Judaism and Islam teach very similar lessons on animal welfare. Both religions instruct that all living creatures are to be shown respect and compassion – ensuring that animals are not abused.
Jews and Muslims are instructed to show mercy to animals
God has mercy over all his works [Bava Metzia 85a: And thus so should man]
Whoever is merciful even to a sparrow, Allah will be merciful to him on the Day of Judgment.
Jews and Muslims are instructed not to inflict cruelty on animals
The righteous man regards the life of his animal.
A good deed done to an animal is like a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad as cruelty to a human being.
Jews and Muslims should prioritise the sustenance of livestock
Talmud Berachot 40a
A man is forbidden to eat before he gives food to his beast.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “While a man was walking he felt thirsty and went down a well and drank water from it. On coming out of it, he saw a dog panting and eating mud because of excessive thirst. The man said, ‘This (dog) is suffering from the same problem as that of mine. So he (went down the well), filled his shoe with water, caught hold of it with his teeth and climbed up and watered the dog. Allah thanked him for his (good)
Jews and Muslims should ensure animals in their care don’t suffer
If you see your enemy’s donkey lying under its burden would you refrain from helping him? You shall surely help along with him
Narrated by Abdullah bin Ja’far: The Prophet once passed by a lean camel whose belly had shrunk to its back. “Fear God” he said to the owner of the camel, “in these dumb animals, and ride them only when they are fit to be ridden, and let them go free when it is meant that they should rest.”
Jews and Muslims are permitted to eat meat, but they must slaughter it in the humane way proscribed
you may slaughter of your cattle and of your sheep, which the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you, and you may eat in your cities, according to every desire of your soul.
Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah , and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars, and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows. That is grave disobedience
Jews and Muslims are prohibited from eating meat from a living animal
But, flesh with its soul, its blood, you shall not eat.
Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah , and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death]
Jews and Muslims are instructed to be mindful when taking chicks or eggs from a nest while the mother is in sight
If a bird’s nest chances before you on the road, on any tree, or on the ground, and [it contains] fledglings or eggs, if the mother is sitting upon the fledglings or upon the eggs, you shall not take the mother upon the young. You shall send away the mother, and [then] you may take the young for yourself, in order that it should be good for you, and you should lengthen your days.
Sahih Muslim, Bukhari, Abu Dawud
During a journey, someone travelling with the Prophet SAW, gathered some birds eggs from a nest. The mother bird’s painful cries and commotion attracted the attention of the Prophet SAW ,who asked the man to return the eggs to the nest.
Judaism and Islam teach that although animals are to be treated with compassion, they are still subordinate to man
And God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and they shall rule over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the heaven and over the animals and over all the earth and over all the creeping things that creep upon the earth.”
“He has made subservient to you (men) whatsoever is in the heavens and in the earth.”