For protections to evolve to include nonhuman species, religions— through their leaders, their institutions, and above all their believers— must take seriously the important role that they have played, and certainly will continue to play, in humans’ engagement with the lives beyond our species line. Religions have such a central role in the transmission of basic images and values regarding living beings that, without their help, the problem of the species line will not be solved in this century. A central question for this century is whether influential religious institutions will continue to convey images that radically and absolutely dismiss nonhumans, or will religions offer support for the broadening movement to include nonhuman animals in humans’ moral scope.
Waldau, P. (2003). Religion and animals: A changing scene. In D.J. Salem & A.N. Rowan (Eds.), The state of the animals II: 2003 (pp. 85-98). Washington, DC: Humane Society Press.