by Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Warwick, 1989
The Bahá’í Faith teaches that animals should be treated with kindness, and that this is a matter of great importance. Bahá’u’lláh listed kindness to animals as one of the qualities which must be acquired by anyone searching for God. In other words spiritual development requires that we love and respect all of our fellow-creatures human or otherwise.
All of creation is inter-related, and the realisation of the oneness of all life is fundamental to the Bahá’í view. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the son of Bahá’u’lláh, said:
“Unless ye must,
Bruise not the serpent in the dust,
How much less wound a man,
And if ye can,
No ant should ye alarm,
Much less a brother harm.”
The need for mankind to change its attitudes towards animals could hardly be put more strongly than it is in the Bahá’í writings:
“To blessed animals the utmost kindness must be shown, the more the better. Tenderness and loving-kindness are basic principles of God’s heavenly Kingdom. Ye should most carefully bear this matter in mind.”
Measure against this standard the way live animals are transported in inhumane conditions on their way to be killed, or in crates from tropical countries to our pet shops; caught or hunted for pleasure; used in laboratories to test drugs or cosmetics; or bred to be used for status symbol items of clothing.