The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. We’ll spend the next week discussing “New biological technologies.” Today we begin with how other living things are treated:
130. In the philosophical and theological vision of the human being and of creation which I have presented, it is clear that the human person, endowed with reason and knowledge, is not an external factor to be excluded. While human intervention on plants and animals is permissible when it pertains to the necessities of human life, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that experimentation on animals is morally acceptable only “if it remains within reasonable limits [and] contributes to caring for or saving human lives”.[CCC 2417] The Catechism firmly states that human power has limits and that “it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly”.[CCC 2418] All such use and experimentation “requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation”.[CCC 2415]
The SPCA would approve. Certainly, the notion of treating animals and plants with respect and dignity is a reflection on our humanity.