The Christian Animal Rights Association is a nondenominational ministry dedicated to educating, advocating, protecting and defending the rights of all sentient animals, from
a Biblical and Christian perspective. We are a nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.
We support and encourage Christian animal rights activists around the world.
We educate fellow Christians on the importance of caring for animal rights issues.
We educate animal rights activists about how Christian tradition and values can support animal rights and animal liberation.
We derive our beliefs from the Bible. We seek to be faithful disciples who Jesus called to be “The Light of the World” (Matthew 5:14), inspired by the Holy Spirit to be
compassionate and just toward God’s human and nonhuman creations.
We believe that the Bible encourages us to avoid harmfully exploiting animals for any reason. The Biblical ideal was the Garden of Eden, where God instructed Adam and Eve to care for everything, including the animals. God said that Adam, Eve, and all animals were to eat only the plants (Genesis 1:28-30). Only after the Flood did God give permission to eat animals (Genesis 9:1-3). We believe this was a concession to human violence and was not meant to reflect a Biblical ideal. The Bible does not categorically condemn the use of animals in this violent world, but it does denounce cruelty (Proverbs 12:10). The Bible prophesizes that when Jesus returns there will be a New Heaven and a New Earth in which humans and animals will live in harmony, as God originally intended (Isaiah 11:6-9, Isaiah 65:25, Hosea 2:18, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1-7). Indeed, Jesus instructed his disciples to pray that God’s will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10).
Scripture commands us to live as Jesus did (1 John 2:6). We seek to imitate Christ and apply his teachings to all Creation, including animals. We aspire to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9), merciful (Matthew 5:7), and to treat others as we would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31). Jesus identified with those who are weak and oppressed, and Jesus said that his followers would help those in need as if he were one of them (Matthew 25:40).
The Bible does not explicitly support animal rights, but it also does not explicitly support the abolition of slavery or equality for women. In fact, historically, the Bible has been used to support many injustices such as slavery, the subjugation of women, and racism. Many Christians today similarly cherry-pick and in our opinion misapply selected Biblical passages to excuse abusing and unnecessarily killing animals for nothing more than pleasure and convenience.
Our calling is to follow the examples of Christians of history who furthered God’s Kingdom by fighting for social reform. The Evangelical William Wilberforce campaigned against slavery; Baptist minister Martin Luther King Jr. advocated for the advancement of civil rights, and Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador Oscar Romero peacefully protested against the violent El Salvadorian government in the late 1970s. Jesus himself was a social reformer, for example showing women respect (John 4:27) at a time when women were not even allowed to give testimony in court. Indeed, Jesus first appeared to women after the Resurrection (John 20:14-16, Mark 16: 1-11, Matthew 28: 1-11).
It has always been possible to take certain Biblical passages, we believe out of context, to justify nearly any injustice. We believe the Bible can and should be used to inspire us to be compassionate and to serve others. Jesus himself stated, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
We aim to be nonviolent in word and deed for several reasons:
- Jesus taught nonviolence, for example in Matthew 26:52.
- Biologically speaking, humans are animals. Embracing animal rights means seeking nonviolence toward all sentient beings.
- Human rights and animal rights are inextricably linked because, as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. noted, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Banner and Corresponding Photo Credit: Karuna Sonnet of Lasa Sanctuary