Unitarian Universalist minister, avian veterinarian, vegetarian.
Rev. LoraKim Joyner, D.V.M.
Birds have always called to me. Since an early age I always had birds in the home, out in the pigeon coop, or eating at the yard feeder. My hope for avian flourishing led me to a B.S. in Avian Sciences and then later to a D.V.M. where I specialized in birds. A later Masters in Preventive Veterinary Medicine emphasized avian research. Hearing birds call to my heart, I worked in other countries as a consultant in avian medicine and conservation, with an emphasis on parrot conservation. My hopes for the birds led her to the Philippines, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Guatemala where I lived for several years. My work with birds has also included working as a Clinical Instructor and Research Assistant Professor at the Nondomestic Avian Clinic at the College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University. There I later served as the Community Advocate, where I taught ethics and grief management as well as assisted staff, faculty, and clients in dealing with grief and ethical issues. Today I serve as the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, Florida, president of Unitarian Universalists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (UFETA), Director of Conservation at Lafeber Company, as well as consultant for “Wings of Comapassion,” a website dedicated to grieving, healing, and hope in avian-human relationships (www.lafeberwingsofcompassion.com). My experiences have taught me that the birds cannot flourish if the human heart cannot heal, and the human heart cannot heal without knowing the great depth of suffering and beauty in all life.