A few weeks ago a family member pointed me to a post on Paul Mayers’ blog from a couple of years back in which he emphasizes that caring for God’s creation necessarily involves caring for animals. He writes:
“To treat animals as things to exploit says much about ourselves and our own appetites, whilst to restrain ourselves and pay a higher price for healthier, safer conditions (for them) is to recognise that role of tending rather than just consuming.”
I was somewhat surprised, and happily at that, to come across Paul’s post. There is a general dearth of attention to animal advocacy in my evangelical heritage, and more often than not what attention exists is critical. But even the emerging church has hardly picked up on the concern. Aside from perhaps one other post on God and chickens, I’m not aware of any other focus on the subject by a community which is otherwise very socially progressive (and which I think I might belong to myself, but I’m not entirely sure).
Paul did refer to an entry on this blog which he had written in response to a seminar conducted by Andrew Linzey, modern father of the Christian animal advocacy movement. In dialoguing with Paul, he mentioned that Jason and he had been looking for an opportunity to draw out some more reflection on animals, and he graciously invited me to help host this week’s discussion on Jason’s blog, along with my friends and colleagues Steven Webb and Karen Prior. I was tremendously honored and excited to take him up on the offer, having recently completed my capstone project for seminary on a biblical-theological foundation for animal welfare, and just a couple of months ago launching Not One Sparrow, a Christian voice for animals.
I hope you’ll join in engaging me, each other and the fellow guest posts on this site over the course of the week. I’ll be writing more tomorrow, Karen on Wednesday, Steve on Thursday and then a final wrap up of resources and further information on Friday.