Animal Ministry Logo

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.

Pet of the Month – Would you like to see a photo of your pet picture of petfeatured in the Unigram? The UU Animal Ministry is sponsoring a “Pet of the Month.” Please submit a photo and brief bio of your pet to: Linda Brennison, Board Liaison to the Animal Ministry at pastpresident@uucolumbia.org.

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

Past Activities

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

Movie/Potluck
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

Blessing of the Animals

Blessing of the Animals. 2021 The Animal Ministry proudly sponsored the 11th annual Blessing of the Animals on Sunday,October 17, 2021. This date is near the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi in the Christian tradition, commemorating his death on October 4, 1226 in Portiuncula, Italy. One of Saint Francis’s greatest contributions to spirituality is the awareness of our relationship with all of the animals in the web of existence around us. What an appropriate day for the UUCC to celebrate the blessings that animals bring into our lives and celebrate our interdependent relationships with all these friends.

By Rev. Stephen Robinson

Anita Grossman
Chair, Animal Ministry

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!