August 26, 2010
Seventh-day Adventist World Headquarters Hosts HSUS CEO
Wayne Pacelle gives morning message to General Conference employees
by Sandra Blackmer, features editor, The Adventist Review
SILVER SPRING, MD—Embracing the biblical mandate to be good to God’s nonhuman creatures who share our planet was the focus of Wayne Pacelle’s morning worship message to employees of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists August 17.
President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and guest speaker at the church’s world headquarters, Pacelle told the unusually high number of mid-week worship attendees that people—particularly Christians—have a responsibility to be merciful to animals.
“We ask for mercy from an all-powerful God. We hope that God will be merciful to us. He has the power to do whatever He wants to us,” Pacelle said. “We are the lords of the animals. We have the power to do anything to them. And if we ask for mercy from God, we should think about being merciful to the creatures who are helpless before us.”
Noting an “emerging consciousness about our responsibilities to other creatures” in today’s Western society, Pacelle explained that HSUS staffers “don’t really talk about animal rights” but rather people’s duty to care for them. Referring to animal abuses on factory farms, in the fur industry, and with puppy mills, he also described malicious acts of cruelty as “antecedents to other forms of violence that we see in society.”
“If we mete out cruelty to other creatures, that becomes a testing ground for cruelty in the broader society,” he said, then added: “These other beings, while very different from us, are infused with an incredible spirit of life. They have the same will to live that we have. They have the same want to avoid pain and suffering that we have. And it just seems to me that the right and instinctive thing is to be good to other creatures.”
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization with 11 million members and constituents.
The full audio transcript of Pacelle’s presentation will be available September 8 at http://www.adventistreview.org/pacelle. To view HSUS’s web page about the Adventist Church, go to humanesociety.org/sda.