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


'Methodist Recorder' debate (1985-86) Letters

Price too high

I read David Wigley's letter "Responsible Choices" (January 2) with a sense of despair. Just to answer one or two points:

Firstly, there is an infinite number of cosmetics and shampoos on the market made with natural, unharmful ingredients, so there is no need to squirt neat shampoo into the eyes of rabbits causing untold suffering and blindness as rabbits have no tear ducts (the infamous Draize test).

Secondly, Mr Wigley, seeking to justify medical experiments, quotes the Thalidomide episode. Surely he knows that Thalidomide was tested on animals and passed as safe. We all know the terrible results of that 'safe' drug when taken by humans.

Finally, Mr Wigley is thankful that we will all be safer and healthier (a debatable point) because of animal experiments. I'm afraid the price is too high to allow for too much thankfulness.

I hope Mr Wigley is in the minority. If not, God help us - because nobody else can.

Sylvia Baker

David Wigley's reply to the Rev Peter Mundy's letter expressing concern for animal welfare would seek to make a case for continuing millions of experiments on living animals every year.

Can this be justified? We have so many drugs on the market that it must be impossible for any doctor to keep up with the flood of information relating to them. There are already enough shampoos, cosmetics, weedkillers etc. We do not need any more.

Why should animals have to suffer in order that companies can boost their profits? In any case animal tests do not guarantee safety. Different species can react very differently to the same test substance.

We need to be reminded of the theological basis of our attitude to the animal creation, which must rest, as the Conference statement on the treatment of animals says, 'on the concept of stewardship rather than lordship, must accept the implications of the reality of the interdependence of life on our planet and must express the conviction that creation is good.'

G E Turner

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