Sunday, 15 March 2009

Late Twentieth century

“It is indeed within the consciousness of a solemn trust, held under the sovereignty of the Most High God the Creator, that man is required to look around at other orders of creation, all of which exist, by divine decree, along side of him. These orders have their rights, difficult though it may be to define precisely what they are. It is, of course, because of this difficulty that it is easier to talk in general terms; to recognise an over-all responsibility; to see our stewardship as a trust held under God – it is easier to do this rather than to see in practice what this means.”

Archdeacon Edward Carpenter, Ph.D,
(later Dean of Westminster Abbey)
From ‘Man’s relationship with the animal creation’ – a sermon delivered at the Abbey following publication of the ‘Brambell Report’ on factory farming.

Transcript published in The British Vegetarian, July-August 1966

“We must act, and act quickly, to see that the rights of animals to a happy life is recognised…

A religion, in fact, which fails to recognise these rights cannot be thought of as true religion.”

Rev. R.C.R. Adkins, M.A.
Religion and the Rights of Animals

The British Vegetarian, November/December 1967

“We can by-pass the question of ‘rights’ as a legal irrelevancy, since there can hardly be a juridical relation between beings of different species. But we cannot blind ourselves to the affinity of nature between man and the higher animals which share his sensitive qualities. Such an affinity, such a community of pleasures and pains, entails claims and obligations which are just as real whether or not you call them ‘rights’ and ‘duties’. We cannot refuse all consideration for the feelings of other beings just because they cannot speak and reason like ourselves.”

Rev. Basil Wrighton, M.A.,
‘Away with Dogmatic Slumber’ – The Ark, June 1968

(reprinted in Reason, Religion and the Animals – Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare, 1987)

“(animals) …have very positive rights because they are God’s creatures. If we have to speak with absolute accuracy we must say that God has the right to have all his creatures treated with proper respect.”

Cardinal Heenan

Foreword to God’s Animals by Ambrose Agius,
(Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare, 1970)

“We speak of human rights. I think we should also speak of animal rights and natural rights, but there must be some radical re-orientation in current attitudes and thinking before these rights are recognised and respected.”

Launcelot Fleming, MS, DD, DCL, KCVO,
Bishop of Norwich

The Living World, Vol.1, no.2
(Journal of Crusade Against All Cruelty to Animals, 1970)

“…the time has come when we must act responsibly towards the rights of animals and cease to accept the view that man has authority for exercising an absolute dominion”.

Canon Eric Turnbull
Worcester Evening News, June 26th 1972

“We have to ask whether the ethical sphere, as we have become accustomed to understand it, is for man alone. We have to ask what rational ground we have for continuing to interpret the welfare of animals in terms of our own, or whether we can actually be imaginative enough to recognise certain rights of other species.”

Andrew Linzey
Animal Rights – A Christian Assessment of Man’s Treatment of Animals
SCM Press Ltd., 1976, p7

“The rights of animals are protected. The animals must have their day of rest as men must have it (Exodus 20.10; 23.12). If a nest is harried, the mother bird must never be killed, but must always be let go (Deuteronomy 22. 6, 7). When the ox is drawing the heavy sled that threshes the grain, he must never be muzzled. He must, as it were, be allowed to have a share in the fruit of his labours (Deuteronomy 25.4).”

The Revd Professor William Barclay
Man and the Beasts’ – Life and Work, January 1976
(Church of Scotland magazine)

“Animals, as part of God’s creation, have rights which must be respected. It behoves us always to be sensitive to their needs and to the reality of their pain.”

Dr. Donald Coggan, Archbishop of Canterbury
Presidential message to the Annual General Meeting of the R.S.P.C.A.
RSPCA Today, July 1977

“Animals obviously do not have human rights, for their life has a different purpose and function. They would have no use for our social and political rights. But what of those other “rights” (there is no other word for it) which their Creator must have given them (not against himself but against us) when he placed them on this earth – rights which follow from the physical nature they share with us humans, from the needs and appetites we have in common and our common capacity for pleasure and pain?”

Rev. Basil Wrighton
(unpublished) Letter to a columnist in The Universe dated 19th July, 1982
Reprinted in The Ark, No. 136, August 1982

“Has perhaps the time come to work for a charter for the defence and protection of the animal world? There are many problems to be faced. I need hardly tell you of the wide range of problems – vivisection, often under cruel conditions, cruel experiments for scientific or even cosmetic purposes and some practises concerning performing animals.”

Bishop Agnellus Andrew
Bishop urges animal rights code’ – The Universe, October 12, 1984

“…the higher creation – man – has been appointed God’s trustee for the lower. We are to act towards them as God Himself would act, as He does act towards us. That means that the use of them which He allows us must not do violence to their sensitive nature, nor may they be deprived of their rightful share of living space, light and air and natural diet, in order to give man a disproportionate share of these things.
“(Church proclamations) have lapsed into dead letters through not being consistently enforced and through not being based on a recognition of animals’ rights.”

Rev. Basil Wrighton, M.A.,
‘Creation and Ecology’ – The Ark, October 1984
(reprinted in Reason, Religion and the Animals – Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare, 1987)

"What is the point of speaking of human rights, in say warfare, since they are so typically disregarded?

". . . we need to speak of human and animal rights precisely because they are so 'typically' overridden, and precisely because without doing so we would have no adequate means of raising the question of injustice to either humans or animals. The fact that we regularly infringe rights provides us with no philosophical or theological ground for refusing to admit their existence."

The Rev. Prof. Andrew Linzey
Christianity and the Rights of Animals
SPCK, 1987, pp86-87

“And what does it mean by saying that animals do not have rights? It means historically – whether you like it or not – it means that animals can be treated as things, as resources, as means to human ends, as laboratory tools, as units of production; this is what this debate is really all about.

“…If we, on our side, press the language of rights, it’s because we believe the heart of this debate is not about feeling; not about taste; not about philanthropy but about justice. It’s about what we objectively owe animals, as creatures of God and in particular what we owe the Creator of all.”

Rev. Prof. Andrew Linzey
From a debate at the Royal Institute of Great Britain: ‘Does the Animal Kingdom need a Bill of Rights?’- Arena, BBC2, 1989

“…in the very long course of human history a symbiosis has developed between animals and human kind which can perhaps be called by the Biblical term of covenant. Human beings cannot live on the world as if animals did not exist, nor can they hand over the world to animals. But their relationship cannot be simply an ‘I-it’ relationship.

“Animal rights are involved with, and to a great degree dependent on, human rights, which is not to say that an animal has only rights which a particular human may choose to give it.”

Fr. Adrian Edwards, C.S. Sp
Letter in New Blackfriars, January 1990

“The phrase ‘animal rights’ has a biblical ring about it, though it is only comparatively recently that those rights have received much public recognition. The RSPCA is justified in saying that its work is based on Christian principles.

“What is essential from the Christian standpoint is what Karl Barth described as ‘animal protection, care and friendship.’ ”

Rev. Kenneth G. Greet
The Methodist Recorder, June 7, 1990

“Through the altruism of dedicated animal rightists – most of whom give no thought to the possibility of any future reward – we see an authentic goodness which puts religious goodness to shame; and the animals have the gospel preached to them by deeds more strong than words.”

Pastor James Thompson – “the Animals’ Padre”
Cast Out of the Ark – The Churches’ Abuse & Rejection of God’s Animal Kingdom
Ty Coch Publishing, 1994

"One could argue that the rights which animals have in their relationship with humans are not correlative to any duties they have towards humans, but are in some sense a correlative of the human duties towards animals.

For those who have a predominantly anthropocentric world view, and assign a value to animals only in terms of their functional use for humans, it might indeed seem nonsensical to propose conditions of animal welfare which go much beyond the limits of cost-efficiency for humans. However, if one assigns a value to animals which is distinct from their usefulness to humans, e.g. a value based on the love of God for all his creation, then the duties one assumes towards animals might go well beyond the limits of cost-efficiency."

Revd T.L Jones
Letter in the Church Times, 12 May 1995

“Under the guise of rejecting animal rights, what is rejected is any serious competing claim to human moral supremacy. One of the reasons people speak of animal rights is precisely because they mean to challenge the right of humans to their massively cruel use of animals in virtually every quarter of life, whether it be for food, science or sport.”

Rev. Prof. Andrew Linzey

(In response to an attack on animal rights ideology by the Archbishop of York which appeared in The Times dated 11 February 1995, whilst protests escalated against live exports. Andrew Linzey’s defense of animal rights was published as ‘Animals and the Churches: A case of Theological Neglect’ – the guest editorial in Reviews in Religion and Theology, No.3, August 1995 and reprinted in Animal Gospel, Hodder and Stoughton, 1998, chapter 5).

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