Over at the CT site called Her.meneutics, Kay Warren stirred some folks up about the distinction between humans and animals. Here is her decisive paragraph (and what do you think?):
Please don’t misunderstand me: God put animals under the care of human
beings, and we are responsible to treat them with love and kindness
(Gen. 1:28). He holds us accountable for his creation — I mean, he’s
the one who thought up puppies and gorillas in the first place, and we
will answer to him for how we cared for and nurtured his planet and his
animals. But how did we get to the place where animals — even ones in
need — are considered equal to or more important than vulnerable or
orphaned children? Animals and people are two different classes of
created beings and they will never be equal in their worth. As precious
as animals are to our daily existence, they operate from instinct, not
volition. Only people have a spiritual dimension. We are the ones
created in the image of the Creator, the only ones with a soul.
Ultimately, people matter most. Jesus didn’t die for animals; he gave
his all for human beings.