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

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Letters

Is this the final Boxing Day hunt?

Sir, Friday is St. Stephen's Day, when by tradition the Church recalls the death of the first Christian martyr. It is also the busiest day of the year for hunting with hounds. Approximately 300 hunts will take place on Friday. Without intervention, by this time next year between 15,000 and 20,000 more foxes will have been killed by hunting.

As Christians we believe that how we treat the rest of creation is every bit as much a question of morality as unemployment or homelessness. We also remember the example of the 8th century French bishop, St. Hubert, who was prompted by his Christian vocation to renounce deerhunting as a sport.

We welcome the Boxing Day publication of A Christian Case Against Hunting by the Christian Socialist Movement which represents an important contribution to this ethical debate.

We recognise that the Government has many pressing issues to deal with but we hope and pray that time will be found for legislation to ensure that this will be the last Boxing Day when the savage and terrifying death of an animal is treated as a sport.

Yours Faithfully,
Alwyn Cambrensis
Olu Abiola
John Austin Baker
Maxwell Craig
Richard Dover
Colin Hulme
Dominic Reading
Michael Roffen
Donald Soper
c/o Christian Socialist Movement

Sir, I was saddened to be asked by some of my fellow Christians to add my name to a letter to you as publicly joining part of the movement to stop foxhunting. I have not done so.

I should have thought that on any showing we have a prior duty to prevent stress and suffering by domesticated rather than wild animals, since wild species in the course of nature have been subject to predation, while domestic species have not.

So I would pay more attention to the predominantly urban abolitionists of foxhunting if they gave priority in their publicity to the stress suffered by millions of hens in batteries rather than the comparatively few foxes in the hunting field.

But then battery hens are shielded from the public gaze and what is more they provide urban multitudes with cheap eggs and poultry while foxed do not. And what about the countless turkeys consumed over Christmas?

+Hugh Montefiore

Letters to The Times dated 26 December 1997 .

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