Celebrating “Veganuary” always accords with the Bible! Not only are exciting new vegan products making it easier than ever to be vegan, PETA LAMBS is also giving you and your church community a week-by-week guide to fun, faith-based actions to take throughout January 2024.
Week 1 (January 1–7): Host an Animal-Friendly Movie Night
We’ve curated a list of eye-opening documentaries appropriate for a church group. You’ll find inspiring messages of compassion that will help your faith community take the next step in showing consideration for all of God’s creatures, including the following:
- Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home, directed by Jenny Stein, is a powerful documentary that follows individuals on their journey from participating in traditional farming practices to understanding the complex, sensitive nature of animals who are exploited for profit. This film is an honest look at the perspectives of diverse individuals who seek to live ethically and in harmony with animals.
- A Prayer for Compassion, directed by Thomas Wade Jackson, takes viewers on a trip around the world to meet spiritual leaders from many religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, who present compelling reasons why people of faith must reject violence toward animals in order to practice the most important tenets of any religion: mercy, compassion, and love.
Week 2 (January 8–14): Start an Animal-Focused Book Club
We’ve also curated a list of thought-provoking books perfect for a church book club or small group meeting. You’ll find biblical messages of compassion that will enrich your faith community’s understanding of how best to honor all of God’s creatures. Here are a couple of the terrific titles:
- Vegangelical: How Caring for Animals Can Shape Your Faith by Sarah Withrow King is practical, judicious in its conclusions, and grounded in a broader theology of Christian compassion. Readers are called to a greater attentiveness to one of the primary relationships in God’s created order: that of humans with other animals.
- Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy by Matthew Scully begins with the recognition that God granted humans dominion over other animals. But with this privilege comes the grave responsibility to respect life and treat animals with dignity and compassion. Somewhere along the way, something went wrong.
Week 3 (January 15–21): Launch an Engaging Creation Care Speaker Series
A time-limited speaker series is a great way to promote learning and leadership in your community as members research and share important facts about issues that affect animals. Each week, a different community member conducts research on a topic and then reports back to the group. We’d be happy to provide you with input and support as you get this project off the ground. Here are a few ideas for session titles:
- “Animals Used in Experimentation: The State of the Industry and Modern Solutions” (PETA’s Research Modernization Deal provides a roadmap for reducing and eliminating animal experimentation, and major medical associations and experienced scientists endorse it.)
- “Farmed Animals: Who They Are, How They Suffer, and What You Can Do to Help Them”
- “Animal-Free Fashions: Cactus Leather, Alternatives to Wool, and Other Materials That Spare Animals’ Lives”
- “Animals Used for Entertainment, From SeaWorld to the Iditarod to Roadside Zoos: Ways to Advocate for Them”
Week 4 (January 22–31): Commit to Vegan Church Events for Lent and Beyond
As we progress through the Lenten season of reconciliation in preparation for the restorative aspects of Easter, consider going vegan in order to more fully answer Jesus’ call to serve the most vulnerable. A great way to introduce compassionate eating during Lent is to serve delicious vegan fish. Also, does your church host a seasonal festival, fundraising auction, bingo night, or raffle? Does your community enjoy fellowship over meals at picnics, retreats, or small group dinners? By choosing compassionate options for your events, you’ll bless your church, honor God, and establish a tradition of caring for all of creation.
Veganuary is a great initial motivator, and to make lasting positive changes for God’s animals and all creation, just continue your vegan journey beyond this month so that it flourishes as a lifelong practice. As people of faith, we’re called upon to care for God’s creation, including all the animals He so lovingly made. In a world where billions of individual animals are exploited, made to suffer, and killed every year, it’s critical that each of us answer this call to protect our fellow sentient beings and create the compassionate world that God intended—all year, every year.
LAMBS is here to help. We joyfully offer free informative literature and encourage you to order pamphlets for your community, such as PETA LAMBS’ “Show Compassion for All” bookmark, our “Why Go Vegan? To Honor God” leaflet, PETA’s vegan starter kit, and stickers for all ages. Visit PETA.org/Literature to place your order today.