In this shared home where humans and other animals mingle, the realities of both humans and nonhumans count, for both are noticed and taken seriously.
Religion and Animals Institute
Sherborn, MA 01770, USA
RAI thus promotes education, discussion and scholarship regarding the fundamental role that religion has played in our awareness of the living beings in, near and far away from our human communities.
Second, RAI underscores in multiple ways the importance of recognizing the formative role that other living beings have played in shaping us, including our religious awareness and traditions. Finally, RAI promotes increases in awareness of these issues in the following circles.
· the curriculum, social life and on-line communities of universities, colleges and high schools
· seminaries and other religiously-directed education
· individual communities of faith
· larger groupings and meetings of religious communities, as in annual meetings of the general assembly, interfaith dialogue or religious orders
· scholars and their professional groups, particularly as these groups increasingly incorporate interdisciplinary insights
· publications such as journals, edited collections, websites, and single author books on the topics of religion, ethics, bioethics, human-animals studies, and animal law
· media coverage of the wide range of “religion and animals” topics that arise in the study of religion and those that arise in the diverse ways we study other living beings
· social networks and non-profit groups focused on individual or multiple issues
RAI as a nonprofit organization has the following purposes:
1. Education and research, including the development of educational programs and educational literature for primary, secondary, and college level programs, regarding the role religions have had in shaping human thinking about animals and the physical environments shared by humans and other living beings; and
2. Education and research regarding the roles religious communities can take in the larger community on issues involving how humans treat and otherwise interact with other living beings. This includes increasing environmental awareness, assisting animal shelters and wildlife, and urging all within our vast human community to treat other living beings with respect and compassion.