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


'Catholic Herald' Debate (1980)Letters

Compassion in action

We are one family so vegetarians are not so daft. If Miranda Scrope, April 11, is unable to understand vegetarianism on grounds of animal suffering possibly she might be able to view it from grounds of practicality for there is another population explosion - that of the animals deliberately bred by man for food, for man can get all the food he needs much more economically from plants.

While millions of the human family starve we have an over abundance of food, yet more than half the world's fertile land is reserved for the needs of an immense food-animal population which now outnumbers him and returns in the form of meat, milk and eggs, while the animals imprisoned in intensive units (factory farms) are fed on food much of which is imported from countries where the populations are underfed and even starving. We need to concentrate on intensive horticulture - tree foods for soya beans produce seven times as much protein per acre as milk.

There is a strain on the water reserves also for it takes 25 times as much water to produce a pound of meat as a pound of vegetables.

As Christians we should consider these things for all the great religions and philosophies have extolled the virtues of mercy, pity and compassion. The exploitation and slaughter of animals for food which can be obtained by other means clearly violates these principles the more so in view of the cruelties of modern farming methods and the starving millions and God's human family.

Mary Rowley

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