wnrf.org - exploring the future of religion Add to My Yahoo! RSS feed
 Top News
 Jewish Futures
 Christian Futures
 Muslim Futures
 Esoteric Futures
 Transmodern Futures
 Dr. Richard Kirby

Get the WNRF Bulletin

Home > Dr. Richard Kirby
The Animals of Tomorrow
by Rev. Richard S. Kirby, Ph.D., Dec 10, 1999
Printer-friendly page Printer page
Email Page Email article




Happy Christmas to the Animal Kingdom!

Christmas tide is a fine occasion to celebrate animals. We remember that the Lord Jesus Christ was born among animals, in a stable. Their humility was matched by His. He dignified them as He dignified the human condition. His birth was announced to keepers of sheep. He saw Himself as a Shepherd. [John 10:11]

Jesus said, "New wine must be put into new bottles." [Luke 5:38] Thus, we should allow ourselves to think new thoughts about animal rights, animal capacities, animal relationships and ourselves, in the civilization of tomorrow. New thoughts implying new ways of treating, serving, understanding and enjoying the animals of tomorrow.

Perhaps we could regard our investigation of the likely situation of the animals of tomorrow as an example of what the late Karl Rahner called a "theological investigation" [see Rahner, Theological investigations.] In these we explore, with all the resources of faith working with intelligence, what our faith tells us about the presence of God in the past, present and future of our subject— in this case animals of tomorrow.

As we are conducting this investigation within a series of articles on religion and the future, we shall have certain typically futurist goals in mind. One is the study, and perhaps the extrapolation, of existing social trends. The other is to consider ideals for the future condition of our subject — the animals of tomorrow.

"I sought the Lord and he heard me; and he delivered me from all my fears." [Ps.34: 4] What a sweet thought to be able to imagine the human vocation as delivering the animals of tomorrow from all their fears — and from their squalor, degradation, and terror. For what if the animals [dog owners know this well!] have total trust in us, and see as their divinity? And if we are planning to be delivering the animals of tomorrow from all their fears, to what end might that be? Not just delivering the animals from something, but to something: to a good life.

Here is a sobering truth: we are the architects of the quality of life of the animals of tomorrow. We are their hope. We are their fates' arbiters.

• Shall we choose the way of the Island of Dr. Moreau? This was H.G. Wells’ dark vision, a cautionary tale in the late-nineteenth century science fiction classic The Island of Dr. Moreau. Wells envisioned a mad scientist who creates hybrids between humans and animals, leaving the tormented half-sentient creatures to a wretched no-man's-land of twilight suffering. In Last and First Men [1930] Olaf Stapledon dreadfully foresaw a still worse idea: the so-called 'Vital Art' in which genetic engineering was used to adapt animals for human games. A horrible, but strikingly contemporary idea.

• Or shall we chose the way of PETA--People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals?

There is a sense in which humankind must represent the Lord God, must be as the Lord God, to the animal kingdom. Traditionally, this relationship has been seen as one of 'dominion' [Gen. 1:26]. Interestingly, in the same verse, we are told that God said that humankind would be in the image and likeness of God. Presumably this extends to the way in which God's representatives understand and exercise dominion.

The word 'dominion' is an interesting one. It contains within a root which shares a root with the word for 'Lord' [dominus]. But the Christian faith understands leadership as love. The dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ, God-as-man, was a leadership of sacrificial love, lowly, humble, compassion. Therefore we could see the 'commission' to have dominion over animals as a call to love them. As we shall see, this shouldn't be too difficult, as they usually rather eager to love us!

I would like to wish all our readers a happy New Year. And to ask, "Will it be a happy new year for the billions of animals of earth and air, land and sea?"

I would like to wish all our readers a healthy new century. And to ask, "Will it be a healthy new century for the billions of animals of earth and air?

I would like to wish all our readers a loving new millennium. And to ask, "Will it be a loving new millennium for the billions of animals of earth and air? I think it's up to us!

I sometimes teach existential philosophy, ethics and theology. As a teacher of these subjects, I have to use very short idioms of expression. If I had to distill into a sentence my thoughts about whether the future is a future of love, I'd say: it’s up to us! We are the sum of our [social] choices. This is what the doctrine of Free Will means. It's up to us.

Will it be a Happy Christmas for the Animal Kingdom? To a considerable extent, it’s up to us. We cannot determine whether this or that scorpion will kill or be killed by this or that tarantula; but we can determine whether or not this or that puppy mill is dismantled and legislated out of existence.

We have tried a century of war, mayhem, genocide, tyranny, terror, and distress. The 20th century, the climax of the Age of Science, has been the worst ever in terms of stupidity, lies, ugliness, brutality, and horror.

I think I have a better idea: A century of love. And, strange to say, to design a century [for no-one can do this but ourselves] we can turn to some of the wisest and best beings on earth and air: the animals. They are wise indeed.

A wise dog

Our three-year old beagle, Yoda [wisdom-bearer], is an Okie by birth, a Seattlite like me by relocation. She came to us one winter night in 1997. This was in rural Oklahoma, on the dirt roads, into the car headlights. She was only a few weeks old then. She had strayed from the litter, being adventurous, sensing perhaps a new destiny. Before she came, I dreamed that a dog was coming to us. I had done the same before my daughter was born, before we knew rationally that a child was coming into our family.

Yoda might have died that night, had my wife not adopted her. Instead of death, she had life, and brought life to us. Life, and love.

Jeffrey Masson, in his enjoyable book, Dogs Never Lie about Love, helps us see that the vocation of dogs is...to love. This is not so surprising when we consider the very word animal. It means, approximately, a creature with soul.


Imagine someone telling us, "Hey, look! There's a creature with a soul. What shall we do with it?" If I had been studying my poetry, my mysticism, my theology, I hope I would say, "Great — it must be a new expression of cosmic love."

Imagine a third party to the conversation chipping in, scornfully "An animal! I know what 'animal' means: crude, cruel, stupid, inhuman...and edible.' And a group of such folks form a chorus: "Animals! Let's shape 'em, shoot 'em, cook 'em, and kick 'em. Let's preen ourselves on how great we are, and be glad we are not 'merely' animals. We are Homo Sapiens, the wise hominid, the above-animal. We made it! We escaped our animal nature! They are cruel, we are civilized. They are coarse, we are refined. Now we can really dominate, lord it over these lesser beings, and be proud of our power over them."

Animals are more than commodities for human consumption.

Who cares about the animals?

Who cares about the animals of today? I do; and I am sure you do, dear reader. Otherwise it is unlikely you would be reading these words. I care; the Humane Society of the US cares, as does the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the UK — and their counterparts in many other lands.

PAWS [Progressive Animal Welfare Society] cares. PETA cares [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.]

Some cities care. The mayor of Seattle cares. Seattle will be off-limits to circus animal performances if Mayor Paul Schell has his way. October 08, 1999 Schell announced plans to ask the City Council to ban circus displays and performances of wild and exotic animals.

The proposed ordinance is still being drafted, and it is not clear whether the mayor will seek a total prohibition or one that would apply only to city-owned and -operated facilities. Similar bans have been adopted by Vancouver and some other Canadian cities and by a handful of smaller US municipalities. See < http://www.kxl.com/kxl_news_0000920.html>.

Who cares about the animals of tomorrow?

Who cares about the animals of tomorrow? I do. Do you? How could you if you have never thought about them? You might suppose that — being tomorrow's creatures — they are non-existent and therefore cannot be cared for.

One answer to that line of reasoning is that some of tomorrow's animals DO exist. Clearly, the animals of the day after tomorrow are, in some cases, already alive. Others are not born yet but will be alive in two days’ time. Still others are alive now but by then will be deceased. So tomorrow's animals DO exist in some cases, and can be cared for today. But we can also care about their tomorrows.

Another line of thought comes from modern ethics, where the needs of posterity [those who come after us] are considered to be real needs; their rights are real rights.

Our inquiry therefore takes the form, Who cares about the rights of tomorrow's animals? I do; chances are you do too.

But if we are to ensure good lives for tomorrow's animals we need to care about more than their rights. It is their lives that we need to consider.

What kind of life is an animal's life?

I would answer: — a life of love — potentially. Whether an animal actually has a life of love is up to the humans!

Before we can care about the lives of tomorrow's animals, though, we need to be informed about the likely shape of their lives.

So what does forecasting glimpse of the future of tomorrow's animals and their identity, lives, deaths, loves, talents, and joys — their place in tomorrow's societies?


Animal psychology

There have been striking improvements in animals’ lives in the last thirty to fifty years. This is particularly true in the lives of animal companions — pets.

These improvements have partly come about because of changes in the perception of the worth, the value of animal companions. And this is partly because of advances in animal psychology. Jeffrey Masson, in Dogs Never Lie about Love, writes movingly in a survey of the emotional lives of dogs. Masson, a psychoanalyst, studied the surprising depth of canine emotional complexity. He pondered sources such as myth and literature, scientific studies, and testimony from dog trainers and dog lovers around the world. Emotions such as gratitude, compassion, loneliness and disappointment appear in this account. Dogs dream — perhaps in Technicolor. Those of us who have watched a sleeping dog wagging her tail — dreaming of her human companions, perhaps, or of doggy Christmas — know the depth of intelligence and sentient life of our canine friends.

Jeffrey Masson, considering the old prejudices on dog behavior, invites a re-evaluation of canine emotional intelligence: he declares that the "master emotion" of digs is: Love. Sounds divine! Indeed, Masson quoted [Dogs Never Lie about Love, p. vii] Fritz von Unruh as saying, "The dog is the only being that loves you more than you love yourself."

Bash Dibra, writing in DogSpeak, opines that dogs are pure and honest creatures who are pure in their affections and open about their likes and dislikes. Treated with kindness and respect, they are friends for life. They offer the unconditional love that many humans cannot even comprehend.

Perhaps there is a clue here to the true human vocation. Could it be that animals are the wise and gentle ones, and humans the cruel and violent? Seems that way! So, perhaps we can see animals as our teachers and allow them to suggest a re-definition of the human calling. If it is love, then our animal friends will loom even larger in our social life in the coming century.

Readers interested in this line of work can also see Masson's Why Elephants Weep: The Emotional Life of Animals, co-authored with Susan McCarthy.

Such work as Masson's is paralleled by an outpouring of animal-art books. [Art about, not by, animals!] arty dogs by David Baird, illustrated by Maurice Broughton, is a colorful tale of woman's best friend in varied circumstances.

Quality of life improvements for animal companions

When we study seriously the future of a social phenomenon, one of our methods is the extrapolation of existing trends. The trend of Quality of life improvements for animal companions is a hopeful one, for animals and for people. More and more it is the case that pet-owners, humans with animal companions, are being wonderful pastors to their animal friends. They are treating them both only like one of the family, but as more important than humans. They receive perfect love from them, and are learning to value and cherish and pamper the animals accordingly. The emergence of pet cemeteries is one feature of the undying love which humans have for their animal companions. [See also The Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog by Eugene O'Neill.]

More and more, animals – primarily dogs and cats — are experiencing a superb quality of life from birth to death and beyond. Health, nutritional, grooming and adjustment problems are studied and solved lovingly by legions of pet-lovers. No longer are veterinarians the only non-owner caregivers for pets. Massage therapists, animal behaviorists, trainers, groomers, animal psychologists, and nutritionists offer goods and services aimed at helping pet-owners secure a great life for their animals buddies.

So we see here a major trend within the trend of Quality of life improvements for animal companions. This is the trend of measuring and identifying the definition of the good life for animals. Since the identification of the Good Life [for example love guided by wisdom] is a major task of philosophy as that enterprises has often been conceived, we can say here that there is a major social trend towards advancement in the experimental philosophy of animal happiness. [Experimental here means: learning systematically from specific experiments testing our theories of what animal happiness/Good Life is].

Genetic engineering

The future promises more genetically engineered animals.

Until now, scientists relied on finding mutant strains of mice which suffered from diseases or symptoms similar to those experienced by human beings. Mice commonly used to test cancer treatments, for example, are specially bred to be highly prone to developing cancer.

Advances in biotechnology take that one step further and allow scientists to alter the genetics of mouse embryos so they are born with specific defects such as cystic fibrosis or arthritis. As National Institutes of Health immunologist Ronald Schwartz recently told the Washington Post, such animal models should be incredibly powerful. John Sharp, superintendent of induced mutant resource at the Jackson Laboratory put it bluntly. "More and more research is moving toward the use of these mice. It’s where the future of research is headed."

And it’s not just mice. Researchers at laboratories around the world are genetically altering pigs, goats and sheep to do everything from produce more easily transplantable organs to providing delivery mechanisms for medicine in their milk.

As animal rights activists point out, animal models are not completely analogous to human beings. Substances which cause cancer in rats sometime fail to cause cancer in human beings and vice versa. But what if researchers genetically engineered mice and rats to suffer from the same illnesses human beings suffer from? They now can. This is creating an enormous debate about the ethics of such animal research.

As genetic engineering of animals spread so do opposition movements aimed at limiting or banning it. Those opposed to such genetic engineering complain it is wrong to design animals to suffer.

Brian Carnell reports in "Animal Rights" news:

"There really is something primordially horrible about replicating animals that will suffer endlessly," Bernard Rollin, a Colorado State University physiologist, told the Washington Post. Other attack genetic engineering as challenging our notions of life as inherently sacred.

"The biggest opposition in recent years came in Switzerland where 112,000

Swiss citizens signed a petition to put a ban on research on genetically altered animals on the ballot.

"Failing to use these genetically engineered animals, however, will mean ignoring an excellent source of medical information. Genetically engineered mice have already yielded important information about deadly human illnesses such as Huntington’s Disease. When scientists removed a gene in mice which corresponds to the defective human gene that causes Huntington’s, researchers noticed small protein deposits in the brains of the mice; something that had not been observed in Huntington’s patients. Upon re-examining the brains of Huntington’s victims, however, researchers indeed found the protein deposits, which are now suspected as one of the primary causes of the diseases' symptoms. Source: Animal Rights news, Vol. 1, No. 5 - June 15, 1998. See <http://www.animalrights.net/ar_news/1998/arnews_06_15_1998.html>.

Opposition to breeding animals created to suffer is growing and organizing. The Alliance for Animals is one of the foremost organizations in the USA. It is in Wisconsin. It is devoted to "increasing public awareness of animal abuse and promoting the humane treatment of all animals. Through its bi-monthly newsletter, action-oriented committees, public programs and affiliated chapters throughout the state, the Alliance responds to a wide spectrum of animal rights issues, including specific instances of cruelty to animals, wildlife management practices, genetic engineering and factory farming." See < http://www.allanimals.org/ >.

Animal experimentation

Throughout history animals have been treated with cruelty. In the past, "...the only 'good' animals were those that proved useful to humans" [Pringle, 1989].

Some, if not most, 'animals' [from fish to birds and insects to serpents, snakes and killer whales] are clearly the enemy of humanity — so says a well-entrenched position in the history of human thought. Nature is 'red in tooth and claw' [Tennyson]. As part of this bloody world of the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms, animals are not only cruel but clearly at perpetual enmity with humankind. So says one line of thought. Mosquitoes deserve to be swatted, flies too — you betcha. Many animals are little more than bacteria, nuisances at best and deadly germ-carrying enemies at worst. So says the familiar line of thought. Dogs bite and kill kids and deserve to be muzzled, chained or shot. Snakes kill, sharks devour humans, badgers and moles destroy landscapes. Canadian geese pollute environments and spoil the scenic beauty and the odors of Nature. Grasses can poison, fish can bite and kill, and even flowers can hurt and harm humans in many ways. So let's get real about animals, and dismiss this sentimentality — says this same line of reasoning and voice of 'experience.' St. Francis of Assisi was silly and sentimental to preach to the birds, if it ever happened. Animals are fuel for man, and when they are not being merely useful deserve to be experimented upon.

Psychoanalysts help us here. They help us to understand the role of hate, the hatred which humans have for one another amid the frustrations of social living (see Freud, Civilization and its Discontents). Such feelings are socially unacceptable or inexpressible. They can be displaced if they are not sublimated. Animals are an easy target. It is a cliché that a man, angry at his wife, kicks the dog. Why not torture one too — especially if it can be done in the name of such a respectable social endeavor as 'science'.

Nevertheless, there are trends away from indiscriminate animal experimentation. The growing realization that animals DO have feelings, and therefore rights, is being partnered by the emergence of legal limits on indiscriminate animal experimentation, and a desire to altogether eliminate vivisection. The days when so-called 'scientists' can do brain surgery on cats to let them die - unable to dream — in a manic delirium — are fortunately diminishing. It is being realized that such 'science' is no better morally than Nazi experiments on their prisoners.

The resourcefulness of the human mind, inspired by compassion, is being used to develop alternatives to animal testing of products, let alone the 'science' of organized cruelty to animals such as the systematic maternal deprivation of primates.

Compassion for animals is leading to a science with a moral heart and a new definition of rigor!

Animal rights

Animal rights are an emerging field of social justice — and of law. It is a growing trend. Though slow to develop impetus — it was launched in the 1770s when the first book advocating kindness to animals was written — it is picking up momentum now. See <http://animalrights.about.com/culture/animalrights/msuborgs.htm?iam=mt>.

As we understand that we do not have to 'rule over' nature but are part of it, the animal rights movement has evolved. Peter Singer, the animal rights activist, puts it simply: animals are capable of suffering and enjoying life, and therefore their interests deserve consideration.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is "Working for Justice for Animals."

Founded in 1979, ALDF claims to be the country's leading animal rights

law organization working nationally to defend animals from abuse and exploitation. ALDF's network of over 750 attorneys is dedicated to protecting and promoting animal rights. Over the past 20 years, they claim to have won 'precedent-setting victories for animals on every front -- in research laboratories, on farms, in the wild and for companion animals.' See: < http://www.aldf.org>.

Veterinary medicine

Ranny Green, a 'pet columnist', writing in the Seattle Times/Post-Intelligencer, recently summarizes a new book by Vicki Croke of the Boston Globe. It is an account of work in the Vet's Emergency Room at Tufts University. The efforts of these dedicated animal physicians is a convincing demonstration of the higher and higher esteem in which animals are held in society. Trends in Veterinary medicine include greater expenditure by owners, greater physician skill, and greater prolongation of life for animal companions.

What youngsters can perhaps do now is create a Third Millennium 'Hippocratic Oath'— not only for Veterinary medicine practitioners but also for the owners of animals. They will thus learn to develop an experimental ethic for animal care in 21st century society.


There are many arguments for Vegetarianism — and many against it. See< http://arrs.envirolink.org/ar-voices/schwartz/ > for a discussion within Judaism.

Buddhist philosophy, and some strands of Hinduism, definitely decree such compassion for animals as to exclude eating them. Others argue that without the need for meat, most animals would never even exist. Still others argue that the human mouth is clearly designed for vegetables and fruit only. It does seem clear that at least animals bred as eventual food deserve a good life before death.

Back to Contents


Building a community of the lovers of tomorrow's animals is a long-term task. We could think of it as a century's work — the twenty-first century's work. Like the Panama Canal, or the Roman Empire, or the Cathedrals of Chartres and Rheims, it will take decades if not centuries. But the prize is great: justice for all animals: that justice, which according to the Bible is salvation, which is love. It is a task requiring a multitude of minds, millions of hands, and many healing hearts of love and kindness. It is a giant program of international, multi-ethnic compassion.

One way to describe this Mega-project is to think of it as a search for the Genius of Animals — in older terms, the "soul" of the Animal Kingdom: in newer terms, new horizons not only in sociobiology [see Edward O. Wilson] but socio-zoology. Indeed, the science of animal life, a subset of Biology, is Zoology. There are various cousins to this zoological science: Ethology [the study of animals in their environment]; sociobiology, [the study of animal societies are examples. But here we are talking about the philosophy of the relationship between animal life and lives on the one hand, and humanity on their other — human beings and their social purposes and organizations. We can conceptualize this relationship as being part of a triangle. The two bases are humans and animals; and the apex — God. In practical terms, this means that the relationship of human to animal is one of responsibility. And it means that this responsibility, which is an evolving set of duties and privileges, is worked out within the traditions of faith. This translates into a simpler truth:

The people of God are ultimately responsible to inspire those who are responsible for the management of the lot of animals in the coming century.

This implies, as a derived truth the following vision:

Every church, every temple a Friend of Tomorrow's Animals.

This might be accomplished in simple ways, which the youth of the churches could manage [1] a ‘virtual center’ for animal rights and animal protection and appreciation in every church — or in the design of every future church [2] a commission on the love of animals in each church.

As for the older church members, the development of a standing commission on the theology of animal life within human community [theo-zoology] is the task. And it will not be a speedy one! It will require a long, sustained, thoughtful, collegial effort. This will be a kind of theo-zoological counterpart to the Human Genome project.

The Human Genome project aims to identify the genetic identity of the human race. Our Animals of Tomorrow project will aim at collating and considering the wisdom of al faith traditions about the nature, rights and future of animals. Examples include the Buddhist strictures against meat-eating ['Slay not, lest on its upward path you kill the meanest thing']; the Jainist equivalent; the Hindu protection of cows.

But these are formal statements. The enjoyment of animal life is more fun! The work of the people of God is primarily praise, which is celebration. We are praising God's victory. Our mood is that of a party, not primarily lamentation. The people of God are the bearers of Great News - success, social success, happiness, and peace toward all.

Let us try a more light-hearted way of understanding our task. We have to sing it to get it more fully. Let us see where the Path of the Poet takes us.

Path of the Poet

I hear a cry, a shout, an exclamation coming from afar. I think it is the voice of the Animals of Tomorrow! Is it a chorus, a symphony, a cacophony, a lamentation, an appeal?

I know how to find out. We must train dedicated listeners to cock their ears. They are the listeners to the cries of the Animals of Tomorrow. They will hear their sounds, and maybe they will hear not a cry but a song. Yes, I think I can hear it now.

It is the Song of the Animals of Tomorrow.

This is not the lamentation of George Orwell's Animal Farm, where the miserably abused creatures found that all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. It is a song of triumph, or at least of love.

Listen with me and you can hear what they are singing, in a strange chorus of grunts, barks, caws, miaows, cheeps and bellows:

Song of the Animals of Tomorrow

1. We are beings of love in your future world,

Elephants, rabbits and geese;

Partners in the growth of social joy,

Friends of your future peace.

2. We're beings of love to you here and now,

We are animals, creatures with soul;

We are wisdom bearers to show you how

Happiness comes to weasel or vole;

3. We are beings of love who have genius too,

We have wings and spines and shells

We are building our homes for your future fun

Play with us, tumble, and ride and run.

4. We want to design your future too,

You future world and ours;

We'll be your companions and loyal to you,

For months and week and hours.

5. Please don't forget we are beings of love,

Breed us with that in mind:

When it comes to designing beauty and truth

We will work with you hand in glove.

6. We’re tomorrow's animals here today

In your hearts and minds and dreams

Think of us like sea-wind's salt spray

Hold us in highest esteem.

7. Tomorrow's animals all are we*

Waiting with love and hope,

Remember us now and you will see

Love is of boundless scope.

8. So we sing to you our song,

With wagging tails and glowing eyes:

Do us no future social wrong

Hear our present cries.

9. Love us and we will love you back

Like healers with furry hands:

Build a world that lets us love

You will have fresh, happy lands.

10. Tomorrow's animals you can espy:

Watch us wheel and dance and fly:

Whether we're whale, coyote or bear,

Give us - in our future - a share.

copyright Richard S. Kirby, Ph.D. ©1999

*In the [animated] video version of this, the animals in their varieties appear and disappear like ghosts.

Program for Youth Futurist Academies [YFAs]

The emerging Youth Futurist Academies in Louisiana and Washington — hopefully, in other States also— will have some vital roles to play in the saving and loving of the Animals of Tomorrow. With the love which youth have for animals, with the innocence, energy, passion, joy and time available to youth, they can work on some highly specific tasks.

1. Translate the Song of the Animals of Tomorrow.

2. Set it to music; make an [animated?] video version

3. Celebrate animal genius

4. YFA Olympics: Animals of Tomorrow component

5. Measuring and identifying the definition of the good life for animals.

6. Learning systematically from specific experiments testing our theories of what animal happiness

7. Designing and organizing parties for the Animals of Tomorrow.

8. Invite animal-rights advocates to come speak at their schools and clubs.

9. Invent games celebrating animal genius and games improving society's treatment of animals.

10. Design an imaginary city where animals are perfectly treated.

11. Compile lists of Corporations that love animals.

12. Use computers and the Internet in new ways to advance the cause of the Animals of Tomorrow.

The religious youth futurists can do all of these, but will also have some enjoyable specifically religious tasks:

• Collect prayers for the Animals of Tomorrow.

• Write, draw, and dance many meditations for the Animals of Tomorrow.

• Compile worship service outlines for mobilizing spiritual energies for improving the lot of the Animals of Tomorrow and keep the Feast of St. Francis on October 3rd where animals are brought to the parish for a blessing.

• Have conversations with people of other faiths about prayers, meditations, worship service outlines for the Animals of Tomorrow.

• Create a Third Millennium 'Hippocratic Oath'— not only for Veterinary medicine practitioners but also for the owners of animals. [Develop an experimental ethic for animal care in 21st century society.]

• Develop a vision statement to fulfil this theological dream: "Every church, every temple a Friend of Tomorrow's Animals"

• Develop a vision statement to research and teach theology of Animals.

Businesses for tomorrow's animals!

At this critical time, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations need to work together. It has long been thought that animal rights are best advanced through not-for-profit organizations. The reasoning behind this social norm has been clear. It is assumed that it is immoral to make money out of others' suffering. Compassionate causes should not be 'businesslike'.

In my opinion, as a teacher in a business school who also directs a not-for-profit research agency, this position is not longer tenable for several reasons. One is that not-for-profit organizations are in any case becoming, out of necessity, more 'businesslike'. Another is that corporations are becoming more socially responsible (see Steiner and Steiner, Business, Government and Society.)

And this is connected to my third point: corporations of the future which see their work as primarily a work of love will influence all other businesses.

My own long experience in both not-for-profit organizations and business-for-profit has taught me that to get things done the social contract which the so-called commercial world enjoys is incomparably useful. For urgent work of social compassion, businesses enjoy advantages of cash flow and revenue mobilization which not-for-profit organizations do not.

To support the Animals of Tomorrow, we need both avenues of mobilization of social energy and civic resource.

My own company, Richard Kirby Enterprises, is devoting one product division to Animals of Genius and The Genius of Animals. This, entrepreneurially, is a search, a discovery, a competition, a celebration

A "Genius of Animals" product line can be expected to ensue.

Richard Kirby Enterprises supports animal rights and the development of products which advance the appreciation of animals. We will also offer some 'networking' for Corporations that love animals.

Putting it all together: Animals of Tomorrow community conference

Putting it all together is when we move from theoretical philosophy to social activism. Richard Kirby Enterprises will act as a clearinghouse for the emerging ideas about the first "Animals of Tomorrow community conference." This will aim to develop an experimental ethic for animal care in 21st century society.

These ideas will include, for starters, best ways to work with youngsters who love animals. The community conference will seek incentives to inspire youngsters to create a Third Millennium 'Hippocratic Oath' for the owners of animals. Also for Veterinary medicine practitioners. They will thus learn to develop an experimental ethic for animal care in 21st century society.

At the World Future Society Year 2000 conference in Houston, TX, July 23-25, 2000, we will lay the organizational foundations for this "Animals of Tomorrow community conference." A more public emphasis might take place at the World Future Society Year 2001 conference.

Its focus will be: advancement in the experimental philosophy of animal happiness. Social Experiments will be designed to encourage learning systematically from specific experiments testing our theories of what animal happiness/Good Life is.

Back to Contents


1. American Humane Association 63 Inverness Drive East, Englewood CO 80112-5117, 800-227-4645.

2. Best Friends [six-times-a-year magazine]

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Kanab, Utah, UT 84741-5001<http://bestfriends.org>


3. The Forum Foundation, Seattle, WA.

[Fast Forum method]

4. Animal Rights Organizations

See http://animalrights.about.com/culture/animalrights/msuborgs.htm?iam=mt

• American Anti-Vivisection Association

An international organization working to end vivisection (the use of animals in biomedical research, dissection, testing and education).

• Animal Aid

The UK's largest animal rights society, campaigning against all animal cruelty.

• Animal Legal Defense Fund

ALDF is the country's leading animal rights law organization, with a network of over 700 lawyers working nationally to defend animals from abuse and exploitation.

• Animal Liberation

An animal rights group, based upon the philosophies of Peter Singer, with branches in all states of Australia.

• Animal Liberation Front (ALF)

Learn more about this group that makes animal abusers take notice through direct action!

• Animal Protection Institute

An organization which strives to be an advocate for the protection of animals from cruelty and exploitation.

• Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights

The only veterinary medical association actively promoting rights for nonhuman animals

• Born Free Foundation

A UK foundation whose goal is to stop cruelty, to conserve wild animals in their natural habitat, and to ensure the long-term survival of species.

• Brigitte Bardot Foundation

Fighting to defend animal rights through awareness, information, and rescue.

• Bushmeat Project

A program designed to stop the slaughter of great apes for human consumtion.

• Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade

Located in the U.S., this group is dedicated to ending the international fur industry by educating the public and by mobilizing activists around the globe.

• Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (UK)

The British arm of CAFT.

• Coalition to End Primate Experimentation

A group of activisits working for the immediate end to harmful experimentation on non-human primates.

• Compassion in World Farming

CIWF, based in the UK, investigates and campaigns against the suffering and cruelty to animals inherent in

factory farming.

• Defenders of Wildlife

Committed to defending wildlife and its habitat through education, litigation, research, legislation and advocacy.

• Doris Day Animal League

The DDAL speaks out against the agonizing tortures being inflicted upon animals every day.

• EarthCare

Visit this site for information on animal and green issues in China (English and Chinese versions available).

• Farm Animal Reform Movement (FARM)

FARM campaigns for the rights of farmed animals, promotes vegetarianism and educates the public to the horrors of factory farming.

• Farm Sanctuary

Dedicated to exposing, and stopping, the cruel practices of the "food animal" industry.

• Feminists for Animal Rights

Explore the interconnections between the exploitation of women and animals at this site.

• Friends of Animals

An international organization which has been working to protect animals from cruelty and abuse since 1957.

• Fund for Animals

Founded in 1967 by prominent author and animal advocate Cleveland Amory, the Fund strives to "speak for those who can't."

• The Humane Farming Association

Working to protect farm animals from cruelty and abuse, as well as the public and environment from the devastating impact of factory farming.

• Humane Society of the U.S.

Focusing on humane education, wildlife and habitat protection, farm animals and bioethics, companionanimals, and animal research issues.

• Hunt Saboteurs Association

This UK organization works directly in the field to protect wildlife from the hunters.

• In Defense of Animals

One of the nations foremost animal advocacy organizations, dedicated to ending institutionalized abuse of animals.

• International Fund for Animal Welfare

Working to promote and ensure the just and kind treatment of animals as sentient beings.

• International Primate Protection League

Since 1973, Dr. Shirley McGreal and IPPL have been working to protect all living primates worldwide.

• International Wildlife Coalition

Fighting to save endangered species, protect wild animals and preserve habitat and the environment

• Japan Anti-Vivisection Association

Japanese group working for the abolition of animal experiments, and other animal rights issues. Page is available in Japanese and English versions.

• Last Chance For Animals

Dedicated to ending all animal exploitation by providing truthful information about societal animal abuse.

• League Against Cruel Sports

Campaigning for the abolition of sports, such as hunting with dogs, which cause suffering and death to wildlife.

• Medical Research Modernization Committee

Founded in 1987, this group is working to modernize medical research through the realization that animal experiments rarely contribute to human health.

• PAWS (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

From the latest AR news to an online store, you can find it here. My pick: a T-shirt that proclaims: "Neuter is Cuter!"

• People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

PETA is the largest animal rights organization in the world. This site is continually updated, making it a great resource for AR info.

• Performing Animal Welfare Society

A sanctuary where abandoned or abused performing animals and victims of the exotic animal trade can live in peace and contentment.

• Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine

Promoting alternatives to animal research and successfully working to stop such experiments as the military's cat-shooting studies.

• PSYETA -- Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Psychologists working to promote humane and ethical treatment of non-human animals.

• Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Paul Watson fearlessly protects all marine mammals on the front lines -- with direct action!

• Showing Animals Respect and Kindness

Steve Hindi and SHARK (formerly the Chicago Animal Rights Coalition) have taken an active role in fighting hunting, rodeo and bullfighting.

• United Poultry Concerns (UPC)

Stick up for chickens! UPC promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.

• World Society for the Protection of Animals

Campaigning for 40 years to protect all animal life, WSPA works with over 300 member societies in more than 70 countries.

Back to Contents

Reading List and Bibliography

Baird, David, arty dogs illustrated by Maurice Broughton Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 1999.

Croke, Vicki, Animal ER. Dutton, 1999.

Dibra, Bash, with Mary Ann Crenshaw, DogSpeak.. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999.

Freud, Sigmund, Civilization and its Discontents.

Green, Ranny, "Books for Holiday Gifts: 'Animal ER' is poignant up-close and personal account;." The Seattle Times/Post-Intelligencer, Sunday November 14, 1999, page H7.

Jeffrey Masson, Dogs Never Lie about Love. New York: Crown, 1997 [This book also has an excellent bibliography of nearly thirty pages, which I recommend for those who want to study seriously animal genius.]

Jeffrey Masson [with Susan McCarthy],Why Elephants Weep: The Emotional Life of Animals .

Eugene O'Neill, The Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog . Illustrated by Adrienne Yorinks. Henry Holt & Co.

Pringle, Laurence, The Animal Rights Controversy. HBJ, 1989

Rahner, Karl Theological investigations.

Rawls, Richard A Theory of Justice

Steiner and Steiner, Business, Government and Society[ [9th edition]. McGraw-Hill, 1999-2000 .

H.G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau

Edward O. Wilson Sociobiology

Sampling of Corporations that love animals [mainly Seattle area]

Body Shop

High Hopes [a new premium-brand, pet-food company] "This company will donate 50 pounds of Pet food to the Seattle-King County Humane Society for every animal adopted, with a goal of donating one ton of food." — Ranny Green, "Times 'pet columnist'," Seattle Times/P-I, Sunday November 14, 1997 page H7.

PCC [Puget Consumers Cooperative]

Three-Dog Bakery [serves fresh-baked, all natural; treats for dogs

[Please add your own!]

Product check-list (items to create!)

A pet-lover's prayers

Meditations for animal companions

Calendar of worship service outlines for the Animals of Tomorrow

Back to Contents


I want to help in building a community of the lovers of tomorrow's animals


----------------------------------------------------------Yes! I want to help

My name is:

My e-mail is:

My phone #s are:

My address is:

My fax is:

My pet's name is: _______________________ and is a ______________

My present affiliation with animal-helping agencies is:



Human Society

Other [specify]


The way I would like to help is:

1. Research

2. Secretarial

3. Hosting

4. Writing

5. Drawing

6. Computer/web work

7. Lobbying, legislating

8. Teaching

9. Organizing

10. Caring

11. Praying

12. Adopting

13. Music [composing, performing]

14. Other art forms e.g. dance

15. Civic activism

16. Social Innovation

Other [specify]

Please also contact: Name ___________ at Email: ___________________

as I think s/he would be interested in helping the Animals of Tomorrow too.

How to return this form: Type your answers to above questions using our contact form.

Thank you!

Wanted: Illustrators for this article, webmasters, video makers etc. to turn this article into a multi-media work of art. Please contact Dr. Kirby at DrRSKirby@wnrf.org if you would like to be a collaborator.

Dr. Richard Kirby, International Chairperson of the World Network of Religious Futurists, welcomes your collaboration in caring for the Animals of Tomorrow. Your counsel and comments are invited in our message board.

URL: http://www.wnrf.org/cms/animals.shtml

Top of Page Top of Page Email this Article Email Article Printer

© 1998-2010 by World Network of Religious Futurists
What's New
Tributes to Dr. Richard S. Kirby
Chaplain to the Stars, Memorial to Dr. Kirby
Farewell Dr. Richard S. Kirby (1949-2009)
The Future of Ideal Language
Kirby Calls for a New Wall Street
WNRF Chapel--a Chaplain's Corner
The Theological Definition of Cosmic Disorder
A New Mathematics for a New Era
A Theologian is Born
Space Spirit: Astronomical Civilization Building
The Philosophy of Civilization Building
Ride Out: a different eschatology
African Renaissance
Is God At War?
New Dollars In Beijing
Preview: The Leadership of Civilization Building
The New Dictionary of Civilization
Infinite Profit At Infinite Speed
The Way of Enlightened Science
Quadrupling the World GDP by 2010
Birthing a New Financial Civilization
The Mondays of Tomorrow
The Spiritual Academy of Arts
The Sacred Homes of the Future