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
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
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
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)
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.
See: 'British Catholics apathetic over animal rights'