Webinar Presented by Catholic Action for Animals

Hosted by the Animal Interfaith Alliance

In collaboration with the Diocese of Salford, the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, Climate Healers, Born Vegan and In Defense of Animals.

Thursday 21st March 2024 at 6pm GMT

On 21st March 2024 Catholic Action for Animals will be presenting a webinar entitled “Introduction to Animal Rights from a Faith Perspective: New Insights into Animal Agriculture”

Joining us will be Bishop John Arnold, the lead bishop on environmental matters in the UK, who will open the webinar by reminding us of the urgent importance of prayer, discussion and action by every one of us, to tackle the environmental crises.

Barbara Gardner BA (Hons) FCA from Animal Interfaith Alliance will welcome participants and introduce the Speakers. Barbara is the founder and Chief Executive of the Animal Interfaith Alliance. She was awarded the RSPCA’s Queen Victoria Silver Medal for long & meritorious service for animal welfare. She has been the Editor of Catholic Concern for Animals’ magazine The Ark and Animal Interfaith Alliance’s magazine Animal Spirit. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.

BISHOP JOHN ARNOLD Bishop John is the Bishop of Salford, a member of the Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales Department for International Affairs, and is the Bishops’ Conference spokesperson on the Environment.

Inspired by Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’, which calls on “every person living on this planet” to care for our shared earth, Bishop John spends much of his time encouraging consciousness about the environmental crises among Catholics in the UK, inspiring them to make practical responses to deal with the crises. He leads the Guardians of Creation initiative in Salford Diocese, which offers guidance and resources to help the Catholic Church tackle the environmental crises, and he has transformed his home, Wardley Hall, into the Laudato Si’ Centre.

In this webinar, shared through the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, we are proud to present SAILESH RAO, who will be speaking on the planetary harm of animal agriculture, which he claims is responsible for at least 87% of greenhouse gas emissions annually, in addition to being the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones and myriad other environmental ills.

Dr Sailesh Rao is the Founder and Executive Director of Climate Healers, a non-profit organisation dedicated towards healing the Earth’s climate. He is an environmentalist by occupation and systems engineer by profession. He invented the protocol for transforming early analog internet connections to more robust digital connections, while accelerating their speed ten-fold.

We are also privileged to have SARINA FARB, who will speak on the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet. Sarina focuses on empowering individuals to think critically, to see past corporate propaganda, and to live ethically.

Sarina is a vegan educator, TEDx speaker, and lecturer on ethical and sustainable living. As a former science teacher and lifelong vegan, Sarina’s projects include creating content for her Born Vegan platform, hosting the Science is Gray Podcast, co-founding and leading the annual International Vegan Earth Day March, and touring the country in her vegan van giving lectures and workshops on ethical and sustainable living. Unable to attend in person, DR. JANE GOODALL has produced a video for our colleagues in the Interfaith Vegan Coalition, which Lisa Levinson will be showing. Jane is a world-famous Ethologist and Conservationist and campaigns for the environment.

LISA LEVINSON from In Defense of Animals will be presenting and speaking on a short video made by Dr Jane Goodall, on the subject of the folly of offering animals as gifts for poor people overseas. In the video, Jane urges aid charities to end animal gifting programmes, which hurt gift recipients by burdening them with more mouths to feed in areas where food and water are often scarce, and by undermining sustainable development.

Lisa is the Campaigns Director for In Defense of Animals, an international animal protection non-profit organisation with 250,000 supporters worldwide. Lisa founded Vegan Spirituality to explore veganism as a spiritual practice, and co-founded the Interfaith Vegan Coalition to provide resources for faith-based vegan advocacy.

DANIEL MASCARENHAS SJ, a Jesuit from the US, will speak on the Biblical imperative for caring for animal rights, a concept found in the Old Testament narratives that describe laws for animal welfare.

Daniel is a Jesuit scholastic working on his Masters of Divinity degree at Boston College. As part of his formation towards the priesthood, he has worked with people with intellectual disabilities at L’Arche, taught Math and Theology to high school students, and studied philosophy at Saint Louis University.

MAUREEN VILLANUEVA will present the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, an initiative of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development that equips institutions, communities, and families to take practical steps towards total sustainability in the spirit of integral ecology. The Platform synthesises knowledge from all walks of life and all corners of the earth, creating a shared community of people developing bold and active responses to the ecological crisis with urgent and ambitious changes in how we live. By enrolling, participants are invited to create a Laudato Si´ Plan to make progress within the seven Laudato Si ́ Goals as a profound act of care in response to our global environmental crisis.

Maureen is part of the Laudato Si´ Movement Team as the Engagement Manager for Special Projects and provides support in the Laudato Si Action Platform to individuals and institutions.

VIRGINIA BELL from Catholic Action for Animals will sum up with the question “How can we take what we have learned to our parish, diocese and community?” Virginia is the founder of Catholic Action for Animals and has campaigned for decades to bring the natural environment and the treatment of animals into the conscious life of the Catholic Church, both at a local parish level and with the Church at large. She is part of the Laudato Si’ Animators’ Network in the UK.

To register for the webinar, please email: [email protected] putting ‘WEBINAR 21-3-24 REGISTRATION’ in the Subject line.

For media enquiries, please contact Virginia Bell at [email protected]