Not One Sparrow
Compassion is not a zero-sum game. Compassion begets more compassion, though channeled into different responses and for different ends. The most famous evangelical animal activist, William Wilberforce, publicly opposed bull-baiting (a spectator sport where dogs attack bulls) and co-founded the first animal welfare group out of the same vision for Christ's kingdom that led him to support public Sabbath observance, fund evangelism to Indians, and work to overthrow the British slave trade, among countless other initiatives.
It's our recognition of Christ's reign over all things—even the sparrows—that compels us to proclaim our no! about animal cruelty in the public square, and to make our yes! about the worth and dignity of all God's creatures a joyful witness to his coming kingdom.
Copyright © 2009 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
More editorials are available on our site.
Previous Christianity Today articles about animals or animal rights include:
Keeping Pets in Their Place | Why we can't afford to treat animals like they're humans. (April 29, 2008)
The Back Page: Taming Beasts | "Raising the moral status of dogs has created a breed of snarling, dangerous humans" (April 1, 2003)