Pondering Principles – Animal Life

Care about the animals of the world? So do United Methodists! Check out the Animal Life portion of our Social Principles here.

There are a couple of things I could talk about in this section, but here is the one that stuck out the most as I read and re-read the short paragraph on Animal Life:

We encourage commitment to effective implementation of national and international governmental and business regulations and guidelines for the conservation of all animal species with particular support to safeguard those threatened with extinction.

Social Principles – Animal Life

It was the “those threatened with extinction” bit that got me. As I pondered this statement, it got me thinking about all of the countless species of animals that have gone extinct throughout the course of history. Animals go extinct. It is simply a part of the natural order of existence. So, why should I care about them?

The reason why we should care about the staggering rate of animal extinction these days is that those animals are not being wiped from the earth by natural means. They are being taken off the map by us. Our misuse of this planet and its resources have cause unfathomable devastation to the ecosystems and the animals living in them.

The apathy about this is so strong that, in the days since it was announced, I haven’t heard one friend or acquaintance of mine mention the silent extinction of giraffes taking place. Not even on Facebook, the platform for armchair activists. Folks, we all should care much, much more than we do about the extinction of animals, not because we can stop them from disappearing, but because we can stop being the reason for it.


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