Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Since its beginnings in the 17th century, the Religious Society of Friends has had an instinctive concern for animals.

The Quaker Faith and Practice states:

“Show a loving consideration for all creatures and seek to maintain the beauty and variety of the world. Work to ensure that our increasing power over Nature is used responsibly, with reverence for life.”

George Fox, the first Quaker, condemned hunting and hawking.

John Woolman, the 18th century American Quaker and anti-slavery pioneer, wrote;

“To say that we love God and at the same time exercise cruelty toward the least creature is a contradiction in itself.”

Quaker Concern for Animals activities include:

  • Providing literature, articles and newsletters
  • Conferences and religious services
  • National and international co-operation with other animal protection groups
  • Lobbying of organizations, media and politicians
  • Protests against animal cruelty
  • Funding animal charities, especially the smaller specialised ones.

Day to day activities are managed by a clerk and a committee, which meets twice a year..

Membership of the Quaker Concern for Animals is open to people of all faiths and none.

History of the Quaker Concern for Animals

  • In 1891, the Friends’ Anti-Vivisection Association was founded, with Joseph Stores Fry as its first President and among its members, the Quaker MP Joshua Rowntree.
  • Later, as animal concerns grew, the association became the Animal Welfare and Anti -Vivisection Society.
  • Finally in 1978, the association changed its name to the Quaker Concern for Animals.