We usually associate righteousness with the conduct of relationships between persons within society. By making our treatment of animals part of the content of good human behaviour, the Bible takes the idea of righteousness and of morality to unexpected heights. Our animals are completely within our power. They flourish or wither at our decision. A person who fails to take benevolent and sustaining responsibility for a weaker, independent creature--even if that creature is a dog or a cat--evidences a spirit of self-interest which will tell negatively upon his fellow human beings.
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