“Eating Mercifully,” a short film now available on DVD. The 26-minute documentary explores Christian perspectives on factory farming. As you’ll see in the film, a growing number of Christians are changing their diet and consumer purchases because the way animals are treated in factory farms is inconsistent with their beliefs. Some are demanding better treatment of farm animals, while some are simply leaving animals off their plates altogether. Click here to request your free copy of the DVD to share with your family, congregation, or small group. Watch the trailer below:
Because animal welfare is one of the worst problems that many Christians know almost nothing about, Q Talks featured Wayne Pacelle and Christine Gutleben of the Humane Society of The United States in 2012 where they encouraged Christians to care about this issue. Watch their talk here and hear their surprising insights from scripture and Christian history as they ask us to consider our non-human neighbors.
This video series features discussions about how faith shaped the lives and work of C.S. Lewis, William Wilberforce and other animal advocates. Through conversations about notable animal advocates, the series explores the ways in which faith leaders lay a foundation for the ethical treatment of animals and how people of faith have responded. The ongoing video series is a great tool for small groups and Bible Studies when used alongside the small group study guides provided in our “Small Group Materials” section below:
- In the first video, Eric Metaxas discusses William Wilberforce, an evangelical member of Britain’s Parliament, best known for championing the equal rights of all human beings through the passage of the Foreign Slave Trade Act (1806-07). Wilberforce also passionately fought for the welfare of animals, seeing a direct link between how humans treat animals and how they treat their neighbors.
- In the second video, Dr. Karen Swallow Prior discusses Hannah More and her commitment to reforming culture. More, a close friend of William Wilberforce, advocated for the abolition of slavery and the improvement of morals, education, religion and animal welfare.
- In the third video, Dr. Jerry Root discusses C.S. Lewis and the concern he had for animals throughout his life. A writer and Christian apologist, Lewis is best known for his fictional work, especially The Chronicles of Narnia, and for his nonfiction such as Mere Christianity and The Problem of Pain.
Small Group Materials
Utilize the small group guides, Living Legacy Study Guides, found here to accompany a study of the Living Legacy Video Series.
- Video 1 Study Guide: William Wilberforce
- by Mark Rodgers (Principal, The Clapham Group)
- Video 2 Study Guide: C.S. Lewis
- by Kerry Knott (Former President, The C.S. Lewis Institute)
- Video 3 Study Guide: Hannah More
- by Nancy Sleeth (Managing Director, Blessed Earth)
In the News
“Scholars Explore Christian Perspectives on Animal Rights” The New York Times
“Can Christianity Take Vegetarianism Mainstream?”, by Charlie Camosy for the Huffington Post.
“For All of God’s Creatures”, by Karen Swallow Prior for the LA Times.
“Free Willy!”, by Charles Krauthammer for the Washington Post
Take a look at the volume of articles that Christians have been writing on this issue!
Philip Sampson discusses the ethics of animal kindness in “The Curious Case of the Kind Evangelicals” for The Kirby Laing Institute For Christian Ethics.
Theological reflection on animals by A. Trevor Sutton, “The Biblical Power of Names” for Faith and Leadership.
Christine Gutleben shares about Animal Welfare & The Church on Q Ideas.
Dr. Gerry Root writes about the unique legacy and contribution that C.S. Lewis made to the animal welfare movement.
Caitrin Nicol Keiper asks “Do Elephants Have Souls?” for The New Atlantis.
Dr. Barrett Duke shares “10 Biblical Truths About Animals” for Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission online.
Mary Eberstadt, Author and Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center
- Makes “A Case for the Moral Consideration of Animals” for National Review.
- Unpacks how “Pro-Life, Pro-Animal” is inextricably related for First Things.
- Explores “The Truth About Religion and Animals” for TIME Online.
Dr. Karen Swallow Prior, Professor of English at Liberty University
- Shares about “Animals and the Environment” for Ink: A Creative Collective.
- Encourages meat reduction and loving our pets on Christianity Today’s Her.Meneutics Blog.
Matthew Scully, Prolific Author, Journalist, and Speechwriter
- Unpacks the “Pro-Life and Pro-Animal” connection for National Review.
- Advocates for compassionate conservatism for animals for The American Conservative.
- Observes how the on-screen Noah cared for the animals he was charged with for National Review.
Leslie Leyland Fields writes “A Feast Fit for the King” for Christianity Today where she challenges believers to return the growing fields and kitchen table to God.
Kendra Langdon Juskus issues “A Call to Compassion from Our Brothers the Animals” for Flourish Magazine.
Emily Belz explores how evangelical leaders have cracked down on cockfighting in “God’s Chickens” for WORLD Magazine.
Jonathan Merritt, Senior Editor for Religion News Service
- Challenges believers that “Life’s busy, but mealtimes are still sacred.
- Interviews Dr. Karen Swallow Prior on her biography of the extraordinary life of Hannah More, Fierce Convictions, who was an architect of the organized animal welfare movement, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals.
- Asks “Is Animal Suffering an Achilles Heel for Creationists?”
Rev. Billy Graham responds to the questions “Does God Care About Animals?” and “Does the Bible Say Anything About How We Should Treat Animals?”
Dr. Matthew C. Halteman, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College
- Encourages Christians on “Compassionate Eating as Care for Creation.“
- Uncovers “Knowing the Standard American Diet By Its Fruits” by arguing that the church should actively encourage Christians to adopt more redemptive eating habits.
Phil Mobley makes “The Case for Eating Compassionately” for byFaith, the online magazine of the Presbyterian Church in America.
Literature for daily spiritual reflection on responsible care for animals.
Here are some ways you and your community can begin caring for Every Living Thing today. Get involved!
Every day, families struggle to keep food on the table for their children and food in the bowl for their pets. Some must give up their pets because they simply can’t feed them.
Meanwhile, animal shelters and rescue groups strive to feed the growing number of cats, dogs, and other homeless pets in their care. The Humane Society of the United States has made it easy for you to help these families, shelters, and rescues: the Fill the Bowl program.
You help families
If you are already donating to a food bank or collecting for a local food pantry in your area, add pet food to what you are already giving. It will be distributed to needy families with pets.
You help your local animal shelter or rescue group
Partner with one of your local animal shelters or rescue groups and find out what food or other supplies are needed. You can find a local shelter via the Shelter Pet Project.
In addition to providing food, water, and cover, a Humane Backyard gives wildlife a safe haven from harmful pesticides and chemicals, free-roaming pets, inhumane practices (such as wildlife trapping), and other dangers. Whether you have an apartment balcony, suburban yard, corporate property, place of worship, or community park, you can turn it into a habitat for wildlife, people, and pets. Find out how with these free resources!