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


Slow torture down on the farm

By Derek Sangster

From The Christian Herald dated May 31, 1986

Some weeks ago we wrote about the factory farming sow stall in which thousands of pregnant sows are tied down to prevent natural movement.

Now we take a look at the battery hen and the veal calf, which are similarly confined in order to produce maximum profit. But before going on let's be sure of the Christian basis for protest.

We protest not because animals have 'rights' (the unscriptural basis of the animal rights groups, who only rate man as a super-animal), but because man, made in the image of God, has great and grave responsibility for the animal world - indeed for the whole creation. We are answerable to God for any exploitation (See The Human Use of Animals by Richard Griffiths, Grove booklet 86).

The European Convention for Farm Animal Welfare requires animals to have sufficient room to turn round, groom themselves and stretch, and 90 per cent of us agree, according to a National Opinion Poll in 1983.

So what is the official space allowed for a battery hen? Fold this A3 newspaper in half and you can see the space for one bird in the grey area of type. Veal calves stand in wooden crates in the dark and are fed an unnatural liquid diet.

For years Compassion In World Farming have been campaigning for change, and if you write to them they will send you a free copy of their magazine Agscene. (CIWF has no connections with violent animal conservationists).

The people to write to are your MP and your Euro MP. Don't be put off by stonewalling replies.

Opposition to concern about factory farming comes in Parliament and in the EEC from the farmers' and landowners' lobby, but many farmers are themselves embarrassed by a cruel system which they have to stick with to stay in business.

Reproduced with thanks.

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