Animal protection movements date back centuries and so does their connection with religious leaders. In the 18th Century, Methodism’s founder John Wesley worked with the leading British anti-cruelty activists of his day. Over the past half century, the Humane Society of the United States has taken up the cause and now is backed by 11 million American supporters.
Among the HSUS
The HSUS Food & Faith Recommended Reading page suggests books that “examine factory farming and other food and animal issues from the standpoint of human ethics. Even where they are not specifically Christian, they provide a good starting point for considering these topics in light of a Christian faith perspective.” That HSUS list includes Year of Plenty, the memoir written by ReadTheSpirit friends, the Goodwin family.
An April 2012 story on Compassionate Campers reports news about a faith-based camp that was facing serious flooding from dam-building beavers. Instead of harming the beavers, camp officials worked with HSUS to deter the beavers’ relentless building in an animal-friendly way.
Also, check out the HSUS collection of interfaith statements about treatment of animals. The Christian portion of the list ranges from Catholic, Southern Baptist and United Methodist to Seventh-day Adventist and Assemblies of God. The Judaism area contains Reform, Conservative and Orthodox sections. Other faiths represented here include Hinduism and Islam.