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


A Christmas Message

By Miss M. Beatrice Burtt

From The Animals' Champion (October-December 1970)

At this sacred season of the year, hearts and minds are lifted to a consciousness of rejoicing and anticipation in Thanksgiving for the sacred Festival of Christmas in the fullest significance of its meaning and purpose. It is a time when we listen for the Angelic songs, the Archangel Gabriel sounding through the Silver Trumpet the coming of the King of Glory, a reign of Peace. We are able at this time, to sense the vibrations and intonations of the approaching atmospheres of joy, hope and triumph in the great mystery which lies behind this sacred Festival. We seek to celebrate in consciousness the coming of a great event which should have saved the world, the coming of a Prince of Peace, the descent of a God to earth, the manifestation of a Divine Love so Mighty, so Majestic and yet so Lowly as to be infinitely near to human hearts in intimate consciousness.
Christmas is a sacred Festival celebrated all over the world, in every home and village, in town and country and in the great cities of every continent, in great Ecclesiastical centres, schools, colleges and in the village churches.
Great Oratorios are sung in every land and language, and High Mass is celebrated with much Pageantry and Ritual, Adoration and Worship for the coming of a Reign of Peace, Love, Compassion and Infinite Tenderness.
Great business houses exploit the sacred Festival and its rising tide of human emotion and unconscious deep Thanksgiving, making of this time a commercial carnival of the material nature, bringing down the Spiritual Festival to a material level.
In the symbolism of the decorated home, the evergreen ritual of recurring remembrance and celebration, and in the heart of the tiny child there is still wonder and a sense of awe and beauty as they gather round the "Tree of Life" with its reflected lights and colour and the mysterious gifts glistening in silver radiance.
Some Christmas Cards hold the vision of a manger depicted in sublime simplicity with the tiny creatures drawing magnetically out of the woods and fields to worship at the shrine of beauty and purity, assured of their safety within the stable, whilst the patient oxen gaze with docile awe upon the wonder of Life and Light incarnate, taking their place in the great Redemptive scheme.
Yet, at this time of great redemptive promise, when Life, Light and Love descend upon the earth in human consciousness, sufficient to bring the urge to rejoice and give thanks for a source of hope and security in the great Realities, it is the time of great darkness for the innocent creatures of our family on earth.
With the atmospheres of the earth darkened by the tragic cries of the creatures, it is as though a great wave of violence had descended, a tragic crime deliberately wrought upon the earth, a great war declared upon the innocent, the inhuman slaughter of millions of sentient lives as these lives are taken from them to make carnival for the celebration of a great Cosmic event which was to bring peace to the world and to all the children, human and sub-human upon this planet.
The blindness and inhumanity of man stands revealed in all its horror when millions of innocent sentient creatures are sacrificed, suffering as they do fear, pain and dread, their lifestream poured forth to satisfy the fallen tastes and desires of men and women at this time, the untamed and uncivilised savage elements still within the consciousness of an unthinking, so-called human society.
The gaping wounds, the tortured limbs, cry out to the Heavens for mercy and pity. Even the birds whose songs mingle with the great symphony of nature in the Heavens, are shot down and their joyous flight curtailed, filling the air now with their minor lament of sorrow, their winged flight giving joy to man, brought down or caged in imprisonment.
The blood veil over the earth at this time was seen by Dr. Anna Kingsford in her deep sensing of all that does happen at times like these in preparation for what should be a Christ Mass of rejoicing, Peace, and Hope.
War itself will never cease whilst man makes war upon the creatures as he does in this Festival time.
So much for the appalling sacrifices for the celebration of the Sacred Festival. But what of the sacrifices which are shut away and hidden in the physiological laboratories? What of the untold millions of sentient creatures that are killed - or worse still - tortured in the so-called name of science in the belief that such sacrifices are necessary for the establishment of the health of mankind?
Let us understand clearly that there is no advance in the science of health or life or any other level of human functioning by the breaking of moral laws - not ever - for there are immutable laws by which, if we obey them, we become immune to disease and disaster, and to disobey these laws must inevitably bring resultants of a tragic nature, as seen in the ever increasing number of diseases, hospitals, mental homes, keeping pace as they do with the 4,000,000 experiments each year on live creatures. It would seem that the laws of compensation ever outwork themselves.
To our readers there is little need to write of the exploitation of wild life in this and other lands, the transportation of glorious birds and wild animals captured for sacrifice - monkeys taken from their forest land and packed closely like goods, transported through the air to these physiological laboratories for experimentation. Also what of the circus animals and their training? If it is proved that this is done without cruelty, it is still an unnatural life exploited for commercial gain, and in the wild life - the scene of hunting, shooting, and now vandalism. We are aware also of the cruelty of blood sports - hunting and shooting, and now even a section of the youth of the nation are deliberately indulging in such vandalism as the torturing of the wild life even in the urban Parks.
But let us rejoice too in the knowledge that the scene is changing, for enlightened men and women are becoming informed and aware of the tragic picture above, aware too of the appalling truth that this cruelty and slaughter is entirely unnecessary. We do not need to take the life of the creatures that we might live, for it is proved that we are able to build the new race of men and women on the abundant provision of nature giving an immunity to disease and destruction of human tissue. It is seen that we have wasted centuries of time and millions of lives experimentally and entirely unnecessarily.
There is a rising volume of thought all over the world, a positive consciousness towards a redemptive creative love in all its sacrificial passion of being to clear away this evil shadow upon the earth, a rising volume of powerful thought moving as a mighty Fulcrum, lifting away the evil and tragedy, the strain upon humanity, that we and the creatures may live again in a purified redemptive atmosphere, "All life is one." This great mystery of life is in the creatures as in man for the creatures are highly organised, sensitive and sentient beings, and part of the great organic octave of creation.
Illustrious names known to us all - Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer, Dr. Robert Perks, Dr. Beddow Bayly, and all the great company of Poets, Seers and Messengers of this and other ages - Shelley, Browning, Whitman, all declare in unmistakable language born of experience, scientific learning and vision, that "all life is one" and in strong declamatory utterance "These things shall be, a loftier race shall rise."
Can we conceive of a world set free from cruelty, callous indifference, fear and dread? A world of peace, the blood veil lifted, a reign of compassion and pity, even of joy - the song of the birds again as they make their winged flight without fear, upwards, their songs joining with the Angelic choiring "Glory to God in the Highest" and the "Cattle upon a Thousand Hills" at peace, the whole earth cleared of the tragedy of torture and despair.
Men and women set free from blood guiltiness of a mistaken practice, the human race once more assuming its Divinity as "sons of God" who is utterly compassionate, all Love and sublimely pitiful. A God as sung in the great oratorios, "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the ever-lasting Father, the Prince of Peace"; the Good Shepherd depicted in sacred art with the Lamb carried in His arms.
We need in these days a glorious crusade of manifesting Love in all its power and strength, a mighty wave of great creative effort to bring in this Reign of Peace, not only for the human race, but for the creatures within our care. It is only then that we can sing in deep Thanksgiving, "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel."
The world is changing before our eyes, we are living through a most significant and tremendously important epoch.
History, is being made rapidly; old conditions are being swept away; there are advances everywhere and on every level of human life, art, science, medicine, exploration of space. Is not now the time when we could sweep away the experimental laboratories of vivisection and replace them by clinical research and investigation of a high order, extensive clinical observations re-established free from the hells of blood, terror, torture and despair, the vivisectors themselves freed from the diabolical atmospheres, atmospheres far more terrible than the Infernos of Dante?
Man himself despite the wonders of science remains the unexplored mystery of the individuation of universal life and consciousness. We need to study man in all his complex and highly evolved constitution as a physical, mental and spiritual being and approach him with some sense of reverence and responsibility.
The physicians of the future must be the physiological physicians - the priest-physicians, undertaking the clean, clear clinical research into the causes of disease and despair, the hidden causes of conflict. There is arising in our midst a body of men and women, the true physicians, priests, seers with illumined understanding, deep intuitive penetration, able to diagnose the burdens imposed upon human and creature life, ready to abandon the old worn-out devastating practices. "The light of knowledge in their eyes" a new open purified atmosphere in which to work, bringing as it must deeper wisdom, greater clarity of thought, that divine spark of genius which brings the emergence of a solution, the cure, and the secret of the re-generation of the life forces within us all.
Can this time of the sacred Festival of Christmas be a time in the history of man when with supreme strength and courage he slams the doors of the abyss of evil, torture and darkness, and opens the gates on a new vision of the glorious universal life of which we are a part and are an individuation.
A vision of a world released from fear. Men and women of true spiritual culture and stature of being in the advance guard of our civilisation.
The opportunity is with us now in the rapidly changing conditions, opportunities which bring responsibility. Can we take up this challenge with dedication and power and take command? For such dedication will bring as it must a divine ratification. The cry of the Angel Gabriel ever reverberates "Unto you - unto you", this day of opportunity.
NB. The Animals' Champion was an animal rights publication which was issued by The World League against Vivisection and for the Protection of Animals between the 1920s and 70s. The society exists today as the World League for Protection of Animals
See also:
Christmas Contrasts

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