Thank you for your letter concerning my article on The Scandal of Canned Lion Hunting.
The Bible is quite clear: “A good man is kind to his animals but the wicked are cruel to theirs.” Proverbs 12:10
Cruelty to animals is by definition wicked. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on this reflects traditional Reformed Christian teaching. First and foremost all animals belong to God. They are God's animals, and we are accountable to Him for how we treat them.
The doctrine of Creation requires us to prize and value God's creatures. The Dominion Mandate makes clear that we are accountable to God for how we improve and care for His Creation.
I have been born and brought up in Africa. Africa has always been my home. Some of my best friends are animals. Growing up, my very best friend was a lioness, Vivian and a leopard, Malcolm. Those of us who have interacted, close up with these magnificent wild animals are horrified that anyone can subject them to trophy hunting, let alone in a canned/caged/staged/guaranteed kill environment.
Why is it wrong? The depravity of man. “They are quick to hurt and kill; they leave ruin and destruction wherever they go. They have not known the path of peace, nor have they learnt to fear God… Everyone has sinned and is far away from God's saving presence.” Romans 3:15-23
“How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished.” Jeremiah 12:4
Perhaps these things are not as clear to people who live in the cities, or far from wild life, but for those of us who can see the looting of God's Creation, we are convinced that this is deeply offensive to God and destructive of His Creation.
I do believe that it is an essential part of our Christian witness to speak on these matters and to do all that we can to protect wildlife from exploitation and abuse.
Please see our www.thebibleandanimals.org website.
You may also be interested in visiting the Wonderful Wildlife and We Love God's Animals Facebook pages.
I would also recommend that you visit the www.cannedlion.org website for video footage of what one is actually talking about.
May God continue to be your joy and strength.
Yours for fulfilment of the Great Commission
Dr. Peter Hammond