The Fellowship of Life
Vegetarianism - "UnBiblical" (1990 Press)
"Biblical roasting for meat-eating minister"
A THEOLOGICAL clash over meat-eating emerged yesterday between John Gummer, Minister of Agriculture, and Bernard Weatherill, Speaker of the Commons, and one of its most ardent advocates of vegetarianism, writes Judy Jones.
Earlier this week, Mr Gummer, a member of the Church of England General Synod, stepped up his crusade against "food faddists" by denouncing vegetarianism as wholly unnatural, "The Bible tells us that we are masters of the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field, and we very properly eat them," he told the International Meat Trade Association. The Speaker disclosed yesterday that he had taken issue with the minister in a private letter, quoting Romans 14.20. According to the King James version of the Bible, this states: "It is good neither to eat flesh nor to drink wine nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth or is offended or is made weak."
That quotation, affirmed the Speaker, "should put the matter in its proper perspective". He was responding to Tony Banks (Lab, Newham NW), who flatteringly described Mr Weatherill as "the most eminent vegetarian in the House", and suggested Mr Gummer had become a casualty of "mad cow" disease.
The Minister of Agriculture had told the meat traders he was tired of reading about the 10 per cent of the population who were vegetarians, and wanted to "read more about the sensible 90 per cent who are still eating meat".
Dr David Clark, Labour's agriculture spokesman, has claimed that one of Mr Gummer's favourite ploys when making after-dinner speaches is to produce a shopping bag full of foreign food and make derogatory remarks about each item he pulls out.
Go on to: MEAT AND VEG? IT'S HOLY WAR
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