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Catholic-Animals
THE ARK

A Publication of
Catholic Concern for Animals

 

Selections From The Ark Number 209 - Summer 2008

BOOK REVIEW

Life on the Line: the heroic story of Vicki Moore
by Matilda Mench.

Liverpool: The Bluecoat Press, ISBN 1904438571, 2007, £7.99.

If anyone in the animal welfare movement has not heard of, and deeply admired, Vicki Moore, this book should enlighten them. It tells an inspiring tale of what one woman, supported by an equally committed and loving husband, can do to in the struggle to make this world more compassionate towards all living creatures. That the focus of much of her work was the Catholic country of Spain, and that many of the outrageous acts against animals in that country went on in the name of religious festivals, is a cause of huge shame to all who share the Catholic faith of those perpetrators of inhumanity.

The book begins with Vickiís troubled early life, and her possibly half-Spanish ancestry. It also tracks the story of Tony Moore, and his conversion from hunting and fishing to an early disgust with both pursuits, and his meeting with Vicki. It closes with the Hunting Act in 2004, after the tragic death of Vicki from cancer brought on by the goring she received from a bull she had been trying to help during one of the festivals in Spain. Her help for hundreds of victims of these blood fiestas mainly took the form of bringing publicity to these events throughout the media, and through the organisation she and Tony established in 1987, called FAACE (Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe)*.

While she and Tony were active in RSPCA work in Southport, the first animal in Spain that came to their attention was Blackie, the donkey marked out for the crushing and torture that the inhabitants of Villanueva de la Vera inflict on a donkey every year, often to death. Vicki rescued that donkey and brought it to the UK, to enjoy a comfortable retirement at the Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary.
However, the experience gave Vicki a brutal lesson in the excesses and rivalries of the British tabloid press. After that, there were many blood fiestas and similar horrors to which Vicki gave witness, and they are described in sickening detail in the book. Also stomach-churning are many of the photographs assembled, providing visual evidence of the depths to which some people will go to in tormenting animals. However, there are Spanish people too who stood beside Vicki and Tony in their heroic struggle, particularly Pilar Taberner, a CCA member known to many Ark readers.

The book, written by Tonyís new life-partner, is well worth buying, reading and passing on to others. It should encourage, inspire and strengthen the resolve of all involved in the animal rights movement. and it is a fitting tribute to a remarkable woman.

* FAACE, 29 Shakespeare Street, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 5AB, UK http://www.faace.co.uk/ Tel: +44 (0)1704 535922, email: action@faace.co.uk

DMJ 

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