And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.

—Gen 1:26


And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird of the air, upon all that moves upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; to your hand are they delivered.

Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

But flesh with its life, which is its blood, you shall not eat.

—Gen 9:1-9:4


“A righteous man regards the life of his beast; but the heart of the wicked is cruel”

Prov. 12:10


Deut. Chapter 12

13. Take heed to yourself that you offer not your burnt offerings in every place that you see;

14. But only in the place which the Lord shall choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.

15. However you may slaughter animals and eat their meat in all your gates, to your heart’s desire, according to the blessing of the Lord, your God which he has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as they do of the gazelle and the deer.

16. Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it upon the earth like water.

17. You may not eat inside your gates the tithe of your grain, or of your wine, or of your oil, or the firstlings of your herds or of your flock, nor any of your vows which you vow, nor your freewill offerings, or offering of your hand;

18. But you must eat them before the Lord your God in the place which the Lord your God shall choose, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite who is inside your gates; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God in all that you put your hands to.

19. Take heed to yourself that you forsake not the Levite as long as you live upon the earth.

20. When the Lord your God shall enlarge your border, as he has promised you, and you shall say, I will eat meat, because your soul longs to eat meat; you may eat meat, to your heart’s desire.


Babylonian Talmud – Bava Metzia 85a

Rabbi observed: Suffering is precious. Thereupon he undertook [to suffer likewise] for thirteen years, six through stones in the kidne7 and seven through scurvy: others reverse it. Rabbi’s house-steward was wealthier than King Shapur.8 When he placed fodder for the beasts, their cries could be heard for three miles, and he aimed at casting it [before them] just then when Rabbi entered his privy closet, yet even so, his voice [lifted in pain] was louder than theirs, and was heard [even] by sea-farers. Nevertheless, the sufferings of R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon were superior [in virtue] to those of Rabbi. For whereas those of R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon came to him through love, and departed in love, those of Rabbi came to him through a certain incident, and departed likewise.

‘They came to him through a certain incident.’ What is it? — A calf was being taken to the slaughter, when it broke away, hid his head under Rabbi’s skirts, and lowed [in terror]. ‘Go , said he, for this wast thou created.’ Thereupon they said [in Heaven], ‘Since he has no pity, let us bring suffering upon him.’

‘And departed likewise.’ How so? — One day Rabbi’s maidservant was sweeping the house; [seeing] some young weasels lying there, she made to sweep them away. ‘Let them be, said he to her; ‘It is written, and “his tender mercies are over all his works.”’ Said they [in Heaven], ‘Since he is compassionate, let us be compassionate to him.’


From Sefer Hasidim (R. Judah HaHasid 1140-1217)

“Never beat nor inflict pain upon any creature, beast, bird, or insect; nor throw stones at a dog or cat; nor kill flies or wasps”


From Tomeir Devorah (RaMaK 1522-1570)

“ One’s compassion should extend to all creation. One should neither destroy nor abuse any creature, for all of them were created with God’s wisdom. One should not consciously uproot any plant or take the life of any animal unless it be for a purpose—and then one should see to it that their death be an easy painless one.”


From Olay Rayah (R. Avraham Isaac Kook – Chief Rabbi of Palestine 1865-1935)

“In the future the abundance of enlightenment will spread and penetrate even the animals…The gift offerings of vegetation that will be brought as sacrifices will be as acceptable as the sacrifices of ancient days.”