How do you stop factory farming? Reduce the demand. Today, the University of Winchester became the first institution internationally to sign the CreatureKind Commitment, meaning that they have pledged to: 1) reduce their purchase of animal products; 2) source meat, dairy, and eggs from higher welfare farms for its catering operations on campus; and 3) educate the campus community about why they decided to make these important changes.
Change won't come all at once, and the University has already shown a strong commitment to ethical standards in their food operations. By signing the CreatureKind commitment, the University will enter a cycle of reviewing current sourcing, setting goals for improved practice, and engaging with the wider University community about the programme.
While efforts by secular organisations have led some corporations to change their food policies, CreatureKind is pioneering this campaign among Christian and faith-influenced institutions and we hope many more will follow Winchester's lead.
From the press release about the signing:
“The University of Winchester is a Church foundation and a values-driven institution committed to high standards of environmental sustainability, Fairtrade practices, and animal welfare,” says University of Winchester First Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Elizabeth Stuart. “Signing the CreatureKind Commitment connects our values with our practice. Compassion is at the heart of our institution and we seek to improve the lives of animals used in the production of meat, dairy, and eggs and reducing the demand for animal products from factory farms.”
“Among animal protection groups, CreatureKind is unique in that our project is motivated by a Christian recognition of animals as fellow creatures of God and of a human responsibility to be kind towards them,” says CreatureKind Founder and co-Director, David Clough, Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of Chester. “Many Christians and Christian institutions claim to have a commitment to creation care, but few have made concrete steps to connect animal welfare with those claims. CreatureKind is delighted the University of Winchester has pledged their commitment and hopes this may inspire other institutions to follow.”
CreatureKind was founded in 2015 and works from within the church to help Christians address the welfare of factory farmed animals, a critical and often-overlooked component of creation care. CreatureKind focuses on partnerships for policy change, education, and community-building.