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


Her work is for animals

From the former British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection journal AV Times (August/September 1974)

Just re-elected for the third year in succession as president of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection is Mrs Betty Earp, of The Ridings, East Preston.

Mrs Earp has been secretary of the union's Littlehampton branch for 18 years now. She has been involved in anti-vivisection campaigns for 30 years.

She has also served on the union's national committee for 17 years, including several years as national chairman before she became president three years ago.

How did you first become involved in the anti-vivisection movement? I asked.

'I was always attracted to the shop window of the union premises in Whitehall as a child,' she replied. 'There were horrible pictures and models of animals suffering through vivisection.

'Now, of course, we have more up-to-date propaganda in the window. But at the time I was horrified to learn that such things went on, and instinctively knew that it wasn't right. That's how it all started.'

Mrs Earp also belongs to the League Against Cruel Sports, the RSPCA and numerous animal welfare organisations, and because of her convictions, is a vegetarian.

But to get back to the union, 'Our Littlehampton branch is not as active as it used to be,' she told me.' Most of the members have grown older or moved away. And many younger people seem interested these days, but they haven't the time to devote to it. We used to have a thousand members but now we have about 500 and would like more.'

Lack of active helpers was why the Littlehampton branch had not held any fund-raising events lately, she explained.

In her presidential address, at the annual meeting, Mrs Earp told members, 'Vivisection is a sacrilegious abuse of sentient creatures who have as much right to their lives as we have to ours. The infamies of vivisection are a disgrace to our supposedly civilised nation, and it is the blackest of all black crimes being perpetrated against God and his Creation.'

She explained that the union was committed to the total abolition of vivisection. 'We cannot accept any measure which would exempt one species at the expense of another,' she said. 'That would be morally wrong.'

But she welcomed the recent reduction in experiments on live animals and the great advance in alternative humane and non-vivisectional methods of research. The 1972 figures, released late last year, showed a reduction of about half a million experiments on live animals. If the reduction continued at this rate, vivisection could be abolished in five years, she said.

The union was sponsoring scientists at several British universities, giving them annual grants and buying equipment to conduct non-vivisectional research. Many more scientists had indicated their willingness to transfer to non-vivisectional research if the necessary instruments and funds were made available to them by the Government.

(originally published in the Littlehampton Gazette, August 9, 1974)

Reproduced with thanks

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