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


Letters By Margaret Lawson


How often when we deplore the slaughter of animals for food do we hear the cry "As long as it's humanely done" and so T. Martin (January Post). Has she ever thought of all the thousands of years up to this century when there was no such thing as humane slaughter? What a contradiction in terms - one might as well speak of "humane murder" and although there may be some attempts at easing the animals' suffering, there is no denying that humane slaughter is a red herring, leading away from the high ideal of not killing for food, a sop to the conscience of meateaters. Bob Pinkus is so right when he says it does not make sense for vegetarians to work for humane slaughter. It simply is an attempt to whitewash.

Furthermore, how can T. Martin be sure that the meat she purchases is from humanely slaughtered animals? This subject to electrical and mechanical breakdown as well as man's greed, callousness and laziness, and perhaps simply physical weakness. Only recently we learnt of sheep being slaughtered in Salisbury without the humane killer simply because the slaughtermen were on piece-work. Is Miss Martin aware that the hindquarters of animals which have been ritually slaughtered are sold on the open market? It might also be an illuminating exercise to investigate slaughter methods in countries which export meat to us.

So, Miss Martin, the only way to be sure you are kind to sheep would seem to be not to eat them.

Margaret Lawson Hon. Secretary.
The Fellowship of Life
The Vegetarian
April 1976

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