Converting Christians to Animal Rights
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion


Scott S. Smith
As presented at the 2018 Animal Rights Conference
September 2018

No matter what your religious affiliation is, humble prayer for divine guidance in what to say and do to persuade others that animal rights is a righteous mission.


Religion is the spiritual context in which adherents have been brought up to think about moral issues, often what rules the Creator wants people to live by. As in politics, you canít convince someone you are right on an issue if you donít address it in a way that respects her-his values. That doesnít mean you have to share the same faith or political party, but you do have to understand the way your potential convert thinks and use arguments that show why changing his or her daily practices can be in harmony with their fundamental belief system. When it comes to preaching the gospel of compassion for animals, remember that Jesus said, ďLet those who have ears hear.Ē That means we should target those who might be receptive, rather than wasting our precious time with those who arenít likely to be interested.

According to a Harris survey, only 3.2% of U.S. adults are vegetarian, so our percentage of the population hasnít changed since I launched Vegetarian World in 1974, although another 10% now have reduced their meat intake and half of those are very interested in following a vegetarian diet eventually. So we have the potential to raise our numbers from 7.3 million to 5.1 million and the good news is that the 18-34 year-olds represent 42% of vegetarians already, so weíre definitely trending....

Please read the ENTIRE PRESENTATION here (PDF).

Scott is the Co-founder of Vegetarian World (1974-78), merged with Vegetarian Times (associate editor until 1984). Author of The Soul of Your Pet: Evidence for the Survival of Animals After Death and God Reconsidered: Searching for Truth in the Debate Between Atheism and Religion

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