In a sad turn of events, a hunter named Theunis Botha was killed after he had been legally hunting elephants. This father of five was well known for his hunting leopards and lions. While he was hunting, he was sadly crushed under the weight of a downed elephant.
The wickedness of mankind was shown almost as soon as it hit the news. When posted to Yahoo News's Facebook page, it received (as of this article) over 1,000 laughing reactions and 637 love reactions. Meanwhile, only 53 reactors expressed sympathy. The top comment on this post said, "Next to a good goring in the bull ring there is nothing I like more than a big game hunting accident... I hope [he] wasn't killed instantly and had time to suffer." (This had 451 like, 46 loves, and 5 laughs at the time of this article). Care2.com reported, "Karma Strikes Again: Trophy Hunter Killed by Elephant". One commenter on Twitter said, "I hope Botha finds himself in Hell, being hunted by all the animals he killed." Regrettably, these disgusting comments were much easier to find than any comments that mourned his death or expressed sorrow over his loss.
For a moment, just ignore the fact that privatization actually helps animal populations because it motivates those who earn from them (locals) to stop poachers and prevent over-hunting. Let's act like legal, licensed hunting is just as bad as activists seem to think it is. How much more precious was Botha's life than that elephant? How much more valuable is the lmago Dei when compared to the life of an animal? Infinitely. Man is made in the image of God. We are separated from animals by our sentience and our sapience. Because man is created in the image of God (Imago Dei), the life of a human is infinitely more valuable than that of an animal. In fact, if you combined the value of every animal that has ever lived and ever will live, you will not even come close to the value of one human life.
This is made clear by reading Genesis 1, in which God tells Adam, "have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Genesis 1:28, ESV). The Noahic covenant (which is still active) gave us permission to eat animals, saying, "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything." (Genesis 9:3, ESV). The general equity of Old Testament civil law also indicates that human life is more valuable than animal life. In Exodus 22:1 (ESV), we read, "If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep." However, the civil law also states, "Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death." (Exodus 21:12, ESV). Finally, Jesus explicitly said, "You are of more value than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:31, ESV).
The world will revel in the death of a hunter yet mourn the death of the elephant that killed him. They will place more value on the eggs of a bird than on the growing life of an unborn human. Know this: it is done in wickedness and blindness. God's word shows that human life is more valuable than animal life, and this is not a truth that believers should soon forget.
Brandon C. Hines
Brandon is a young writer, theologian, and polemicist. He adheres to the 1689 London Baptist Confession and believes in Calvinism, Covenant Theology, Credobaptism, Presuppositional Apologetics, and the Essentials of the Christian Faith.