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



'The Universe' - Debate (1995)

* End this 'faith on our own terms' - Frank Philips (22/1/95)
* Let's return to real world - Simone Crawley (29/1/95)
* Motivated by greed - Wanda Oberman (29/1/95)
* Ethic issue - Martin Evans (29/1/95)
* A welcome for animals in His kingdom - Joan Scowcroft (29/1/95)
* What about the unborn? - Norah Conway (5/2/95)
* Christians should act to stop these evil deeds - Wanda Oberman (12/2/95)
* Every living thing should be valued - Colin Pounder PhD (12/2/95)
* Condemn this sinful cruelty to animals - Jennifer Pothecary (9/7/95)
* Barbarism puts Church to shame - Wanda Oberman (9/7/95)
* Why the birds had to be shot - Margaret Parish (16/7/95)
* Inhumane hypocrite - Sylvia Peters (23/7/95)
* Terrible choice to make - H. Mason (30/7/95)
* Does the Church care for animals? - David P.J. Doble (31/12/95)

End this 'faith on our own terms'

Susan Griffiths' letter prompts the questions: has she not heard of Our Lord's words to the woman found in adultery. "Go and sin no more" and also, "You cannot serve two masters - God and mammon"?

Christina Cameron, UCM secretary in Wrexham, in the same issue of The Universe, is reported as having said: "If animals aren't in heaven then I don't want to go there." Is this not a great insult to the Holy Trinity? What muddled thinking. "Christianity on our own terms" seems to be on the increase among all Christian Churches.

The Father's will is for us to submit, completely to him, follow the teaching of Jesus, aided by being open to the work of the Holy Spirit.

Frank Philips (22/1/95)

Let's return to real world

I had flu over Christmas. Every evening, I gazed at the silhouette of the trees, standing out against the apricot and gold sky. The beauty of the sunset was breathtaking and filled me with joy.

Electric lighting has robbed us of four great sources of joy: the starry sky, the moonlight, the sunrise and the sunset.

We are part of nature, and we slot into it like a piece in a jigsaw puzzle. Yet, we choose to live in a man-made world.

The monks used to live out of doors. They worked in the fields or meditated or read in the monastery garden. Could we spend more time in the real world, the world which God has made? Could we, like Adam in the Garden of Eden, walk with God in the evening of the day?

Simone Crawley (29/1/95)

Motivated by greed

May Bocking of the Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare (The Ark) is right in pointing out that we have been campaigning against the export of live animals for food and all the cruelty involved for the past 20 years (The Universe, January 15).

Our campaigns have taken the form of reasoned argument and quiet persuasion in exposing the quite unnecessary cruelty involved in "factory farming".

The market economy is driven by profit and safeguarding animal welfare gives way to greed.

As Christians, we each have a responsibility to ourselves, our fellow humans and to all God's creatures. We have an individual responsibility to act with compassion and show respect to those who are weak and cannot speak for themselves and this includes all God's Creation.

Does not history show the terrible cruelties inflicted by the powerful exerting their will over the weak?

It is no argument for Catholic farmers to say that unless we continue to export calves to the continent, then the veal producers will get their calves from Eastern bloc countries and that would involve even more cruelty.

Cruelty is cruelty.

It is our complacency that allows these cruel practices to continue and brings about the incidences of violence that we have seen recently.

Wanda Oberman (29/1/95)

See Article & Editorial: 

Ethic issue

In the words of your editorial, "the export of live calves raises a host of ethical questions".

The greatest of these must be: why is it an apparent majority of our people are more concerned at alleged mistreatment of calves than about the continued slaughter of children in their mother's womb?

Martin Evans (29/1/95)

A welcome for animals in His kingdom

I would ask Frank Philips the same question he asked Susan Griffiths - has he not heard Our Lord's words?

For if he has ever read - and taken in - John's Apocalypse he could not accuse Christina Cameron of muddled thinking without having muddled thoughts in his own head.

Why do I say that with utter confidence?

The Apocalypse is difficult to understand, yet there are certain statements in it that are as clear as daylight, and chapter 21, verse 5 is one of them.

"And he who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' (These words I was bidden write down. words most sure and true)."

So John not only received the message that all things would be made new but he was told to record it, which obviously shows that it was meant for the world.

God says what he means and means what he says, and as he said: 'I make all things new"; he must have meant all things, and that could include animals and things that grow from the earth and live in the sea, as well as you and me.

So to Christina Cameron I would say, "Don't be doubtful, for they will be there." And I know priests who believe that, too."

Joan Scowcroft (29/1/95)

What about the unborn?

Thanks to Charles Moore for his article (The Universe, Jan 15). I agree with everything he says. Commendable as the protest is over the suffering of animals, why are so many blind to the suffering and killing of the unborn child?

Norah Conway (5/2/95)

Christians should act to stop these evil deeds

I must reply to Martin Evans' letter (Universe, Jan 29) on the ethical issues on the export of calves for intensive veal production and the matter of abortion.

He asked "why an apparent majority of our people are more concerned at the alleged mistreatment of calves than about the continued slaughter of children in their mother's womb".

I agree with him absolutely and emphatically that the slaughter of children in their mother's womb is wrong - I also think it is equally wrong to exploit God's creatures by deliberate cruelty for profit.

In highlighting the issue of animal cruelty, I want to make it absolutely clear that I am not promoting one cause at the expense of the other.

Both are wrong.

Edmund Burke said "all that is required for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing". Christians should be speaking out on these issues and for my part, I support both causes.

Wanda Oberman (12/2/95)

Every living thing should be valued

In this age of excuses, a dreadful dichotomy is creeping in to separate compassion from means.

Each week I long to respond in some material way to all the appeals in The Universe.

But God help me I cannot and I grieve. However, I can love, have compassion and pray.

It is a dangerous practice to begin separating living things into some order for consideration.

We may not have the material means to do much but each of us is a stream fed from an inexhaustible fountain of love, compassion and mercy.

The calves matter, the unborn matter, the little, the least and the lost matter. We need to revere the greatest gift - life.

If we begin to categorise the relative importance of things which live we adopt a slaughterhouse mentality. From which it is but a short step to indifference, cruelty and death camps.

Colin Pounder PhD (12/2/95)

Condemn this sinful cruelty to animals

There is a banner at Shoreham Harbour which speaks volumes: 'All that is needed for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing. Good people come and join us'.

I know the old chestnut will be thrown back to me that the Church is so busy with the problems of the world, that the problems of cruelty to animals take second place. I cannot agree, because concerned with the problems of cruelty to animals are usually people who have enough capacity for concern to be able to encompass compassion for animals and their fellow man.

The practice of exporting animals for slaughter is not only cruel but also total hypocrisy because the slaughter of animals by slitting their throats without previously stunning is banned in Britain and the practice of keeping calves in veal crates is banned in Britain, so how can it be legal to export animals to that fate?

The Church should condemn what is a sin of cruelty, but so far has remained horribly silent.

Jennifer Pothecary (9/7/95)

Barbarism puts Church to shame

What a tragedy that Vicki Moore has been so horribly injured in Spain by the very creature she was trying to help.

How ironic that while videoing the cruelty at the fiesta in the Spanish village of Coria she should be gored by a bull which had been deliberately tormented as part of the entertainment.

Vicki has been tireless in her courage in highlighting and exposing the abominable cruelty deliberately inflicted on animals as part of so called religious fiestas and we must all pray for her and her family at this worrying time.

How can the Catholic Church continue to sanction such barbaric disregard to God's creatures in the name of Christianity?

As a convert to the Catholic faith, I reel in horror at the way innocent animals are subjected to the same sort of cruelty that was once endured by the early Christians in Rome - all in the name of entertainment. Such barbarism is an absolute outrage and puts the Church to shame.

Wanda Oberman (9/7/95)

See Article: 

Why the birds had to be shot

It was disappointing to see The Universe join in the somewhat hysterical and one-sided account of the action taken by the parish priest of our church, by the (acknowledged) humane method used to tackle a problem caused by pigeons.

The birds, which roost in the very high spire, have been known to be a threat to hygiene for many years and have been removed before, perhaps in a less acceptable way than that used now.

No-one enjoys the necessity for carrying out unpleasant jobs, but this is not the way to treat a priest and certainly not one of the calibre of Fr Mullen: this sort of report is unworthy of a Catholic newspaper.

Margaret Parish (16/7/95)

See Article: 

Inhumane hypocrite

I read an article in The Universe about a priest, a man of God, who took it upon himself to have 70 pigeons destroyed in a most wicked and inhumane way for daring to perch on God's house.

There is an answer to the problem.

Cover the church roof with fine wire about 4" above the building - no bird will settle in the future.

The priest sounds like a person that stands in the pulpit and sings, All Things Bright and Beautiful. What a hypocrite.

Sylvia Peters (23/7/95)

Terrible choice to make

How much I agree with Margaret Parish (The Universe, July 16). I feel very sorry for the priest of the said parish who must have had a terrible choice to make to have the birds destroyed.

I can't help wondering if the same number of abortions had been carried out on that day (and most probably was) would there have been the same outcry? I think not.

Come on, let's get our priorities right.

H. Mason (30/7/95)

Does the Church care for animals?

Living near Brightlingsea, I have witnessed at first hand the suffering inflicted upon sheep and calves whilst being exported.

It is well documented that there are many other aspects of cruelty dealt out to animals by humans. It is interesting to note that Catholic countries are top of the league in animal cruelty.

My question is a simple one: why does the Catholic Church, which teaches love and compassion, condone animal cruelty by remaining silent on these issues?

David P.J. Doble (31/12/95)

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