The Fellowship of Life
From the Worcester Evening News dated June 26th 1972:
The treatment of animals and birds in some methods of agricultural production and medical experimentation can only be described as thuggish, said Canon Eric Turnbull.
He was preaching at a service of dedication for all those concerned with conservation and animal welfare held on College Green, Worcester.
Well over a hundred people turned up with their pets, including dogs, cats, mice, hamsters, rabbits, donkeys and a pony, and heard Canon Turnbull say:
“Today we see wild life perishing in face of what we imagine is the scientific and industrial advance of mankind”.
He said man had become selfish “exploiting land, sea, animals and plants”, and must now be urged to “halt the present process of exploitation before it is too late”.
“We make animals work for us, carry us and earn money for us. We also make them die for us sometimes in ways we would rapidly reject if we could see it done.
“In many fields we use them not with gratitude and compassion, but with thoughtlessness, arrogance and complete selfishness.
“The problems of experiments on animals and in factory farming – for example, the use of the iron maiden which keeps the sow a helpless prisoner in a cage from four to seven weeks – are complex and serious, but they do involve each of us personally because we use the end products, and many millions of animals are involved.”
“Surely when a farmer deprives an animal of all but the barest essentials to keep it productive, he is not only inflicting cruelty because he is interfering with the inherent behaviour patterns of that animal – but is he not also dehumanising himself? The treatment of animals and birds in some methods of agricultural production and medical experimentation can only be described as thuggish”, said Canon Turnbull.
He concludes: “If one had to choose between rescuing a child or a pet
from a burning house there is no question but that we would rescue the
child, because in that agonising situation we cannot show life the same
respect. But the time has come when we must act responsibly towards the
rights of animals and cease to accept the view that man has authority
for exercising an absolute dominion”.
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