The Fellowship of Life
a Christian-based vegetarian group founded in 1973



Christmas Without Cruelty in York (1985)

From the January/February 1986 edition of Outrage! with thanks to Animal Aid (

The culmination of the Living Without Cruelty Campaign in the North of England was a march through York and an evening in the De Grey Rooms on December 7th.

The original idea of each marcher handing in a cruelty free Christmas gift at York Minster had to be altered, as it was one of those rare days when a wedding was taking place at the Minster. The gifts were handed to our own Father Christmas and were then donated to the Dean of York at the Christmas Without Cruelty evening.

The march, which unfortunately was very short, was led by the Three Kings and was attended by about three hundred people.

In spite of the shortness of the march and the relatively poor turnout, I would like to stress to those who did attend just how much they contributed towards the evening in the De Grey Rooms. Not only did members of the public turn up in their hundreds, but they stayed so long we were having to usher them gently out of the door 20 minutes after we should have closed!

I would like to extend my thanks for the successful evening to the York Animal Rights Group for their help, not only in providing food, but also for the huge leaflet distribution they had undertaken - to the two cooks who demonstrated the Cruelty Free Christmas dinner - to Beauty Without Cruelty for their fake fur fashion show - to Naturally Yours cosmetics for their demonstration - to the Manchester Community non-Animal Circus for their lighthearted entertainment - and last, but not least, to the Dean of York for his attendance and his words of encouragement.

The Dean of York has been a member of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare for many years and is also a member of Animal Christian Concern (ACC - pronounced Assisi) a new, but growing Christian animal welfare group.

We are very pleased that he agreed to attend the evening and receive the Christmas gifts. The charity he chose to donate the gifts to was the Victims Support Group to which the police direct those who have been robbed, assaulted, or sexually abused. It is a cause I am sure we would all support, being very much akin to our own cause in that it is once again to do with man's violence to others. Many Living Without Cruelty events have been held throughout the North, some evening events have been combined with vegetarian tasting evenings, some have been held during the day on Saturdays. Most have been well attended and the press have shown a great deal of interest. For some reason it is usually the women's page of the local papers that has done the most. It is a campaign that has shown how many members of the public, whilst they may not wish to join an organisation or campaign about animal rights, are concerned to avoid cruelty in their own lives.

Kathryn Reynolds

See also:
York Minster

'Police break up sit-in'

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