Virginia Bell, from Catholic Action for Animals, provides us with a report on the recently held Webinar: ‘Introduction to Animal Rights from a Faith Perspective: New Insights into Animal Agriculture‘.

A Webinar, presented by Catholic Action for Animals and hosted by the Animal Interfaith Alliance in collaboration with the Diocese of Salford, the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, Catholic and Vegan, Climate Healers, Born Vegan and In Defense of Animals, took place on Thursday 21 March 2024.

Watch a copy of the YouTube recording here:

Barbara Gardner from Animal Interfaith Alliance welcomed those who registered for the webinar*, and introduced the Speakers. Barbara is the founder and Chief Executive of the Animal Interfaith Alliance.

The first to speak was Bishop John Arnold, the lead bishop on environmental matters in the UK. He opened the webinar by reminding us of the urgent importance of prayer, discussion and action by every one of us, to tackle the environmental crises.

He was followed by Sailesh Rao, who spoke on the planetary harm of animal agriculture, which he claims is responsible for at least 87% of greenhouse gas emissions annually, in addition to being the leading cause of species extinctions, ocean dead zones and myriad other environmental ills.

Next was Lisa Levinson from In Defense of Animals, who presented and spoke on a short video made by Dr Jane Goodall, on the subject of the folly of offering animals as gifts for poor people overseas. In the video, Jane urges aid charities to end animal gifting programmes, which hurt gift recipients by burdening them with more mouths to feed in areas where food and water are often scarce, and by undermining sustainable development.

Then Sarina Farb who spoke on the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet. Sarina focuses on empowering individuals to think critically, to see past corporate propaganda, and to live ethically.

Daniel Mascarenhas SJ from Catholic and Vegan and a Jesuit from the US, spoke on the Biblical imperative for caring for animal rights, a concept found in the Old Testament narratives that describe laws for animal welfare.

Next to speak was Maureen Villanueva, who presented the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, an initiative of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development that equips institutions, communities, and families to take practical steps towards total sustainability in the spirit of integral ecology.

Last was Virginia Bell from Catholic Action for Animals, who summed up with the question “How can we take what we have learned to our parish, diocese and community?

*The recording of the webinar was sent out to the 96 people who registered or gave a talk.

Virginia Bell, March 2024

Click here to download further information from the meeting.