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



'The Universe' - letters (1988)

  1. No need to kill for food -Wilf Rainford (8/1/88)
  2. Cruelty not animals the dirty word - Mrs Nora Barry (15/1/88)
  3. Bible food for thought (x2) - A C Archer (22/1/88)
  4. Where bulls die in agony - Mr T G Malone (11/3/88)
  5. MP tethered by time - C Barnard (15/4/88)
  6. Points of view - Nora Barry (22/4/88)
  7. Points of view - Stanley Jones (27/11/88)

No need to kill for food

As a practising Catholic and vegetarian I would like to reply to the question and answer in 'Dear Anne' on November 6 relating to eating meat.

Over the course of five or six years our daughters, my wife and I "converted" gradually to becoming vegetarian, ie one who does not eat flesh, fish or fowl. People are attracted to vegetarianism for different reasons, but, like your reader, most because they feel it is not necessary to kill to live.

Tradition dies hard (especially with Catholics) but weren't we all, as children, persuaded to eat up our meat - it would make us strong - and weren't we all sad to be answered in the affirmative when we asked: "Was it a little lamb?"

In 1977 we opened our own vegetarian guest house and ran it for nine years. Many of our guests were surprised to learn of our Catholicism. Very, very few of them (apart from foreigners) were Catholics.

Isn't it a bit smug for Anne to say: "I would not accept that your vegetarianism is more Christian than my eating meat?"

Thou shalt not kill; "Oh, that only means humans."

Are you SURE - you read in the Bible: "Thou shalt not kill humans?"

Is it not more Christian to be compassionate, charitable, caring and peaceable or is it more Christian to kill God's living creatures?"

You won't wither away and die without flesh, fish or fowl but of course you've got to eat a balanced diet. That's not difficult these days. There is plenty of information from the many vegetarian recipe books and from the Vegetarian Society.

Wilf Rainford (8/1/88)

Cruelty not animals the dirty word

May I give full support to Richard Bocking's letter (The Universe, December 18) regarding the obscenity of vivisection, details of which are surrounded in a conspiracy of silence. We have those who will not divulge the horrific details and sadly, those who do not wish to know.

There are ladies who run coffee mornings, and those who drop money in collecting tins, without any idea of just what they are funding, and all under the comfortable veil of "research."

Many people really do think animals are put gently to sleep before and after painful experiments, so how do they think tranquilisers are tested, and we all know what they have done to the human race?

Bishop Agnellus Andrew said while speaking on this subject: "God must find the sin of cruelty the hardest of all to forgive."

Animals should not be a dirty word unmentioned in seminary or church, it is the cruelty towards them that is the dirty word.

Mrs Nora Barry (15/1/88)

Bible food for thought (x2)

Wilf Rainford and his family are entitled to eat what they like, of course (The Universe, January 8), but if they believe that vegetarianism does not involve killing they are mistaken.

The production of fruit, vegetables and grain commonly involves the killing of all sorts of "pests," not only insects but also birds, rabbits, deer (if they are not protected by sporting interests.) Storing crops involves killing rats, mice and birds.

"Thou shalt not kill" obviously does not forbid killing animals for food. In the same book, Exodus 12 requires the slaughter and eating of the Passover Lamb; while Leviticus 11 lists the animals which the Jews are allowed to eat.

Our Lord and his disciples ate the Passover Lamb; and he helped them to catch fish and cooked fish for them (John 21) and ate it himself (Luke 24, 42-43). Finally, St Peter was ordered to kill and eat all kinds of animals (Acts 10, 12-13).

Helen Gilmour

To kill is "to destroy life". Vegetation has life, so could Wilf Rainford (The Universe, January 8) or any other vegetarian, please explain to me why they can cheerfully consume vegetables, pulses etc but not meat?

Some comment on their attitude to locusts, tsetse flies and rats would also be much appreciated.

A C Archer (22/1/88)

Where bulls die in agony

Shortly there will be an anti-bloodsport motion tabled at a meeting of the European Parliament by Herr Gerhard Schmid.

I am saddened by the fact that cruelty to animals appears to be a regressive feature in countries where Roman Catholicism predominates. I would quote Spain, (bull-fighting and hideous so-called festivals), Ireland (coursing and hunting), the Philippines, (dogs slaughtered inhumanely for meat) and Italy (notorious for the trapping of migratory birds) as instances of this phenomenon.

I will describe briefly, an annual "festival" in Spain. At The Festival of the Bulls in Corla two or three bulls are driven through the streets. Dozens of men armed with blowpipes, line the route. The idea is to shoot as many darts into the bulls as possible. This causes the men, women and children, to cheer wildly as the bull bawls in agony.

This so-called festival is held in "honour" of St. John the apostle of love. The signal for the commencement of this hideous obscenity is the ringing of the bells of the Roman Catholic Church of San Juan.

The whole affair is a monstrous insult to Jesus Christ, and St John.

Mr T G Malone (11/3/88)

MP tethered by time

I was delighted to read of Catholic MP David Amess' Bill to protect horses and ponies from mistreatment.

The law must take action against people who neglect their animals. It's such a pity the RSPCA think Mr. Amess' Bill is likely to fail for lack of time.

C Barnard (15/4/88)

Points of view

May I give my full support to the Catholic MP David Amess and his Bill for the protection of horses. I trust he will start with the Grand National, this year's winner having been struck 20 times in the last few minutes of this cruel race.

Nora Barry (22/4/88)

Points of view

I was very pleased to read the article in the issue of November 13, "Be healthy and wise with organic foods". I am sure that under the providence of the Lord I have benefited from them myself.

The last paragraph of this article is especially important, with its emphasis on our need to reawaken our awareness of the sacramental quality of food and eating.

What I would wish to have been deleted is the reference to McCarrison's classic rat experiments in the 1920's, as if man's health depended upon animal experiments.

This is untrue. These are quite unnecessary, as animals are not like us, they suffer from different diseases.

The best proof of the benefit of organic foods is in the eating of them, by the state of health which is produced through them.

Stanley Jones (27/11/88)

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