The success of Watership Down as a book and film, and the
latest best-seller, The Plague Dogs by Richard Adams, prompt
me to ask about Catholic reaction to such championship of animals
against the excesses of men. Do we, as Catholics, have no religious
feelings at all about God's creatures, who share our world and give
silent worship by their very existence? Catholic laity who operate
in the field of animal welfare are regarded by their priests as
eccentric, and treated with contempt.
The practice of vivisection and unnecessary experimentation on
living animals in laboratories evokes no protest from the Catholic
Church. The detestable system of factory farming has its Catholic
exponents, even including religious communities of monks and nuns.
Catholic indifference to animal welfare is surely a subject which
needs to reach the agenda of the National Pastoral Congress in 1980.
The congress must be ready to open itself to a wide spectrum of
interest and opinion, and to show the Church as indeed circumdata
Fr. Kevin D. Daley
Chairman, Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare