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


God's Animals
by Dom Ambrose Agius, OSB, MA

(Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare, 1970)

Reviewed in the former British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection journal, AV Times, August 1970 edition:

Confounding Descartes

To those people who regard the Roman Catholic Church as a top heavy piece of dangerously unsound theological masonry whose attitude towards animals is epitomised by Descartes' suggestion that animals are like wound-up bits of clockwork and no more, God's Animals should, if they are intellectually honest come as a most pleasant surprise.

The author, the Rev. Ambrose Agius, OSB, is well known as the Chairman of the Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare, now in its 36th year, the organisation that has done much to disabuse Catholics of their right to hold oversimple Cartesian-inspired but unsound prejudices.

Stamps of approval

In this ten shilling book, which bears the official stamps of approval, the Nihil Obstets and Imprimaturs that signify declaration from doctrinal or moral error, Father Agius proves that there is a far greater wealth of largely unknown and unread equally respectable Catholic literature that specifically calls for the humane treatment of animals because they, like man, have been created by God.

The book is well set-out and persuasive. It knocks the bottom out of any argument that insists that the RCC is, through the writings of its past and present intelligentsia, manifestly indifferent to the treatment of animals or that there is a lack of precedent to indicate that a positively kindly and understanding attitude to animals is morally obligatory to those of the faith.


It is to be hoped that this scholarly work will gain wide acceptance and that it will be consulted not only by those who seek to act humanely but cited in the future whenever the old anti-RCC attitude charges occur. In view of the fact that much unmerited criticism is levelled against the whole RCC rather than against individuals who believe themselves to be expressing official Catholic opinions, Father Agius has provided his Faith with what appears to be a strong and impenetrable shield. It will not, I hope, be laid aside to rust - as have apparently the writings of so many of the learned writers that he cites from remote antiquity to the present day.

Even though one is obliged to feel that it is the fear of the Law rather than of God that works consistently in the interests of animals, and again though one may suspect at times that the slush and sentimentality so often found in animal welfare literature is not by any means absent from the religious attitude of the dreary petits (and petites) religieux, in another context this book can be said to be an excellent bit of press relationship for that undersold commodity, God Himself.


Reproduced with thanks.

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