On Food and Faith: Ministry in the Time of Climate Change

by Sarah Withrow King

Three years ago, almost to the day, I shared the following exchange with my son, who was then not-quite-eight years old.

Son: “Mommy? Can I tell you one thing I'm worried about? If people keep littering [begins to cry] the planet will get too hot and we will die!”
Me: “That's why we don't eat animals.”

I noted at the time that my first instinct was to say, "No, no, won't happen, no worries!" I desperately wanted my kid to believe that there was hope, that the world would be able to sustain him. Maybe all the climate change deniers are just flawed parents.

I struggle to maintain this hope myself, and it only gets more challenging as the years continue to wear on and the species continue to die off. I find myself in a frenetic race to produce work that will convince fellow Jesus-followers to take action to prevent suffering and foster flourishing, both present and future.

But there is hope. There is the cosmic hope we share of the full restoration of creation to the Creator, a world, “on earth, as it is in heaven.” And there’s the hope from stories of people who are daily following a call to resist the status quos of consumerism and despair. I heard many of those stories at “On Food and Faith: Ministry in the Time of Climate Change,” a conference hosted on the campus of Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MTSO) by MTSO, The Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT), The Center for Earth Ethics, and The Climate Reality Project. Thanks to a few signs of hope, I came away from that event with a profound sense that we who care deeply are not alone in this work, that it’s possible for people with different drives to unite for a common cause, and that the more we work together, the more transformative our work will be.

Honored to co-lead a workshop on “Eating for Community and Climate” with Adrienne Krone, of Allegheny College. Photo credit: MTSO.

Honored to co-lead a workshop on “Eating for Community and Climate” with Adrienne Krone, of Allegheny College. Photo credit: MTSO.

My first sign of hope? “The Well-Being of Animals” was a major theme of the event, from small-group discussion time to workshop options, to the mostly vegan food served at the conference. Here’s the handout on the connections between animal agriculture and climate change that Adrienne and I shared with our workshop participants.

Second sign of hope? Stories of transformative actions and initiatives by and from everyday, mostly midwestern, Church folks. The homeschool mom known as the “vegetable pusher.” The young vegetarian who taught herself to hunt when she decided she wanted to eat meat, and who shed tears over every life she took. The bi-racial couple who is defying the odds by holding on to their family farm, despite incredible economic pressure. The Bible teacher who runs a farm co-op, so that the people in his community can have access to healthy, sustainable food. And so much more.

Third sign of hope? Institutions who are changing their practices, taking risks to do what they know is right. MTSO, for instance, runs a huge vegetable farm on their campus, serving farmer’s markets and families throughout their region, in addition to providing food and training in sustainable agricultural practices for their own community. Before they started the farm, campus food services were provided by opening cans and dumping their contents into warming trays. The only kitchen appliance was a microwave. Now, CIA-trained chefs serve up smoked vegetables, wood-fired pizza, local greens, farm-grown fruit, and more. The well-managed farm provides paid internship opportunities for young people who want to learn sustainable farming methods, along with furnished housing and utilities. Faculty members like the brilliant Elaine Nogueira-Godsey, who brought down the house in the final plenary, show students how theology, ecology, and race are deeply intertwined. The campus is buzzing with bees, butterflies, and a sense of possibility.

Photo credit: MTSO

Photo credit: MTSO

I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this special gathering, and determined to find and share examples of this kind of hope-filled work happening in my own backyard. I hope you share yours, too.

Oh, and I also got to meet former Vice President, Al Gore. His film  An Inconvenient Truth  was my first exposure to the concept of climate change, and it helped shape my entire life.

Oh, and I also got to meet former Vice President, Al Gore. His film An Inconvenient Truth was my first exposure to the concept of climate change, and it helped shape my entire life.

P.S. One way you can support this kind of awareness-raising work is to donate to CreatureKind. We are funded entirely by donations, and every dollar makes a difference!

Lenten Reflection: Transforming Scarcity into Excess

by Lucas Patterson

During the Lenten season of reflection, it’s appropriate to meditate on the “other” – quiet partners deeply woven into the fabric of our daily existence and sustenance. There are immense spiritual and practical applications to be considered, and giving up meat for Lent is a uniquely tangible way we can consider the intersections between human and non-human creations of the same Creator God.

That relationship between Creator and creation received above average attention in the weeks leading up to Lent as one environmentally-minded group launched Million Dollar Vegan, a challenge asking the Pope to give up meat for Lent in exchange for a $1 million gift to the nonprofit of his choice. He quietly declined the offer, but public awareness of connections between Lent and reduced meat consumption grew nonetheless.

The practice of giving up meat for Lent is anything but new and reasons for this dietary sacrifice pre-date some of the more popular modern motivators such as concerns regarding climate change and animal welfare. Instead, it goes back to the first century and is based, in part, on meat playing a historically significant role in celebrations and feasts. Meat was considered special because it came at great financial cost, which limited its use. And on Fridays during Lent as Christians meditate on the crucifixion, the mood is anything but festive. Our thoughts are somber and streamlined, focusing on matters of eternal consequence.

Stories in the Bible highlight Jesus’ penchant for transforming scarcity into excess—multiplying seven loaves and fishes into sufficient food to feed thousands, for example. Carol J. Adams, in a SARX article about her 2018 book, Burger, presents a striking contrast to Jesus’ miraculous resource stewardship by describing how food producers (and consumers driving demand) have turned a blind eye to the ethical dilemmas created by staggeringly poor agricultural efficiencies:

“For every 16 pounds of grain and soy fed to beef cattle in the United States we get back one pound of meat. We have become the people who reverse the miracle, diverting and reducing rather than multiplying resources.”

Nearly 2,000 years after the crucifixion and resurrection, abstaining from meat remains a staple of contemplative Christians during Lent because meat continues to come at great cost. Especially to the animals. Although this year’s 40 days of Lent ends on April 18, a critical question to keep in mind beyond the Easter season is how our Christian worldview influences food policy decisions on a personal and corporate level. Will we be workers pushing for miraculous change, or those who would maintain the status quo and “reverse the miracle” through the inertia of inaction?

Lucas Patterson works in grant writing and other philanthropy communications for Southern Adventist University in southeast Tennessee. He enjoys contributing to the important food policy mission of CreatureKind as both a monthly donor and through occasional website and editorial assistance.

CreatureKind Presents at Eco-Minded Theological Symposium

“To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of Creation. When we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament. When we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily, destructively, it is a desecration. In such desecration we condemn ourselves to spiritual and moral loneliness, and others to want.” Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace

Those among us who work in animal or environmental advocacy work often feel the effects of that “want,” although not the “want” for physical resources that Berry described. Instead, we suffer from “want” of community. This creation care truth that we see as core to framing our daily activities is often quickly dismissed by food producers and consumers. That’s one big reason why it is such an enormous blessing when the occasion arises to join together with like-minded others for conferences and events that highlight our mutual mission.

Sarah Withrow King with co-presenter, Rev. Sarah Macias (left) and Green Seminary Initiative Director, rev. abby mohaupt (right).

Sarah Withrow King with co-presenter, Rev. Sarah Macias (left) and Green Seminary Initiative Director, rev. abby mohaupt (right).

In March, CreatureKind co-director Sarah Withrow King was invited to participate in the Southwest Symposium on Ecologically Informed Theological Education at Brite Divinity School, where Methodist Theological Seminary in Ohio (MTSO), the Green Seminary Initiative (GSI), and the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development hosted two days of insightful conversations and collaborations. Attendees included students, faculty, administration, alums, and staff from around the Southwest.

“The symposium at Brite Divinity School was an encouraging opportunity to gather and learn from educators who are committed to encouraging the next generation of faith leaders to fully integrate creation care into every part of their ministry,” King said. “Professors and administrators who want to equip their students to lead in a time of climate crisis should put this symposium on their ‘must-not-miss list’.”

A recap of topics covered is available in a blog by the Green Seminary Initiative.

Lecture Explores Theological Relationship Between Human and Non-Human Animals

Calvin College recently hosted its 11th Animals and the Kingdom of God lecture series. The ongoing event includes lectures, panel discussions, and a potluck dinner shared by both speakers and attendees. Christopher Carter, PhD, presented this year’s keynote: “Being Human Takes Practice: Toward a Liberative Theological Anthropology.”

In his talk, Carter examines how traditional Christian cultures shaped heavily by oppressive hierarchal relationships between humans and non-human animals are inconsistent with the vision shared in Scripture. He concludes the presentation by describing a process of being human that recasts the God-human encounter in ways leading to the collective flourishing of all Creation. 

Carter is an assistant professor of theology at the University of San Diego, a Faith in Food fellow at Farm Forward, a member of CreatureKind’s North American Advisory Council, and an assistant pastor at Pacific Beach UMC. His work explores the intersectional oppressions experienced by people of color, the environment, and animals.

In a previously-published article, lecture series organizer Matthew C. Halteman, PhD, explained his college’s role in championing these conversations about food ethics.

“What makes Calvin different from many Christian colleges is our deliberate engagement with issues that Christians are often tempted to avoid. The aim [of these lectures] is to invite all comers—omnivores, vegans, and everyone in between—into a conversation about why our attitudes and actions toward creation should matter for Christians.”

Past Animals and the Kingdom of God lecturers include CreatureKind Founder David Clough and Carter’s fellow North American Advisory Council members Carol J. Adams and Bruce Friedrich.

Green Seminary Initiative and CreatureKind Announce Partnership

GSI director, abby mohaupt, and CreatureKind co-directors, Sarah Withrow King and David Clough, on the campus of Santa Clara University in San Jose, CA.

GSI director, abby mohaupt, and CreatureKind co-directors, Sarah Withrow King and David Clough, on the campus of Santa Clara University in San Jose, CA.

While environmental advocacy and animal advocacy groups have often been at odds with one another, Green Seminary Initiative and CreatureKind believe that a holistic, effective approach to creation care must include attentiveness to both the breadth of environmental issues and the particular concerns raised by industrial farming practices.

Green Seminary Initiative (GSI) fosters efforts by theological schools and seminaries to incorporate care for the earth into the identity and mission of the institution, such that it becomes a foundational part of the academic program and an integral part of the ethos of the whole institution. CreatureKind’s mission is to encourage Christians to recognize faith-based reasons for caring about the well-being of fellow animal creatures used for food, and to take practical action in response. Today the two organizations announced a formal partnership that allows CreatureKind to work with GSI schools to help them achieve GSI’s certification standards related to food policy and to encourage them to include concern and action for animals in other areas of community life.

As an organization committed to many faith traditions, GSI understands that food and eating are central to multiple religions, as well as to spiritual formation. The consumption of food is a human experience that crosses ethnic and geographic barriers, and many religious traditions see animals as sacred in some way. GSI is also committed to paying attention to the ways in which environmental justice interlocks with justice for the poor, workers, and other marginalized communities.

CreatureKind calls attention to the abyss that currently exists between what Christians believe about animals and how we treat them in industrialized food production. Concern for animal well-being is deeply rooted in our Christian faith, and there is a long history of Christian leadership in animal protection movements. But as industrialized systems of animal agriculture have developed over the last century, churches have remained mostly silent about our radically altered relationships with pigs, chickens, turkeys, fish, and cows (and with the people who work to produce our food), and the devastating consequences of animal factories on the broader environment. Scientist and policy analyst Václav Smil has estimated that from the year 1900 to the year 2000, the biomass of all domesticated animals increased from three and a half times to twenty four times the biomass of all wild land mammals. During that same period of time, the biomass of wild land mammals was halved. It’s no coincidence that these same hundred years saw the demise of the small family farm alongside the birth and global spread of factory farming, which is now the dominant means of producing animal products for human consumption.

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As more and more land is consumed by animal agriculture, the wild animal population shrinks, and there are additional urgent problems caused by increased consumption of animals. In addition to Industrial farms and slaughterhouses cause widespread environmental damages and use a disproportionate share of earth’s resources, while subjecting animals to painful physical mutilations, miserable living conditions, and traumatic deaths. Workers within the industrial farming system endure long hours, frequent injuries, and unjust working conditions. The increased use of antibiotics has contributed to the rise of so-called “superbugs,” and the overconsumption of animal products has been linked to a host of human ailments. In the United States, the vast majority of animal products—meat, milk, and eggs—are now produced on these intensive farms, where it is impossible for creatures to flourish as their Creator intended and where both humans and animals pay a high price for the availability of cheap meat.

These factory farms and other unsustainable food management systems are odds with theological institutions committed to teaching and embodying environmental justice for workers, consumers, and animals alike. That’s why GSI requires schools in their certification program to offer vegetarian food choices at all meals and to include organic and/or local produce at all meals. Electives in the program include the 30% reduction of the amount of meat served over three years, vegan options, and cage-free eggs.

Worldwide, more than 70 billion fellow land creatures and up to 7 trillion sea animals are killed for food each year. The use of animals for food massively dominates all other human uses of animals, and yet farmed animals—the animals on our plates—are conspicuously absent from the vast majority of Christian conversations about stewardship, creation care, and the environment. The partnership between GSI and CreatureKind seeks to correct that oversight.  

CreatureKind will join GSI and other partners at the Southwest Symposium on Ecologically Informed Theological Education at Brite Divinity School on March 13-14. More information can be found here.

Reflections from the On Animals North American Book Tour

by David Clough

The On Animals North American book tour is complete! In numbers: 31 days, lectures and seminars at 21 venues, combined audience of over 1000, 9 institutional food policy meetings, well over 100 books distributed.

I'm most grateful to hosts for the warm welcome received at each stop: Yale Divinity School, Boston University School of Theology, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Law School, Christ Episcopal Church in Rockville MD, Georgetown University, Wesley Theological Seminary, University of Virginia, High Point University, Duke Divinity School, Wheaton College, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Notre Dame University, Santa Clara University, Fuller Theological Seminary, Azusa Pacific University, University of San Diego, Regent College Vancouver, Vancouver Humane Society, and University of Victoria. Thanks too to Ilana Braverman for her expert coordination of the tour, and my CreatureKind co-director Sarah Withrow King who co-directed and accompanied.

Remarkably, in every venue, across a very wide range of theological perspectives and convictions, audiences responded enthusiastically to the argument that Christians have strong faith-based reasons to reduce consumption of animal products and move to higher welfare sourcing, and showed willingness to make practical changes in response. This gives me a great deal of hope that CreatureKind can be successful in catalysing change so that it becomes routine for Christian institutions to attend to their consumption of animal products as a faith issue. If you know of institutions interested in getting help from CreatureKind to engage in this area, please get in touch.

Excitingly, the positive response to this tour has helped confirm plans for a follow-up speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand in June 2019, which will take me to Brisbane, Auckland, Dunedin, Wellington, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, and possibly Hobart. If you live in Australia or New Zealand and would like to assist with book tour events there (set-up, sign-up, book donations), please send us a message with the subject line: Book Tour Help.

If you're interested in seeing or sharing the lecture, here’s the recording from Notre Dame. Please do share widely!

Video: Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing at the University of Notre Dame
 

Should Christians Be Vegan?

by David Clough

Why might Christians consider going vegan? There are four reasons that overlap with the reasons anyone else might give: concern for the environment, concern for animals, concern for human welfare, and the desire to adopt a more healthy diet. In addition, Christians might be inspired by long religious traditions of fasting from meat and other animal products. I’ll consider these reasons in turn below. Let’s start, though, with something more fundamental: why a Christian understanding of God and the world might provide specific motivation for going vegan.

Christians believe in that everything in the universe owes its existence to God. That’s what monotheism means: the God Christians worship is not just their God, or even the God of all humans, but the God of all creatures. Biblical texts celebrate the God who made all creatures and declared them good (Genesis 1), who made a world in which every creature has its own place (Psalm 104), who has compassion on and provides for every living thing (Psalm 145), and who in Jesus Christ acts to release the whole of creation from its groaning bondage (Romans 8) and to gather up and make peace between all things in heaven and earth (Colossians 1.20; Ephesians 1.10). Jesus reassured his followers by reminding them that not a single sparrow is forgotten in God’s sight (Luke 12.6). John describes God’s son coming to the earth because of God’s love for the world (John 3.16). God’s delight in and care for all God’s creatures means Christians have reason to delight in and care for them too, especially as humans are called to be images of God. Seeing the whole world as charged with God’s grandeur, as the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins put it, is a fundamental aspect of a Christian vision of the world.

So Christians recognize the universe and all creatures in it as belonging to God, beloved by God, and cared for by God. Why might that make a difference for how they eat? Let’s return to the five reasons I noted above.

First, Christians might move towards a vegan diet in order to care for God's creation, the environment. Greenhouse gas emissions from a huge expansion in raising livestock is a significant cause of the climate catastrophe we are bringing about, which will have a devastating impact on humans and other animals. Reducing consumption of animal products is one of the quickest ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Industrial animal agriculture causes local environmental problems, too. Big intensive pig farms with their huge lagoons of excrement are horrible to live nearby, and so are disproportionately likely to be placed near poor communities, making their lives miserable.

Second, Christians might become vegan in order to enable fellow creatures to flourish, to praise God each in their particular way. The vast majority of farmed animals are raised in industrial systems that subject them to unnecessary suffering and impoverished lives in which they cannot thrive and glorify God. Most fish now come from intensive farmed environments, or if wild-caught, are subjected to unsustainable fishing practices and long drawn-out deaths. The large-scale production of dairy and eggs entails killing male animals surplus to requirements and female animals once their productivity declines. These are powerful reasons for adopting a vegan diet, rather than just a vegetarian one. Current production levels of animals for consumption inhibit the flourishing of wild animals as well as domesticated animals. By 2000, the biomass of domesticated animals exceeded that of all wild land mammals by 24 times. The biomass of domesticated chickens alone is nearly three times that of all wild birds. These shocking statistics show that humans are monopolizing the productive capacity of the earth in a way that leaves very little space for wild animals at all, which is part of what is driving their mass extinction.

Third, Christians might shift to a vegan diet in order to save the lives of fellow human creatures. The livestock industry threatens human food and water security, and those already suffering from deprivation are at greatest risk. Christians are explicitly directed to care for those with the greatest needs and the least resources. Currently, over a third of global cereal output goes to farmed animals and humans eating the animals receive only 8% of the calories that would be available if humans ate the cereals directly. Animal agriculture is also a very significant consumer of scarce global water supplies: producing 1 kg of beef requires 10 to 20 times the water required by producing the same calories from plant-based sources. While a vegan diet is not immediately practical in every part of the world (for Siberian pastoralists reliant on reindeer herds, for example), it is very clear that the global human population, as well as animals and the environment, would benefit from a transition towards using plant-based foods wherever possible.

Fourth, Christians might adopt a vegan diet in order to sustain the health and well-being of their families, friends, neighbours, and wider society. The unprecedentedly high levels of meat and other animal products consumed in developed nations directly damages human health (increased incidence of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and strokes). In addition, intensive farming practices contribute to both the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains and the risk of pandemics from zoonotic diseases such as swine and bird flu.

Finally, many Christians will be inspired by the long Christian traditions of fasting from meat and other animal products, on Fridays, during Lent, and at other times. Many Coptic Christians today observe fasts imposing a vegan diet for two-thirds of the year. The practice of not eating animal products can be understood as part of a penitential practice that redirects one’s focus away from selfish pleasure and towards God. Such traditions remind Christians of the limits that come with recognizing God as creator: animals belong to God, so humans must treat them with respect and can’t do whatever we want with them.

Christians often note arguments against vegetarianism or veganism, but these concerns do not end the conversation. Genesis 1 identifies human beings as uniquely images of God and grants them dominion over other animals, but the end of the chapter prescribes a vegan diet for humans, so this original dominion does not include permission to kill animals for food. In Genesis 9, following the flood, God allows humans to kill animals for food, but this does not justify modern patterns of raising animals in industrial systems in ways that are so clearly damaging for humans, animals, and the wider environment. Gospel accounts record Jesus as eating fish and offering fish to others (although, interestingly, he is not recorded as eating mammals or poultry), but whatever his practice, it does not justify eating the products of modern industrial animal agriculture. Some of these concerns suggest that would be implausible to claim that a vegan diet should be an absolute obligation for all Christians. They do not show that it is inappropriate to adopt a vegan diet as a response to the broad concerns noted above that relate to the modern context of raising animals for food where there are readily available alternative sources of nutrition.

It is important to note that veganism in a Christian context should never be presented as a moral utopia. Christians recognize a brokenness in our relationships with fellow creatures which cannot be overcome by adopting a particular dietary practice or by any other effort we can make. Vegan Christians should not make claims to moral superiority: they are sinners like everyone else. They are simply seeking to act as responsibly as they can in this aspect of the choices they make about what to eat. They should hope to learn from fellow Christians about better ways of living in other areas of their lives, just as they may hope that fellow Christians may be open to learning from their practice.

Concern for fellow humans, fellow animal creatures, and the environment are obligations for Christians, and so the impacts of modern industrialized animal agriculture should trouble all Christians. It’s important to realize that farmers are not the villains here: farmers are often pressured into systems of poor farmed animal welfare because of the popular desire for cheap animal products and the retailers' power to determine pricing for their own advantage. A Christian vision of delighting in God’s world and living responsibly among the fellow creatures God loves will be an inspiration to many Christians either to adopt a vegan diet, or to move in that direction by reducing their consumption of animal products and seeking out animal products raised to higher welfare standards than those offered within industrialized systems.

This article was originally posted on The Vegan Society’s website.

Three Must-Watch Videos on Farms and Farming

by Sarah Withrow King

Wondering what to do this weekend? Need resources to help raise discussion in your church or school on why Christian attention to food and farming is so urgent? Check out these three must-watch videos on farms and farming.

73 Cows

Alex Lockwood | 73 Cows

Alex Lockwood | 73 Cows

At about ten minutes in, I started to sob, thinking maybe there was hope for us after all. This short film tells the story of an English cattle farmer who follows his heart.

Eating Animals

Based on the best-selling book by the same name, this is a compelling and comprehensive look at the toll factory farming takes on animals, farmers, the land, and people who speak out against the cruelty they see.

Soul Fire Farm: Feeding the Soul, Growing Community



A short feature on Soul Fire Farm, a BIPOC-centered community farm that works to raise awareness of and combat racism and injustice in our food system. “In the 1910 census, black folks owned and operated about 14% of US farms…there was a long time throughout history when the most likely occupation you’d find an African-American person in would be farming and now that’s the least likely.”

Do you have additional suggestions or favorites? Drop them in the comments, below.





Reflections from the Road

by Sarah Withrow King

CreatureKind spent the latter part of December and the first week of January on the road, exhibiting and talking to attendees of Intervarsity’s Urbana Missions Conference and the Society of Christian Ethics annual meeting (held in conjunction with the Society of Jewish Ethics and the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics).

For me, these two very different events highlighted both the success and deep need for the work of CreatureKind.

At Urbana, we spoke with hundreds of college students, the vast majority of whom had never thought about the connection between faith and animals. Throughout the event, it was clear that there is a profound need for CreatureKind’s work to encourage Christians to recognize faith-based reasons for caring about the wellbeing of fellow animal creatures used for food, and to take practical action in response.

A small number of students were thrilled to see us. One vegetarian said she, “thought I was the only one!” Another student gestured at our table and said, “I’ve never seen this as a Christian thing! But it’s something that I’m interested in.”

Other students, many of whom were studying animal science or agriculture or who hunted for food, approached our display with a bit of suspicion, thinking we might be there to condemn farmers or insist that every Christian must be vegan. These were extraordinary opportunities to demonstrate that CreatureKind’s primary goals are to raise awareness, build bridges, and help Christians make food choices that reflect their values.

From Urbana, we headed straight to Louisville, Kentucky for the annual meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics (SCE). Four years ago, CreatureKind held our official launch at SCE. We’re now in conversation with nearly 50 schools and organizations, encouraging these institutions to adopt more animal-friendly food policies driven by Christian values. I am able to work full-time on CreatureKind, and we have a growing team of partners, many of whom are a part of an increasing number of religious educators who include animal ethics in their teaching and preaching. Most of the professors we spoke with at SCE recognized the urgency and importance of helping their students think about factory farming and animal welfare, and the connections between these issues and climate change, food security, immigration, worker justice, environmental racism, and more.

In addition to our table at SCE, where professors could talk with us about our institutional food policy program, CreatureKind held our annual reception (we hosted around 30 people this year, our biggest event to date). David Clough gave a paper called, “Eating More Peaceable: Christianity and Veganism.” And we attended a panel on “Christians and Other Animals: Book Symposium on David Clough's On Animals, Vol II: Theological Ethics (2018), during which Maria Teresa Davila, Eric Gregory, Jennifer Herdt, and Darryl Trimiew offered their responses to David’s new volume. If you are sad that you couldn’t be there in person for this incredible panel discussion, have no fear! The Syndicate Network will be releasing the papers, David’s response, and an introduction by CreatureKind North American Advisory Council member Candace Laughinghouse. Sign up here to stay in the loop. And be sure to check out David’s upcoming North American book tour dates.

So on the one hand, we are in touch with an extraordinarily engaged community of scholars and practitioners who are deeply committed to helping the church re-engage with our call to care for the whole of God’s creation. On the other hand, there is still much work to be done to help Christians make connections between God’s other creatures and our faith. If you want to help us in this important mission, please don’t hesitate to reach out, donate, or share our work with others.