This week’s parasha, Emor, contains some instruction as to how humankind is to treat those animals which serve us. The verse reads,And of the ox and the sheep, it and its offspring shall not be slaughtered on the same day (Leviticus 22:28). No explanation or reason is given for this commandment, and, as is the way of Jewish way of study, we turn to the great exegetes of our Bible for understanding. The Rambam is known to have been Aristotelian in his thinking – a person of incredible intellect and not unduly influenced by matters of emotion. This characteristic of Maimonides makes his explanation of the verse that much more powerful as he writes, “in order that people should be restrained and prevented from killing the two together in such a manner that the young is slain in the sight of the mother; for the pain of the animals under such circumstances is very great. There is no difference in this case between the pain of man and the pain of other living beings, since the love and tenderness of the mother for her young ones is not produced by reasoning, but by emotion, and this faculty exists not only in man but in most living beings.” (Guide for the Perplexed 3:48) In this one commentary, the Rambam covers the two aspects crucial to understanding human interaction with the animal world: the prohibition of human cruelty and the concern for both the physical and emotional welfare of animals.