The Methodist Church's view on Animal Welfare.
- What does the Bible say?
The Bible records that God's covenant is not only with men and women, but 'with every living creature', and repeats it twice! A human being may be worth many sparrows, but even a sparrow does not die unnoticed (Matthew 10:29-31).
The Christian vision is of a world where the whole of nature is at harmony (Isaiah 11:6-8), and where none is exploited. Short of that ideal, as we are, some judgements at least can be made.
- What is the Church's judgement?
Unnecessary and unjustifiable experiments and trials - as on the effects of cosmetics - should not take place. Intensive factory farming methods which ignore the welfare of animals are to be condemned. Every measure should be taken to preserve animal habitats.
Cruel sports, such as stag hunting and hare coursing, should be banned. The Christian attitude towards the animals who share creation with us should be one of responsibility and stewardship, not exploitation.
The Treatment of Animals, Methodist Conference Statement, 1980.Text reproduced with permission from "What the Churches say on moral and social issues" (Christian Education Movement).