CreatureKind was formally launched in January of 2016, as a project of Farm Forward and The Sider Center of Eastern University. The project is led by U.K.-based Professor of Theological Ethics, David Clough, and Sarah Withrow King, Interim Director of the Sider Center of Eastern University. CreatureKind works from within the church to help Christians address the welfare of factory farmed animals, a critical and often-overlooked component of creation care.
This year, CreatureKind has developed and implemented its strategic framework (details below); recruited Advisory Councils in the U.K. and North America; began fundraising efforts; launched a website (including our first video!), social media pages, and monthly e-newsletter for which we have and continue to develop original content; and conducted individualized outreach to a wide swath of potential partners, including every major Christian creation care organization in the U.S., animal rights organizations in the U.S. and U.K., and dozens of denominational leaders, scholars, Christian activists, and thought-leaders. CreatureKind staff and volunteers have also written and spoken on animals to diverse audiences for the purpose of expanding awareness of both the plight of factory farmed animals and the ability of CreatureKind to help the church address issues of farmed animal welfare.
Summary of Strategic Framework
CreatureKind focuses on partnerships for policy change, education, and community-building.
CreatureKind Program Highlights
Education: CreatureKind Church Course
David wrote, video-taped, and piloted the six-week CreatureKind course for church small groups in the UK. All of the pilot course participants reported not only that they had enjoyed the course and would recommend it to friends, but that they had gained new understanding about Christianity and animals; that the course had changed their attitudes towards animals; and that the course would make a difference in their food choices or lead them to take other practical steps towards improving animal welfare. The course is being prepped for public launch in the spring of 2017.
Partnerships for Policy Change: The CreatureKind Commitment
CreatureKind announced the University of Winchester as the first institution to sign the CreatureKind commitment during the Animal Welfare and Religion symposium hosted by the University in November of 2016. This project has the potential to significantly reduce the number of factory farmed animal products purchased by Christian institutions. Part of signing the CreatureKind Commitment includes communication and dialogue with the community about the policy, further increasing the ripple effect as community members begin to think about their relationship and obligation to animals as a matter of their Christian faith.
Community-Building: Training for Advocates
In June of 2017, CreatureKind and the Humane Society of the United States’ Faith Outreach Campaign will present “Animals and the Kingdom of God: Incarnating a CreatureKind Church” at the Duke Center for Reconciliation Summer Institute. CreatureKind has also been working in conjunction with the Faith Outreach program to provide theological advice and education to their network of volunteers.
Staff and Volunteer Speaking & Training
CreatureKind Founder and co-Director, David Clough:
- “What does Christianity Mean for the Animals We Eat?,” invited lecture for the Severn Theological Forum, Cheltenham, October 2016
- “Consuming Creatures: The Christian Ethics of Eating Animals,” Presidential Lecture, Society for the Study of Christian Ethics, Cambridge, September 2016
- “Where does nature end and culture start?,” response to Rachel Muers, Everyday Ethics Conference, Christ Church, Oxford, May 2016
- “Consuming Creatures: The Christian Ethics of Farmed Animal Welfare,” invited paper to the Animals, Law, and Religion Workshop, Harvard Law School, May 2016
- “And the Rest? Redeeming Non-Human Nature,” short paper for the Society for the Study of Theology annual conference, Durham, April 2016
- “Laudato Si: A Challenge to the Church,” keynote presentations to the York Churches Study Day on Laudato Si, York, February 2016
- “Atoning for Animals: The Place of Non-Human Animals in the Christian Doctrine of the Atonement,” invited paper for the Research Institute in Systematic Theology PGR Seminar, King’s College London, February 2016
- “Christian Ethics and Non-human Animals,” invited paper for the Animal Ethics Group of the Society of Christian Ethics/Society of Jewish Ethics/Society of Muslim Ethics, January 2016, Toronto
CreatureKind Editor (volunteer), Margaret B. Adam:
- The End of Flourishing: The Beginning of the Peaceable Kingdom,” presentation at Guildford Cathedral, London, October 2016
CreatureKind co-Director, Sarah Withrow King:
- “Staying Rooted,” presentation to HSUS Faith Outreach volunteers, June 2016
- “Being CreatureKind,” presentation at the Wild Goose Festival, Hot Springs, July 2016
- “On Speciesism,” lecture and discussion at Temple University, Philadelphia, July 2016
- “Is It a Sin to Eat Bacon?,” presentation at Windows on the World, Eastern University, St. Davids, September 2016 and at the University of Valley Forge, October 2016.
- “Connecting Our Food with Our Faith,” presentation and discussion at Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, September 2016
- “Connecting Our Food with Our Faith,” Q&A at The Well Church, Chattanooga, October 2016
- “A CreatureKind Theology,” presentation and discussion at Mercy Junction Peace and Justice Center, Chattanooga, October 2016
- “A CreatureKind Theology,” presentation and discussion at Renaissance Presbyterian Church, Chattanooga, October 2016
- "The Public Health Hazards of Factory Farms," lecture and discussion at Temple University, November 2016.
CreatureKind Communications Coordinator (volunteer), Jane Pearce:
- “Christianity and Animal Advocacy,” discussion at University United Methodist Church, Las Vegas, February 2016
- “Dominion in the Image of God,” sermon at Northwest Community Church, Las Vegas, October 2016
- Presentation on factory farming at Northwest Community Church, Las Vegas, October 2016
Press & Publication
- In the last year, we have launched the CreatureKind website and our first video; created a CreatureKind email list; and launched the online version of the CreatureKind Commitment.
- Sarah was interviewed by: Coffeepot Fellowship Podcast, The Bob Dutko radio show (live); Christianity Today, and Michelle Mendoza of “Live from Seattle.”
- Sarah published Animals are Not Ours (No, Really, They're Not): An Evangelical Animal Liberation Theology and Vegangelical: How Caring for Animals Can Shape Our Faith.
We thank everyone who has encouraged us and supported our project. If you'd like support our work, please do!