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



What would Christ say about vegetarians?

I wish to commend both the Bishops' Conference in advancing The Call of Creation and Deborah Jones of the Catholic Study Circle for Animal welfare, for raising an important aspect of its perception amongst many environmentalists.

The publication recently received much favourable coverage throughout the Christian press. One particular and stark comment, however, from an Anglican cleric, would epitomise a flaw which is so often characteristic of the Christian response to 'green' issues: "It seems some people's version of Matthew 28:19 reads 'Go into all the world and save the planet's resources, recycling them in the name of..."

At the other end of the rhetorical spectrum, a Christian vegetarian author once posited: "True, there is no 'Thou shalt not eat meat' in the Bible but neither is there a 'Thou shalt not smoke crack cocaine' ."

A contemporary Christian will draw his or her own Biblical conclusions, usually from specific scriptures, wider themes and their inevitable consequences. As a vegetarian, I'm inclined to regard the slaughterhouse as a self-evident falling short of core spiritual values; pertaining to Love, Mercy and Peace.

I am unable to envisage a 21st century, western incarnation of Jesus Christ, as having any less humanitarian awareness towards animal lives, than say, Paul McCartney, without disrespect intended to either.

Fellow Christians will differ and concur. At the very least it is fair to present the ethical vegetarian case as a modern ascetic imperative.

The Call of Creation is certainly a welcome, illuminating and essential contribution to ongoing Christian thought on the state and future of the planet. It is also heartening to receive an affirmation of the value of creation, in itself and for its own sake.

At the same time, there will remain a due sense of pity, for countless innocents who continue to die miserably; beyond the riches and implications of Catholic spiritual proclamation.

Catholic Times

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