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

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'Catholic Herald' Debate (1980)Letters

Hunting scapegoats

I have to disagree very strongly with your columnist Patrick O'Donovan with regard to his article on Bloodsports, in particular with regard to the Royal Family.
 
Mr O'Donovan says and I quote "Animals were created for our use...". This I do not dispute - but in this context we must see that they were also left to us in trust - to care for, to treat with compassion and justice - in particular justice, for animals too have their rights - God given rights.
 
The most essential right being the right to live. This right is denied the majority of foxes before they reach two years of age, in fact a fox is lucky if it lives that long.
 
We owe our allegience to our Royal family and they in turn have a duty to set an acceptable standard of behaviour to the people of this country.
 
The inference that hunting is the sport of the rich is mis-conceived as is the notion that it is the less privileged who are opposed to it. People from all walks of life participate in this ritual slaughter and the same applies to those who are opposed to it.
 
It is our duty to be compassionate to all creation, but especially to the defenceless who cannot argue the case for themselves. If it is true that the Church is inconclusive in its attitude towards animals, then I hope and trust that its attitude will change in defence of all God's creatures.
 
Mrs Bridget Parkin
(17/10/80)
 
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Patrick O'Donovan (October 3) detests the antics of the "antifoxhunters." We are anti-foxhunters for we are not anti-fox nor do we hunt. Nor do we make Prince Charles and Princess Anne scapegoats. We do deplore the fact that their indulgence in a sport which is disapproved of by 66 per cent of Britons (59 per cent of them Conservatives) tends to give a spurious credibility to hounding an animal to its death for fun.

 
Gwendolen Barter
(17/10/80)
 
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I am quite sure the late Bishop Cashman was a man of vast honour as Patrick O'Donovan says (October 3), but it was not his honour that prevented him from denying the story of his shooting activities. The Bishop's words were (as far as I remember) 'Having a bird in my sights is the nearest thing to heaven.' I was the reporter concerned and I had a tape recording of the interview/.

 
Kevin Mayhew
(17/10/80)

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