Why does God allow animals to suffer? Does God care about animals? What does the Watchtower teach about this?

by defender of truth 36 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • defender of truth
    defender of truth

    The following article will address these questions, and attempt to answer them.

    After helping Jwfacts with his page on Animal Suffering, I decided to write this article.

    It is mainly aimed at helping Jehovahs Witnesses and other believers in God to think about the issue, as well as the apparent contradictions in Watchtower teaching.

    Thanks must go to Jwfacts for the encouragement, and giving me permission to use an image from his page and to use some of the quotes.

    Also, thankyou to Cofty for general moral support.

    Please let me know what you think everybody, and feel free to reproduce any part or all of the article on any other website, just post and let me know that you've used it on your site please.

    (I'd appreciate it if anyone could post to tell me they found a point in here useful, it would encourage me to keep going).

    Okay, here it is:

    Why does God allow Animal Suffering?


    Does it trouble you to see animals in pain?

    Would you try to prevent an animal from suffering, wherever possible?

    Many people have concern for animals, and want them to be well cared for.

    When they see an animal that is suffering in some way, perhaps dying of disease or starving to death, they feel obligated to act.

    Wouldn't a God that had concern for animals feel the same way about an animal that is suffering?

    According to the Watchtower, God cares about animals, has concern for them as many people do, and he also has limitless power.

    'The righteous person’s concern for his animals finds precedent in God’s own care for them as part of his creation.'


    'Jehovah told Abraham: “I am God Almighty.” (Genesis 17:1) His power is matchless, limitless, and inexhaustible.'


    Imagine you are now looking at an animal (perhaps a dog or cat) that has been run over and is still alive.

    Hopefully you would not leave it to lay there and die in pain. You would likely try to get it to the nearest vet, or help in some way.

    A loving and caring person would do something, as long as they had the necessary resources and abilities to act.

    So why would a loving God with limitless power allow animals to suffer?

    Although the Watchtower has never directly addressed this topic of why God allows animals to suffer, the overall tone of the following article suggests that animal suffering can all be blamed on mankind.

    (The article is filled with misleading and unsupported statements, but you may not realise this at first glance. If you don't have time to read the whole of it, here are some quotes that make it clear where Watchtower tries to suggest humans are to blame for animal suffering).

    The Bible’s Viewpoint - Does God Care About Animals?

    'ANIMAL life is in peril. Many scientists believe extinction of animal species is taking place at an accelerated rate. Animals are suffering the devastating consequences of human encroachment. Industrial food production, cruel blood sports, and callous abandonment of pets add to this grim picture.

    Some feel, however, that such a picture is the inevitable price of human progress. But is that what God intended? Has he abandoned animal creation to suffer at the hands of humans?'

    'Sadly, Adam rebelled against his Creator. His rebellion brought devastating consequences to the human family and to all life on earth.'


    Other religions have also tried to blame mankind for animal suffering, based on scriptures such as Romans 8:19-22.

    Revised NWT

    "For the creation is waiting with eager expectation for the revealing of the sons of God.

    For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but through the one who subjected it, on the basis of hope that the creation itself will also be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.

    For we know that all creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together until now."

    Some teach that it was Adam who subjected all life on earth to corruption, which left animals with this futile existence of pain, suffering and inevitable death.

    This teaching would allow for the possibility that if Adam had not sinned, animals could have lived differently, perhaps without suffering.

    The Watchtower rejects that interpretation, as shown in the following article that discusses Romans 8:19-22.

    (Note: the old NWT rendered the word corruption as futility)

    'Who subjected the creation to futility?...Only Jehovah could. Clearly, then, it was he who subjected creation to futility.

    What, though, is “all creation” referred to in this passage? Some say that “all creation” refers to the entire natural world, including animals and vegetation...“All creation,” then, can refer only to mankind.'


    So the Watchtower teaches that only humans will be freed from corruption, or futility.

    They teach that animals will all experience the same futile existence, Adam's sin did not change their lives to become futile because it has always been that way for them.

    Therefore animals have always had a short existence, suffered and died.

    As the same article states further down about a short painful existence followed by death, life for many animals is "futility indeed!".

    Contrary to their implication that mankind is responsible for animals suffering and going extinct, (from the article The Bible’s Viewpoint Does God Care About Animals?) Watchtower admits that animals have always died, even to the point of extinction.

    'Man’s disobedience in Eden did not bring death to animals—they had been living and dying and many forms becoming extinct for thousands of years before man’s creation. … The status of the beast has remained unchanged since its creation—it lives out its life span and dies. At no time has it had set before it the prospect of eternal life.' Watchtower 1950 Oct 15 p.399

    So mankind cannot be blamed for all animal suffering and extinction.

    God designed the earth and all the things that are on it, according to Watchtower.

    They teach that God did not use or allow evolution.

    'Did God Use Evolution to Create Life?

    Today, most prominent “Christian” religious groups seem willing to accept that God must have used evolution in some way to create life. Some teach that God preprogrammed the universe to develop in such a way that living things inevitably evolved from lifeless chemicals and eventually produced mankind. Those who subscribe to this teaching, known as theistic evolution, do not feel that God interfered with the process once it started. Others think that, in general, God allowed evolution to produce most families of plants and animals but occasionally stepped in to move the process along.

    ...Evolutionary theory and the teachings of Christ are incompatible.To undermine belief in the creation account in Genesis is to undermine the very foundations of the Christian faith. Any attempt to marry these beliefs can only give birth to a weak faith...'


    Therefore, Watchtower teaches that God designed each and every part of the natural world, right from the beginning.

    Take an honest look at nature.

    Even animals in the wild suffer, and this has nothing to do with mankind or Adam's sin.

    Wild-animal suffering is defined as: "the suffering experienced by animals in nature through causes such as disease, injury, starvation, natural disasters, and killings by other animals."

    This kind of suffering is a part of the natural world. Animals suffer and die every day.

    If God designed the natural world, then he is responsible for how it works.

    This would necessarily include predators, dangerous parasites, and every other part of nature that causes pain and death in an infinite variety of ways.

    Watchtower also teaches that he is a loving God.

    So why does God allow animals to suffer?

    Why did he design the natural world to include death by predators, poisonous plants, injuries and diseases?

    No comment has been made in Watchtower publications to answer these questions.

    For some reason, the Watchtower has only ever written about why God allows people to suffer.

    Watchtower teaches that God allows humans to suffer and die because of Adam's sin. Watchtower publications say that both death and suffering are only a part of life for humankind because of Adam's rebellion.

    '...it was only because of [Adam's] rebellion against God that he came into “enslavement to corruption” and passed this condition on to all of his offspring, the human race. (Ro 8:20-22) This enslavement to corruption...produces bodily imperfection that leads to degradation, disease, aging, and death.'


    Animals have been experiencing degradation, disease, aging and death since their existence began.

    Yet animals have never sinned.

    They did not 'rebel against God', yet they have to suffer and die.

    Mankind's sin, and the subsequent punishment of suffering and death, does not explain why a loving God allows animals to suffer, or why he allows them to die painfully and sometimes slowly.

    (Some may object here, that animals must die for the earth's ecology to function properly. Whether they have to die at some point is not the issue here, the animal's suffering is the issue. Still, I will discuss the necessity of animal death, also the nature of animal death in the wild, later in the article.)

    Do animals suffer?


    The short answer is yes.

    The basic definition of suffering is 'physical or emotional pain', for a human or an animal. It is a state that is opposite to pleasure and happiness.

    Many animals definitely can suffer, and it's possible they can even suffer more than we are currently aware of.

    New discoveries are being made all the time.

    We could excuse some of our treatment of animals in the past, when we may unknowingly have caused animals to suffer by our mistreatment of them.

    We lacked scientific knowledge of animal biology, the pain they can experience.

    Today, we know that animals do feel pain.

    All mammals can suffer.

    Birds, amphibians and reptiles may also suffer to some extent.

    According to the U.S. National Research Council Committee on Recognition and Alleviation of Pain in Laboratory Animals, pain is experienced by many animal species, including mammals and possibly all vertebrates.


    Even some invertebrates can suffer.

    Since September 2010, all cephalopods being used for scientific purposes in the EU are protected by EU Directive 2010/63/EU which states

    "...there is scientific evidence of their [cephalopods] ability to experience pain, suffering, distress and lasting harm."

    Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council.

    Even without taking the time to read scientific research, if you’ve ever accidentally stepped on a dog’s toes or tail, or seen an animal when they are attacked or run over by a car, you can tell that they are capable of experiencing pain.

    Animals are capable of suffering.

    To deny this fact would seem to be foolish and potentially dangerous to animals.

    It's a fact that is supported by scientific evidence, and is at the core of all laws that protect animals from cruelty.

    Animals can suffer from being hurt, neglected or mistreated.

    Animal cruelty is defined as causing unnecessary pain and suffering.

    If you believe that animal cruelty should be prevented, then you accept that animals suffer.

    It's that simple.

    During one of his talks, Professor Bernard Rollin facetiously recommended that anyone who denies animals feel pain, should test their hypothesis by using a pair of vice grips to squeeze the balls of a large doberman.

    Even the Watchtower admits that animals can experience emotional suffering.

    'Many people are very close to their pets, such as dogs and cats. What about wild animals, though? One report says: “Scientists who have lived closely with beasts and studied them have found that all mammals are emotional.”

    Of course, we see animals become frightened or ferocious when they are threatened, but are they capable of what some might describe as tender feelings? The report continues: “It is in the raising of their young that mammals reveal their greatest attribute—their tremendous capacity for warm affection.''


    Unless they are teaching something that is untrue, Watchtower states animals are capable of fear, and even warm affection. By quoting that report on mammals to support their views, they tacitly admit that all mammals experience tender feelings, such as affection for their young.

    Do some animals experience emotions, as Watchtower says?

    That being the case, why does God allow them to suffer?

    What Is Responsible for Animal Suffering- God's Design, or Evolution?


    Many people have come to the conclusion that all life on earth evolved gradually over millions of years, without an intelligent designer. Everything we see today is purely the product of evolution, with no input or guidance from any God.

    Pain, suffering and the death of animals would clearly be a part of this natural process.

    No moral justification or further questions are needed upon reaching this conclusion.

    If there's no God, there's obviously no need to ask why God lets animals suffer.

    Natural selection brought us all to where we are today, both human and animals.

    Other people believe that God designed both humans and animals to live a short time on this earth, followed by some kind of resurrection or afterlife in heaven.

    Based on their belief in a God that cares for and loves all of his creatures, they may reason:

    "Many animals suffer and die having lived only a short time, but surely they must receive some kind of an afterlife?"

    This belief brings comfort to many people, which anyone who has lost a beloved pet, or found some poor animal dying in a terrible state can surely understand.

    Our minds cannot seem to comprehend why such innocent creatures can have their lives painfully cut short, without any sin or fault on the part of the animal.

    The innocent do not deserve to suffer.

    Animals being given an afterlife would be a merciful act, a kind act from a God that supposedly cares about all life on earth.

    Surely if he was responsible for creating animals, he should have concern for them?

    That is the impression that the Watchtower sometimes tries to give:

    'The Bible inculcates just and merciful treatment of the lower creatures. Indeed, Jehovah represents himself as the Loving Provider for their lives and well-being.(Pr 12:10; Ps 145:15, 16)'


    The Watchtower teaches that God's original purpose has always been for humans to live forever on the earth, without the suffering and death that comes as the inevitable result of the ageing process.

    Yet the Watchtower also teaches that animals would never have experienced such an existence, regardless of whether Adam had sinned or not.

    'The status of the beast has remained unchanged since its creation—it lives out its life span and dies. At no time has it had set before it the prospect of eternal life.' Watchtower 1950 Oct 15 p.399

    Natural death of old age is not quick and painless. Humans or animals do not die instantly of old age. During the ageing process organs degenerate, and it is the failure of a specific bodily function that is the cause of death at old age. Often during this process, the dying animal is abandoned by its group, and they will die alone and in pain in the wild.

    Another part of the natural world that causes suffering is disease.

    Disease existed long before Adam and Eve sinned.


    This ancient fossil of a Russellosaurine Mosasaur tail bone infected with arthritis is just one example showing disease existed prior to the sin of Adam and Eve.

    The following articles discuss the recent discovery that millions of years before Adamic sin, even the dinosaurs suffered with various types of disease.

    Septic arthritis: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/08/70-million-years-later-duck-billed-dinosaur-has-diagnosis-septic-arthritis


    This one mentions Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis) being common:




    Most pathologies preserved in theropod fossils are the remains of injuries, but some provide evidence of infections or congenital deformities.

    Here are some examples:













    Animal suffering pre-dates the time when Adam and Eve existed by millions of years.

    Even in the Garden of Eden, animal ageing and death was inevitable.

    “Adam understood what death meant, since he would have seen animals die.” Awake! Oct 2007 p.28

    Animals were also being violently killed by predators long before humankind even existed.

    There are even animals that are clearly adapted (or designed, if you prefer) to function as predators, or as prey.


    Mankind's sin cannot be used as the reason for God allowing animals to suffer painful death by predators, or to suffer disease.

    From the point of view of those who believe God designed all things on earth, some would rightly ask how a loving God could create animal species that have been designed to hunt and tear apart their prey, or to poison and crush other animals to death.

    For example the anaconda and the cobra, if they were designed, were built to kill.

    The cobra is just one type of snake equipped with lethal poison, and the anaconda constricts other animals to death before swallowing them whole.

    An in depth study of nature reveals reveals countless killing and defense mechanisms built into the natural world.

    The entire cat family are obligate carnivores.

    Their bodies are so well adapted to being predators, that they make excellent hunters and killers.

    They must eat meat to stay alive. They are born with hunting instincts.

    Could they have evolved to be such well adapted carnivores, with inbuilt hunting instincts?

    The Watchtower teaches that God designed them that way in the beginning, and they have barely altered at all, animals are the same as they were from the beginning right down until today.

    Insight - KIND

    'The creation record found in the first chapter of Genesis reveals that Jehovah God created earth’s living things “according to their kinds.” (Ge 1:11)

    From the earliest human record until now, the evidence is that dogs are still dogs, cats continue to be cats, and elephants have been and will always be elephants.

    Modern research has indicated that hundreds of thousands of different plants are members of the same family. Similarly, in the animal kingdom, there may be many varieties of cats, all belonging to one cat family or feline “kind.”

    ..Geological research provides clear evidence that the fossils held to be among the earliest specimens of a certain creature are very similar to their descendants alive today.

    Cockroaches found among the supposed earliest fossil insects are virtually identical to modern ones.

    Horses, oak trees, eagles, elephants, walnuts, ferns, and so forth, all continue within the same “kinds” without evolving into other “kinds.” The testimony of the fossils is in full accord with the Bible’s history of creation...'


    The Watchtower teaches that the animals we see today are 'very similar' or 'virtually identical' to their ancestors.

    Remember that they teach evolution has not produced any new kinds of animals. In terms of function and form, each kind of animals are all just the same today as they were at the beginning of creation.

    Watchtower also teaches that all animals were created before mankind.

    On Day Six “God proceeded to make the wild beast of the earth according to its kind and the domestic animal according to its kind and every moving animal of the ground according to its kind,” such work being good, as were all of God’s previous creative works.—Ge 1:24, 25.

    Toward the end of the sixth day of creative activity, God brought into existence an entirely new kind of creature, superior to the animals even though lower than the angels. This was man"


    If all these things were true, then the predators and carnivores that we see today, as well as the prey animals with their inbuilt defense mechanisms, must have all been designed this way by God, before Adam existed.

    Logically then, God must have designed the cat family as well as other predators and carnivores, before Adam sinned.

    Therefore, mankind's sin cannot be blamed for the existence of carnivorous predators.

    For more information regarding predator and prey interactions built into the natural world:



    So, which is it?

    Did all the parts of the natural world that have caused animal suffering and death come about by intelligent design, as a part of God's creation?

    Or did they come about by evolution?

    You can't have it both ways.

    If God designed the natural world, then he is fully responsible for all of the suffering and death that is part of nature.

    Does God care about animals, as the Watchtower claims?


    Animals only exist for a brief time on this earth which often ends with them dying in pain from disease, predation, starvation, or the ageing process.

    Animals suffer, grow old and die, either by God's original design or by evolution.

    Humans are no different.

    To claim that humans were always meant to live forever on earth, would make God appear unbalanced and uncaring towards the countless species who always have and always will suffer and die on this earth, without any hope of a resurrection.

    "Though animals die in the same manner as man, they do not share his hope of a resurrection." it-1 pp.110-1112

    The Watchtower has created doctrines which are not stated anywhere in the Bible, such as humans were meant to live forever on earth before Adam sinned, and animals will definitely have no resurrection.

    Watchtower teaches that God designed all things just as they are, without allowing evolution.

    The natural world that God supposedly designed shows no sign of compassion to animals. Nature is filled with pain, suffering and death in an infinite variety of ways.

    If God's qualities include caring about animals, then that would seem to conflict with this scripture:

    Romans 1:20

    "For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made..."

    Notice some Watchtower commentary on this verse:

    '(Romans 1:20) The Creator left his imprint on his handiwork, as Paul pointed out.

    Paul is saying that from the moment humans were created, they could see evidence of the Creator’s qualities in the things he made.

    ...That evidence is all around us. It is not hidden in nature but is “clearly seen.” From the largest to the smallest, creation clearly reveals not only that there is a Creator but also that he has wonderful qualities. Does not the intelligent design so obvious in nature reveal to us God’s wisdom?'


    This sounds nice, but ask yourself:

    Would a God that loves animals design the natural world in a way that means they all suffer and die from things such as predator attacks, poison, diseases and ageing?

    The concept of a loving God who has concern for animals yet does nothing to show it, is inconsistent and flawed.

    The Watchtower teaches that God cares for all his creatures, but also that he designed them all.

    Therefore God designed them with the capacity to suffer; then he designed them to be eaten alive, or experience disease, ageing, and die painfully.

    According to Watchtower teaching, God designed them in this way without even giving them a resurrection hope.

    Here is a reminder of their teaching that God cares for animals:

    ' The righteous person’s concern for his animals finds precedent in God’s own care for them as part of his creation.'


    Does God care for animals, wild or domestic?

    Where is the evidence to support this claim?

    Watchtower's literal view of every account in the Bible makes their position of God caring for animals appear even more inconsistent.

    Consider the Biblical Flood, a myth or parable in the view of many religious groups.

    Watchtower teaches the Flood was a global flood that really happened, which killed all land-based animals on the entire planet, except those few on the ark.


    Some other religions believe this was a localised flood, or just a story.

    That was not the case, according to the Watchtower.

    Insight book - DELUGE

    'The catastrophic destruction of men and animals by an overwhelming flood in the days of Noah, 2370 B.C.E. This greatest cataclysm in all human history was sent by Jehovah because wicked men had filled the earth with violence...This was no local flash flood or cloudburst.

    Definitely this was a global deluge, the like of which had never occurred before nor has since.'


    Watchtower teachings on God's view of animals are inconsistent and illogical.

    The Watchtower teaches that God cares for his animal creation and is their Loving Provider, whilst also teaching he literally killed every single land animal on the planet, without even a resurrection hope.

    This is inconsistent, as God would not needlessly destroy innocent animals if he cared about them.

    I say needless, because mankind was often punished in the Bible, in various ways, without any animals being killed.

    Angels could have been sent to kill all the wicked people.

    To claim God drowned countless animals, and at the same time state that he cares for them or considers them compassionately, is totally contradictory.

    (Note: later on I will show you a quote where Watchtower claims that God feels pity for animals! Their teaching regarding the biblical flood contradicts this.)

    'Though many people focus on their own concerns and ignore any consequences to animals, God compassionately considers them.'


    'Some may wonder if the story of the whole earth being covered with water is a myth or at least an exaggeration. Not at all!'


    'So just as God had said, all the people and animals outside the ark died.'


    'Though animals die in the same manner as man, they do not share his hope of a resurrection.' it-1 pp.1110-1112


    (To be continued...)

    My next post will be the rest of the article.

    I am sorry that some of the links are not clickable.

    Because of technical limitations of using my phone, I have had to divide this into two posts. Please Do Not Post!... until I have made my 2nd post. Thankyou. :)

  • defender of truth
    defender of truth

    To any Jehovah's Witnesses who are reading this:


    Animals suffer. God doesn't prevent their suffering.

    According to the Watchtower's publications and their denial of evolution, God must have specifically designed every animal to be just the way they are today: they have the capacity to feel pain, to cause each other suffering, and to die slowly of old age or starvation. That is, if predators and diseases don't kill them first.

    It has been shown in this article that mankind cannot be blamed for the suffering and death that wild animals suffer. Disease and predators existed long before man.

    If evolutionary development is not responsible, then God is.

    Even if the Watchtower will never admit it in print, admitting to yourself that God does not care about animals would be the logical thing to do.

    The evidence for this is all around, in the natural world and also in the fossil record of prehistoric predators and countless extinctions of entire species.

    The existence and extinction of animals such as the dinosaurs, long before mankind existed, dispels any notion that God created all animals just for mankind to enjoy or use.

    So what was the purpose of those species that no longer even exist?

    If God created all things, and cares about his creation as Watchtower teaches, he would not have created the dinosaurs and then let them die out, with no purpose whatsoever.

    The dinosaurs would have to have been created as part of either the fifth or sixth creative day, according to Watchtower's chart in the Insight book, those were the days when all animal life was created.

    The following chart sets out the six “days” outlined in Genesis, and ALL of the earthly creations.


    Day No. Creative Works Texts

    Day 1 Light; division between day and night Ge 1:3-5

    Day 2 Expanse, a division between waters

    beneath the expanse and waters above it Ge 1:6-8

    Day 3 Dry land; vegetation Ge 1:9-13

    Day 4 Heavenly luminaries become discernible

    from earth Ge 1:14-19

    Day 5 Aquatic souls and flying creatures Ge 1:20-23

    Day 6 Land animals; man Ge 1:24-31


    Watchtower teaches that ALL creative work stopped on the 7th day, and man was God's final creation. God did not create anything else, nor did any other kind of life come to being through evolution.

    So this means that all animal life was created in the last two 'days', or the last two periods of time.

    Therefore dinosaurs must have been included in one of those categories mentioned in the chart.

    Look at the 3 categories, sea creatures, flying creatures, and land animals.

    Notice this Watchtower quote, talking about all 3 categories of animal life:

    'After God’s creation of fish, birds, and land animals, God was pleased. The Bible says that he “got to see that it was good.” (Genesis 1:21, 25) All those creatures, from the smallest to the largest, had the Creator’s loving concern.'


    So the dinosaurs, and all other animals, had the Creator's loving concern? The dinosaurs no longer exist. It's quite safe to say that the vast majority of the animal species that supposedly had the Creators loving concern became extinct.

    More than 99 percent of all species, amounting to over five billion species, that ever lived on Earth are estimated to be extinct.

    The Watchtower's teachings are totally contradictory.

    They teach the following:

    *God has concern for animals, he is their Loving Provider and he compassionately considers them.

    *Many animal species became extinct long before Adam existed.

    *God designed every part of a natural world that will kill animals by means of parasites or predators, as well as leaving them to starve and die slowly of various diseases.

    *During a global flood, in his anger God literally killed almost every member of every land-based animal species on this planet.

    *God will not resurrect any animals. (including the ones he destroyed himself)

    The Watchtower expects you to believe all of these teachings, yet to believe all of these at the same time would be completely illogical.

    Please, read the list again, from the top.

    Watchtower claims that God cares about animals, that he is compassionate towards them.

    This claim is evidently contradicted by the fossil record, by the natural suffering of animals both at present and before mankind existed, and even by some of their own teachings; such as no resurrection for all the animals he killed in a Global flood, and that he designed every part of the world that has made them suffer and even become extinct.

    Why would a God who is a Loving Provider for animals, allow animals to suffer disease and starve to death?

    Why would a loving God design a world where all animals have to suffer and die slowly or be eaten by predators, with no purpose or prospect of life in heaven?

    Why would a God who compassionately considers animals drown almost every land dwelling animal on earth, despite their complete innocence, when other methods of destroying mankind were available? (According to the Bible, just one angel could kill 185,000 men in one night).

    The Watchtower has provided no answer to these questions.

    It's hard to imagine how they could print an answer without admitting that animal lives and welfare are irrelevant to God the Bible says is love personified.

    No wonder they avoid talking about it altogether.

    In this article on whether God was cruel to use the flood as a method of divine judgement, the Watchtower deliberately avoids discussing whether God was cruel to destroy all those animals. They do this by phrasing both the problem ('What you may hear') and the answer to it ('What the Bible says') as being only about him destroying mankind.

    No mention of some people's view that God was cruel to drown countless animals. Very clever...


    Maybe that's why they have never written about the problem of animal suffering.

    It'd be difficult to preach about the loving nature of your God, if your God views every species he created except one as not worth caring about.

    Reading the Bible itself and studying natural extinction, parasites and predators going back millions of years may raise some difficult questions in your mind.

    You may try to look for justifications.

    Some Witnesses may say that none of the animal species could possibly have been given everlasting life, because the earth would have become overpopulated.

    Therefore, they must die.

    What they are not considering, though, is that exactly the same problem would be created if humans were to live forever on the earth.

    For mankind to live forever on earth and not run out of space, which would be inevitable, at some point all reproduction would have to stop.

    The same could also have applied to at least one of the animal species, maybe even more, if everlasting life on earth had ever been a part of God's plan.

    If God exists, and if God did have have a plan, natural death is a part of it.

    Realistically, both humans and animals must face an earthly death.

    Claiming that not even one of the animal species could possibly live forever on earth, because of limited space or limited resources, merely highlights a problem with Watchtower doctrine.

    If God gave everlasting life on earth to humankind, the earth would eventually become overpopulated with never-dying humans in this supposed future paradise earth.


    Besides, surely a God that loves animals could have designed them to live for a set period of time, and then die instantly and painlessly?

    Furthermore, the defense of 'animals need to die to create space on the earth' does not explain why a God that cares for animals has let countless species go extinct.

    Remember, Watchtower teaches that God created all animals in the original creative period.

    So, did God design too many animals to fit on the earth?

    Or did he design some knowing they would become extinct?

    If he cares for all animals, why did he let the dinosaurs all go extinct?

    Were they not part of his Creation, that he supposedly cares for?

    We have shown that the Watchtower publication's teachings on the subject of God and his supposed concern for animals are contradictory, illogical, or not based on reality.

    Animals and humans suffer and die on this earth because we are all subject to degradation of our body, followed by death.

    Whatever you want to believe about how all life was formed or came into existence, the fact remains that this has always been the case. (Even the Bible never speaks of anyone being offered eternal life on earth.)

    An earthly death is inevitable, for all creatures.

    Watchtower merely tries to avoid that reality by teaching doctrines that are illogical, unrealistic, and not even Bible-based as you have been led to believe.

    We all read into things too much sometimes, imagining things have been written or said when they have not been, based on assumptions and preconceived bias.

    It's human nature.

    The Watchtower is no different when it comes to the Bible.

    The problem is, they cannot admit when they were wrong.

    This is because they claim to be directed by holy spirit.


    Don't rely on others to think for you.

    Look up the Bible references they provide in a Watchtower article, think about the context. Does the Bible actually say what they are teaching? I guarantee you, sometimes it will not say what they are claiming that it says.

    Here is just one example:

    "The righteous person’s concern for his animals finds precedent in God’s own care for them as part of his creation.—Compare Ex 20:10; De 25:4; 22:4, 6, 7; 11:15;

    Ps 104:14, 27; Jon 4:11."


    Reading Exodus 20:10 will show you it states nothing about God caring for an animal, or having concern for it.

    The Israelites law was simply forbidding them from letting their animal work on the Sabbath, so that people could not find a way around the rule by saying that the animal was working, not them. Loaning the animal to someone else and collecting part of the profit was a practice in those days.

    The Jews of that time were known for finding loopholes, if any rule did not cover every angle, they would find a way around it.

    Bible > Commentaries > Exodus 20:10

    Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

    "nor thy cattle, of any sort whatever that is used to labour, because if the cattle did not rest, servants could not, who are concerned in the care and use of them: in Deuteronomy 5:14, the ox and the ass are particularly mentioned, because laborious creatures; the one were used in ploughing, and treading out the corn, and the other to ride upon, and carry burdens;

    and concerning the latter the Jews have this canon (l),"he who is going in the way, (or on a journey,) and has sanctified for himself the day, and has money with him, and has an ass;

    and though he has with him an idolater, he may not put his bag upon his ass; because he is commanded concerning its rest;

    but he may give his bag to the idolater to throw it upon it; and at the going out of the sabbath he may receive it from him, and even may not give him a reward for it;

    ''but not only those, but all sorts of cattle were exempt from labour on this day, as horses, camels, mules etc which, according to the Jewish canons, as they were not to be employed in work by the Jews, so they were not to be let or lent out to an idolater"

    Taken in context, the verse does not state what they are claiming at all.

    There are many more examples of this throughout Watchtower literature, but you will have to start thinking for yourself to notice them.

    That is why they discourage independent or critical thinking.

    I could be here all day long, but I will give you two more examples.

    The next reference from that page is Deuteronomy 25:4

    4 “You must not muzzle a bull when it is threshing out grain"

    Does this verse show that God has concern for animals? Does it show that God cares about them?

    Read 1 Corinthians 9:9, 10.

    Also bear in mind the Flood account, the ten plagues, and other times in the Bible where animals were destroyed.

    As 1 Corinthians 9:9, 10 shows (if you believe the Bible is inspired and not just Paul's own opinion), God did not implement that law out of concern for the bull.

    Even the apostle Paul said that God did not make the law in Deuteronomy 25:4 for the sake of bulls. The whole Law was intended for mankind's benefit, or specifically so that the Israelites could become a clean and sanctified people.

    Using this verse to show that God cares for animals is illogical. How odd that the Watchtower cross-references these two verses in the NWT, then quotes it to support a claim that God is concerned for animals and thus wants them to be treated compassionately.

    Another verse Watchtower uses to support their claim is Deuteronomy 22:10.

    They teach that God is showing concern for animal welfare here.

    Although this is one potential interpretation, there are others. The other interpretations are far more consistent with other verses, remembering the symbolic meaning of the Law and how everything relates to be clean or unclean. Watchtower won't tell you about these alternative interpretations, though, as it would weaken their claim that this verse teaches us about God's compassion for animals.

    Remember that the following article is all about trying to show that God cares about animals.

    'The Creator, however, made clear how animals were to be treated...

    Yoking a bull and a donkey together was prohibited, preventing injury to either animal. (Deuteronomy 22:10) Clearly, the Bible teaches that animals were to be treated with propriety, respect, and compassion!'


    Deuteronomy 22:10

    Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together,....

    Matthew Poole's Commentary


    1. Because the one was a clean beast, the other unclean; whereby God would teach men to avoid polluting themselves by the touch of unclean persons or things, 2 Corinthians 6:14.


    2. Because of their unequal strength, whereby the weaker, the ass, would be oppressed and overwrought.


    3. For mystical reasons, of which see Deuteronomy 22:9, Leviticus 19:19.

    Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

    The reason why they were not to be put together was either (as some think) lest the law should be broken which forbids the gendering of cattle with a diverse kind, Leviticus 19:19.

    But Aben Ezra thinks the reason is, because the strength of an ass is not equal to the strength of an ox; and therefore he supposes this law is made from the mercy and commiseration of God extended to all his creatures;

    Though perhaps the better reason is, because the one was a clean creature, and the other an unclean, and this instance is put for all others; and with which agree the Jewish canons, which run thus,

    "cattle with cattle, wild beasts with wild beasts, unclean with unclean, clean with clean (i.e. these may be put together); but unclean with clean, and clean with unclean, are forbidden to plough with, to draw with, or to be led together (k).'

    'The mystery [deeper meaning] of this is, that godly and ungodly persons are not to be yoked together in religious fellowship: see 2 Corinthians 6:14'

    As we can see here, the more balanced view within the historical context, or even just from looking at what was said in the previous verse, is that this verse alone does not show that God cares about all animals.

    It doesn't even necessarily have the meaning behind it that the Watchtower claims it does.

    Look at the Law as a whole.

    It was not written for animals.

    Also, not all of the Mosaic Laws were fair to animals.

    See Leviticus 20:15,16.

    A death sentence on people who commit bestiality was a fine deterrent, but it cannot be said that this Law's intended purpose was for the protection of animals.

    Any law that involves the death of the victim is not intended for their protection.

    Like every other part of the Mosaic Law, the intention is always for either a moral purpose (godly cleanliness) or perhaps secondarily for the protection of people (laws on physical hygiene or death sentence for deliberate murder, for instance).

    Nothing in the Law is provided for the sake of animals.

    The Watchtower doesn't even claim that the death sentence for bestiality was intended for protection of animals.


    '...This prohibition, together with the rest of God’s laws governing sex relations, lifted the Israelites to a much higher moral level than their neighbors. In Egypt, bestiality constituted a part of idolatrous animal worship; historians attest to the cohabitation of women with goats, for example. Similar practices were also prevalent among the Canaanites (Le 18:23-30), and reportedly in Rome.'


    The Mosaic Law was intended for the preservation of the people's moral standards.

    The following Watchtower article lists the many benefits and strengths of the Mosaic Law. It does not mention animal welfare, because that was not the purpose of the Law.

    'The Law helped God’s people to distinguish between what was clean and unclean, pure and impure, citing about 70 different things that could render an Israelite ceremonially unclean. These laws touched on physical hygiene, diet, and even waste disposal. Such laws provided remarkable health benefits.* But they had a higher purpose—that of keeping the people in Jehovah’s favor, separate from the sinful practices of the debased nations surrounding them.'


    Quoting these parts of the Mosaic Law does not provide any evidence that God has concern for animals.

    As the apostle Paul says at 1 Corinthians 9:9 regarding the Law, "Is it bulls that God is concerned about?". In verse 10 he makes the point even clearer.

    That's why reading the Bible with different commentaries, especially reading it without a Watchtower publication telling us what a verse says, can broaden our understanding of what the Bible actually says.

    One final point regarding what the Bible says about God and animals:

    'Though many people focus on their own concerns and ignore any consequences to animals, God compassionately considers them. When the prophet Jonah reacted unmercifully when the inhabitants of Nineveh repented and were spared God’s judgment, Jehovah stated: “For my part, ought I not to feel sorry for Nineveh the great city, in which there exist more than one hundred and twenty thousand men who do not at all know the difference between their right hand and their left, besides many domestic animals?” (Jonah 4:11) Yes, the Creator felt pity even for the animals!'


    The scripture does not actually say God felt pity for the animals, simply that he took note that they were in the city, and that he regretted thinking about destroying the city BECAUSE THE NINEVITES HAD REPENTED.

    Even if God had felt pity for the animals on this one occasion, why was that the case?

    Why would he feel pity for them?

    Answer: Because the animals were innocent and did not deserve to be destroyed.

    Be honest, though.

    God did not have pity for the animals, he would have killed them whilst punishing the Ninevites, despite having full control of his destructive power. (as the Watchtower teaches)

    'Jehovah is not a God governed by or limited to celestial or earthly cycles. Nor are his expressions of power capricious, erratic, or inconsistent. In each case they reveal something about his personality, his standards, his purpose...God could be selective as to the plagues’ effect, causing some to leave a specific area exempt, thereby identifying who were his approved servants. (Ex 8:22, 23; 9:3-7, 26) He could start and stop the plagues at will.'


    Ask yourself, if the ninevites had not repented, would God have still destroyed Nineveh along with all those innocent animals he supposedly felt pity for?

    You know the answer.

    God had already pronounced his judgement.

    Nineveh and everything in it was to be destroyed, if they hadn't repented, God would have killed those animals.

    Viewing the whole Bible account, is it realistic to claim that God has pity for animals?

    Does this scriptural passage demonstrate that God feels pity for animals, enough to take them into consideration when planning a destruction? Or is the Watchtower deceptively giving a particular impression of that passage in the Bible, in order to back up their claim that God cares about animals?

    Think about it.

    Please take the time look up these scriptures in your own or any other translation:

    Genesis 7:21-23

    Exodus 9:9, 22-25

    Exodus 13:15

    Jeremiah 7:20

    Jeremiah 21:6

    Zephaniah 1:3

    It's difficult to break the habit of letting others do the thinking for you, but it is worth the effort.

    Wouldn't it be horrible to wake up one day and realise that you have wasted most of your life, the one chance of life you have on this beautiful planet, on a fantasy printed in a magazine?

    If you don't start thinking for yourself now, years from today you may regret how much time you spent preaching unscriptural teachings handed to you by a publishing company.

    Do you really know the God that is described in the Bible, or will you just accept whatever the Watchtower says?

    It isn't easy to think about God not caring about animals, especially when you're reading a book/magazine containing the Watchtower's claims of God and his love for all creatures, including animals.

    It may make you feel better to believe this, but it is not based on reality.

    Looking honestly at the Bible and historical records will reveal that no human has ever been granted everlasting life on earth.

    Humans and animals have always grown old and died, and they always will.

    Your beliefs may seem like reality whilst you are being repeatedly indoctrinated, but the reality is that you will die one day, and so will I.

    The Watchtower's failed promises will one day pass away (as they are replaced by new teachings and new promises), along with the passing away of sincere people who believed the promises and preached about them.

    It has happened before, it will happen again.



    Do you want to face reality?

    Or would you rather waste your limited days on this wonderful planet building your life around preaching illogical and unfounded beliefs, striving towards an imaginary future of living forever on earth? That hope is not even a scripturally based hope, it is a fabrication printed by a publishing company that has for its entire existence taught things as Scriptural truth that cannot even be found in the Bible.

    The Watchtower goes far beyond what the Bible says with it's teachings.

    Maybe other religions do that as well?

    When a religion's teachings also conflict with reality and even contradict each other, though, you have to realise there is a problem.

    God caring about animals and making them all as peaceful vegetarians (referenced earlier) is only a relatively small example of this practice.


    Will you feel the same way about God if you start thinking and realise he doesn't care about any animals?

    Will you feel the same way about Watchtower publications when you find out they teach things that are not in the Bible?

    Don't be afraid of the truth.

    There is nothing wrong with examining the Bible and comparing what it actually says to what the Watchtower claims when they cite a reference.

    It will take effort, though, and true research.

    Research that isn't just pulling out the Insight book and copying the answer.

    You need to really examine what you believe at some point, life is short and too precious to be wasted on futile endeavours like preaching false unscriptural teachings.

    Think for yourself.

    Research and study without being confined by only believing what the Watchtower tells you.



    The Watchtower's publications claim that God is compassionately concerned about all animals, and that he cares for each of them. Such claims are contradictory when compared with their other teachings, and demonstrably false when compared with the reality of the natural world and its constantly unfolding story of suffering and extinctions.

    In the article quoted earlier, entitled 'Does God Care About Animals?', the Watchtower implied that Adam, and mankind as a whole, is responsible for animal suffering and extinction.

    This has been shown to be false.

    Animals have been suffering and dying long before humans walked the earth.

    God, if he exists, watched as those animals became extinct.

    If God cares about every sparrow that falls to the ground, then how does he ignore the infinite variety of animal suffering and death that happens every day?

    If God really killed every land-based animal on Earth except those in the ark, how can anyone claim he is a Loving Provider that cares for animals?

    Finally, we arrive back at the original questions:

    Why does God allow animals to suffer and die?

    Does God care about animals?

    To me, the answer is abundantly clear.

    If a God exists, it doesn't care about animals.

    The God of the Bible certainly doesn't care about animals, if he exists.

    The Biblical God evidently didn't even care about animals enough to stop himself from killing them needlessly, or to prevent the animals he designed from suffering or even going extinct.

    Either way, in my view the answer to the problem of why God allows animals to suffer is: 'because a God that cares about animals does not exist'.

    Decide for yourself what to believe about God and the Bible, but please decide based on the evidence, not based on a fear of contradicting what the Watchtower teaches.


    That's it. I hope someone finds this useful.

    All feedback welcome, although I may not reply for a while.

    I need a break after writing this. :)

  • redvip2000

    Also to consider:

    Since Jdub drones believe that animals started eating each other after the flood, why did Jellohoba do that? What is the point making animals eat each other?

    Before animals at each other, how did ecosystems remain in balance? after all, it is predation and the food chain that keeps populations in check.

    Why did Jeevoova create animals with predatory features if the plan was for them not to eat each other?
  • defender of truth
    defender of truth

    Great questions redvip.

    I think you would like this excellent page made by Jwfacts.


  • truth_b_known

    Animals are born with defects, get diseases, grow old, and eventually die = Perfect creation by Jehovah

    Humans are born with defects, get diseases, grow old, and eventually die = All due to imperfection because of Adamic sin

    Does anyone else see a problem with this logic?

  • redvip2000

    Yup, and exactly why did J.Hoover create death in the first place? Why not create an assigned set of animals and plants that will simply live forever just like man was supposed to?

    Let's say if imaginary Adam had a pet dog, why does the pet dog have to die, if imaginary Adam lived forever?

  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel
    Animals only exist for a brief time on this earth which often ends with them dying in pain from disease, predation, starvation, or the aging process. ... Humans are no different.

    Yes, but you're essentially saying that none of it has any purpose.

    To claim that humans were always meant to live forever on earth, would make God appear unbalanced and uncaring towards the countless species who always have and always will suffer and die on this earth, without any hope of a resurrection.

    Yes, but are you saying God intended for man to live on Earth in a garden environment for untold gazillions of years doing nothing but tending it? What was the purpose in that? The only apparent difference between humans and animals is in intelligence. To ask animals to suffer pain and death without a "hope" of a resurrection in indeed heartless.

    "Though animals die in the same manner as man, they do not share his hope of a resurrection." it-1 pp.110-1112

    The Watchtower has created doctrines which are not stated anywhere in the Bible, such as humans were meant to live forever on earth before Adam sinned, and animals will definitely have no resurrection.

    This is an understatement. Perhaps animals will be resurrected, and perhaps man was supposed to fall. If something is not found in the scriptures, are we supposed to make vain suppositions? Animals are incredible! They feel pain, joy, are capable of self sacrifice, can improve themselves, retain memories. And even as Christ suffered for us, He suffered for them. Throughout the centuries, animals have worked for and beside mankind. To think they would just end at death makes no sense. They are eternal beings, even as man. Especially cats.

  • cofty

    Excellent work DoT.

    Marking to read thoroughly later.

    Cold Steel you are embarrassing yourself.

  • sir82

    Perhaps animals will be resurrected

    Yay!,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 beetles coming soon!

    Watch your step! Make sure your tupperware lid is on tight!

  • Finkelstein

    Since over 99% of all species that have ever lived are no longer with us they are extinct , tells the tale that god really doesn't care one way or another.

    The Sciences are about non-fiction reality, ancient mythology of spiritual beings ( Gods) is about fictional imagination rooted in human ignorance.

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