The Fellowship of Life
Rev. Bob is right to emphasise that there's no reason why Christians
cannot extend their sphere of compassion to encompass all sentient
It would however also follow that "thy will be done..." cannot
possibly refer to the callous factory farms, or blood-splattered
abattoirs, that ultimately, consumer indifference creates.
You sacrifice nothing with a vegetarian diet, and nothing need be
sacrificed for you. The body is after all a temple of God, why make it a
South Wales Echo
From the South Wales Echo of 19th August 1993:
My sad tale of guilt and my dog by Rev Bob
Why was I more upset when my dog died than I was when my mother died?
And why should I feel guilty about such feelings?
After all, my poor mother died of senile dementia, and I was relieved
when I saw her breathe her last breath.
But Vicky, my ugly mongrel, whom I loved, had to be put down for
nipping the little boys who tormented her.
I felt it was the worst thing I'd ever done.
And now I have the problem all over again - I have the opportunity to
visit my cousins in Florida, and was very exited at the prospect, but
poor old Hydref, my present bitch, is dying of cancer, and my wife will
not consider leaving our faithful friend to die alone.
I could never join the millitant animal rights group who are likely
to blow up humans in the cause of justice for animals - that is barmy.
And as a thinking Christian I don't think I believe that animals have
souls. But my natural Christian humanity demands that I respect all
forms of life.
And life is such a miracle - there is no evidence that it exists
anywhere else in the universe.
But let's not be sentimental and hypocritical. I do eat meat, and
will continue to do so. I will continue to read books and newspapers,
which involve cutting down trees - another beautiful form of life I hold
in respect. But it is undoubtedly true that within nature we feed on
each other to survive, and somehow that is right.
Even within the Bible it was the Cedars of Lebanon which were used in
the construction of Solomon's Temple, and the fish from the sea of
Galilee which fed Jesus and the disciples.
Even so, given these realities of life, we are not exonerated from
giving our fellow creatures every respect - plants or animals.
During the last war we kept chickens - Rhode Island Reds and Light
Sussex. Every chicken had its name, and I remember how upset my sister
was during Christmas dinner when she was told she was eating Emily. Now
we just pick up a frozen lump from the supermarket.
It is not the death of animals, plants or humans that worries me - that is the lot of all of us. It is the sheer exploitation and lack of respect for life in any form that I find offensive.
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