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


God's universe


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 varietate.

Fr. Kevin D. Daley
Chairman, Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare

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