Saving Jaguars

Written by Victor Stanley Jr.

Theology & Culture

In a story from Reuters scientists work to preserve jaguars, which are a species that is on the brink of extinction. There are only two hundred jaguars left in the wild, and scientists in Argentina recently caught one in order to extract DNA samples. “The 11-year-old jaguar called Tango could be the key to preserving the species for future generations,”[1] says scientist Adrian Sestelo. Scientists are working with conservation groups in order to protect the small population of jaguars left in the wild. The cause of the rapid decline in jaguar populations is due to the fact that “about 18,000 jaguars were killed globally every year for their fur in the 1960s and 1970s, but hunting still remains a threat to them today despite anti-fur campaigns.”1 Scientists hope that their research will help in the effort to preserve and grow the population of wild jaguars.

Simply put, I believe that as humans charged by God to subdue the earth, and given dominion over all animals,[2] we should do our best to protect them. While I do not advocated for becoming a vegetarian or vegan, or not wearing material made from animals, I do believe that we must be good stewards of the planet we have been given. Psalms 104 speaks of the glory and splendor of the Lord, as well as the fact that he makes provision and cares for every creature on Earth. As followers of Christ we should have this same attitude towards God’s creation.

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount he instructs us not to be anxious or worry excessively about our well being, and drives the point home by saying, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”[3] So we see that God is deeply concerned with his creation, and in his immanence he provides for and sustains his creation. As Christians when we go about our daily lives we must be mindful of how we treat not only others, but also animals and nature as a whole.

[1] http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/rare-jaguar-holds-hopes-species-survival-n235501

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Genesis 1:28-30.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Matthew 6:26.

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