I was delighted to read at all-creatures.org the title "Lamb chopped
as 4 bishops turn veggie." I think the word "chopped" is unfortunate
and a better title would have been "Lamb chops gone as bishops
Were these Catholic bishops? No way. I can't see them giving up
meat anytime soon. Yet they read the same articles and hear the
same world news as these 4 Anglican bishops, who in my opinion,
are to be greatly commended for their Lenten resolution to give
up meat for Lent.
Are they even American Anglican Bishops? Again sadly no, These
bishops are from the UK. Often England has led the way in compassion
to animals, and again it is so in this case. These four bishops, in giving
up meat during Lent, did so because the Anglican Society for the
Welfare of Animals (ASWA) asked their members to consider doing
this for Lent. It is to their credit that these Bishops belong to this caring
group, and also that they did not excuse themselves from this request.
I hope they will be an inspiration to their flock who may well follow
their good example as leaders of the Anglican Church.
I have always felt a kinship to Anglicans even though I'm Catholic. I
find that they, as a group, are more caring and compassionate to
animals than Catholics. I no longer try to convince my fellow Catholics
to be caring and compassionate. The editor of the Catholic Digest
shows no interest in my letters in their regard. Ditto - the Cleveland
Catholic Universe Bulletin and Our Sunday Visitor. I no longer send
letters to them in behalf of suffering animals.
I also greatly admire the Anglican theologian and priest - Dr. Andrew
Linzey who has no peer in Catholic priest circles. I love to read anything
he writes, and he was written copiously in this regard for years. I am
still waiting for my local library to tell me that they have finally received
the book I requested which he and Tom Regan edited.
He is a prolific writer and in 2001, he was awarded a doctorate of divinity
by the Archbishop of Canterbury for his "unique and massive pioneering
work in the area of the theology of creation with particular reference to
the rights and welfare of God's sentinent creatures."
The Rt. Revd. John Pritchard, the Bishop of Oxford admits that it will not
be easy to give up meat but he recognizes that this is a "spiritual issue."
And his wife has been doing her part by preparing him gradually
with the serving of vegetarian dishes at meal time.
He wisely observed in this regard: "Our consumption of meat is
reaching dangerous levels, and, as countries like China continue to
develop fast, it is only set to continue. We need to have more meat-free
days. I hope that at the end of Lent, I'll be able to make a more permanent
change to eating less meat."
The Rt. Revd. Dominic Walker, Bishop of Monmouth and president of
ASWA noted: "Lent is a good time to think and pray about how we treat
God's world, and the damage caused by today's exploding and
unsustainable demand for meat."
I loved expecially the Rt. Revd. Stephen Cottrell's remarks. As Bishop of
Chelmsford he observed: "What I find intolerable and unsupportable is
the way we rob factory-farmed animals of anything resembling a normal
life, in order to furnish ourselves with ...cheap meat."
The ASWA's chaiman, the Rt. Revd. Richard Llewellin sees his Lenten meat-
fast as the beginning of a low-meat diet. He said: "I am increasingly aware
of the compelling 'eat less meat' arguments from so many directions -
environment, health, world food-shortage, animal suffering."
In my opinion - all views well said. He and the other bishops covered all
the salient points for cutting back or even completely eliminating meat
from their diets. For those of us who have recognized the i ntolerable
misery of our animal brothers and sisters in the cruel CAFOs, we
commend these four compassionate bishops for their decision to have
a meatless Lent. I hope that they will find this Lent especially meaningful
because of their concern for the animals and the environment. I hope
that they also find this diet change wonderfully simple, fulfilling, and
rewarding as have we who have been living this vegan lifesyle for
years already. It is a special gift and one which I'm sure we thank
God for every day.
These 4 Anglican bishops are an inspiration to me. May they be a great
inspiration and blessing to their flock as well. We need men of the
cloth to step up and be compassionate to not only people but to our
fellow living animal creatures as well. Would not God want this?