Animal activists in church?
Major animal rights groups are pouring resources into faith-based fronts, using religions to advance their agenda
Sure, you’re used to hearing from animal rights activists online, in commercials set to sad music, in social media, and maybe on the occasional billboard. Perhaps a print ad with a celebrity here and there.
But in church?
Yes, says Kay Johnson Smith, president and CEO of Animal Agriculture Alliance, a nonprofit industry coalition formed to bridge livestock communication gaps. Smith says her organization noticed animal rights groups like the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals using religious language and blatantly working to infiltrate churches in the late 2000s.
Why religion? Wes Jamison, associate professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University, has spent the better part of his career studying the animal rights movement and says activists in church makes more sense than you might think. Here’s why:
1. People of faith have sustained beliefs. “They don’t waver and change,” Jamison says.
2. People of faith give more to charities, and they give both time and money.
3. Animal cruelty issues appeal to a Christian’s sense of compassion. HSUS plays up that an animal has to die and sacrifice its life for us.
4. Animal rights groups offer an exchange: to make you feel less bad about the animal dying, you can give money to an organization that looks out for the interest of animals. “It makes you feel better about going out for a steak,” Jamison says.
To get a better sense of biblical doctrine, HSUS has even gone so far as to pay for a staff member to attend seminary, and then made her senior director of faith outreach. From HSUS’ website: “The faith outreach program of the Humane Society of the U.S. seeks to engage people and institutions of faith with animal protection issues, on the premise that religious values call upon us all to act in a kind and merciful way towards all creatures.”
Not surprisingly, PETA is more graphic in its descriptions: “As we learn from the life of Jesus, Christians are called to stand up for the marginalized and downtrodden. That means promoting a culture of respect for everyone, including the animals who are suffering right now on severely crowded factory farms, in burning hot transport trucks, and in blood-filled slaughterhouses.”
See the full article on FarmProgress.com