To the Editor:
In his past comments about protecting animals and nature, Pope Benedict XVI is building upon the Roman Catholic Church’s tradition of promoting faithful stewardship of all creatures (“A Cat Lover in the Vatican Strikes a Chord With Cat Lovers Around the World,” news article, April 20).
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic catechism affirm that compassion for animals is a matter of human dignity. The Catholic Church is not alone among major religions on this issue.
The Episcopal Church embraces a resolution that specifically addresses puppy mills and factory farms. The United Methodist Church supports the humane treatment of farm animals and calls for the protection of endangered species. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America asserts that “God’s command to have dominion and subdue the earth is not a license to dominate and exploit.”
The Assemblies of God position on stewardship reflects that of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. The Central Conference of American Rabbis “advocates the strengthening of humane legislation,” and the list goes on.
Washington, April 21, 2008
The writer is the director of animals and religion at the Humane Society of the United States.