The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in October published and distributed to thousands of clergy across Great Britain a booklet titled “A Service for Animal Welfare.” According to the RSPCA, the booklet contains “prayers for animals slaughtered for food, as well as hunted animals and laboratory animals.”
In a press release announcing the publication of the booklet, the RSPCA said,
People who attend animal services arranged by clergy on Animal Welfare Sunday on 3 October will ask God to give them compassion for animals exploited for food, for science, and for entertainment. One prayer asks that the “Compassionate God” will “awaken within us a sense of feeling for all living creatures”, and another asks for forgiveness for our “callousness and cruelty to animals”.
The new service booklet is being distributed to thousands of clergy in an attempt to raise consciousness about the plight of animals. “Clergy don’t often appreciate that animal welfare is a Christian duty”, said the author of the new service, Oxford don, the Revd Professor Andrew Linzey, “after all, it was an Anglican priest who helped found the RSPCA – the first animal welfare society in the world – in 1824.”
Linzey is the animal rights theologian who last year said that hunting was “intrinsically evil” and comparable to “rape, child abuse and torture” (see this article for more information on Linzey’s views).
RSPCA launches new church service for animals. Press Release, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, October 2004.