The Fellowship of Life
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
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.
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