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


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 share widely. Thank you for your support.


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:


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

Historic Animal Welfare Resolution adopted by the United Nations

A historic new animal welfare resolution has been adopted by the United Nations. Representatives from a number of animal welfare organisations met at the the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) in Nairobi, Kenya to propose the new resolution.

CCA Chief Executive and AIA Vice Chair, Chris Fegan said “CCA is delighted to be in Nairobi, Kenya at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) which is taking historic decisions for global Animal Welfare.

“This is a truly breakthrough event where we are seeing the UN adopt an Animal Welfare Resolution for the first time ever in its history and which should have major positive implications for Animal Welfare for decades to come. CCA are very proud to be playing our role in achieving this along with all our great Animal Advocacy colleagues”.

The resolution aims to put animal welfare and health on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by recognising the nexus between animal welfare, the environment and sustainable development.

AIA Support for Ukraine

To Our Neighbours in Ukraine – You are in our thoughts and prayers and we are holding you in the light at this terrible time.

To Our Neighbours in Russia – We understand that you did not want this war and we thank you for standing up to your leaders.

To the Members of the UN Security Council – What a disgrace that three of your fifteen members abstained from voting on the resolution, supported by over 50 countries, demanding that Moscow immediately stops it attacks on Ukraine. What a disgrace that Russia, so obviously conflicted by this resolution, did not stand aside during the vote. The UN Security Council was set up to end war and four of its own members failed to uphold that mission.

Open Letter to the Wellcome Trust to Replace Animal Experiments with Human Relevant Test Methods

On 26th January 2022, AIA Director Dr Andre Menache and AIA President Dr Richard Ryder wrote an open letter to Sir Jeremy Farrar OBE FMedSci FRS, Director of The Wellcome Trust requesting that the Trust invests in replacing outdated animal experiments with 21st century human relevant test methods. Animal experiments are based on outdated, 75 year old legislation which has not kept up with the advances in modern technology. The only thing preventing pharmaceutical companies from moving to human relevant test methods is a lack of political will to work with the regulatory bodies to update the regulations. The Wellcome Trust has reportedly made huge profits recently which AIA believes should be invested in bringing about these changes.

Animal Interfaith Alliance

Faiths Working Together for Animals

Sir Jeremy Farrar OBE FMedSci FRS

Director Wellcome Trust

Gibbs Building
215 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE


26th January 2022

Dear Sir Jeremy, 

We, the Animal Interfaith Alliance, a group of 17 faith-based animal advocacy organizations (listed below), write to you in your capacity as Director of the Wellcome Trust to ask you to engage in a genuine dialogue concerning some of the corporate practices of the Trust.

We appeal first and foremost to your corporate social responsibility, generally defined as the self-regulation of a business model that helps an institution be socially and morally accountable to itself, its stakeholders and the public.  

The Wellcome Trust is by far the biggest charity in Britain with £36.3 billion in net assets and was created by Sir Henry Wellcome in 1936 to improve health by supporting scientific research and the study of medicine.

“In 2004, the FDA estimated that 92 percent of drugs that pass preclinical tests, including “pivotal” animal tests, fail to proceed to the market. More recent analysis suggests that, despite efforts to improve the predictability of animal testing, the failure rate has actually increased and is now closer to 96 percent. The main causes of failure are lack of effectiveness and safety problems that were not predicted by animal tests” (2).

In addition, “Over the recent years, there has been an increasing recognition of the weaknesses that pervade our current system of basic and preclinical research. This has been highlighted empirically in preclinical research by the inability to replicate the majority of findings presented in high-profile journals. The estimates for irreproducibility based on these empirical observations range from 75% to 90%. These estimates fit remarkably well with estimates of 85% for the proportion of biomedical research that is wasted at large”. (3)

In view of this embarrassing state of affairs, several attempts have been made by research teams to improve the quality of animal studies, including the updated ARRIVE guidelines (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments) (4).  These attempts to improve the methodology of animal studies betray a remarkable ignorance of complexity science and evolutionary biology. No matter how good the methodology, animal models cannot predict human outcome with respect to drug development and disease, as demonstrated above and further explained in the following references. (5,6,7)

Not only is the continued use of animals responsible for an enormous amount of avoidable animal suffering but it is also responsible for a significant incidence of human adverse drug reactions (8). This is not surprising in view of our current knowledge of inter and even intra-species differences, based on genomics, complexity theory and evolutionary biology (9).

The following paragraph makes the connection between animal testing and shareholder expectations:

Pharmaceutical firms seek to fulfil their responsibilities to stakeholders by developing drugs that treat diseases. We evaluate the social and financial costs of developing new drugs relative to the realized benefits and find the industry falls short of its potential. This is primarily due to legislation-mandated reliance on animal test results in early stages of the drug development process, leading to a mere 10 percent success rate for new drugs entering human clinical trials. We cite hundreds of biomedical studies from journals including Nature, Science, and the Journal of the American Medical Association to show animal modelling is ineffective, misleading to scientists, unable to prevent the development of dangerous drugs, and prone to prevent the development of useful drugs.” (10).

The pharmaceutical industry is best placed to make the paradigm change needed to replace outdated and unreliable animal tests with human relevant test methods, including human 3D cell culture, organs on chips, pharmacogenomics, and similar 21st century technologies that were previously unavailable.

Only the pharmaceutical industry has the resources to scientifically validate human based test methods and steer them through the regulatory framework.

We would argue that the only reason that animal testing has evaded the rigors of evidence based science for so long is that the public and indeed, shareholders, are completely unaware of the fact that currently available human based test methods are far more predictive of human outcome than animal tests.

We can choose between the use of human data that is relevant and reliable for human medicine, or the use of animal data that is clearly irrelevant and unreliable for human medicine. The scientific evidence against animal testing is now overwhelming. What is now required is a political will on the part of the pharmaceutical industry to make change happen, in consultation with regulatory agencies and the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH).

The development, manufacture and mass marketing of the COVID-19 vaccine was achieved in just 10 months instead of the normal 10 to 15 years. The pharmaceutical industry has already had 75 years in which to replace animal tests. Now is the time to invest some of the profits made from the COVID-19 vaccine and to replace animal tests with human based methodologies that are currently available. This is an excellent opportunity for the Wellcome Trust to take the lead on this crucial issue by being proactive.

We are sure you will agree that this would represent a win-win situation for the Wellcome Trust, for human health and for animal welfare.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Andre Menache BSc(Hons)  BVSc Dip ECAWBM (AWSEL) MRCVS


Dr Richard D. Ryder  PhD (Cantab) MA AFBPsS FZS













Member Organisations (in alphabetical order):- 

The Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals

Animals in Islam

Bhagvatinandji Education and Health Trust

Catholic Concern for Animals

Christian Vegetarians and Vegans UK

The Christian Vegetarian Association US

Dharma Voices for Animals

The Institute of Jainology

The International Ahimsa Organisation 

The Jewish Vegetarian Society

The Mahavir Trust

The Oshwal Association of the UK

Pan-Orthodox Concern for Animals

Quaker Concern for Animals

The Romeera Foundation

The Sadhu Vaswani Centre

The Young Jains


Registered office: 56 Cole Lane, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 0PN                                        Company number: 8958588

President: Dr Richard Ryder Vice President: Dr Deborah Jones      Website: www.animal-interfaith-alliance.com

Patrons: Rev. Christa Blanke, Rabbi Prof. Dan Cohn-Sherbok, Kay, Duchess of Hamilton, Joyce D’Silva, Faizan Jaleel, Satish Kumar, Nitin Mehta MBE, Fr Simon Nellist, Dr Alpesh Patel, Dr Matthieu Ricard, Anant Shah OBE, Ajit Singh MBE, Charanjit Singh, Mohammad Safa, Dr Will Tuttle, Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg.

Animals in War Memorial Service 2021


by Dr Christina Nellist

On the 14th of November 2021 at 3pm, I attended a service held on behalf of the animals who have died in human conflicts and suffered at the hands of humankind. The service was organized by the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (ASWA), and I was there representing the Animal Interfaith Alliance. The Reverend Dr Helen Hall led the service. After the Introduction and welcome, the audience and participants sang the hymn ‘O God, our help in ages past’.

I then gave the Old Testament Reading from Isaiah 2:3-4 (NRSVA):
3 Many peoples shall come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

This was followed by a reflective reading from the Reverend Samantha Chandler:


From time to time, people tell me “lighten up, it’s just a dog” or
“that’s a lot of money for “just a dog”.
They don’t understand the distance travelled, the time spent, or
the cost involved for “just a dog”.
Some of my proudest moments have come about with “just a dog”.
Many hours have passed, and my only company was “just a dog”
but I did not once feel slighted.
Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by “just a dog”,
and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “just a dog” gave me comfort
and reason to overcome the day.
If you too, think it’s “just a dog”, then you probably understand phrases like
“just a friend”, “just a sunrise”, or “just a promise”.
“Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and
pure unbridled joy.
“Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person.
Because of “just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks and
look longingly to the future.
So, for me and folks like me, it’s not “just a dog” but
an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future,
the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.
“Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts
away from myself and the worries of the day.
I hope that someday they can understand that it’s not “just a dog” but
the creature that gives me humanity and keeps me from being
“just a man” or “just a woman”.
So, the next time you hear the phrase “just a dog”, just smile,
because they “just don’t understand”. (Unknown Author)

The service continued with Intercessions by the Reverend Professor Martin Henig, who spoke on behalf of the animals who had died in human conflicts but also those who had suffered and died at the hands of cruel people or practices. He also gave thanks for the safety of the animals and people who were brought out safely from Afghanistan by Pen Farthing, and thanks too, for the people and animals in our armed and civil forces, and many others who keep us safe.

This was followed by ‘A Time to Reflect’ by Revered Dr Helen Hall, which led to the ‘Introduction to the Act of Remembrance’ and a ‘Two Minute Silence’, followed by the quote:

‘They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.’

To which the congregation responded:

‘We will remember them.’

The Laying of the Wreaths on the Memorial was followed by a blessing of the audience and the Hymn ‘Just As I Am’ and the ‘Dismissal’.

Finally, the people gathered to look at the many wreaths placed against the Animals At War Memorial, whereupon we all departed. It was a very moving and beautiful service, and I was honoured to represent the Animal Interfaith Alliance on this occasion.

Invitation to ‘Vegan Spirituality: the Climate Solution’

We are delighted to announce that Lisa Levinson and Judy Carman of AIA’s US partner organisation, the Interfaith Vegan Coalition (IVC) will be giving an online presentation on Sunday 21st November 2021 at 17.45 GMT, following AIA’s online AGM.

Lisa and Judy will be talking about ‘Vegan Spirituality: the Climate Solution’ and IVC’s inspirational work to promote vegan spirituality. Solving the environmental crisis that we now face requires internal spiritual change, where we learn to live in harmony with creation and to respect it, rather than seeing it as a resource to be exploited.  Technological solutions alone are not enough.

Lisa Levinson
Judy Carman

Lisa Levinson manages In Defense of Animals campaigns and directs the Sustainable Activism Campaign, offering emotional and spiritual resources for animal activists. Lisa founded Vegan Spirituality to explore veganism as a spiritual practice and co-founded the Interfaith Vegan Coalition, which provides resources for faith-based vegan advocacy. She started the National Goose Protection Coalition to prevent goose roundups and the Toad Detour to help toads migrate safely. She also co-founded Public Eye: Artists for Animals to teach compassion for animals through the arts. 

Judy McCoy Carman, MA, is the author of Homo Ahimsa: Who we really are and how we’re going to save the world; Peace to All Beings; Veggie Soup for the Chicken’s Soul; recipient of the Henry Spira Grassroots Animal Activist Award and founder of the Animal Peace Prayer Flag Project.  She is co-founder of Animal Outreach of Kansas, Circle of Compassion, Prayer Circle for Animals facebook, Interfaith Vegan Coalition, and assists with Vegan Spirituality events.  Her website is www.peacetoallbeings.com

The presentation is open to all and will commence at 17.45 GMT. Please join us. Everyone is welcome!

To register and receive the zoom link to the presentation, please email barbgard.aia@gamil.com