Over the years books on animal abuse have been written by dedicated
people which have slowly generated an increased awareness of animal
suffering. Then, in 1969 when John Vyvyan wrote his two great
works on the history of the anti-vivisection movement (In Pity and In
Anger, and The Dark Face of Science; Pub: Michael Joseph) it
seemed to set alight this smouldering energy and brought new books into
existence one after the other in quick succession. Indeed, one has only
to open the many animal society magazines to find that one is confronted
with Review after Review on these books, making it an effort to keep
pace with them all.
But, how many of these books find their way onto book stall or gift
counters in Cathedrals or Churches? I have been disturbed and saddened
when walking through to find how barren and devoid these great places of
worship are in respect to the plight of animals - no prayer - no small
altar or plaque set aside...nothing! Animals do not exist in a Church.
The Dean, I am informed, is the person to contact and the one
responsible for choice of material to be selected and placed for sale.
But when, over the years on countless occasions I have written or asked
them personally if they would kindly take or display a special book or
pamphlet, I have, with only a few exceptions, received time and time
again the same reply from each - words more or less to the same
semblance... "...we only put out what we think will sell" or "...the
Church Council would not approve..." or "...no time...pressures of the
Church and human problems come first..." or "...we only put out
religious material..." (I presume by that, they infer that pain and
suffering of an animal by the hand of Man isn't included as a religious
issue) and even a Bulletin produced by the Anglican Society for the
Welfare of Animals was rejected on grounds of "...lack of space..." or
"...the congregation would not like the pictures of vivisection put
around in a Church as it would distress them." In fact one member of a
congregation reprimanded her Vicar and said it was DISGUSTING to put
such stuff in God's House...Sadly the Vicar said that he would not do it
These books should and MUST reach the Church book stall or gift shop.
Many visitors and foreigners do pass through when on holiday. PLEASE may
I urge everyone, especially those living in Cathedral towns to seek out
the Dean and endeavour with kindness to enlist his help and, above all,
to try and claim his interest and concern to get the animal books
circulated onto the book stalls, or even donate a copy, no matter how
hard the expenses, and kindly request him to first read it and then to
place "on sale".
I know it will be difficult for those who are new to the work, or
have not as yet approached the Church, but please don't be put off with
a polite refusal at the first attempt, or even when you do not receive a
reply...just try and try again and again... but don't give up. The
pressure must go on aiming all the time to get the very essence of these
books to permeate inside these places of worship. A hard task...so
many doors closed.
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