Our Five Year Strategy – 2022-2026

Faiths Working Together for Animals

About the Animal Interfaith Alliance

Founded in 2014, the Animal Interfaith Alliance (AIA) is a unique alliance of faith based, animal advocacy organisations which represent all the major faiths. It speaks out on the moral treatment of animals by drawing on the combined wisdom of all faiths, and it promotes social harmony by bringing the faith groups together on an issue they all share a concern for. AIA’s activities include animal advocacy and education.

Our Vision and Mission

Our Vision is a peaceful world where people of all faiths and none work together to treat animals with respect and compassion.

Our Mission is to create a united voice for animals from all of the major faiths to bring about a world where animals are treated with respect and compassion.

Our Beliefs

– We believe in ahimsa – a vegan lifestyle which does not harm others;

– Animals are sentient beings who have the right to live freely and not to be made to suffer by humans;

– Animals exist for their own sakes and not for ours;

– Animals are emotional beings who can love us and provide companionship, and can be members of our family and community;

– We are part of an interconnected web which includes the Earth and all its inhabitants, both plant and animals.  By abusing part of that web, we damage the rest of it, including the environment and ourselves.

Our Values

Our values are intended to convey the highest moral standards in the way animals are treated, promoting a vegan diet, which also embraces the issues of environmental protection, healthy lifestyles and ending world hunger. We will not compromise on these standards to placate any group. For example, AIA will not promote higher welfare meat or engage in any debate on ritual slaughter, as all slaughter is immoral. We accept that a terminally suffering animal may have to be put to sleep, on compassionate grounds, to relieve untreatable suffering.

We also seek to promote diversity amongst our membership, board and patrons and we continuously seek to refresh these in order to improve our diversity. We aim to achieve diversity of faith, gender and race.

Our Objectives

We aim to change people’s behaviour towards animals to encourage them to treat them with compassion and respect. 6.6 billion people (86% of the world population) belong to one of the major faiths1, so reaching people through the teachings of their faith should have a major impact on their attitudes and behaviour. Therefore, we have aimed to:

– provide a stronger voice for animals through the interfaith group than can be provided by many separate voices from individual faiths;

– create a co-ordinated approach across the faiths to educate people on the humane treatment of animals;

– be a strong and co-ordinated campaigning organisation;

– provide a forum to learn from and share the wisdoms of other cultures and traditions;

– disseminate that wisdom through our regular Animal Spirit magazine and newsletter, and our website and social media;

– inspire others through interfaith conferences and services and with our annual Interfaith Celebration for Animals;

– promote a vegan diet, which also embraces the issues of environmental protection, healthy lifestyles, ending world hunger and ending animal exploitation, recognising the interconnectedness of all these issues.

Our Governance Structure

AIA Members at 1 January 2022

(In alphabetical order)

Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (ASWA)

Animals in Islam

The Bhagvatinandji Education & Health Trust

Catholic Concern for Animals (CCA)

Christian Vegetarians & Vegans UK

Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA US)

Compassion Consortium

Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA) (Buddhist)

Institute of Jainology (IOJ)

International Ahimsa Organisation

The Jewish Vegetarian Society (JVS)

The Mahavir Trust

Oshwal Association of the UK (OAUK)

Pan-Orthodox Concern for Animals

Quaker Concern for Animals (QCA)

The Romeera Foundation

The Sadhu Vaswani Centre (Hindu)

The Young Jains

Our Partner Organisation in the US – The Interfaith Vegan Coalition


Our Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths: A strong and diverse membership of respected faith-based, animal advocacy organisations.  A strong and diverse list of patrons.

Weaknesses: Limited financial resources. We have too few volunteers and insufficient time, and this will be the biggest constraint in achieving our targets. It is vital, therefore, that we stick to our strategic goals and do not get distracted by other issues, that other organisations would be very keen to engage us on.

In addition, travel and physical attendance at events and meetings is currently limited by covid restrictions and cost.


Summary Five Year Strategy – 2022-2026

The World We Live In Now

We currently face the following threats and opportunities:

– A world where billions of animals suffer every year in factory farms, laboratories and many other forms of human-created abuse;

– A global climate crisis;

– A global pandemic;

– A politically unstable world;

– A new global communications infrastructure;

– Changes in the way we live, work and interact;

– New and positive attitudes towards animal rights and veganism;

– A social climate conducive to compassion.

How We Want the World to Be

We want a peaceful, vegan world where all humans and non-humans live together in harmony.

How We Aim to Get There

We have identified eight key priorities (see below) which we will target by:

– working in collaboration with other organisations and key individuals in the animal advocacy world;

– lobbying and meeting with key individuals in our target audiences;

– letter writing campaigns; and

– education and advocacy through the Animal Spirit magazine/newsletter, and the website and social media.

Our Eight Key Priorities

1. Putting Animal Ethics on the Education Curriculum

2. Putting Animals on the Agenda of the Parliament of World Religions

3. Achieving a UN Convention on Animal Protection

4. Putting Animals in the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals

5. Replacing Laboratory Animals with 21st Century Human Relevant Test methods

6. Ending Factory Farming

7. Using Ethical Investments to Promote Animal Welfare

8. Reactive Campaigning


Detailed Five Year Strategy

Our Eight Key Priorities

1. Achieving a UN Convention on Animal Health & Protection (UNCAHP)

Although there are currently UN Conventions on human rights, children’s rights and women’s rights, there is no convention on animal rights. We believe that a convention on animal rights would raise the standing of animals in international law.  There has been a proposal for a UN Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW) for many decades now which has never come to fruition.  We believe that a UN Convention would be stronger than a UN Declaration and therefore, we favour the Convention rather than the Declaration. The Global Animal Law Association (GAL) has drafted a UN Convention on Animal Health & Protection (UNCAHP) and we aim to assist them in promoting it through the UN Faith for Earth initiative.

Who we can work with:

The Global Animal Law Association

The United Nations Faith for Earth

RSPCA

2. Putting Animals in the UN Sustainable Development Goals

There are 17 sustainable development goals and animals and not mentioned in them.  We believe that in this interconnected world, we cannot separate our exploitation of animals from the other goals and that animal protection must be included in them.  As the goals are under review for 2030, we want to work with the UN’s Faith for Earth to ensure that the next round of goals includes animals.

Who we can work with:

The United Nations Faith for Earth

3. Putting Animals on the Agenda of the Parliament of World Religions

Each year the Parliament of World Religions holds its conference and we want to be able to attend and present at those conferences in order to get animals on the Parliament’s agenda.  We will be working with our US partner organisation the Interfaith Vegan Coalition who have already attended and worked with the Parliament.

Who we can work with:

The Parliament of World Religions

The Interfaith Vegan Coalition

A Prayer for Compassion

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4. Putting Animals on the Education Curriculum

We have already worked with RE Today magazine to put animals and veganism onto the religious education agenda and they have been very supportive.  We have also been approached by Veganism in Education and the Animal Think Tank to work with them to put veganism into education and we will be following this up with them.

Who we can work with:

Veganism in Education

RE Today

National Association of Standing Advisory Councils on Religion Education

Animal Think Tank

The Vegan Society

5. Replacing Laboratory Animals with 21st Century Human Relevant Test Methods

We are very privileged to have Dr Andre Menache on our board who is the top expert in this field.  He has already started campaigning to replace laboratory animals with 21st century human relevant test methods by writing to major pharmaceutical companies and overseas embassies.  He has also hosted a number of seminars for AIA on the subject. We will continue with Dr Menache’s campaign.

– Who we can work with:

The Home Office (UK)

– Major Pharmaceutical Companies

6. Ending Factory Farming

We will act in supportive of other organisations working towards the goal of ending factory farming, particularly SCRAP who we have already given a small amount of financial support and have supported on social media.

Who we can work with:

SCRAP Factory Farming

CIWF

7. Using Ethical Investments to Promote Animal Welfare

Beyond Investing has set up the US Vegan Climate Fund which invests only in non-exploitative investments.  We will support them and help to spread the word about their fund.

Who we can work with:

Beyond Investing

8. Reactive Campaigning

In addition to the eight proactive campaigns outlined above, we will continue responding to individual ad-hoc campaigns when these are raised by our colleagues in the animal protection movement by letter writing.

Who we can work with:

– All animal advocacy organisations

ALAW

The Interfaith Vegan Coalition (our US partner organisation)


References:

1. Wikipedia – List of religious populations


The Animal Interfaith Alliance is a registered not-for-profit company number 8958588. 

Copyright Animal Interfaith Alliance 2022

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