Tiger swimming in the wild

The National Animal Rights Day (which is observed in more than 50 countries on the first Sunday in June) is on June 2 this year. It’s an opportunity to remember that every animal is someone who deserves to be recognized as an individual with inherent God-given dignity and purpose. With this in mind, let’s resolve to do our best to help ensure that all animals are treated with respect on this and every other day.

As Christians, we know that God created us as stewards of His animals (Genesis 1:26), whom He even tasked Adam with naming (Genesis 2:19–20), establishing a close relationship among all sentient beings.

Sadly, due to speciesism—the human-held belief that all other species are inferior—God’s animals are often abused and exploited. Those who should be their protectors, driven by vices such as greed and gluttony, frequently degrade them as if they were mere commodities. Using and abusing animals for experimentation, food, clothing, entertainment, or anything else is an affront to God and his expectations of us.

In his book Animal Gospel, Anglican priest Andrew Linzey condemns the speciesist hierarchy that reduces animals to ingredients, products, and props to be sold, consumed, and used:

What the use of animals may be to us is a totally separate question from what their value is to almighty God. To argue that the value and significance of animals in the world can be circumscribed by their value and significance to human beings is simply untheological.

God didn’t create animals to be subjected to human cruelty. He created them as he created all sentient beings—with inherent dignity. All animals, including humans, have the right to be free from oppression and abuse, and we should meet everyone’s suffering with the loving care God expects of good stewards.

Although humans are capable of doing great harm, we’re just as capable of doing great good, and The Animal Rights Day is an exceptional opportunity for us to fulfill our God-assigned role as stewards. Here are some easy ways to take a stand for animal rights in your church and your community:

•              Inform yourself and others. You can download our free Creation Care Toolkit and leave copies of it at your worship center and in church offices.

•              Ask your local public library to order books on animal rights philosophy. Suggestions include Animal Gospel by Andrew Linzey; Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy by Matthew Scully; and For Love of Animals: Christian Ethics, Consistent Action by Charles Camosy. Offer to donate these books if you have extra copies of them. You can also offer to help create an animal rights display.

•              Take action for animals every day with PETA action alerts. These petitions, letters, and other actions are remarkably effective for helping to achieve change for animals around the world. You can share the link above with your friends and ask them to spend a few minutes a day helping animals.

•              Talk to your pastor, priest, or other church staff about incorporating animal-friendly ministry into your church’s opportunities to offer service. You can suggest partnering with a local animal shelter or helping to start a companion animal care ministry for church members who are sick or in the hospital.

•              Ask your clergy to incorporate animal rights into their sermons and homilies.

•              Bring a vegan dish or dessert to share at the next church potluck!

By being informed and taking these easy, compassionate steps, everyone can become the kind stewards God has called us to be. The Animal Rights Day is a perfect starting point for leading lives of kindness, as we were created to do.

Related Posts

Pastor’s Kid Goes Vegan: Piper Ramsey Pastor’s Kid Goes Vegan: Piper Ramsey Pastor’s Kid Goes Vegan: Piper Ramsey
10 Takeaways From ‘Vegangelical’ That Will Help Your Christian Friends Go Vegan 10 Takeaways From ‘Vegangelical’ That Will Help Your Christian Friends Go Vegan 10 Takeaways From ‘Vegangelical’ That Will Help Your Christian Friends Go Vegan
Mystique McDonald: A Vegan Christian’s Testimony Mystique McDonald: A Vegan Christian’s Testimony Mystique McDonald: A Vegan Christian’s Testimony
The Hidden Lives of Turkeys That Every Christian Should Know About The Hidden Lives of Turkeys That Every Christian Should Know About The Hidden Lives of Turkeys That Every Christian Should Know About
Whale's fin in the ocean
Watch ‘Seaspiracy’ This World Oceans Day Watch ‘Seaspiracy’ This World Oceans Day Watch ‘Seaspiracy’ This World Oceans Day
What Every Christian Should Know About Beef and Milk What Every Christian Should Know About Beef and Milk What Every Christian Should Know About Beef and Milk