February 4, 2011
The United Methodist Church
Official, contemporary and historical statements on animals
The United Methodist Church (UMC) traces its origins to the lives and ministries of John Wesley (1703-1791) and his brother Charles (1707-1788). Its current form took shape in 1968, when The Methodist Church and The Evangelical United Brethren Church merged into a single denomination.
The UMC emphasizes putting faith into action, an as such, the Church has a strong commitment to social justice and a long history of involvement in contemporary social issues—including issues that impact animals and their habitats.
"We support regulations that protect the life and health of animals, including those ensuring the humane treatment of pets and other domestic animals, animals used in research, and the painless slaughtering of meat animals, fish, and fowl. We encourage the preservation of all animal species including those threatened with extinction." --from The United Methodist Church "Social Principles: 160.I. The Natural World; Animal Life" The Book of Discipline, 99-100.
"We support a sustainable agricultural system….where agricultural animals are treated humanely and where their living conditions are as close to natural systems as possible. We aspire to an effective agricultural system where plant, livestock, and poultry production maintains the natural ecological cycles, conserves energy, and reduces chemical input to a minimum." --from The United Methodist Church "Social Principles: 162.III The Social Community; Sustainable Agriculture," The Book of Discipline, 115.
For the full United Methodist Church entry, including links to documents and articles, click on this PDF.