Animal-rights activists force parish to cancel hog-roast
Posted: 02 Nov 2006 @ 00:00
A CAMBRIDGE VICAR dropped a harvest hog roast last weekend after pressure
from animal-rights campaigners.
The Vicar of St Matthew's, the Revd Philip Foster, substituted free cream
teas for free roast pork after he and several elderly parishioners received
abusive letters and phone calls.
The threat of demonstrations would have been very damaging at an event open
to all and intended to welcome people from the wider community, he said after
his decision last weekend.
Animal Rights Cambridge had enlisted the support of the Revd James Thompson,
a retired rector from the Scottish Episcopal Church and a self-styled "animal
padre" to lead a vigil had the event gone ahead.
In a letter drafted for publication in the Church Times, Mr
Thompson said: "The basic premise of any worthy faith is that the strong speak
out and protect weaker and more vulnerable forms of life than their own. As for
any doubt about the existence of hell, one only has to visit an intensive pig
unit to see it in action. Indeed, the PCC of St Matthew's might consider such a
venue for a future parish outing."
Mr Foster said on Monday that he had made his decision to give in after
considering St Paul's advice in Romans 14 - last Sunday's lectionary reading -
that meat-eating Christians should not provoke those for whom Christ died.
"The animal-rights people threatened to disrupt what was intended to be a
happy afternoon open to the whole parish, raising money for Tearfund's work in
Niger," he said. "We had to act in this way, as it would be neither safe nor
pleasant for children in particular to be exposed to potential abuse from
None of the campaigners had deigned to turn up at the event after the hog
roast was cancelled, said Mr Foster. "It would seem that the needs of people in
Niger rank rather low in their priorities."
The verdict of those who had attended the event was "along the lines that
these people should 'get a life'," he said.