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Animal welfare activism is finding its religion

By Meatingplace Editors on 10/2/2015

Evangelical Christian leaders on Wednesday announced the launch of an animal welfare initiative in conjunction the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) at the National Press Club in Washington.

Christian faith leaders unveiled the initiative, called Every Living Thing, with a statement on responsible care for animals signed by a list of faith leaders.

The group does not call for specific actions but said the statement, which cites numerous Bible passages, is intended to be a framework for conversation about the treatment of animals, which it calls an especially vulnerable subset of God’s creatures.

“We understand from Scripture that God has given us all animals into our hand and for food as part of our responsible rule; but as we live in a fallen world and are prone to sin, we also have the capacity and inclination to cause suffering instead of care for animals and to act cruelly towards them,” the statement said.

In a blog post, HSUS Chief Executive Wayne Pacelle said the campaign grew out of a 2011 meeting of faith leaders hosted by HSUS.  

The evangelical statement was drafted by Barrett Duke of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; Mark Rodgers, principal of the Clapham Group and former chief of staff for Sen. Rick Santorum; and Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, as a result of those initial conversations, Pacelle said.

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