AIA Join the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting at Westminster

AIA directors Judith Wilkings and Dr Christina Nellist joined the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting’s Westminster Hall’s reception and launch of “Trophy Hunting & Britain: the Case for a Ban” on Wednesday 29th June 2022. Judith gives this account of the impact of this ground-breaking event.

by Judith Wilkings

Sir Roger Gale MP was Chair.  Eduardo Gonçalves introduced the speakers who included RT Hon George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; H.E. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President, Botswana (2008-2018); Snr Elder Boniface of the Maasai; Kris Verduycht from the Belgium Parliament; Dr Adam Cruise, a leading South African academic & researcher; Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE Founder-The Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace sent a message via film.

Eduardo Gonçalves had organised the event to coincide with the 7th year anniversary of the death of Cecil, the lion who was killed on 2nd July 2015 by Walter Palmer, an American dentist, using a bow and arrow.

Dr Jane Goodall’s message spoke of Trophy hunters killing for pleasure. Destroying animals for bragging rights supposedly to demonstrate some misguided sense of fearlessness and courage. She warned that the hunting lobby will work hard to preserve the status quo and if we want to maintain our reputation as an animal loving nation, all hunting trophies should be banned from Britain. Time is of the essence as many species killed by trophy hunters are close to extinction.

RT Hon George Eustice MP spoke of the Bill’s progress through Parliament and the Government’s commitment to pass the Bill. It will be back in the House of Commons on 25th November 2022 for a second reading. He thanked the former President of Botswana, H.E. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, for his time the day before, when they’d had a long discussion about trophy hunting.

Kris Verduycht from the Belgium Parliament said that the Belgium Parliament had voted unanimously to ban Trophy hunting imports from entering Belgium and 91% of the public supported the decision.

H.E. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, spoke about his time as President of Botswana. They had banned trophy hunting. They instinctively knew photographic tourism would preserve nature and lead to a revival of many species. During his time in office, they introduced 300 to 400 rhinos into the wild. He said that nature tourism was the only way forward to conserve the wildlife.

Snr Elder Boniface of the Maasai explained how Maasai warriors used to hunt a mature lion to prove their warriorhood, but they realised they could benefit from wildlife by conserving it. Furthermore, they needed to stop all traditional and cultural activities that involved killing an animal. Now the community receives a share of the revenue collected from Maasai Mara National Reserve. It uses the money to educate the children from the local villages. Boniface spoke of trophy hunting as a terrible, cruel and barbaric idea and warned of the misinformation campaign used by the hunting organisations to promote and protect their deadly trade.

Dr Adam Cruise also warned about the hunting organisations who rely on two pillars to mislead. That it improves African communities and gives conservation benefits. He says both are a distortion of the truth. His undercover work in Namibia, which purports to support wildlife and rural communities, has shown that wildlife numbers are decreasing and the local community is kept in a cycle of impoverishment. Dr Cruise spoke of letters being sent to MPs by organisations claiming to represent ordinary African people. ‘Our research also suggests that some of the supposed signatories did not actually sign the letter.’

All of the speakers cautioned that Trophy hunters are depleting the gene pool of lions, rhino, elephants, giraffes’ polar bears to name a few. They kill the largest animals which are crucial for the breeding of the species. They urged MPs, Ministers and NGOs gathered in the room to be aware of the power, money and influence of the hunting industry & Gun Club Lobby. Eduardo Gonçalves said that The Times revealed Britain’s pro hunting lobby is funded by top allies of Vladimir Putin. The Guardian reports the American gun lobby is behind the campaigns to block a British trophy ban. He warned of a Smart Ban something that the lobbyists would use to derail the Bill going through Parliament.

In the Executive Summary I was given at the launch, under the name of Inclusive Conservation Group, I read an extract from The Safari Club International-funded strategy document to deceive British Ministers and MP’s. ‘SHAPE, INFORM, INFLUENCE, MANIPULATE, MISLEAD, EXPOSE, DIMINISH, PROMOTE, DECEIVE, COERCE, DETER, MOBILIZE, CONVINCE.’

“With the decline of wildlife worldwide, and many species approaching extinction, all caused by man, how can there be justification in trophy hunting? How can any government say they are fighting poaching whilst allowing trophy hunting? I call upon those countries from where these promoters of extinction come from to ban the import of trophies.”

 H.E. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President, Botswana (2008-2018)

Too Many Animals Still Used in Research – It’s Time for Change.

As the UK Home Office publishes its Annual Statistics on Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, AIA Director, Dr Andre Menache comments on the need to replace them with 21st century human based test methods.

Dr Andre Menache

Animal experiments have been cleverly sold to the public as a “necessary evil” by some in the scientific research community. For about a century, this argument was accepted in good faith as being truthful, both by the public and the government. However, based on our current scientific understanding of living organisms and the complexity of living beings, it is painfully obvious that animal experimentation constitutes a perversion of science in the present day.

How are animals used in science ?

The above pie chart indicates roughly how animals are used in science :

  1. Education and training (undergraduate and post graduate university studies) :  5%
  2. Regulatory requirements for marketing purposes (animal testing of pharmaceutical drugs, industrial chemicals, etc.) :  25%
  3. Scientific research (basic aka fundamental research, which in simple terms refers to scientific curiosity ; and applied research, which in simple terms means goal oriented research) :  70%
  1. The replacement of animals in education and training is a huge success story. Most, if not all animal use in this category can and has been replaced with humane alternatives (see for example the work of www.interniche.org).
  2. The replacement of animals in the context of regulatory testing is an area where progress can happen very rapidly once public opinion and consumer awareness are mobilised. For example, shareholders in the pharmaceutical industry need to be made aware of the fact that animal tests are conducted more for legal reasons than scientific ones AND that the pharmaceutical industry has the means but simply lacks the political will to replace animal testing with 21st century human based test methods. Just as shareholders in the energy industry are demanding an end to the use of fossil fuels, so too we can expect a shareholder revolt within the pharmaceutical industry once the facts on animal testing are exposed.
  3. The replacement of animals in scientific research (basic and applied research) remains the biggest challenge to overcome because our current research paradigm is still based on 19th century scientific dogma. However, once the transition to human based test methods becomes established in the field of regulatory testing (as soon as 2025), this will greatly accelerate the end of animal research in general.

The following short video shows the procedure that beagle dogs endure up to three times a day for up to 90  days as part of the regulatory requirements for testing new pharmaceutical drugs. The drug is passed directly into the stomach via a tube. The dogs receive no anaesthetic or analgesic. It sometimes happens that the drug accidentally passes into the lungs instead of the stomach, which can result in pneumonia. At the end of the 90 day test period, the dogs will be killed and their organs examined.

If you are a shareholder in a pharmaceutical company which still hasn’t changed to human relevant test methods, please raise this issue with them. You may consider making other shareholders aware of this and proposing a resolution to end animal testing at their AGM.

Trophy Hunting Imports – Let’s Get the Ban Done!

We have some GOOD NEWS from The Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting as we finally have a date for the bill to ban trophy hunting imports. The Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill was officially listed in Parliament on 15th June and will come back to Parliament in earnest on 25th November.  Although it will be the Government’s legislation, it will be presented as a Private Member’s Bill by Henry Smith MP, a longstanding friend of the Campaign. While a bill in government time was the Campaign’s first preference, this does, however, mean that the logjam is finally broken and the legislation will now start moving forward. At last! Now we just need to ensure that we WIN!

Please Support the Campaign

On 16th June, we recorded the webinar (above) presented by Eduardo Goncalves, Director of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting and co-hosted by our new Patron, actor Peter Egan, a longstanding supporter of the Campaign. Eduardo’s presentation is inspirational as he is incredibly knowledgeable on the topic, having undertaken considerable investigation into this enormously devastating activity.

Please watch and share this most informative video and do all you can to support the campaign at this critical moment as the Bill passes through Parliament.

Further information can be found on the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting’s website.

The Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting – Invitation to Webinar

Join us on Thursday 16th June at 7.30pm BST when we will be hosting a webinar by Eduardo Goncalves, Founder and CEO of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting.

British trophy hunters are shooting lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, giraffes and dozens of other species – many of them at risk of extinction. They are able to do so LEGALLY – because loopholes in conservation laws allow them to shoot these animals for fun and keepsakes, even if they are endangered. The scale of the slaughter is extraordinary, yet largely unknown. A trophy hunter kills an animal every three minutes. The trophy hunting industry fuels this by awarding prizes to hunters who shoot animals from more than 100 different species. Some hunters have single-handedly killed thousands of animals. Nine out of ten British voters want it banned NOW. So why doesn’t the UK Government act? And what can we do to help end this cruel and callous so-called ‘sport’?

To register for the webinar, email barbgard.aia@gmail.com and you will be sent a Zoom link.

Open Letter to Boris Johnson on Animal Welfare U-Turn

The Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson MP PM/the Rt. Hon George Eustice MP, Minister
at DEFRA/ the Lord Goldsmith:

17th May 2022

Dear Sirs,

I write on behalf of The Animal Interfaith Alliance, an international alliance of faith groups founded in Britain concerned about the welfare of animals.  Our member organisations and individual members include Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs.  We are all united by our common concern for animals, based on our various faiths. Our member organisations are listed here.

Our members are extremely concerned that, after repeated promises, the
Government has dropped plans to bring in a ban on imports of foie gras
and fur, and has apparently also abandoned the excellent Animals Abroad
proposed legislation. Promoting tourism which involves cruelty to
animals, amongst which, elephant riding and other intrusive practices,
has a deplorable effect on the lives of captive animals overseas and
this Government could do something to prevent it.

We are close colleagues of Duncan McNair, Chief Executive Officer of the
excellent organisation Save The Asian Elephants (STAE) and the reports
he brings back of the cruel ‘training’ to make elephants, when still
calves,  submissive for exploitation are truly horrifying.

Please see www.stae.org

We contend that the Government, representing a nation of animal lovers
as we are frequently described by ministers, has a moral duty to take
action.

We also understand, for the first time, that the Government has proposed
a Bill which would permit the use of genetically edited farm animals. We
consider this – something which had been previously banned in this
country – a dangerous step which would cause yet more suffering to
defenceless creatures we already exploit in a myriad ways.

Please could you also confirm that practices such as the live exports of
animals for slaughter, keeping primates as pets and the cruel puppy
import trade are still on course to be banned? We have been asking for
years for such legislation to be enacted, and the animals should not
have to wait any longer for you to make good your repeated promises.

You are surely aware, from the amount of correspondence all MPs receive
on the matter of animal welfare, that a large majority of British people
want to see this Government pass more laws designed to improve animal
welfare and protect animals from cruelty – not to abandon the promises
they have repeatedly made.

According to the RSPCA, 77% of voters want to see the Government ban the
importation of animal products with production methods already banned in
the UK, including fur.  It is not consistent to ban the production, but
then allow companies to profit from the imports of cruelty inflicted in
other countries.

Finally, in April 2022 MRP poll shows 85% want a law to ban UK adverts
for foreign tourism practices that ‘train’ elephants and other species
by severe abuse we would not countenance in this country.

A significant proportion of the electorate is out of tune with some
Government ministers. You will recall that some ministers have described
animal welfare as a ‘peripheral’ issue. They must be disregarding the
large amount of correspondence they receive, as MPs, from constituents
who consider the welfare and indeed rights of animals not to be abused,
neglected or cruelly exploited is extremely important to them and the
way they intend to vote.

Please will you let us know why all this legislation has been abandoned, as that is helpful for us in our future campaigning, and also ensure us that it will be re-introduced as soon as possible?

Yours sincerely,

Marian Hussenbux – International Campaigns Secretary

Heartbreak as UK Government Drops Promise to Protect Animals in Queen’s Speech

AIA and its member organisations are appalled that the UK Government has dropped a number of its animal welfare plans from the Queen’s speech. 

These include bans on the import of fur and foie gras (the production of which are already banned within the UK), a ban on advertising animal tourism practices involving cruelty, such as elephant riding, and the imports of trophies from hunting.  These were to be addressed in the Animals Abroad Bill, now dropped.

This is a complete betrayal of animals and the public who are overwhelmingly of the opinion that laws should be passed to protect animals. Recent national polling from the #DontBetrayAnimals campaign shows British voters want to see the Government deliver on its promise to protect animals.

  • Almost three quarters (72%) of respondents want to see this Government pass more laws designed to improve animal welfare and protect animals from cruelty,
  • More than three quarters (77%) want to see the Government ban the importation of animal products with production methods already banned in the UK, including fur.
  • An April 2022 MRP poll shows 85% want a law to ban UK adverts for foreign tourism practices that “train” elephants and other species by severe abuse.

AIA are writing to the Government to express our dismay and to ask for these important animal welfare issues to be re-instated on the legislative agenda. Please write to your MP.


Notes on Polling Data

  • *The polling was run on the Focaldata platform. Data was collected from a nationally representative sample of 10,018 adults between 11th and 20th April 2022. Using the polling data, Focaldata completed a constituency-level analysis using MRP modelling.
  • Over three quarters (77%) of voters think UK Government should ban the importation of animal products, such as fur, where farming and production methods are banned in the UK, including:
    • 82% of women and 72% of men
    • 61% of 18 – 24 year olds, 73% of 25-36 year olds, 76% 35 – 44 year olds, 82% of 45 – 54 year olds, 82% 55 – 64 year olds, 81% of 65+
  • The MRP polling analysis estimates support amongst:
    • Over three quarters (78%) of the 10, 15, and 20 most marginal Conservative-held seats
    • Almost three quarters (74%) of Red Wall voters
    • Over three quarters (79%) of voters in the Cabinet’s constituencies
    • 15 Cabinet members with 80%+ support are: Dominic Raab, Liz Truss, Sajid Javid, Kwasi Kwarteng, Alok Sharma, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Therese Coffey, Nadhim Zahawi, George Eustice, Brandon Lewis, Chris Heaton-Harris, Suella Braverman, Kit Malthouse, Michelle Donelan, Jacob Rees-Mogg.
  • Almost three quarters (72%) of voters would like to see the UK Government pass more laws designed to improve animal welfare and protect animals from cruelty, including:
    • 75% of women and 69% of men
    • 66% of 18 – 24 year olds, 75% of 25 – 34 year olds, 74% of 35 – 44 year olds, 74% of 45 – 55 year olds, 73% of 55 – 64 year olds, 69% of 65+

The MRP polling analysis estimates support amongst:

  • Over three quarters (72%) of the 1-0,15 and 20 most marginal Conservative held seats
    • Almost three quarters (70%) of Red Wall voters
    • Almost three quarters (72%) of voters in the Cabinet’s constituencies

Read our open letter to Boris Johnson here:

Open Letter to Boris Johnson on Animal Welfare U-Turn

Join Us for International Golden Rule Day

Today we are joining the Interfaith Vegan Coalition, Charter for Compassion and Climate Healers in celebrating Golden Rule Day and their ‘Compassion for All Animals’ campaign which runs over the next two weeks.

Full details here.

We are joined in the celebrations by our friends Veganism in Education and RE Today. Check out their websites for great compassion for animals quotes.

Ukraine Animals Appeal at Pan-Orthodox Concern for Animals

DONATE

Pan-Orthodox Concern for Animals (POCA) are raising funds to help Ukrainian refuges get their animals to safety and to provide food and veterinary medicine in Ukraine for those shelters whose brave workers are staying to keep their animals safe. They have set up a Facebook fundraising page.

Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate a lot or a little. Everything helps. Facebook takes care of the donation processing with no fees.

PLEASE DONATE HERE

Please share widely. Thank you for your support.


WRITE TO YOUR MP

Please write to your MP and Minister, asking for companion animals to be included into whichever immigration scheme the government proposes.

As we have seen, many people have fled with their precious companion animals. Some have documentation but for obvious reasons, others do not. POCA has suggested that companion animals of refugees be allowed into the country with the minimum quarantine period, i.e., until tests confirm that the animals are free of rabies.

You can find your MP and where to write to them here:

Millions Go Vegan for Lent: Interfaith Vegan Coalition Offers Resources to Help

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (Feb 28, 2022)In Defense of Animals’ Interfaith Vegan Coalition is poised to help millions of Christians go vegan for Lent, which begins on March 2, Ash Wednesday, and ends on April 16, the day before Easter. During this time of spiritual reflection, many Christians identify with the suffering of Christ by giving up eating meat, dairy and eggs, drinking alcohol, watching television, swearing, or smoking. 

In Defense of Animals’ Vegan Starter Guide can help with your Lenten promise, as well as the Interfaith Vegan Coalition’s Catholic Vegan Advocacy Kit, which contains quotes, books, articles, videos, hymns, songs, prayers, websites, rituals, and spiritual support,” suggests Lisa Levinson, of In Defense of Animals and co-founder of the Interfaith Vegan Coalition. “We created these resources to make it easier for everyone to go vegan for Lent and beyond!”

“Lent is traditionally a time of abstinence,” said Dave Bookless, a director of theology for A Rocha International, as quoted in the journal Christianity Today. “In quite a lot of Christian cultures, if you look back through Christian history, people were vegetarian during Lent. That was quite a common thing in many parts of the world. And it’s still a common thing in some Christian traditions.”  

Fasting from meat, dairy and eggs for Lent is more common than many realize. “We encourage all Catholics throughout the world to go Vegan for Lent 2022,” said Chris Fegan of Catholic Concern for Animals. “We believe that this is good for the individual Catholic concerned in many, many ways as well as good news for the nonhuman creation.”

“Nearly 3 million Russians will be practicing being vegans for Lent,” notes Jim Sannes, of the Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry.

Eating only plant foods has helped many people grow spiritually during Lent. Sharon Bolden received a huge surprise when she gave up meat and dairy for Lent. Instead of feeling deprived, Sharon began to notice many of her physical ills disappearing and her energy, faith, and happiness increasing. By Easter, she resolved to adopt a vegan diet and began teaching the spiritual and healing power of veganism.  

“Those 40 days of being vegan changed everything,” said Sharon Bolden. “My body, mind, and spirit had begun to heal. I had transformed to veganism and I wasn’t going back. People saw the changes in me, and I saw them in myself. I was on a new path of living vegan and was determined to stay on this vegan path for the rest of my life.”

Going plant-based for Lent can lead to a lifetime commitment to vegan living and to an uplifting and radical connection to the Divine. 

“When we stop our participation in the killing of God’s precious children, no matter what species they may be, we are acting in harmony with our true hearts, our highest ideals and our deep connection to all sacred life,” explains Judy Carman, co-founder of Circle of Compassion and the Interfaith Vegan Coalition and author of Homo Ahimsa: Who We Really Are and How We’re Going to Save the World. “Our own bodies respond with renewed health, because we are no longer eating the suffering, fear, and agony of animals who have been abused and killed.” 

“When our personal sacrifice alleviates the suffering of others, we move closer to God,” said Barbara Gardner, founder of the Animal Interfaith Alliance. “This is what Lent requires of us and what can be achieved when we give up harmful practices at Lent.”

“There is no greater gift you can give in repentance and habit-breaking than to abstain from the culture of violence for 40 days by researching, learning about, and then undertaking a 40 day fast from the torturous products of animal use and agriculture by eating as we were originally designed by the Lord in Genesis 1:29 — to consume plants, nuts and seeds,” said Tams Nicholson of All-Creatures.org, who reminds us how important the Lenten season is for Christians to recognize our faults as human beings, and how incredibly valuable it is to use these 40 days to break worldly habits that bind us. 

Nicholson explained, “My own experience in going vegan for Lent, over a decade ago, broke an underlying current of death running throughout my life that I had not been aware of. It made me a better steward, improved my physical and mental health, increased my zest for life, and even changed my dreams. Breaking those violent worldly habits has been a blessing from God. Pastor Frank and Mary, founders of All-Creatures.org, have been sharing their Christian Vegan recipes and much more since the 1990s. Today, ‘plants, nuts and seeds’ includes everything from fast food, to five-course meals, luscious desserts and so much more. When eating this way, we only give up cruelty while we gain variety, taste, satisfaction and better health.”

Quotes from Interfaith Leaders

“There is no better time than now to go vegan! Lent is a perfect time where we really want to focus on our spiritual lives. We can give our souls a Holy infusion of joy and love by choosing a peaceable vegan diet. A vegan diet will not only help us in our love for God and neighbor (all living beings) it will also contribute to our physical health and well-being. Go vegan for the 40 days of Lent! There are many vegan websites that offer balanced, nutritious and delicious vegan meals! You will quickly discover for yourself that this compassionate way of eating will go beyond the 40 days of Lent!” 

– Father Donatello Iocco

“For me, Lent is a time to reflect on Jesus’ ministry of compassion, peace, and reconciliation. Choosing a vegan diet for Lent breaks the cycle of violence between humanity and the natural world. Doing so not only spares nonhumans great suffering and misery, but it also helps human relationships, because we cannot find peace in our hearts if a central component of our lives – eating – is filled with violence. Many people, upon experiencing the sense of peace and connection that arises from being vegan during Lent, choose to stay vegan.”

– Stephen R. Kaufman, MD, Chair, Christian Vegetarian Association

“We know from Genesis 1:29 that God commanded us to eat only plant-based foods. And we know from Isaiah 65:25 that that is still God’s intention. So do we want to do God’s will or not?”

– Virginia Bell, Catholic Action for Animals

“Years – too many – passed between cutting flesh out of my diet, and going vegan. One word enabled me to make the change: Slavery. For people who want to make the transition but find that cheese still has them in its grip, I suggest they decide to give up profiting from slavery for those forty days. To develop a habit in which you truly follow your heart turns out to be truly liberating.” 

– Gracia Fay Ellwood, Quaker Animal Kinship

Quotes from Interfaith Organizations

“What better way to worship the Prince of Peace than leaving the violence off our plates, and eating the ideal diet that God prescribed for us in Genesis 1:29. Going vegan for Lent is a great way to honor Jesus, while also blessing the planet, our health and reducing the suffering of innocent animals. And it’s a wonderful opportunity to test drive a non-violent lifestyle that not only brings us more in alignment with our true compassionate nature, but has the potential to transform our lives if we choose to continue down its path.”

– Thomas Wade Jackson, Director of A Prayer For Compassion

Going vegan for Lent provides for not only the purification of the soul, but for the uplift of creation. In choosing foods from the plant kingdom in the weeks leading up to Easter, a believer actively chooses peace on earth and acknowledges the sanctity of all life. And many who do this find that they feel so good, physically and psychically, that they never go back to the way they used to eat.” 

– Victoria Moran, author, podcaster, co-founder of Compassion Consortium

“Whether in France, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, members of the Church are talking and showing some concern for animals. The time is right, as Lent approaches, to consider a spiritual journey without animal consumption and to discover the virtues of a compassionate diet.” 

– Estela Torres, Fraternitè pour le Respect Animal

“Lent is the daily spirituality of vegans honoring the sacredness of all life. The energy from the sun enters our bodies through the Son of God. This spiritual transformation enlightens a state of consciousness that all seekers yearn for. Ash Wednesday is the remembrance that no sacrifice of an animal was needed for our Salvation. During Lent, many Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial, and spiritual discipline, the essence of veganism. The purpose of the Lenten season is to set aside time for reflection on our self-righteous indignation of animal slaughter. Jesus Christ came to put an end to the suffering of all animals, including human animals by his sacrifice, his life, death, burial, and resurrection.”

– Frank Lane, UnitedVegan.com 

“The decision to eat or not to eat animal products is not a mere personal food choice. This perpetuates the view of animals as material objects, rather than as fellow beings with precious lives of their own. It hides the fact that in choosing to consume animal products, we choose a life based on slavery and violence. Peace activist, Helen Nearing, said that one can assume a degree of sentience in plants and still recognize that ‘There’s clearly a distinction between a newborn baby lamb and a newly ripened tomato.’”

– Karen Davis, PhD, President, United Poultry Concerns

Quotes from Religious Scholars

“Christian traditions teach that humans are to assist God in reconciling creation to a peaceful, vegan world. The Christian commitment to end suffering is fundamental to Christian teachings… Imagine Jesus walking through a slaughterhouse, a vivisection lab, or a poultry farm, ‘How would the Prince of Peace feel about contemporary exploitation of pigs, mice, and hens? Would he justify these institutions as readily as we do?’”

– Lisa Kemmerer, PhD, Animals and World Religions

“At their essence, Jesus’ teachings are about love. Knowing that God so loved the world to give us the gift of life, Jesus stood against animal sacrifices and for love – loving our neighbors as ourselves…including the ‘neighbors’ we were socialized to exclude from our sphere of compassion. Jesus welcomed the social outcasts and placed no limits on love. Many modern scholars believe Jesus was a vegetarian and we can certainly agree that to live as love, as Jesus taught, would mean to live vegan nowadays. There is no physical need for animal products in our diet, so granting our ‘animal neighbors’ the dignity to live lives of freedom and joy simply makes the most sense if we want to live Jesus’ teachings of love to their fullest extent.”

 Charlotte Cressey, religious scholar 

Lent Resources from Interfaith Vegan Coalition Members

Lent for the Earth: Christians United for the Earth has organized five one-hour online French-speaking meetings from March 9 to April 6 to pacify our relationship in communion with creation without meat or fish. 

40 Days With God’s Creatures: Sarx has organized its Lent guide for millions of Christians worldwide who seek to draw closer to the heart of God and celebrate the redemption of the world in Jesus Christ at Easter.

Going Vegan this Lent Will be the Kindest Thing You’ve Ever Done: PETA Lambs provides 5 reasons to go vegan for Lent and the vegan pledge.

Catholic Vegan Advocacy Kit: Interfaith Vegan Coalition offers quotes, books, articles, videos, hymns, songs, prayers, websites, rituals, and spiritual support.

Vegan Starter Guide: In Defense of Animals’ popular downloadable guide contains recipes, self-care resources, and much more!

### Notes ###

In Defense of Animals started the Interfaith Vegan Coalition to help animal activists and spiritual leaders bring vegan values to spiritual, ethical, and religious communities. The coalition provides faith-based tools to help all faith and secular wisdom traditions practice the ideals of nonviolence, lovingkindness, and harmlessness toward all animals. The coalition is composed of 34 member organizations, 2 allied organizations, and one partner organization Animal Interfaith Alliance comprising 17 organizations, all working in harmony for a common cause.

Interfaith Vegan Coalition Member Organizations Quoted Above:

Contacts:

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in Marin, California, with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi. www.idausa.org/sustainableactivism

The Interfaith Vegan Coalition helps animal activists and spiritual leaders bring vegan values to spiritual, ethical, and religious communities. The coalition provides tools to help all faith and secular wisdom traditions practice the ideals of nonviolence, lovingkindness, and harmlessness toward all animals. www.interfaithvegancoalition.org