First of all, the question is phrased in a senseless way. Humans are animals too, however this question only refers to taking lives of non-human animals. Also, legally, only the killing of humans is called murder, so really there should be no debate. What we really want to know here is 'is it somehow morally justified to kill animals?'. Therefore, I'll assume the actual question is "Should the killing of non-human animals by the hands of fully sane human beings, be regarded as morally wrong?".
I believe it should. We humans are often so proud of our cognitive capabilities, that we argue that our greater 'intelligence' justifies the killing of 'less capable' animals. We forget however that not only is the concept of 'intelligence' not properly defined, there is also no objective standard that determines that 'more intelligent' means 'having more right to live'. This can be ok, often no objective standard can be found, in which case we should work with a notion that leads to the least inconsistencies. However, making the 'right to live' a function of an animal's intelligence becomes tricky when we take children and mentally-disabled persons into account. Some are less 'intelligent' than a socialised non-human animal. In that case, the killing of mentally disabled humans or new born babies should no longer be regarded as murder, which is something almost anyone would attest to. Let's not waste too much time on pointless statements that 'we can kill animals because they cannot talk'. Some animals can learn to express creative language while some humans will never be able to utter a word.
All these ideas related to cognitive capabilities are very arbitrary. And perhaps more importantly, animals do not need high cognitive functioning to experience anxiety, pleasure, and the will to live. We derive at less inconsistencies when we make 'the right to live' a function of 'sentience' (the ability to feel and perceive). In that case, we would include all living beings that have an emotional and physical experience related to ours and we would despise all suffering that we would not want to experience ourselves. As we know that non-human animals feel pain and basic emotions such as joy and anxiety using the same internal response patterns as humans, the needless killing of these beings should then also be regarded as murder.
Others justify that killing animals is not murder, because of its necessity. If this was indeed the case, we could say that killing animals is a kind of self-defence, we would die if we would not kill them. However, for almost all Western people this isn't true. Humans can survive on a well planned plant-based diet (supplementing with b12) and when it comes to clothing, we have plenty more sustainable options than leather.
Finally to those not yet convinced, perhaps an emotional instead of an intellectual statement will help: If someone randomly killed your pet because they 'felt like it', would you feel this is righteous?
Animals deserve to live more than humans do. They don't have the evil minds that we have. They only kill for food, to protect their young, or because they think they are at threat. We also kill for fun and we kill people who don't have the same beliefs. Our intelligence is our undoing. I spoil my animals but they don't grow up to demand anything more than food, love and cuddles.
Consider a different perspective for a moment; imagine an alien race regularly came to harvest humans from this planet for food. Imagine they also bred us so they could fatten us up, that they considered our young a delicacy (they'd have a cute name for babies too), that they used our skins to make clothes and important items like handbags. They'd keep us in cruel conditions, to reduce costs and for simpler operations: deprive us of space to move, variety of food, interaction, and then kill us while the other humans in the queue looked on, waiting their turn. Some of them might insist on killing us while we are conscious, and screaming. How would we view our captors? Would we consider their behaviour reasonable and acceptable, all a natural 'part of the food chain'? Or would we see them as horrible, cruel, perhaps even evil? As we watched our friends/partners/family having their throats cut, or their heads smashed against a concrete wall, what word would we shout, apart from 'NO'? 'Murderers', perhaps?
This is murder. I know of no higher crime as killing a fellow human. When you kill an animal, you give it no thought. Kill a human, its all over the news in the papers and internet. Even if you do give thought to the animal you just killed, you would eat it, "as not to waste it." What a horrible excuse. If you murdered a human, you would under no circumstances eat him/her/it. Unless you were a complete psychopath that is a cannibal, but, then again, eating an animal is the same, isn't it...
A living organism that can process the sensation of pain versus pleasure, and can understand the difference between displays of kindness, or displays of aggression/cruelty, still possesses a degree of sentience, and therefore deserves to be treated with the same honor and respect that a sentient being of higher mental capacity is treated.
To take the life of a sentient being, regardless of the level of sentience that being possesses, is a crime equal to taking the life of a human being. In both cases, a life has been taken, the blood of an unwilling participant has been shed, and there is no excuse for such an act of brutality.
Just because non-human animals don't have the ability to speak like we do does not make them any less inferior to human animals. All animals have the ability to suffer, feel pain, experience pleasure and fear and therefore should have the right not to be out killed just like humans.
I believe the intentional or planned killing of animal such as a pet is murder. Its Cruel and cold no man or woman should harm an animal who smaller than yourself and who trusts you.
I think the killing of animals should be treated by $25,000.00 12 years in prison followed by 280 hours working on a farm or animal shelter and banned from adopting or owning a pet.
If killing animals isn't murder (because they are not people, or intelligent, or capable to express their fear, etc...) we should apply the same logic to humans who are handicapped or mentally retarded. No human ceases to be an animal simply because they are intelligent, we are merely perpetuating a sort of speciesism if we exclude unintelligent or unresponsive humans.
Humans are animals. What more is there to say?
The difference is judged on brain size and certain limited abilities. Not that you can not take a piglet's heart out and put it into a human, or that its blood fits perfectly. Humans have three brains. The lizard complex originating from millions of years, the dog brain overlapping the first, and then the ape/human brain overlapping both the others. Unlike omnivores which humans like to fashion themselves after, or the carnivore which could be considered a human with absolutely no vegetable diet, carnivore or omnivore have a stomach acid pH that is less or equal to 1, which is the same as a car battery. Humans have a stomach acid pH that is pH 4-5.
Pigs are only allowed a 5-6 month life before humans kill and eat their dead bodies, and of course behind closed doors, this was after they were kicked inside their moms stomach because she couldn't move around the cell very well.
Humans are animals. Animals are special on earth. In the galaxy. In the Universe.
You have just killed someone. How would you feel to be an animal, I would feel terrible. It doesn't matter who dies, it matters that they died. People are stupid to think that animals shouldn't have equal rights. The thing is, If I kill someone you don't know, and then I kill a cute little puppy, who would matter more?
Killing animals for food is not murder because hey do not have the ability to speak or have complex thoughts. For example, lets say there is a tiger hat is hungry and one of you who think its murder to kill an animal in a cage. That tiger would not hesitate to eat you so I say why can't we do the same.
Meat is a part of the natural human diet as long as the animal is killed in a humane manner. Most animals in nature are much more brutally killed, like how pack animals clamp to their prey's neck, slowly suffocating the prey, while other members of the pack start ripping into the prey's body. So, there are worst ways to be killed compared to a slit to the neck or chopping of the head.
Sorry, but animals lack complex thoughts, high reason, and language. They lack what makes a human person a human person, and thus, they cannot possibly be "murdered." Killing animals to the point of endangering their species is wrong, but still not worthy of the crime murder and the weight that brings.
Murder is a term used to describe the taking of another human's life. Killing a non-human animal is not murder, it is animal cruelty, and it is also against the law. The food chain has existed since the beginning of life, and it is not only acceptable, it is necessary.
All living things are not created equal. We should respect all life and kill far less than we do, but killing an animal is not murder, killing a person is murder. Do we consider killing bacteria murder? How about cockroaches, mice or rats? A cow that is killed for meat? We place different life forms at different value levels and most of the time I think that the levels make sense, revering dogs, horses, elephants or whales over many others, and revering man on a level above all other animals. I wonder if those on the other side think that animals can murder other animals, I also hope all those who claim killing animals is murder are consistent and abhor abortion as well.
People kill animals for a wide variety of reasons. Some of these reasons may be seen as cruel by different people: for example, some feel that killing animals for food is cruel, while others see it as a necessary evil, and some (like those who enjoy hunting) even take pleasure in it. However, even cruelty to animals does not rise to the level of "murder" as such.
People have been killing animals as a main source of food for a very long time. Sometimes animals attack and people must defend themselves, sometimes resulting in the death of the animal. These are not murder. It is also not murder to put an injured animal out of its misery, but a kindness to the creature. Killing an animal simply to kill is murder, but killing for food or protection is not.
Murder is the killing of a person. If someone wishes to argue that animals are people, the burden of proof is upon them to establish an objective definition of "person" that is consistent both reality and the first principles derived from non-contradiction which authorize whatever ethics is proposed, AND that animals potentially meet that definition.
Murder is the killing of a human being by a sane person, with intent, malice aforethought (prior intention to kill the particular victim or anyone who gets in the way) and with no legal excuse or authority. In those clear circumstances, this is first degree murder. This has absolutely nothing to do with animals.
Animals should be killed, if they are eaten afterward. Animals should not be killed out of pure sport and commercial marketing. Is it murder for a lion to kill a gazelle? Many arguments supporting this state we are all equal, including animals, then why shouldn't a bear be prosecuted for killing a rabbit? The circumstances cannot be changed to fit your opinion. If its murder for us to kill a rabbit because we are all equal, then how is it not murder for a bear to kill a rabbit if we are all equal?