Introducing CreatureKind

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Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Engaging churches in new ways of thinking about animals and Christian faith, with a special focus on farmed animal welfare.

Mission
To show God’s love to all God’s creatures.

Vision
We want the church to participate in animal protection, for the health and safety of all of God’s creatures. Our core message is that we are CreatureKind together with other animals, and ought to be CreatureKind in how we treat them.

Why Farmed Animals?
Worldwide, more than 70 billion fellow land creatures and up to 7 trillion sea animals are killed for food each year. The use of animals for food massively dominates all other human uses of animals, and the continuing intensification of animal agriculture imposes increasingly harsh burdens on them.

Who Can Participate in CreatureKind?

  • CreatureKind invites Christians to love God and their neighbours—all of them—by attending to the welfare of farmed animals.
  • CreatureKind meets Christians where they are for conversations about the treatment of animals who are farmed for human consumption.
  • CreatureKind encourages Christians to consider what they—as members of the body of Christ—believe about God’s creatures and how they might move toward living out those beliefs more fully.
  • CreatureKind provides information, prompts discussion, shares stories, and offers recommendations for flourishing as humans creatures without denying the flourishing of animal creatures.
  • CreatureKind invites vegans, vegetarians, omnivores, farmers, fishers, and friends to learn from each other about how to be the church that follows Christ into the reconciliation of all creatures.

Get Connected

What is CreatureKind?
Books and other resources for popular Christian audiences, online tools for learning and collaboration, support for Christians in the animal welfare movement, and speakers able to address congregations and faith communities on the theology and praxis of being CreatureKind.

CreatureKind will seek to engage churches at an institutional and congregational level with the challenge to consider their policies in this area, using the CreatureKind Commitment.

We see this as an issue of Christian mission as well as ethics: David and Sarah have met many people who tell us that their perception of a Christian disregard of animals is an obstacle to faith and church membership. Christians were at the forefront of the first animal cruelty legislation in the early 19th century, but since then have allowed the issue to become seen as a secular one, often characterised in opposition to traditional Christian teaching.

Goals and Objectives

  • To equip Christians with a theo-ethical framework from which to discuss animal issues in the church and the place of animals in Christian life.
  • To provide education and support to pastors and other Christian leaders on the importance and validity of including animals and animal issues in Christian life and practice in order to change the way that animals are viewed by Christians.
  • To seek commitments from churches, other institutions, and individuals to a new approach regarding their sourcing and consumption of animal products, the CreatureKind Commitment.
  • To strengthen the church by affirming the call and meeting the spiritual needs of individuals working in animal protection and to provide a community in which they can express their experience, strength, and hope among like-minded Christians.

What Can You Do?
If you’re interested in the project, have suggestions or feedback, can offer support, know organizations or individuals we should be in touch with, or would like to be kept informed about the project, please let us know!

What People Are Saying about CreatureKind
“The ethical treatment of animals is not only a biblical imperative, but it’s also a great way to reduce our global carbon emissions. Methane production from factory farmed cattle accounts for one of the largest sources of greenhouse emissions in the world (as much as 18% by some accounts). By eating less meat and ensuring that our food comes from responsible sources we can reduce our negative impact on God’s creation and help slow the devastating impacts of climate change.” – Brian Webb, Director, Climate Caretakers

“CreatureKind is leading a crest of new interest and energy in protecting and supporting non-human animals. As someone who cares deeply about these issues, and in ways which don’t artificially divide the ideas from the activism, I couldn’t be more supportive.” – Charles Camosy, Fordham University

“The prophet Micah rhetorically asks what is required from those who have faith in God – to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly. I support CreatureKind because I believe all animals should be treated justly; that Christian love should extend beyond my race, gender, class, and species; and that humility requires me to learn from rather than repeat the mistakes of past.” – Christopher Carter, University of San Diego

“‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ So simple, so easily overlooked. I am grateful to CreatureKind for reminding us that Jesus’ words are not species specific.” – Michael Gilmour, Providence University College

“The work of CreatureKind sits at the intersection of some of the most formidable moral, spiritual, and practical challenges of the twenty-first century. Industrial farm animal production is increasingly notorious for its contributions to the intertwined problems of climate change, global poverty, public health, worker injustice, and animal cruelty. These are problems that all reasonable, compassionate people of faith should consider. But such concerns can be difficult to approach within religious communities where animal and environmental advocacy are often viewed with suspicion as exclusively secular concerns. Secular advocates are often equally skeptical of religious traditions, the hierarchies and disciplines of which may seem indifferent at best and antithetical at worst to the prospect of changing our collective attitudes and actions toward other animals and the Earth. On an ailing planet where 85% of the human population is religiously-affiliated, and where the vast majority of contemporary scholarly and activist agitation for animals and the Earth has been secular in orientation, the need is paramount for a rapprochement between religion, animal advocacy, and environmentalism. In seeking to mobilize the most rigorous available theological reasons and strategies for renewed religious vision and action on these fronts, CreatureKind is paving the way for a new conversation and for novel ways of being that put the too-often hidden riches of religious thinking and practice at the disposal of a world much in need of them.” – Matthew C. Halteman, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Calvin College

“Having compassion for others begs the question of who ‘the others’ are. The animals whom we farm are sentient beings and individuals in their own right, even when they are crowded together in barren cages or windowless sheds. They are surely – in their billions – ‘others’ who deserve and desperately need our compassion. I wish CreatureKind great influence in bringing compassion to these fellow-beings of ours.” – Joyce D’Silva, Ambassador Emeritus, Compassion in World Farming

“In Jesus Christ, God took on the nature of a creature–assuming creatureliness in order to heal it. CreatureKind is dedicated to exploring the implications of that act of gracious love, and I welcome the opportunity to participate, both to challenge myself to live those implications more fully, and to help pass that challenge on to others.” – Mike Higton, Durham University

“I am most happy to be involved with the work of CreatureKind. I share fully CreatureKind’s vision that all of God’s creatures should be allowed to flourish as creatures with their own intrinsic goodness and dignity, a goodness given to them by their Creator and Sustainer. Communicating this vision to the people of God is one of the foremost ethical tasks of our day.” – John Berkman, Regis College, University of Toronto