SARX Creature Conference

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CATHOLIC VOICES LEAD THE WAY AT

CREATURE CONFERENCE

 

Pioneering Event Captures the Spirit of Laudato Si

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BY DARYL BOOTH

Laudato Si has been hailed as a truly historic and game-changing document for animal welfare concerns. The encyclical, or letter, from the Pope is full of references to animals and calls on all of us to embrace a more humane path.

Nonetheless, Laudato Si is not the first time Pope Francis has spoken out against the abuse of creation. During a trip to the Philippines, a journalist asked him whether he thought that mankind was responsible for climate change, to which he replied, “I don’t know if it is all [man’s fault] but the majority is, for the most part, it is man who continuously slaps down nature”.

Slaps down nature. That’s well put! Society as a whole slaps down nature when all it seeks to do is consume more hungrily, upgrade more regularly and accumulate more greedily. Yet what role does Christianity plays in all this? Does Christianity abet the slapping down of nature or does it encourage its flourishing?

 

Is Christianity Good News for Animals?

The pivotal question “Is Christianity Good News for Animals?” is the theme of the Sarx Creature Conference. This unique event which aims to equip and support Christians to engage theologically and practically with animal issues within the Christian life will take place at Oasis Auditorium on Saturday 18th March 2017.

The Catholic voice will be particularly well represented by two keynote speakers. The Rt Revd John Arnold is Bishop of Salford, spokesman on the environment for the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and Chair of the Trustees of CAFOD.

Flying over from Canada to speak at the conference is Professor John Berkman, Catholic lecturer of theology at Regis College, Toronto. Professor Berkman, who was previously professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA and at Duke University in Durham, NC says; “The Creature Conference is a fantastic opportunity for Catholics and all Christians to better understand key developments in recent Christian thought that makes God’s great love of all animals so abundantly clear.”

Joining Bishop Arnold and Professor Berkman as keynote speakers will be:

Dr Margaret Adam – Theologian, ethicist, author and former lecturer at Loyola University Maryland and the University of Glasgow. Currently Visiting Tutor at St Stephen’s House, University of Oxford.

Dr Tony Campolo – Professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University, Baptist minister, author, public speaker and former spiritual advisor to U.S. President Bill Clinton

Professor David Clough – Professor of Theological Ethics, University of Chester, President of the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics, Founder of CreatureKind, and Methodist lay preacher.

Dr Ruth Valerio – Churches and Theology Director for A Rocha UK, environmentalist, theologian, social activist and author on justice, environmental and lifestyle issues

The Rt Revd Dominic Walker – President of the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals, former Bishop of Monmouth and Honorary Vice President of the RSPCA

The conference will feature a wide choice of workshops including Living Laudato Si’: Putting Eco-Theology to Work for Animals by Catholic scholar Dr Allison Covey as well as a round-table discussion and the opportunity to explore and reflect among a series of interactive stations and an art exhibition.

This conference is generating a lot of excitement and endorsements have come in from high profile Christian leaders and writers including Dr Brian McLaren, Professor Stanley Hauerwas and The Revd Steve Chalke MBE. Author and former Bishop of Oxford the Rt Revd John Pritchard writes: “I’m so glad this conference is happening. It will take further what I hope is a growing consensus amongst Christians that animal life deserves the same respect and care as the rest of God’s creation, animal, vegetable and mineral, as well as human. We share the same space, just as we share God’s love.”

CAWF at No.10 on the Important Implications of Brexit and Animal Welfare

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Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation  (CAWF) at No. 10 on the Important Implications of Brexit and animal welfare

On the same day that Theresa May delivered her landmark speech on Brexit and leaving the EU, Sir Roger Gale MP and Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF) visited No. 10 to present their document for the Prime Minister on the important implications of Brexit on animal welfare with a signed letter by its Patrons Sir David Amess MP and Henry Smith MP, Co-Chairman of the All Party Group For Animal Welfare in the House of Commons.

Lorraine Platt, Co- Founder of Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation said:

“We are here today to ensure that as part of the EU/UK negotiation, the UK accept all the present EU laws in the acquis that set standards for animal welfare. Around 80% of UK animal welfare legislation originates from the EU with over 40 laws relevant to animal welfare. These laws cover all four groups of animals – farm, research, wildlife and companion animals and span over forty years.

“The largest body of legislation concerns farm animals with 18 relevant EU laws adopted.  Many of the UK’s food and farming policies have been shaped at EU level and our Government now has the opportunity to redefine these policies. We have the power to lead our own farming policies to advance farm animal welfare, implement higher standards than those under the EU laws, protect the environment and promote healthier public diets to combat heart disease, diabetes and obesity.”

Sir Roger Gale commented:

“It is a priority that there is not a reduction in animal welfare standards at the expense of a drive for new profitable economic trade deals. Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation recognises the inevitable questions – what will Brexit mean for animal welfare and the importance of ensuring that laws protecting animals remain as tough – if not tougher – once the UK leaves the EU. Animal welfare is an increasing concern amongst the public, who frequently look to Government to take the lead in both maintaining and improving standards.”

For more information, please contact: Lorraine Platt,  Co-Founder, Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation on info@conservativeanimalwelfarefoundation.org  07554 585555 www.conservativeanimalwelfarefoundation.org

 

 

Pledge to Stop Using Milk in Temples and Homes

Nitin Mehta 2Nitinbhai Mehta who runs the long-established organisation, Young Indian Vegetarians, has launched a campaign urging Hindu & Jain temples, and individuals, to stop using milk/milk products as part of their worshipping / spiritual practices.

Pledge:

The use of milk in religious ceremonies has to stop at our temples and homes, as immense cruelty is involved in milk production. Cows are impregnated artificially. The calf is separated immediately from the mother. If a male calf is born it is killed or raised for beef. After three impregnations the cow is worn out and slaughtered and the meat used for pet food. Under pressure to produce a maximum amount of milk, the cow is pushed to her limit and suffers from swollen udders, arthritis, mastitis and many other ailments. Pus from the cow and blood cells mix with the milk. How can it be right to use milk produced in such cruelty to be used in the worship of God?

Sign the pledge here and receive a certificate:
We Pledge that Milk will no longer be used at our Temple or Home. We will use Soy milk, Almond milk or any other alternative.