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UU Animal Ministry Group

Do you have a love of animals? Would you like to know how our UU principles relate to the care of animals and their habitats? Interested in joining this group? Other questions? Contact Anita Grossman and she will be happy to assist you.

The UU Animal Ministry (UUAM) advocates for the rights of all animals through education, legislation and other peaceful means.  We seek to exclude all forms of neglect and cruelty to animals. We engage in concrete actions that bring about change at the individual, congregational, community, and societal level.

Main Activities of the Animal Ministry:

  • Education: We coordinate with Religious Education (RE) to engage the children utilizing their programs (e.g., Hogwarts), through books and speakers (e.g., Carolina Wildlife Care).  In addition, we have festivals such as the Blessing of the Animals.  Through Meatless Mondays and our various vegan events, cooking classes, and recipe sharing, we encourage lifestyle changes directly related to reducing animal cruelty.
  • Legislation: We lobby our SC legislators on bills directly related to animal welfare.  We attend legislative committee and subcommittee meetings and help to publicize animal welfare causes both within and outside of the congregation.
  • Charitable: The Animal Ministry supports Pawmetto Lifeline and other animal welfare groups in the midlands by publicizing and participating in their events

UU Animal Ministry Newsletter
This link offers the opportunity to read and/or subscribe to the national UU Animal Ministry email newsletter, containing many articles of interest for animal advocates and others. For further information contact Anita Grossman, Chair of the UUCC Animal Ministry at

Past Activities

Blessing of the Animals, Sunday, October 9th, 2023

Rev. Stephen Robinson will officiate at this year’s Annual Blessing of the Animals! All are welcome to attend with their animal/s for a special blessing. Leashes, crates or other means of staying in control of the animals is required for the safety of your pet and the other invited guests. The event will be held outside on the Heyward side of the church. Snacks will be served and animal toys will be distributed! Music on the dulcimer provided by Dede Hurson. Please contact Anita Grossman, Animal Ministry Chair with any questions.

Cotton Branch Animal Sanctuary Visit

On Saturday, April 27, 2019, nearly thirty UUCC members and friends traveled to Batesburg-Leesville to tour Cotton Branch Animal Sanctuary, visiting the animals, feeding them, and enjoying them in their natural environment.
Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary provides a safe haven for abandoned, abused, neglected, and elderly farm animals. There is a lack of sanctuary for farm animals, who make up 98% of the animals killed in the US each year.
“We exist to help those animals,” said Evan Costner, who led our group’s tour, and manages CB with his husband Josh.
The visit was organized by the UUCC Animal Ministry Committee. Evan reminded us to make compassionate choices in our everyday lives when it comes to what we eat, wear, and use for entertainment.
“By reducing demand for animal products, we can reduce the number of animals in need of rescue, and we can help reduce the number one cause of negative impact on our environment: animal agriculture,” added Evan.
Whole Foods of Columbia donated a large amount of produce to help he animals, and the group really enjoyed feeding them.

Cotton Branch Animal Sanctuary trip

We gathered on Friday night, March 8, 2019 to watch the informative movie, “Eating You Alive – one bite at a time”.  Those who came watched attentively and participated in the lively discussion that followed the movie.

Stacy Shepanek who heads up an organization called, Vegan Outreach was a wonderful resource after the movie and not only discussed practical ways to adopt a plant based diet, but also answered questions from the audience that were specific to individual concerns. One idea that came out of this discussion is to start having cooking lessons again, in the same fashion as we did a few years ago.

Another real “star” of the evening was the wonderful spread of plant based food that filled two tables in Animal Ministry Potluck tablethe social hall and included everything from sandwiches and fruit to a wide array of plant based desserts, with a huge bowl of popcorn in the center – and more!

A lot of work went into pulling this evening off from the setup to staying late to clean up the social hall. The chair of the Animal Ministry would like to thank committee members: Patty Drews, Linda Brennison, Susan and Larry Siegel, and Laura Culler. A special shout out goes to Nancie Shillington-Perez, who although not officially a committee member, arrived early to help and was the last one to leave! And just as we have been so very fortunate in the past to enjoy, once again Joan Watterson jumped in at the clean up time and helped us all to get home a little earlier!

Anita Grossman
Animal Ministry, Chair

Sophia Does it Again!
Sophia Storlazzi, former member of the Animal Ministry, and activist, was heavily involved in a “Sustainable Thanksgiving” program that was sponsored by many groups on and off of campus.  Unfortunately, she was not mentioned in the article, but she was making us proud nevertheless!