The Obligation to have Mercy on a Animal
The prohibation of meat from a living animal
The prohibition – eiver min ha’chai – seems obvious, but it contains more details than what one initially thinks.
Genesis 9:4 says, “But flesh with its soul, and its blood, you shall not eat.”
This refers to the separation of flesh from a living animal, i.e. while its soul is still in its blood. Specifically, it is illegal to eat Rocky Mountain oysters.
But it goes a step further. One should not eat meat taken from a living animal. (Even if it died afterwards). If we want to kill an animal for food, it must be done as painlessly as possible. Permission to kill an animal for food was not given to Noah until after the flood, Adam was not allowed to kill an animal for food. Man was given permission to kill an animal but was not given permission to make an animal suffer unnecessarily. Every person should distance himself from cruel practices and should not harm any living being uselessly, on the contrary one should show compassion and mercy to all living beings.
This also means that one should not kill an animal uselessly for pleasure. Pleasure hunting is prohibited.
By Angelique Sijbolts
Sources: The Divine Code
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