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

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'Catholic Herald' Debate (1980)Letters

Daft vegetarians

Yvonne Phillipson begs the Church to back her in her fight for vegetarianism. If she wants to persuade anyone that vegetarianism is a tenet of Christianity, she's got a hard fight.

I am sure many saints have eaten no meat, though I can't think of an example. The Cure d'Ars ate mouldy potatoes, but our Mother the Church has not enjoined us to follow suit.

The big obstacle to abstinence from flesh as a doctrine of the Catholic faith, is that its founder did not practice it.

We have just been through Easter week and have been reminded how the Jews were commanded by God to kill and roast the paschal lamb. Our Lord, as a good Jew, would have tucked in with the rest.

At the presentation in the Temple, Our Lady and St Joseph brought doves to be sacrificed. The Apostles were fishermen, which Yvonne Phillipson says is cruel. St Paul advises against eating strangled or sacrificed meat, but none other. And what about the dream of all animals let down in a blanket, to show that even pigs are fit food for Christians?

The Sacrament of the Eucharist was founded at Passover time. Wine was used by God to turn into his Body. That refutes the people who say alcohol is forbidden. In the sacrament we eat Christ's Body.

No one forces Catholics to eat meat. On Fridays we used not to, but that was for God's sake, not to save the little animals. Yvonne Phillipson says all life is sacred. I suppose it is, but that does not mean you cannot kill it. What on earth does she eat? All flesh is grass, and even grass is alive. We must either all starve, or kill at least plants.

It might not be a good idea for all to live on beefsteak, as this is a wasteful means of nutrition. If we ate a bit less meat, and ate cereals instead, there would be more food for the world's hungry. But the real cause of world hunger, is as ever, greed, wars, politics and foolishness.

I like meat but I do not like cruelty to animals and one does not entail the other. Vegetarians are daft. But the Church does not tell them to stop. Nor does it tell me to knock off the lamb chops, thank God. Let us all start loving our neighbour and getting to heaven together, and leave our neighbours free to breed their cats or fatten their calves.

Miranda Scrope
(11/4/80)

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