by Beth Quick
This year I have a fellowship working with a great organization called CreatureKind. (www.becreaturekind.org) CreatureKind’s mission is “to encourage Christians to recognize faith-based reasons for caring about the wellbeing of fellow animal creatures used for food, and to take practical action in response. Our core message is that we are CreatureKind together with other animals, and ought to be CreatureKind in how we treat them.” As I lifelong United Methodist and a longtime vegan and animal advocate, I’m so excited to be working with an organization that is so in sync with my passion and my faith.
During my fellowship, I’m focusing on how I might advocate for animals at the General Church level of The UMC. I’m particularly interested in crafting legislation that could be included in the Social Principles and/or the Book of Resolutions that would attend to the welfare of farmed animals. I’m also interested in how the General Conference event could be more animal-friendly in their hospitality. (For example: A program called DefaultVeg (www.defaultveg.org) works with organizations/businesses to make plant-based meals the default option instead of exception at event mealtimes.)
Before I get to that though, I’m looking to create or join or expand a UMC network of folks who are passionate about animal care. Although I have sometimes felt like one of a few United Methodists who are passionate about animal advocacy, I know that my perception is not true. I know there are other United Methodist animal advocates out there, already doing creative work to bring attention to the importance of all creatures to our faith. Now, I just need to find a way to connect with all of you who are out there! Are you a vegan or vegetarian or animal advocate who has been or is interested in talking about faith, animals, and advocacy in The UMC? If so, I would really love to connect with you! Please drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org – or find me on facebook (Elizabeth Quick) – or call or text: 315-729-7099. I would love to hear from you! I’d be glad to share my full project proposal with you, and talk with you about how you might connect with my work.
(Beth Quick is an ordained elder in the Upper New York Annual Conference. After serving as a pastor for 17 years, she is now back in school pursuing a PhD in Religion and Society with a focus on animals and ecology at Drew Theological School in Madison, NJ.)