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

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Letters

Animals

As Christmas approaches, an almost traditional feature of recent years has been the appeal to our better nature by animal rights groups to extend our goodwill towards other animals, specifically by not eating them. As an aversion to violence and bloodshed belong to the very essence of the Christian spirit, perhaps the Church should be leading the way on this issue.

There is a very deep-seated injunction in the human heart not to kill, as displayed quite practically by many of the eastern religions for centuries, through diets that respect the fact that other animals value their lives far beyond their utility to us.

True Christianity, with its qualities of love, pity, kindness and compassion, cannot stop short of other species any more than it can be rationed to a few close friends. The fact that non-human animals are endowed with the same capacity for pain, pleasure and love of life as ourselves is criteria enough that we should respect their interests.

Whilst I'm not assuming that the Church condones everything it doesn't object to, or that a vegetarian priesthood would automatically inspire a free-thinking society to change the habit of recent generations overnight, it remains sad that peace on earth is currently manifested by an escalation of our war against other species.

Jesus' sacrifice should have put an end to all that.

South Wales Echo
(6/12/93)

Christians can eat meat

What a sad, misguided letter from J.M. Gilheany concerning animals at Christmas time.

Unfortunately, he totally misunderstands the concept of human/animal relationships as far as the Scriptures and therefore Christianity is concerned, and the emotive language and reasoning somehow suggests that we are related or akin to animals, whereas, from a Christian point of view, the Bible clearly states that Man was created in a unique way, and that animals are a lower species than we are.

Furthermore, it is clear that certain animals are given for meat and this view is supported by New Testament teaching. Mankind has been eating meat of one sort or another since time began, not simply over 'recent generations'. Vegetarianism is not Scriptural, although I accept many Christians prefer that lifestyle.

I agree that cruelty to animals should not be the characteristic of a Christian, but let's get it into perspective. Some animals are given for meat. You cannot water down Christian teaching to suggest otherwise.

South Wales Echo
(20/12/93)

Respect all living things

The controversy which surrounds flesh eating within the Christian tradition is about a far reaching principle of ethics, rather than a quarrel over ambiguous scriptures which both condemn and condone it.

To close our hearts and minds to the injustice suffered by so-called 'meat animals' is to blunt our finer moral feeling and ignore the fundamental spiritual teachings of Christ himself.

Even the most elementary experience of biology reveals that we are indeed akin to the non-human animals with whom we share the world.

To the human soul there is a duty to be as loving in our stewardship of other sentient animals as God was in creating them, for through their well being and happiness can be observed the glory of God.

Scripture can, after all, be used to justify almost anything. A more positive approach would be to draw attention to the fact that vegetarianism benefits not only the health and spiritual peace of mind of the practitioner, but also the other beings with whom we share life on earth.

The abattoir is an insult to the author of all life, and has no place in any religion based on reason, compassion and love.

South Wales Echo
(24/12/93)

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