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

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Letters

Why do we lack compassion for animals?

It is a sad reflection on prevailing Christendom, when the humanitarian advocacy of vegetarianism is usually met with a callous dismissal from our churches.

At a time when reasoned and compassionate understanding of animals and their interests is increasing in most areas of society, there are still far too many Christians reaching for the Bible in an attempt to justify needless bloodletting.

I would go further, and state that many of my fellow Christians are attempting to pervert the course of much desperately needed justice! From time to time, any tradition which is honest with itself, needs to reflect upon its accepted standards:

Do we largely countenance and contribute to a widespread and very real form of violence and oppression?

Is it counter-productive to evangelism, in the eyes of those contemplating a spiritual path, when compassion and integrity appear more consistent and widespread within other faiths and even secular philosophies?

Can it not be said that a religion is largely meaningless, when love is absent (I Corinthians: 13)?

I have little doubt that the above will provoke many, further biblical quotes. I am more concerned about the motivation of those who feel morally threatened by the concept of an awakened conscience, to traditionally unheard cries of the innocent. If we are to be sincere as heralds of a more peaceable age, then let's not resist a perfectly practical, selfless and above all; beneficial spirit of change.

Our lifestyles contain the power to bring about healing or harm, depending on the choices we make. In the last year, 850 million animal lives were pitilessly taken in UK slaughterhouses.

We have played a sizeable part and to our shame, continue to do so.

Catholic Herald
(3/2/01)

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