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



Man Takes Over From God ! !
By Ted Cox

Previously published in pamphlet form by Animals' Vigilantes (laterally: Animals' Voice) -

I wrote an article for a well-known magazine and had a large number of letters endorsing my statements in which I wrote, "So many profess to follow the teachings of the Great Master whose theme was love and compassion, and yet in practise they demonstrate the opposite in their lives".

In the short space at my disposal I wrote of the lack of interest of the church generally and stressed that whilst so many have differing views on the teachings of Christ, the churches generally agree that his teachings were love and compassion. One would certainly expect that the church would then follow in the steps of the Teacher who although on a mission two thousand years ago still influences the lives of so many people today.

Why do we have such teachings if the followers are not prepared to accept them and why does the church condone hunting, intensive farming, experiments on living animals, performing animals, to name but a few of the evils we are constantly combating?

Please do not think that I am "knocking" at Christianity or any other belief. This would be my last thought as I respect all forms of religion and also have my own beliefs. But the question I raised, "Why does the church condone these things?" has been left unanswered and instead I have had many letters from interested people who have shared my views.

I feel there is a fear of upsetting the masses and this is why the church fails to take the lead. I also feel that man has decided he is greater than the Deity Himself and therefore it is man who can decide the fate and the well-being of all other life around us. It is my firm belief that the love and compassion should be extended to the animal and bird life as well as to those friends around us but it will take an absolute revolution of thinking and a complete change of our attitude towards the animal life before we shall even see the glimmer of a change.

Reading back my article I wrote in that magazine I will never retract the words I wrote for I am fully convinced that the church could be playing an active part in safe-guarding the animals' rights. We have many ministers of religion who join me and will endorse my views, but what are they among the many more who just do not care? As I am writing this in the heart of the country there are those who are waiting for a special day in the calendar, for it declares in my diary: "Fox hunting begins".

There are some places where the local priest will come out to bless the hunters before they commence their season of chasing around the country the poor unfortunate fox. Some will tell you it is the "done thing, old Boy" and others will say it is the only way the animals which are being hunted can be kept down.

If "culling" is the answer then I should suggest people get on to the experts who have their crack shots and will dispose of the animals in a swift death by shooting.

Picture if you can a lovely country church in which the strains of the music and words, "All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small...", are to be heard on a Sunday morning. In the background is the intensive farming range in which thousands of hens are laying in a mechanical way and as soon as the hen dares to stop laying she is immediately taken from the prison she shared with others and then killed off and sold in the local shops where she is trussed up in a most "attractive" manner to catch the customers' eye.

Let that same buyer have a look in the doors of the prison and see these rows and rows of beings which would have been better had they not been hatched.

Man has decided that is the fate they must endure to feed him. Just a little way on we have the four-legged animals which are confined in the battery pens. Please do not call them "batteries". The farmer doesn't like the word. "Please, this is modern farming", they say. Man again decided that this is the way it should be; in other words, he has taken over and he will do the planning and decisions must come through him.

It is terrifying to think that man has decided so much and in doing so is breaking every law of nature. He says there are too many of this so he kills it then he finds too many of some other form of life so he kills that. In fact, man has got to the state now where he has a one-track mind which says to him, "There is something moving, let us kill it".

Man has so carried out his mad aims that for some time we have seen the balance of nature upset. I think man too has realised that the balance of nature has been lost and still has not learned his lesson. Still he goes on "to put things right" whilst he must realise in his heart of hearts that it is he who is causing all the problems and it is his decisions which have gone so far in destroying so much which we once used to enjoy.

At one time man was at peace with his surroundings and at peace with nature but today it is a very different story. He has a very sorry picture before him created by his own greed and thoughts that he is the only one that is capable of making the decisions. His greed has brought about so much sadness and its mark has been left on the world.

In his efforts to take over, and this he has failed to do with even the slightest success, he has turned his commercial greed into a death sentence for so much life. From the smallest bird to our largest mammals we see there is the death sentence hanging over them unless we get a reprieve.

At one time the nightingale used to sing in the trees near my home, but not now. Since the nearby farms have used their insecticides and pesticides there is much of our bird life missing. Each year the toll on the animal and bird life gets heavier and yet no one is prepared to stop the mad race.

Will it be that our children and grandchildren will be growing up in a world denuded of so much of the plant life and where the wild life is a thing of the past? Are we to see our country making a desperate effort to preserve a few which may be left by putting them in nature reserves as is happening in so many parts of the world? If this is man taking over then I dread to think of the day when he has completed his task. Perhaps there will be no life at all for it will be totally exterminated by the all-powerful man who decided he could do better.

This, then, is an effort to explain, if I had need, why I say the church should raise its head and give a lead. It may be that it will upset the people who have commercial greed at heart, but what of it? The world is not for them alone and the fact that man claims he was entrusted to take care of the beasts and all living things is all the more reason why the church should condemn the practise which has been allowed to exploit this earth.

Next time you should be in church and sing, "All things bright and beautiful", please remember that the life you are singing about is not something which belongs to you alone but it is a part of that great whole, as you and I.

In the Animals' Vigilantes we endeavour to teach young people to respect and care for all life so that when they take over we hope they will make a better job of the task before them than their past generation have done. If they fail, then the gloomy picture I have painted becomes a reality. If man continues to pretend to run the world and its life then the outlook is dark indeed. May all good people - including our spiritual leaders - take up the challenge before it is too late.

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