The Animal Interfaith Alliance (AIA) held its inaugural meeting on 7th January 2014 at Golders Green Unitarian Church, where Rev. Feargus O’Connor has been holding Interfaith Celebrations for Animals on World Animal day over ten years. After the 2013 event a group of people from different faiths, who shared a common interest in the better treatment of animals, decided to form the AIA. We are delighted to be able to report that Satish Kumar warmly accepted the board’s invitation to be its President. Dr Deborah Jones, CCA trustee and former editor of The Ark, is a vice president and patrons include Ajit and Charanjit Singh (Sikhs), Muhammad Safa (Muslim), Anant Shah (Jain), and Dr Richard Ryder (Ethicist).
The AIA is registered with Companies House as a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee. Rev. Feargus O’Connor is the Chair and Barbara Gardner is the Managing Director. The other board members include Sarah Dunning from ASWA; Chris Fegan, General Secretary of CCA; Andre Menache, a patron of QCA and Rev. Prof. Martin Henig, Anglican Minister. We believe that, as the united voice of the people from all faiths who care about animals, we will be stronger together and better able to make a difference.
The Inaugural Meeting of the Animal Interfaith Alliance, held on 7th January 2014 at the Unitarian Church in Golders Green
From left to right – Nitin Mehta (Jain, founder of the Young Indian Vegetarians & Patron of Quaker Concern for Animals (QCA)), Feargus O’Connor (Minister at Golders Green Unitarian Church & Secretary of the World Congress of Faiths), Sarah Dunning (Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (ASWA)), Andre Menache (Patron of QCA), Judith Wilkins (QCA), Marian Hussenbux (QCA), Lara Smallman (Director of the Jewish Vegetarin Society), Cordelia Grimwood (Buddhist, Amida Trust), Anant Shah (Jain), Chris Fegan (CCA), Dr Richard Ryder (Ethicist and RSPCA trustee), Bharti Taylor (President of the Hindu Forum for Europe & member of the European Council of Religions Leaders). Photo by Barbara Gardner.
Vision, Mission & Objectives
A peaceful world where people of all faiths, and all those who believe in a compassionate world, work together to treat all animals with respect and compassion.
To create a united voice for animals from all of the world’s faiths and spiritual beliefs, based on their founders’ teachings, to lead the world in the humane treatment of animals.
- To provide a stronger voice for animals through the interfaith group than can be provided by many separate voices from individual faiths;
- To create a co-ordinated approach across the faiths to educate people on the humane treatment of animals;
- To create a strong and co-ordinated campaigning organisation;
- To provide a forum to learn from and share the wisdoms of other cultures and traditions;
- To disseminate that wisdom through literature, including a regular newsletter, books and orders of service, and through the internet, including a website and social media, which can also be used as a campaign tool;
- To inspire others through interfaith conferences and services with a major event celebrating World Animal Day on 4th October;
- To promote a vegetarian/vegan diet, which also embraces the issues of environmental protection, healthy lifestyles and ending world hunger, and to end animal exploitation.