Animal Padre's
Christians Against All Animal Abuse
"Christ’s redemption is for the whole of creation!"

From Autumn 2008 Issue

He Was Previously The Vicar Of Brighton

Dominic Walker was previous to his present post as bishop of Monmouth, the outspoken and compassionate vicar of Brighton; and of more relevance to us he was a militant leader against the live exports from Brightling sea. Indeed, the above is a past photo of him leading a protest march in 1995 with other local clergy as well as influential civic dignitaries. We congratulate him on being the new president of ASWA – the Anglican Society For The Welfare Of Animals – which has lost a former stuffiness and is going places. Indeed, as one reflects back over the years, I cannot help but feel that if the more militant branches of animal rights had involved or encouraged sympathetic clergy to their rallies then their image would have been a more acceptable one to the general public.

I know, only too well, that the major churches hold an appalling track record as regards negligence towards animal welfare – When did your parish church, your parish priest or parish minister ever pray, preach or give praise for animals? You’ll be lucky if they ever have! But, nevertheless, when a cleric does stick his or her neck out for such a noble cause, their offering is usually turned down with scorn or concealed derision. I speak for myself when I say that an offer to give ‘a few words and a prayer’ at an Oxford rally was flatly refused. The nearest I got to a favourable response was: “You are most welcome to walk along, and intermingle with the rest of us. As are all of other religions and of none.” ‘Very sad!’ I thought. More so as I graduated from an Oxford college for the established church of the land!

It is quite remarkable how the presence of an attired cleric brings true respectability and willing acceptance in to any worthy movement, but very sadly it is hardly wanted by certain animal rights extremists in leadership! Consequently, things far too often lean towards the direction of an unkempt anarchy reminiscent of Robespierre and the French Revolution mob mentality. Of course, I would not generalise as many friends beneath balaclavas have the saintliest countenance and often endure most unjust sentences. My criticism is of ‘loud mouthed rabble raisers’ whose arrogance hardly conveys empathy and compassion towards all life – be it animal or human – which suffers through the evils and injustices of our present time

‘What you are speaks so loudly that I can’t always hear what you say!’ This is a remark that is not only justifiably applicable at times to some advocates of evangelical Christianity! It is also of much relevance within the circles of animal rights as well. The situation may not have been identical but, nevertheless, the quick success of the demonstrations at Shoreham – in contrast with the lengthy, drawn out efforts at Oxford – could well be due to the way such demonstrations were transacted. However – once again, you do not have to agree with me! – Politically speaking, there have always been the Bessy Braddocks of Bootle as well as the Margaret Thatchers of Grantham! Animal activism is no different: It has its counterparts!

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