Nowhere are there two essences of suffering, but varying degrees. And each of the degrees is for the one who finds himself there an absolute. Michel Damien
Who we are
- The FRA (https://fra-respect-animal.org/) is an association that works to raise awareness for more respect and compassion for animals within the Christian world. We exist as a presence and voice for animals, as well as a link or bridge between the animal rights movement and christians. Our wish is to be able to express the necessity of placing the animal cause in the list of Christian concerns and responsibilities and to promote an ethical veganism.
- The FRA’s mission through its website is to transmit a respectful teaching of non-human animals, with the aim of offering a new perspective of compassion and kindness from a religious, spiritual artistic or ethical point of view.
- The FRA is an organisation that addresses itself to Christians for an awareness of the importance of taking into consideration the suffering and abuse of animals. Animal suffering is a subject that should also concern the churches. Christianity in preaching love and compassion is committed to acting accordingly, unfortunately these Christian values are not applied to animals. Christian churches therefore have a duty and responsibility towards these non-human creatures of God. Paradoxically, it is these same churches that are slowest to bring animals into the compassionate circle. The cruelties we currently inflict on animals in intensive systems must question Christians, it seems urgent to us that Christians feel concerned and make the connection between caring for animals and their Christian faith. The FRA encourages christians to catch up and join the mouvement against these production systems that have no respect for animals.
- The FRA considers animals as sentient individuals and strives to propose new ways to see, think and behave with them.
- At the FRA we argue that animals have an intrinsic value. We affirm that animals are sentient beings and that they value their lives. They were not created to be exploited as resources or commodities. Animals are not the property of humans, their lives belong to God their Creator.
The example that Jesus gives us, is to be a servant of others. Thus, perhaps, we should consider that the appropriate place for humans in creation could be where they care for all other sentient beings, human and animal, and for the earth instead of doing harm. In addition, Christianity has long maintained that compassion for the poor, the sick, the weak, the vulnerable, those who cannot speak for themselves is the role of the Christian. Since we know that animals suffer and care about their lives, why not take the opportunity to offer them compassion and non-violence, leaving them off our plate, for example ?
The FRA exists to try to consider how Christian faith can inspire a respectful and caring relationship with nature and animals.
FRA’s mission is to participate with others in building a peaceful and non-violent world, working to end animal exploitation, suffering and unnecessary killing of animals.
We agree with Norm Phelps when he states in his book Dominion of Love
"The Bible can certainly be used to defend the use and abuse of animals by humans, just as it has been used to defend the slavery, segregation and oppression of women and homosexuals. But we have learned to look beyond the specific passages that seem to justify the abuse of our fellow human beings to find in the Bible a vibrant call to kindness, compassion and mercy for all without distinction of race, religion, nationality, sex or sexual orientation. It is high time we recognized that the Bible makes the same appeal to all sentient beings, regardless of their species. "
Religion and animal exploitation / Can we believe in a merciful God if we think that God approves of cruelty to animals ?
Industrial animal exploitation is the greatest source of cruelty to animals on this planet. Religious teachings underline the importance of compassion, at the FRA we hope that this will lead to an awakening and awareness by religious leaders and that this will lead to a strong condemnation of animal exploitation
Religions preach love, compassion, charity. However, when we look at the condition of intensively raised animals, for example, we don’t see religious leaders defend the interests of these creatures, when they should be the first to be fighting for this injustice. The religions of the world have in their teaching many elements that offer possibilities for dialogue and especially for action : to have compassion, not to cause unnecessary suffering, to respect life, to help the vulnerable and the poor.... We look forward for a time when priests, pastors, imams, rabbis and other religious leaders express themselves against the intensive breeding and death of billions of animals in conditions of extreme suffering. We urge religious leaders to discourage their followers from buying industrial animal products so that they no longer participate in this system that keeps our world in violence and in pain.
Animals exploited by humans on farms, laboratories and elsewhere are complex individuals. They are sentient beings, that is, they have the ability to feel, perceive or experience subjectively. They have the same physical senses as we do, a central nervous system similar to ours and a highly developed brain in the areas that treat physical and emotional sensations. They feel pleasure and pain, joy and suffering in much the same way as we do. No one who has shared their life with a dog, cat or bird can oppose or doubt it. We see how they express happiness, fear, anger, love, jealousy and so many other emotions we experience.
Yet we allow the intensive farming system where animals are literally reduced to their vital functions (nutrition, growth and reproduction) and deprived of most of their capacities and possibilities. Domestic animals are not simply exploited, and killed as soon as they are sufficiently fattened or productive, but their lives have nothing to do with the life of an animal itself. Living in miserable conditions that frustrate almost all their instinctive desires, industrial raised animals have never been able to live their own life, to live according to their species according to their essence.
Just like humans, animals they do not want to be hurt or killed. Unfortunately, they cannot defend themselves. They are at the mercy of human beings, at the mercy of kindness or cruelty. It is up to humans to choose the limits of force, power, violence or compassion , service, peace. The Biblical message as a whole is this, it is a message from a God of Love and Love of others. We are called to love God and all that He has created with Love.
Although most Christians recognize that we should be good stewards of the earth, this general consensus has not prevented most Christians from fostering a relationship with nature that is violent, destructive and, unsustainable. Most Christians eat meat and other animal products, causing animal suffering on a large scale and environmental damage.....
One reason is that many Christians have notions of stewardship that do not lead to animal and environmental protection. For many Christians, the human stewardship of Creation suggests control of the natural world and prevents them from thinking that humans are intimately linked and dependent on the rest of Creation. Many Christians, reflecting a worldview centred on themselves, believe that the world was created by God for them..... They see nature as a gift from God to humanity. They think they must be careful not to destroy nature not because it has intrinsic value, but because it will ultimately harm humans. This vision of an anthropocentric world, a world of humans for humans and superior to other species only justifies and perpetuates animal exploitation and environmental destruction.
Killing and eating animals
Vegetarianism or veganism for the Christian, can be considered as a prophetic witness that speaks of God’s plan for a peaceful world, while at the same time criticizing the harmful effects of our contemporary industrial societies, and expressing our concern for the poorest people in the world as well as for creatures who suffer and die to satisfy human non -essential needs.
In today’s world, there is good evidence that intensive animal production contributes to global climate change. Livestock accounts for 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock also contributes to climate change through its link to deforestation. Not only does our industrialized food system produce and kill billions of animals every year, it also pollutes soil, air and water ; steals nutrients from the soil ; promotes chronic and deadly diseases ; and causes physical and psychological damage to humans working in the system.
When we avoid the products of cruel agricultural practices, we show love and respect for these creatures. Consuming the products of intensive livestock farming makes us participate in cruelty. Improving on-farm conditions would be desirable, but an even more effective way to prevent animal abuse is to reduce or eliminate the consumption of animal products as much as possible.
Many alternatives exists we invite people to try them and remember that taking a life is a choice that can be taken only in life or death situation or self- defense.
We are a young organization that exists since 2016. Our main tool has been our web site where we gather information and articles about animal suffering, Christian postion towards animals, theology ethicl veganism etc. We try to sensibilize christians on one side and on the other, we exist to support christian animal advocates. Until now we have been self -financing the costs of the website, the printing, the translations and the time we invest in campaigns and the web site. If we wish to continue with our mission of representing animals within the christian world we would very much need some funds to help us finance all this costs besides the projects we would like to put into action.
Funds are needed for the following projects
1. Elaborate, print and distribute leaflets in french and spanish
- about our organization, who we are, what we do
- about animal suffering and Christian responsibilities,
- about the real meaning of Christmas and Lent in opposition of celebrating by eating animals.
- about the ethics of eating animals
2. Christianity and animals conference February 2021 in Paris. Centre Sèvres (Jesuits)
Depending on our budget we wish to organize an International conference that could gather important Christian theologians who are woking on animals : David Clough, UK, John Berkman, Canada, Kurt Remele Austria. This conference could be a very important step towards in including the animal cause in the Christian french agenda.
(the costs would include the rent of the auditorium, printing of the program, translator, travel grants for the foreign theologians.)
3. Art exhibition and conference, Mexico City and Monterrey Mexico, in partnership with Fauna Accion.
4. Campaign against the consumption of lamb for Easter.
5. Campaign for a Christmas of compassion
6. Organize a proposal to Pope Francis to receive and meet with christian organizations for animal rights and théologians.
7. Campaign against cruelty to animals from members of the Catholic Church (bullfighting, blessing of arenas, patron saints celebrations )
8. Organize a think tank between the mos prominent theologiens to discuss the place of animals in Chrisitanity and where it needs to go. Create a document about all the findings and conclusions.