Why Donít Churches Oppose Animal Abuse?
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from All-Creatures.org


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

Why Donít Churches Oppose Animal Abuse?

Those entrusted with the sacred responsibility to spreading the message that ďGod is LoveĒ (1 John 4:8) have been remarkably quiet when it comes to animal issues. Even though today animals are abused on an unprecedented scale, the clergy and other church authorities have not voiced indignation. To the contrary, churches routinely serve the products of factory farming, resist efforts to have presentations about treatment of animals, and some even sponsor hunting clubs.

The main reason, I think, is that churches are institutions, and institutions tend to prioritize self-preservation. Those who work for institutions, have supported institutions, or are emotionally invested in institutions aim to protect and promote those institutions, even if those institutions participate in unsavory practices.

Animal advocacy is often seen as a threat to institutions. People find images of animal abuse upsetting, and many resist thinking about whether or not they should participate in animal mistreatment. Many people attend church hoping to gain social, communal, psychological, and spiritual benefits, and addressing animal abuse takes many people out of that comfort zone. Those churches that take a strong stand for animal welfare risk losing members, and I think this is why they have largely been impediments to animal welfare reform.

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