The Fellowship of Life
By Margaret Lawson
Unchristian to kill animals for food?
Sir, - What is it that makes the Christian so reluctant to depart
from tradition, especially when the tradition is the slaughter of
animals for food?
No one who really thinks can deny that slaughter is cruel - from the
transport from field (if they have been fortunate enough to enjoy the
freedom of green fields instead of being cooped up in "factory farms"),
packed like (dead) sardines in lorries or holds of ships, to the
slaughterhouse for the bloody and fearsome deed of throat-cutting. And
yet the Christian, when faced with the issue, rushes to take refuge in
the Scriptures, saying that there is nothing therein urging them to rise
up and have done with cruelty and killing for food.
This is despite the Christian belief that Jesus, having taught right
human relationships, died to put an end to the sacrifice of animals for
the forgiveness of sins. What more natural than that the further
promised teaching of the Holy Spirit would extend Jesus' teaching to
include the animal creation, deploring their sacrifice in the name of
food, especially when it is just not necessary? Thousands with no
special church connection demonstrate this wider compassion daily by
refusing to eat the products of the slaughterhouse. So why not the
Soon Jesus' birthday will be celebrated once more, sadly at the cost
of the lives and suffering of millions of creatures. Surely there must
be Christians somewhere with enough caring and courage to make a stand
for the dumb creation, substituting a tasty nut roast or some other
simple nutritious dish for the corpse of an animal or bird, and finding
out for themselves the satisfaction of eating without causing suffering
or death to any living creature.
Return to Margaret Lawson: Letters
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