Today a group of prominent evangelicals issued a statement and a call to action.
"Animals have value to God independent from human use."
Those last four words make all the theological difference in the world.
From Kristen Powers over at USA Today.
The proclamation, which provides extensive scriptural citation, asserts, “God has given all animals the breath of life, that He sustains them… they belong ultimately to Him, and… He has declared them ‘good,’ indicating they have value to Him independent of human use.”
Many conservative evangelicals bristle at the mention of the animal rights movement because they believe it puts humans and animals on equal footing. But the evangelical statement is unequivocal that humans hold a unique status in creation. In fact, it’s this special status that demands humans practice extra care with all of God’s creation. The signatories affirmed the belief that, “all animals ultimately belong to God, are sustained by Him, and exist to bring Him praise and reveal His character.”
Also being announced today is the launch of the “
Every Living Thing” initiative, which will begin a year-long effort to engage Christians in dialogue around the biblical mandate to care for animals.
Muslim, Christian, Jew, Humanist: change people's theology and you change how they live.
Of course the movement will not be without push back but it will start a conversation, most importantly in the minds of farmers who count themselves among the faithful. Suzy Suburban can read the news and go about her life without thinking about the cellophane wrapped pork chops she's cooking for dinner. The hog farmer lives with his hogs everyday. The dairyman knows his cows health better than his own.
The Humane Society is publishing a book of Christian writings on the subject.
You can check out the website.
Their doing The Facebook.
Of course there is a video.
For ordinary people the movement toward humane treatment of all animals starts with the family dog or cat. The move toward more humane treatment of farm animals will reach its zenith with the professional livestock-man and in America your average livestock-man is an Evangelical Christian.