Saturday, 22 August 2009

Animal Welfare Highlighted and Protected

At the moment I am doing some more liturgical writing, and my method is to take existing texts and turn them around and about so eventually they look quite different but still generate some sort of spiritual resonance. So I am always interested to see new ones.

There is some Christian liturgy just available with prayers and readings for Animal Welfare Sunday on October 4th written by Andrew Linzey (Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics). It is available here directly, which is via the relevant RSPCA website page. I couldn't myself use these directly, but I can keep the essence of what matters regarding reflecting upon animal welfare. Of course I downloaded and kept a copy, but use is not helped by the RSPCA published .PDF being copy-disabled and note-attachment disabled, as many people would want to take some of this material and incorporate it into existing material. Anyway, I converted it to open use quite easily by using GSView, the file size dropping from over 3.5 mb to under 750 kb (including retaining the top heavy image), and the text file - still sorted into pages - being just under 32 kb. So why bother?

This is how liturgical material is often used: by being reused. It is important to respect intellectual property rights and creativity, of course, and one means by which I do that is quoting the source of originals even where changes, removals and additions are such that something significantly new has emerged (whilst remaining connected; once a product is so different that a connection is lost beyond inspiration then such an acknowledgement can be misleading). But liturgy is about creativity in the human mind, and in this age needs access to the electronic text. I discovered the text was disabled when I tried to extract the copyright information! Well, here are the sources of the liturgical material at

Introduction, prayers and compilation © Andrew Linzey, 2004. First published in 1975; revised 1981, 1987, 1992, 1996 and 2004.

Some material has been adapted from Andrew Linzey, Animal Rites: Liturgies of Animal Care, London: SCM Press, and Cleveland, Ohio: The Pilgrim Press, 1998. © Andrew Linzey.

Where indicated, scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright, 1946, 1952, 1971 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA and are used with permission.

Cover illustration: Francis and the Wolf
© 2002 by John August Swanson
Serigraph 26" x 18"

For reproduction of the copyright textual material in this booklet, please contact Andrew Linzey at

Now nicely extracted for any subsequent reuse in parts, as relevant; of course to use many chunks and not to change them or to knock bits off (while leaving the rest as was) really does need contact with the author, where then putting the source down is not sufficient. Also changing context is not on - a prayer used in a service in an abattoir isn't on. Such rules are normal and apply. Anything I do will end up on my website and is open to all.

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