do not believe this and here is why.
Conscience- even a child knows when he or she does something wrong. We all probably know what the feeling of guilt feels like when we did something mischievous as kids. When I was a three year old boy, I stole a plastic toy cow from Topeka Bible Church’s nursury. I knew deep down I did something wrong and I was too young at that time to have had a lecture that stealing was wrong. It’s not as though I had studied the Ten Commandments at that point yet I still knew I did a bad thing. In the words of a three year old, “I did a booboo.”
As much as I love pets, they do not care about the concept of stealing, a dog can and will take the toy or bone from another dog if it is able. That’s just a dogs nature and we do not blame animals for doing what they do.
A cat will kill a mouse or cricket without afterthought or contemplation of whether it killed something. Or at least many cats, however, cats seem to have personalities at times and who knows what goes through their heads. My granny’s cat BW had the devil inside of her, I kid you not. But that’s a story for another day I suppose.
Another thing distinctive about human beings is we do seem to sense injustice. We all seem to have the capacity for anger when we see wrong take place. An dog may get angry if you step in its lawn, and a male Tom Cat might get protective over his she cat harram but I do not see any cats out protesting and joining labor unions or picketing or demanding cat-equality. Granted, I’m being humorous but animals, some, especially house pets seem to have a pretty cushy life until its bath time or time to see the vet. That’s all I’m saying.
Purpose- People seem to also be wired to have a desire to do great things, to effect the world and to be an agent of change. We long for purpose and not just survival. We want to survive but still that is not enough, we want to thrive. Many people if not most I’d say are discontented with the idea of getting up and going to work, just to put food on the table pay bills and repeat that cycle for the remainder of our days on planet earth.
A dog, cow, rat, cat or crab is not going to get up and say, “I wonder how I will change the world today” No, actually most animals are concerned with the next meal or what not.
We as human beings also have the capability of reading, writing, as well as creating things. We can invent, we can express thoughts and articulate ideas. We have the ability to do many things.
Not to say animals lives do not matter, in fact Im an animal lover myself and I have had every type of legal pet to own I can think of, hermit crabs, dogs, a cat, a hamster, lizards, and even a tarantula, but I believe we the only one created creature that can choose God or reject him. God created us as creations that can choose to be in relationship with Him. God could have made us constrained by instinct, granted we do have similarities to other creatures, such as a need for food, water, suitable habitat, and a desire for sex, companionship and what not. However, in an animal gets threatened or angry or has its meal infringed on it will attempt to in most cases kill or attack any animal who might steal his prey, but a human being can choose to kill or to refrain from an act of homicide if some other person swipes his lunch.
Human beings have a moral choice
Animals only have an instinctual choice.
So at the end of the day I believe we do rule above the other creation. This is not an excuse or right to abuse creation or animals though. Animals may not be made in God’s image but we should take care of God’s creatures in a way that glorifies their Creator who is our Creator as well.