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Ted Kirkpatrick: Raising the Roof for Christ and Animals

The drummer and his Christian metal band Tourniquet are spreading the word about protecting animals

  • Ted Kirkpatrick, co-founder and drummer of Christian metal band Tourniquet, is an HSUS member and animal advocate. Courtesy T. Kirkpatrick.

  • Ted feeds a goat he rescued from a neglect case. Courtesy T. Kirkpatrick.

  • With each copy of its new album, "Antiseptic Bloodbath," the band includes a free copy of The HSUS's "Eating Mercifully" DVD. Courtesy T. Kirkpatrick.

by Karen L. Allanach

Ted Kirkpatrick is passionate.

Kirkpatrick is the co-founder and main songwriter for the successful Christian heavy metal band Tourniquet.

Since forming in Los Angeles in 1990, Tourniquet has sold more than 300,000 albums worldwide. The band uses its eight studio albums, live and acoustic albums, EPs and music videos to communicate “the message of the Gospel through music.”

How do they do it? With INTENSITY.

Why Tourniquet?

The band defines the word: "A surgical device for arresting hemorrhage by compression of a blood vessel...a lifelong spiritual process by which a personal God, through the atoning blood, death, and resurrection of His only Son—Jesus Christ—can begin to stop the flow of going through life without knowing and serving our Creator. HE IS OUR TOURNIQUET.”

“Ark of Suffering”

Tourniquet’s first album, 1990’s “Stop the Bleeding,” featured a song about animal abuse, “Ark of Suffering.” Today, various recordings of the iconic animal-welfare "anthem" have accumulated more than 300,000 views on YouTube.com. Kirkpatrick wrote, “We had no idea it would have such an impact. I wrote the lyrics to reflect what God had in mind for the proper treatment of his beloved animal creation and how far we are from it. Since then, Tourniquet has been an active voice for animal welfare.”

Believing in The HSUS

“I am a member of The HSUS for one simple reason: I believe in what they do,” Kirkpatrick says. “They have always been there to help our companion animals, but it is their increasing passion and powerful ability to elicit positive change in the lives of farm animals, work animals, laboratory animals, animals used in entertainment, and wildlife that is truly remarkable.”

Spreading the word about "Eating Mercifully"

Tourniquet is giving fans a copy of The HSUS’s film "Eating Mercifully" with each copy of the band’s new album, "Antiseptic Bloodbath."

“I hope everyone will make the choice to see 'Eating Mercifully,'” Kirkpatrick says. ”For me, it totally reinforced what I believe and try to live by—the concept of mercy. To show mercy through compassion is one of the most important aspects of faith, and more simply, of just being a good person. This is a mercy that extends beyond humans to include all animals, as they experience many of the same things we do: excitement, bonding, joy, contentment, and frustration, loneliness, fear, and of course—pain.”

Kirkpatrick lives in Wisconsin with his wife, Cristy, and three rescued cats, Troides, Indra, and Morpho. “We also enjoy seeing the numerous outdoor animals where all are welcome—with lots of trees, brush piles for cover, hibernation, and protection from the elements—plus natural food and water sources,” he says.

Karen L. Allanach is associate director for The HSUS's Faith Outreach program

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