276. Feeding Animals First

41:10 All the laws we have discussed regarding the priority of one loaf over another only apply when one intends to eat from both loaves during the meal. If one only intends to eat from one loaf, he should break bread using that one. (If one could use one loaf of the other without any real preference, he should use the more important loaf – Mishnah Brurah 168:5.)

42:1 If a person has animals or birds that rely on him for food, he may not eat until after he has fed them. This is based upon Deuteronomy 11:15, which tells us that God “will grant grass for your cattle in your field so that you may eat and be satisfied.” We see from this that the Torah places the animal’s meal before its master’s. However, when it comes to drinking, humans come first, as per Genesis 24:14 (“Drink and I will also water your camels”) and Numbers 20:8 (“You will provide water for the congregation and their cattle”).