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


The shameful plight of tortured creatures

I was shocked to read, August 3, Religious Perspectives on the Use of Animals in Science, that there had been a minimal response to this symposium from British clergy.

As an ordinary Irish Catholic, I have long been aware of the Church's indifference where sub-human animals are concerned. It is a phenomenon which must mystify many decent individuals. After all, man does not constitute the whole creation, and according to at least one passage in Scripture, we really should behave differently.

With your kind indulgence may I quote Ecclesiastes 2 v. 18-22:

I said in my heart with regard to the sons of men that God is testing them to show them that they are but beasts. For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity. All go to the one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.

Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down to the earth?

Miss Eileen Ryan, ex-SRN

Catholic Herald

Was the National Anti-Vivisection Society really surprised to find that British Catholics are 'apathetic' when it comes to animal rights? They are apathetic over the rights of the unborn, the handicapped and many, many other issues which mean they would have to do something positive.

How many have written to their M.P.'s in response to the Warnock Committee findings, how many have written with regard to the Abortion Act?

The majority are happy to let the minority get on with it, constantly hoping that they won't be put in the position of the Good Samaritan, who had to make a decision one way or the other.

Christ wasn't using empty threats when he said there would be eternal punishment for those who ignore the hungry, the thirsty, the sick. . . the unborn, the handicapped, the old, the embryo being prepared for experimentation, the aborted baby in the hospital sluice (Matthew 25:40-46)

Tony Hornby

Your headline "British Catholics apathetic over animal rights" does not surprise me as the majority of those same Catholics are quite supine about the deprivation of rights of unborn children under the Abortion Act.

I hope that their concern about experimentation with animals will be reflected with overwhelming vigour over the threat of experimentation with embryos - human children - postulated in the Warnock Report. Indignation is not enough - we must bombard our MPs (and others concerned) before this Report is debated in Parliament in the Autumn.

First and foremost, the Hierarchy must now mobilise national moral opinion (not just Catholics) into a positive campaign, which will leave our legislators in no doubt about our determined opposition to any attempt to legalise these horrifying proposals.

Michael Minford

See: 'British Catholics apathetic over animal rights'

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