The Fellowship of Life
By Margaret Lawson
Man and the Beasts
Dr. Barclay must be congratulated on his thoughtful and much-needed article on "Man and the Beasts" which will surely do much to arouse Christians to their responsibility to the animal creation.
It was especially good to see his quotations from Isaiah 11:9 and Hosea 2: 18, and the questions he raises at the end of the article. For the Christian there is another important question, viz. Genesis 1: 29, "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat", as well as "Thou shalt not kill." It is obvious from these three or four quotations alone (there are more) that a diet that does not depend on killing and cruelty is the highest and purest one to which man can aspire - all else are intermediate steps towards such a pure and compassionate diet.
Too often when one deplores the slaughter of animals for food one
hears the cry "As long as it is humanely done", or "It seems cruel but
it is necessary." This may, or may not be right for the uncommitted, but
the committed Christian has no choice. Is he not urged in a well-known
hymn to "rise-up, have done with lesser things" - the lesser things in
this instance being killing and cruelty? Vegetarianism is no new cult -
it has been practised all down the ages and those who practise it show
far more compassion than those who do not.
Once we make up our minds that we shall no longer kill to eat - other
cruelties fall into place - e.g. vivisection (for cosmetics, drugs, food
and even household goods), factory farming, circuses, bloodsports, pets
and trapping for furs.
The Fellowship of Life, of which I am privileged to be the Secretary,
whilst not an animal welfare society as such, although in sympathy with
the work of animal societies generally, believes in union with God and
the one-ness of All Creation, and that the responsibility of all
believers is much more fundamental than simply working for better
conditions for animals, admirable and necessary as it is, and therefore
aims at teaching and uniting Christians primarily in a new way of life
which is beneficial not only to the animals, but to the hungry Third
World, the environment, and themselves.
Life and Work
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