I volunteer in an animal shelter, and I don't agree with those who say there's a big gap between humans and animals. Animals have the same range of emotions we do -- fear, love, anger, and so forth. One of the worst things we can do is abuse animals, because they're just like us, and we're just like them. — K.D.
The Bible certainly commands us to take care of our animals and not abuse them in any way, because God created them just as He created us. The Bible says, "A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal" (Proverbs 12:10).
It's also true that we have some things in common with animals. We have physical bodies, just as they do. We experience pain and pleasure (and perhaps certain emotions), just as they do. Someday, our bodies will wear out and die, just as theirs will. The Bible reminds us, "dust you are and to dust you will return" (Genesis 3:19).
But the Bible also tells us that we aren't just animals. We also were made in the image of God -- that is, God implanted within each one of us something of Himself. We call this our "soul" or "spirit" -- and God put it within us so we could know Him and have fellowship with Him. This is one reason why God created Adam (the first man) by a separate act of creation, instead of creating him at the same time as the animals.
Be thankful for the wonderful variety of God's creation -- including the members of the animal kingdom. But be thankful most of all that we can know God, and we can walk with Him every day because of Jesus Christ. Is Christ the center and foundation of your life?