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



Vegetarianism - "UnBiblical" (1990 Press)

"Gummer's words are minced"
by Jonathan Petre
Religious Affairs Correspondent
The Daily Telegraph; Thursday, May 3, 1990

THE EFFORTS of Mr Gummer, Agriculture Minister and a practising Anglican, to grant biblical authority to meat-eating were not to the taste of vegetarians yesterday.

He told an audience at Butcher's Hall in the City that vegetarianism is a "wholly unnatural" practice without support in biblical teaching.

And Mr Gummer, a member of the Church of England's General Synod, said: "I consider meat to be an essential part of the diet. The Bible tells us we are masters of the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field, and we very properly eat them."

Mr Bottomley, Northern Ireland minister, a fellow Anglican who describes himself as a partial vegetarian, said that if he was selling Northern Irish beef and pork "I would do it on grounds of health and quality, rather than in terms of a biblical injunction."

And he said of the reference in Genesis to God granting humans dominion over birds and beasts: "Dominion, I think, means responsibility rather than exploitation. I would say that it is right and proper for people to eat meat, but the views of those who don't should be respected."

Mr Tony Benn, Labour MP for Chesterfield and a well-known vegetarian, dismissed Mr Gummer's comments as "ludicrous." He said: "With the Prime Minister already on the ropes with the poll tax, to take on five million vegetarians on the eve of the local government elections is not just shooting yourself in the foot, but eating your foot."

Rev Dr Andrew Linzey, director of studies in theology at Essex University, said: "As one would have expected of John Gummer, he has trivialised the issue."

Dr David Clark, Shadow Minister for Food and Agriculture, said: "The minister's remarks are grossly offensive. He has let his religious bigotry overrule his common sense."

Go on to: Biblical roasting for meat-eating minister

  Homepage/About Us







Your comments are welcome

This site is hosted and maintained by The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation
Thank you for wisiting