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



We must take moral stance on animals

Mr -- (The Universe, May 27) has the temerity to suggest that Catholics campaigning against animal exploitation should "re-examine their Christian faith".

In fact, he eloquently presents the traditional Catholic case for not recognising injustice inflicted upon animals whilst human suffering remains the "priority". In other words, as Christians, we should put our own interests first at all times!

A rationale which has permitted the horrors inherent in bloodsports, vivisection and slaughter, to flourish under Christendom's appalling stewardship over centuries. There have been noble and unfortunately notable exceptions.

In the 19th century both the RSPCA and the Vegetarian Society were founded by Christian clerics and those who had fought for the abolition of slavery, including Wilberforce. Cardinal Newman was inexorably opposed to violent experimentation on animals, whose innocent suffering he emphatically identified with that of Christ's. For their unfettered sense of justice, these humanitarians would doubtless face vilification from sizeable elements of today's Christian community.

It is this aspect of our faith that is long overdue for re-examination, if we are to acquire a credible moral stance, before an increasingly humane secular society.

To imply that animals are afforded greater protection than humans is disingenious, when legislation permits them to be forcefed weedkiller, scalded, blinded and otherwise mutilated in the "places of infamy" to which Mr - refers. These institutions may be out of sight and far from the minds and hearts of a grotesque number of Catholics, but all innocent cries are heard by God.

The Universe

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