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Animals and Religion

The Humane Society of the United States

The HSUS announces Humane Society: Animals and Religion, a program that engages religious institutions and individuals in critical animal protection issues.

Our first major initiative is Food, Farming and Faith, which promotes an understanding of sacred food in various religious traditions and encourages their support of agricultural practices that are sustainable and reduce animal suffering. This program:

  • explores the sacred dimensions of food in various religious traditions and highlights its vital place in community and faith (e.g., Kosher, Halal and the Eucharist);
  • reports on the link between the industrial animal agriculture sector and current critical issues of faith communities, such as global hunger and climate change;
  • secures the adoption of resolutions by the governing bodies of denominations addressing the needs for improved farm animal welfare; and
  • encourages religious institutions and people of faith to purchase more humane and sustainably produced food and to advocate for improved farm animal welfare policies at the local, state and national levels.

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Humane Society: Animals and Religion also encourages religious individuals and organizations on other crucial animal protection issues. For example, in the campaign to ban cockfighting statewide in Louisiana, Bishop William W. Hutchinson, head of the Louisiana United Methodist Church, supported our efforts with a public statement condemning the bloodsport. The ban passed in June 2007 and will take effect next year, thanks in part to Bishop Hutchinson's leadership and the compassionate support of so many people of faith.

Bishop Hutchinson is just one of many religious leaders who has taken a stance against animal abuse. And several denominations and faiths—including The United Methodist Church—have official statements addressing animal welfare issues.

Together with organizations like the Animals and Religion Consultation of the American Academy of Religion, the Forum of Religion and Ecology, and the Sacred Foods Project, we promote scholarship on animals and religion, and encourage humane activism on the part of teachers and students of religion.

For more information, please contact us.

Updated Sept. 19, 2007

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