Lent   1 comment

I am no great believer in religion these days, probably never was to be honest. However having spent the four least pleasant years of my life in a roman catholic prison camp somewhere in the Berkshire mountains a certain amount has rubbed off on me (OK it was a school, but as someone wiser than me once said, a religious boarding school only prepares you for one thing, a life in prison).

 

Gratuitous religion

Photo courtesy of freeditalphotos.net

 

So, young catholic neighbour asks me what I have given up for Lent. After a moments thought I gave my reply; green leafy vegetables.

At this point child’s mother unhelpfully reminds me I don’t even eat green leafy vegetables. Not true I retort, I bung frozen spinach in currys as its hardly worth the effort to do saag for one in a separate pan.

I’ve never really understood all the self loathing associated with religion, it always seems to be about not doing things. God presumably invented the carrot as well as the stick. Whats wrong with abstaining from something one doesn’t like?

I guess where I’m going with this is looking at how people judge others. One thing that bugs me is when people imply that you cannot care about animal welfare if you like to pick up a pack of lamb chops from Tesco for dinner. They seem to forget without people eating meat there wouldn’t be any sheep or cows outside zoos; which should of course themselves be banned as they lock up animals.

My vegetarian brother was a prime offender in this area. He subjected a dog to long time servitude. On a typical working day he was away from home for 12 hours and the dog was imprisoned in a single small room for that time without food but hopefully it did have water. Not always if he forgot.

The cat didn’t fare much better, it was chucked outside regardless of the weather and wasn’t able to get back inside the house until he returned. Living amongst fields though, there were plenty of mice about for the cat’s lunch, and there were outbuildings to provide shelter.

He also used to say you shouldn’t eat meat if you can’t bring yourself to kill the animal in the first place. My response to this line of argument was usually to grab the remote control and turn the TV off. When he shouted at me to turn it back on, I would remind him he couldn’t build a TV or make the programmes shown on it. He bought it from a shop, just like I did with meat.

Animal welfare is about animals having a comfortable life, plenty of food and water, space to run around, not locking them up in confined spaces. Its not about them living a long life though and when the time comes for my dinner they need to be killed in the most humane pain free way that is possible.

I have no delusions though, that the food industry adheres to what my guidelines would be. I used to believe the price of meat should be more expensive, but in recent weeks we have seen that global markets are very difficult to control without global policing which I think is a long way from being effectively organised.

My financial commitment to animal welfare is directed towards orphaned baby elephants, allowing them to grow up with other orphaned elephants in a secure area where poachers are shot on sight, and to shelters for rescue cats. My choices, no one person can do everything.

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Posted February 24, 2013 by bluonthemove in Family, Publishing, Wimbledon

One response to “Lent

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  1. A fabulous post. And may I say I wish I had your brains with regard to the switching the TV off as an argument solver with militant veggie people!

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