That is a good question, and it deserves an answer. Before we consider some scriptures to answer your question, I want to say that God is always fair in His dealings with His creatures, whether they be humans or animals. We read at the end of Genesis 18:25, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” This is what we call a “rhetorical question” for it has an obvious answer and that answer is, “Yes, God, who is the Judge of all the earth, will always do what is right.” His actions, as a Judge, are always consistent with His holiness and righteousness, and those actions will never be unfair. So, with that in mind, let’s see what the Bible says about God’s actions towards the animal kingdom after sin came into the world.

There is a key passage that sheds light on your question, and I trust it will help us to understand why animals have suffered when it was man that sinned. Let’s read Romans 8:18-22 from the New American Standard Bible: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious LONGING OF THE CREATION waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For THE CREATION WAS SUBJECTED TO FUTILITY, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that THE CREATION ITSELF ALSO WILL BE SET FREE FROM ITS SLAVERY TO CORRUPTION into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that THE WHOLE CREATION GROANS AND SUFFERS THE PAINS OF CHILDBIRTH TOGETHER UNTIL NOW.”

We learn here that ALL OF CREATION (including the animal kingdom) was affected by the Fall of Man. The words “For the creation was subjected to futility” (in verse 20) bear this out. The word “futility” means “vanity, emptiness, without purpose” and thus it describes that the original purpose for God’s creation had been ruined. What caused this ruin? Adam’s sin was the cause! This takes us back to God’s judgment in the Garden of Eden after Adam had sinned. God told Adam in Genesis 3:17-18, “Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: CURSED IS THE GROUND FOR YOUR SAKE; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.’” I’m sure some are now asking the question again, “Why should creation suffer because of what Adam did? Why would the ground and everything else in creation be cursed for Adam’s sin?” The plain and simple answer is that “Adam was the HEAD of creation, and his act affected the whole of creation which was under his dominion.” In Genesis 1:26-28 we see that after God created Adam, He gave him DOMINION “over all the earth” and over every living thing. Adam was the Federal Head over everything and when he acted, his actions affected everything. Not only was the ground cursed, but animals became violent and preyed on other animals. Disease and death afflicted all, humans and animals alike. As one has said, “The results of man’s sin have rippled like shockwaves throughout all creation.” We may think, “This is unfair that Adam’s sin should have an effect on all creation when he was the one who sinned.” Yet we see this truth (of one’s actions affecting everyone and everything around them) in our world today. We have seen Presidents or other world leaders make terrible decisions that have caused untold misery for those that they rule over. This is what happened in the Garden of Eden. Adam made a fatal decision that plunged the whole world into misery and suffering.

Thankfully there is good news in our passage in Romans 8, for we read that God also gave all creation HOPE “that the creation itself will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (verse 21). Because of this hope, we saw in verse 19 that “the longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.” This means that there is a day coming when all suffering will end, and all creation will be SET FREE FROM ITS SLAVERY TO CORRUPTION! The “groaning creation” today is waiting for that day with eager anticipation. They are waiting for the return of Jesus Christ in power and glory when He and His redeemed ones will be manifested before the whole world! Let’s go back and read verses 16-17, “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are the children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” Believers in Christ are “fellow heirs with Christ” and they will one day “be glorified with Him.” That GLORIOUS DAY is coming, dear friends! Today believers suffer and we also “groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as son, the redemption of our body” (verse 23). But the Lord will one day take come to redeem our bodies and “take us home to glory” (John 14:2-3 and 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17) and then a few years later we will “return with Christ to bring in that glorious day” (Colossians 3:4).  (DO)  (500.3)