Thank you to everyone who's followed along with our faq series. I hope some of the questions we've tackled so far (starting way back with "is caring for animals a valid Christian concern?" and "don't we have other priorities as Christians?") have helped lay a bit of a foundation for thinking about animals, and the many issues which surround their welfare, in a way which honors them and their Creator.
In three of the remaining questions, we'll be looking at specific categories of animals, starting with some of those closest to many of our hearts, and homes. The question, on our FAQ page at least, is actually: "Do you just care about pets, or other animals also?" And here's the response posted there:
Some animal advocates and groups concentrate mostly on pets, or companion animals, and their efforts are incredibly heartfelt, tireless and needed. not one sparrow is very concerned with the well-being and suffering of pets as well, including the millions of homeless cats and dogs needlessly euthanized each year. In fact, many of us grow to care about animals in general because of our connection to the animals in our homes.
But for the same reason, we’re very concerned about the welfare of God's other creatures as well (see our causes section). Each animal life is valuable to God, and all animal suffering is just that, suffering. Countless animals are largely hidden from society while they're used for human purposes, often with no consideration for some of their most basic needs or dignity. But we're all the more obligated to care about their suffering when it serves our own interests.
However, because the questions to follow will be looking at farm and wild animals more in depth, we can in good conscience use the rest of this miniseries to focus in on companion animals: our love and appreciation for them, and some of the concerns they face. I'm looking forward to sharing several posts from friends, which have a personal touch and valuable insights. Feel free to browse some of the links above for much more on the subject in the meantime.
(photos courtesy Peter Blom and Louis & Laural Hudgin, of my wife Cheryl with "Chin Lee")