This article develops an ethical construct of “respectful use” to govern the conduct of humans toward animals. The scope of the terms “use” and “respectful” are developed. Some guidelines for the discernment of respectful use of animals are suggested. Then the status of animals within the legal system is briefly considered. Within the law, the socially defined key term is “unnecessary” rather than respectful. Finally, the newer legal standard of duty of care is shown to be approaching the ethical concept of respectful use.