April 19, 2013
Seventh-day Adventist Church
Official and historical statements and contemporary references on animals
The Seventh-day Adventist Church was officially established in 1863, although it traces its date of birth to 1844 when it affirmed the beliefs that came to form its name.
These beliefs include: the Bible as the infallible Word of God; the creation of the world in six days, with the seventh day (Saturday) set aside as the Sabbath; and the imminent return (Advent) of Christ.
One of celebrated founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was Ellen G. White, whose visions, spiritual leadership, and extensive writings convinced her fellow Adventists that she possessed the gift of prophecy.
While never making vegetarianism a requirement of the faith, White counseled Adventists to take the suffering of animals into consideration when making dietary choices.
From White: "Think of the cruelty to animals that meat eating involves, and its effect on those who inflict and those who behold it. How it destroys the tenderness with which we should regard these creatures of God!"
"The intelligence displayed by many dumb animals approaches so closely to human intelligence that it is a mystery," White wrote. "The animals see and hear and love and fear and suffer. They use their organs far more faithfully than many human beings use theirs. They manifest sympathy and tenderness toward their companions in suffering. Many animals show an affection for those who have charge of them, far superior to the affection shown by some of the human race. They form attachments for man which are not broken without great suffering to them."
--from Ellen G. White, Your Home and Health (Read Books, 2007), 121.
Read more official and historical statements, plus contemporary references on our full Seventh-day Adventist Church PDF.