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Episcopal Church

Official and historical statements and contemporary references on animals

The Humane Society of the United States

  • A young girl has her pet parrot blessed at Grace Cathedral, the Episcopal Cathedral of the Diocese of California. The HSUS

The Episcopal Church arrived in the American colonies in 1607.  Originally an extension of the Church of England, it became an autonomous institution after the American Revolution.

The Church has many statements and references on animals.

The Episcopal Church was the first Christian denomination in the United States to issue an official condemnation of animal cruelty. 

A statement released in 1817 by the House of Bishops, called upon members to avoid "amusements" that involve "cruelty to the brute creation." 

Today, the Episcopal Church addresses specific issues to call for responsible care of God's animals:

“The Episcopal Church encourage its members to ensure that husbandry methods for captive and domestic animals would prohibit suffering in such conditions as puppy mills, and factory-farms;…
“The Episcopal Church's Peace and Justice Office [is instructed to] identify existing guidelines to educate its members to adhere to ethical standards in the care and treatment of animals…
“The Episcopal Church, through its Office of Government Relations, [is instructed to] identify and advocate for legislation protecting animals and effective enforcement measures."

—from the Episcopal Church, Support Ethical Care of Animals.

Read more details on the Episcopal Church's religious statements on animals (PDF).

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