Charter for

Golden Rule 2023

VinE was delighted to support Golden Rule Day and the Charter’s ‘Compassion for Animals’ celebrations. The live panel presentation including Barbara Gardener from our partner organisation the Animal Interfaith Alliance can be watched below.

Watch the Charter for Compassion’s presentation (60 mins) on The Golden Rule and Compassion for All Animals.

The Golden Rule Programme
The Golden Rule celebrates the interconnectedness of people, animals, and the Earth while fostering the rights and freedoms of all. In Defense of Animals’ Interfaith Vegan Coalition is honored to be a Compassion for All Animals Partner with the Charter for Compassion. Panellists include:

Vonettia Calloway is committed to empowering children and adults with over 20 years teaching, mentoring, tutoring, and counseling. She holds a B.S. in Liberal Arts with minors in Behavioral Science and Biology along with two Master’s Degrees, with a M.A.T. in Secondary Education and the other in Special Education. She began a doctoral program in Nutritional Healing with the College of Natural Health and Organizational Leadership with Liberty University. The Black Vegan Experience is a multicultural educational conference, celebration of African-American ancestry and networking event where Black professionals and practitioners can address the medical concerns in the Black community and remove the stereotypes attached to veganism and Black culture. The Committee of Consciousness formed to host this inaugural event and to support BIPOC plant-based awareness and prevention, self-care, and better care of our Earth.

Barbara Gardner is the founder and CEO of the Animal Interfaith Alliance (AIA), a unique alliance of faith based, animal advocacy organizations which represents all the major faiths. AIA speaks out on the moral treatment of animals by drawing on the combined wisdom of all faiths, and it promotes social harmony by bringing the faith groups together on an issue they all share a concern for. AIA’s vision is a peaceful world where people of all faiths and none work together to treat animals with respect and compassion. Barbara has been the Treasurer and a trustee of the RSPCA in the UK and was awarded their Queen Victoria Silver Medal for long & meritorious service for animal welfare.  She has been the editor of Catholic Concern for Animals’ magazine The Ark and AIA’s Animal Spirit magazine, and she is author of The Compassionate Animal: An Interfaith Guide to the Extended Circle of Compassion.  She is a Fellow of ICAEW and holds a BA (Hons) in Business from Kingston University in England.

Thomas Wade Jackson received his Masters from Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts, where his thesis film, Slow Dancin’ Down the Aisles of the QuickCheck, won both the Student Academy Award and the Student Emmy Award, as well as 20 other awards and honors. He is the founder of The Compassion Project, a multi-media production company, and director of the award-winning, feature-length documentary, A Prayer for Compassion. Thomas is a vegan and animal rights activist and lives in the woods of North Florida with his daughter and their cat friend Obi Wan.

Rev. Dina A. Miani-Lauman is a vegan counselor and pastor, works with clients to help discover their own wisdom and answers for  healing. Ms. Miani-Lauman graduated with a dual Masters of Social Work from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Services Administration and Masters of Divinity degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary. As an ordained minister and pastor of a small rural church in Northern Illinois, her approach encompasses spirituality and psychology. She speaks on being a vegan pastor/counselor for various online and in-person events. Dina created the WellBeing, a community embracing vegan Christians and Spiritual folks. The Golden Rule and Great Commandment to Love are the lenses she uses to guide her life and work. Dina lives in Northern Illinois with her husband Brad, their son James, and Hermione, their precious pooch.

Frank Lane is the author of Plant Powered Enlightenment and Be In Heaven Now; Inventor/Writer/Speaker/Video Director/Serial CEO of three multi-million dollar companies/Lifetime Vegan and the Executive Director of Clean Oceans Land Air Now and He is a journalist for Spiritual Evolution, Health, Technology and Environmental Editorials. He has Invented – Patented – Leadership in Biofeedback Technology used at UCLA, Lightest Green Recycled Esthetic Roofing Material with GE, Landscape and Architecture Designer for Disneyland Hotels & Fluor Corp, and Construction Management & Design.

Lisa Levinson is the Campaigns Director for In Defense of Animals, an international animal protection nonprofit organization with 250,000 supporters worldwide, which provides emotional and spiritual resources for animal activists. Lisa founded Vegan Spirituality to explore veganism as a spiritual practice and co-founded the Interfaith Vegan Coalition to provide resources for faith-based vegan advocacy. She started the National Goose Protection Coalition to prevent goose roundups and the Toad Detour to help toads migrate safely. She also co-founded Public Eye: Artists for Animals to teach compassion for animals through the arts. She has a Masters of Fine Arts in Museum Exhibition Planning and Design from the University of the Arts and has curated exhibits for The Animal Museum.

Victoria Moran has been featured twice on Oprah and listed by VegNews magazine among the Top 10 Living Vegetarian Authors, Victoria Moran has written books including Creating a Charmed Life and Main Street Vegan. She is the founder and director of Main Street Vegan Academy, offering the prestigious VLCE (Vegan Lifestyle Coach & Educator) certification since 2012; a co-founder of the Compassion Consortium, an ahimsa-based Interfaith spiritual center located in NYC and serving a nationwide audience online; and lead producer of A Prayer for Compassion, the 2019 documentary exploring food choices and spirituality. She hosts the Victoria Moran Podcast: Meetings With Remarkable Women, and is currently working on her fourteenth book, Age Like a Yogi.

Dr. Sailesh Rao is the Founder and Executive Director of Climate Healers, a non-profit dedicated towards healing the Earth’s climate. He is a systems engineer, Human, Earth and Animal Liberation (HEAL) activist, husband, dad and since 2010, a star-struck grandfather. He has promised his granddaughter, Kimaya, that the world will be largely Vegan before she turns 16 in 2026, so that people will stop eating her relatives, the animals. He has faith that humanity will transform to keep his pinky promise to Kimaya, not just for ethical reasons, but also out of sheer ecological necessity. He has created a Climate Bathtub model to help humanity understand the solution space for reversing climate change and enabling a thriving planet.

Rev. Carol Saunders has worked in industry for 20 years as a chemical engineer, and is currently an ordained Unity and interfaith minister. She founded a Unity church in Deerfield, Illinois in 2010 and led it for over ten years. She is now the host of The Spiritual Forum podcast where each week she has interesting conversations with people on spiritual topics. Committed to restoring within Unity its founders’ original teachings on ethical living and our relationship with animals, she organizes an annual retreat at Unity Village called The Road to Eden – A Whole Planet Spirituality Forum & Retreat. She is author/compiler of the booklet, The Forgotten Teachings of Charles Fillmore: How Our Relationship with Animals Connects to Universal Love, Ethical Living, Spiritual Development and World Peace. Rev. Carol also blogs about the awakening of human consciousness at Wolf and the Lamb. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 41 years, and their two dogs and three cats.

Dr. Will Tuttle is author of the acclaimed best-seller, The World Peace Diet, published in 17 languages. A recipient of the Courage of Conscience Award and the Empty Cages Prize, he is also the author of several other books on spirituality, intuition, and social justice, as well as the creator of online wellness and advocacy programs. A vegan since 1980 and former Zen monk, he is featured in a number of documentary films. The co-founder of the Worldwide Prayer Circle for Animals, he is a frequent radio, television, and online presenter. With his spouse Madeleine, a Swiss visionary artist, he has delivered thousands of lectures in all 50 states and in over 50 countries.


Susan Soleil, with the Charter for Compassion, said, “Albert Schweitzer eloquently expresses why this topic deserves our time and urgent attention: ‘Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.’ Thus, the Charter is focusing on compassion for all animals, both for them and for ourselves.”

In Defense of Animals started the Interfaith Vegan Coalition to help animal activists and spiritual leaders bring vegan values to spiritual, ethical, and religious communities. The coalition provides faith-based tools to help all faith and secular wisdom traditions practice the ideals of nonviolence, lovingkindness, and harmlessness toward all animals. The coalition is composed of 34 member organizations, 2 allied organisations, and one partner organization Animal Interfaith Alliance comprising 17 organisations, all working in harmony for a common cause.

About the organisations

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 38-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi.

The Interfaith Vegan Coalition helps animal activists and spiritual leaders bring vegan values to spiritual, ethical, and religious communities. The coalition provides tools to help all faith and secular wisdom traditions practice the ideals of nonviolence, lovingkindness, and harmlessness toward all animals.

The Charter for Compassion promotes and cultivates the principle of compassion and the Compassionate Way of Life, as articulated by the Charter for Compassion, so that compassion characterizes all human society and all relationships.

Climate Healers is a non-profit organization dedicated to healing the Earth’s climate by implementing systemic solutions for human, Earth and animal liberation, founded on compassionate science.


In Defense of Animals, Interfaith Vegan Coalition, Lisa Levinson,, (215) 620-2130
Charter for Compassion, Susan Soleil,, (801) 554-9495
Climate Healers, Dr. Sailesh Rao,, (732) 809-3526

Compassion for All Animals & The Golden Rule

To mark Compassion for All Animals we thought it was the perfect opportunity to share an article written by Marc Bekoff PHD, which looks at how to apply the Golden Rule to non-human animals.

Golden Rule Day is an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the universal principle of treating others the way that we want to be treated. It is a powerful tool for all our relationships – with ourselves, others, animals and the planet. We will be incorporating the Golden Rule in our learning materials for Religious Education/Animal Ethics, as all the major faith and moral traditions teach us to embrace all living beings into our circle of compassion.

Celebrate The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule is ancient and modern, secular and religious, personal and common. Golden Rule Day is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on and celebrate the universal principle of treating others the way that we want to be treated. It is a powerful tool for all of our relationships – with ourselves, others, animals, and the planet.

The Charter for Compassion expands its circle of compassion to include all animals. 

How to Apply the Golden Rule to Dogs and Other Nonhumans

Marc Bekoff Ph.D.

originally posted on Psychology Today

This cross-species guideline is driven by data, decency, and heart.

A recent essay called “‘I Sure Wouldn’t Put My Dog in a Puppy Mill, Would You?’” generated a good number of email messages and discussions. The question on which this piece was based was asked by a 10-year old at a talk I gave a few years ago. While I was talking with someone, the idea of applying the traditional Golden Rule—“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”—to nonhuman animals (animals) came into my head and heart, and I thought it would be something in which others would be interested. A few people asked me what it would be based on and my response was a simple one—it would be based on data, decency, respect, and compassion for who other animals truly are. It’s not a radical animal rights move. Other animals are valuable because they are alive and have inherent or intrinsic value. Their worth is not measured by what they can do for us, often called their instrumental value.

The Nonhuman Golden Rule can easily be fact-based, because there are ample data clearly showing that a vast array of diverse animals have rich and deep cognitive and emotional lives. What it basically calls for is that all humans who have any sort of interactions with other animals will ask themselves would I want to be treated in this way. Because the number of humans who do, indeed, influence the lives of other animals is staggering, asking this question should surely reduce abuse and violence directed to nonhumans, even if a large number either don’t ask this question or ask the question and then move on to harm and kill other animals nonetheless.

Would you do it to your dog?

I often encourage people who don’t want to consider humans as part of the equation because they subscribe to different forms of human exceptionalism, to ask if they themselves would do something harmful to their dog, cat, or other companion animal, or allow them to be used in the harmful and often violently lethal ways in which countless non-companion animals are treated in a wide variety of venues. I’ve never had anyone say they would. This is good news, and I hope that dogs and other companion animals can serve as “gateway species” to bridge the empathy gap. This basically means that dogs and other animals with whom people are familiar can serve as models for how other animals should be treated and also benefit from applying the Nonhuman Golden Rule. I take this view because it’s likely to be easier to begin to think about applying a Nonhuman Golden Rule to the nonhumans with whom we’re most familiar, namely companion animals.

Consider dogs, for example. By following the following guidelines for making your dog happier and more content you’re applying the Nonhuman Golden Rule. Let your dog be a dog; Teach your dog how to thrive in human environments; Have shared experiences with your dog; Be grateful for how much your dog can teach you; Make life an adventure for your dog; Give your dog as many choices as possible; Make your dog’s life interesting by providing variety in feeding, walking, and making friends; Give your dog endless opportunities to play; Give your dog affection and attention every day; Be loyal to your dog. Allowing puppy mills and kitten factories to exist and allowing these animals to be abused in other ways would be counter to the Nonhuman Golden Rule.

It would also be easy to apply a similar set of guidelines to many other animals, while incorporating their species-typical needs. While individuals of different species will have different needs, the one common denominator is that individuals of each and every species need to be treated with respect, compassion, and decency. Their feelings truly matter.

Caring for other animals means caring for ourselves

When we give dogs and other animals the very best lives possible, it can easily spill over into more freedom and justice for all animals, including ourselves. Wouldn’t that be grand? Who could argue that more trust, empathy, compassion, freedom, and justice wouldn’t be the best thing we could do for all animals and for future generations who will inherit our wondrous planet? I surely don’t know anyone who would disagree.

How to apply the Golden Rule

Applying a fact-based and heart-driven Nonhuman Golden Rule would be a win-win for all. We must use what we already know about who these animals are, what they need, and what they feel to give all of them the best lives possible. In fact, we’ve had relevant detailed information available for many years but simply haven’t used it on behalf of countless other animals. There’s more than enough science that shows other animals are emotional beings.

In our book The Animals’ Agenda, Jessica Pierce and I call the failure to use what we know the “knowledge translation gap.” Essentially, what we know about animal cognition and emotion has not been translated into an evolution in human attitudes and practices. Simply put, it’s high time to seriously apply evidence-based animal ethics in our interactions with other animals. Not using the evidence we have and not applying the Golden Rule to nonhumans is a species of speciesism. It’s plain and simple human exceptionalism.

When other animals are treated well it’s good for us, too, For example, the One Health approach is a way of looking at the world that helps humans to see and acknowledge that humans, other species, and the natural environment (the three pillars of One Health) are completely and perfectly interlinked. If we harm one of these three pillars, all three are harmed.

I look forward to more discussions about how we can make the lives of other animals the very best they can be, and how the thinking about the Nonhuman Golden Rule can foster decisions that are based on decency, compassion, and respect for other animals.

It’s essential to remember that while this cross-species guideline can be golden and truly help other animals, silence isn’t—it’s deadly.


Marc Bekoff is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, a Fellow of the Animal Behaviour Society, and a past Googenheim Fellow.

Find out more:

Our partner Animal Interfaith Alliance AIA is helping animals who need us to speak up for animals. This interview with Green Brand Collective shares the AIA’s initiatives, covering the educational initiative with VinE. Watch: Veganism: The Practice of Compassion – YouTube

Read more about inspiring non-profits:

Find out about AIA – faiths working together for animals:

Golden Rule 2022

VinE was delighted to join the In Defense of AnimalsInterfaith Vegan CoalitionCharter for Compassion and Climate Healers in celebrating Golden Rule Day last year and their ‘Compassion for All Animals’ campaign.

We were joined in the celebrations by our friends at RE Today and the Animal Interfaith Alliance. Check out their website here.


In Defense of Animals’ Interfaith Vegan CoalitionCharter for Compassion, and Climate Healers invited everyone to focus on compassion for all animals in April 2022, leading up to Earth Day. The project partners celebrated the first-ever Compassion for All Animals Day, hosting a live panel discussion on International Golden Rule Day, and presenting daily video inspirations.

Most people who love animal companions draw an arbitrary line between the animals who live with them and the animals who they eat. The Compassion for All Animals Campaign broadcast videos featuring music, speakers, and animation showcasing the benefits of eating a plant-based diet for our planet, our own bodies, and our connection to animals.

Compassion for All Animals Day and the following campaigns will help people expand their compassion for animals beyond their animal companions to include all animals by examining our diets and exploring ways to avoid harming other animals. The webinar and the daily video inspirations features videos with prayers for animals, songs about animals, and stories from animal rescues, along with resources to support plant-based eating and vegan lifestyle choices. Participants can still sign the Compassion for All Animals Pledge.

“In Defense of Animals’ Interfaith Vegan Coalition is honoured to partner with the Charter for Compassion and Climate Healers to launch the first-ever Compassion for All Animals Day,” said Lisa Levinson, Co-founder of the Interfaith Vegan Coalition and Campaigns Director for In Defense of Animals. “We will share this message of compassion for all animals and for the Earth far and wide. We hope many people will join us to connect the dots between the compassion in their hearts and compassion on their plates.”

Our growth-at-all-costs economic system drives human population growth and animal agriculture, which are the greatest contributors to the environmental crisis and threaten all life on Earth. In an effort to address this, the Compassion for All Animals Campaign partners are among many individuals and organizations urging world leaders to adopt the Plant Based Treaty as a companion to the Paris Agreement to stop animal agriculture from causing further devastation.

“I’m thrilled that the venerable Charter for Compassion, founded by Dr. Karen Armstrong, is creating a series of events focused on compassion for non-human animals between Golden Rule Day and Earth Day, and now with Compassion for All Animals Day,” said Dr. Sailesh Rao, Founder and Executive Director of Climate Healers. “This is a clear sign that the vegan movement, the fastest-growing social justice movement in the world, is now sweeping through our mainstream culture.”

Our posts celebrating Golden Rule Day 2022

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