Humane Society Launches
Web Page Featuring Adventists
BY SANDRA BLACKMER, Features Editor, Adventist Review
he Faith Outreach program of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) just launched a new page on its Web site highlighting the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its position on caring for creation, including animals. To view it, go to www.humanesociety.org/sda.
The page contains official church statements advocating “a simple vegetarian diet,” as well as a “call for respect of creation” and the “reaffirmation of the dignity of created life.” Also featured are general information about the Adventist Church, a short history, quotes from church cofounder Ellen G. White relating to a vegetarian diet and animals, and links to articles in Adventist periodicals—including the Adventist Review—printed in recent years on the topic of humane treatment of God’s nonhuman creatures.
The Adventist Church is one of a growing number of religious denominations being added to the site’s Religious Statements on Animals page, thereby supporting HSUS efforts to encourage others to “act in a kind and merciful way toward all God’s creatures.” Other denominations listed include the Church of God in Christ, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Southern Baptist Convention, Presbyterian Church, Roman Catholic Church, United Methodist Church, and the three branches of Judaism.
“Our religious statements database is an essential resource for anyone interested in the official positions of this country’s major denominations on animal protection,” says Christine Gutleben, director of Faith Outreach for The Humane Society of the United States. “The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a longstanding history of concern for animal welfare, and I hope members will explore this rich tradition.”
The HSUS, established in 1954 and based in Washington, D.C., is the largest animal protection organization in the nation and is backed by 11 million Americans. It describes itself as “America’s mainstream force against cruelty, exploitation, and neglect” and extols “the human-animal bond.” It’s rated as a four-star charity—the highest rating possible—by Charity Navigator, and is upfront with its financial operations. The organization’s IRS forms and annual financial reports can be viewed on its Web site.
Although many of us may think only of local animal rescue shelters when we hear the term “Humane Society,” the HSUS actually is involved in much more than that. Along with providing shelter and care for unwanted and abused cats and dogs and facilitating pet adoptions, the organization and its battery of full-time and volunteer lawyers are advocates for animals in Congress and in courtrooms, combating cruel practices involved with dogfighting and cockfighting, puppy mills, factory farming, and the clubbing of baby seals for the commercial fur trade. It operates wildlife rehabilitation centers, aids animals during disasters, and raises awareness of animal cruelty issues through training programs, advertising campaigns, and national conferences.
Adventist Church member Joelyne King sees the work of the HSUS firsthand in her job as membership manager for the organization.
“I am extremely blessed to be working for such an amazing organization. Aiding the HSUS’s efforts to end animal cruelty inspires me to come into work each day,” King says. “It’s a privilege to know that everyone at the HSUS shares the same goals I do. I know I’m making a difference.”
Photo credits: Michelle Riley/The HSUS