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Oh Ma-Ma! It’s not the butcher boy for her

01 April 2009


From the Revd Andii Bowsher

Sir, — It was with sadness that I read Oenone Williams’s cunning and successful plan to subvert her daughter’s aim of giving up meat during Lent (Diary, 20 March).

To give up meat in Lent was normal Lenten practice and still is for the Eastern Orthodox. Provided one is careful, as are millions of vegetarians, about making sure that certain things are in the diet, there should be no detrimental health consequences (from reducing saturated fat in the diet, some benefits may even accrue).

In addition, it is worrying that she reinforces the idea that eating meat is essential or that to eat it regularly is some kind of norm. For billions of people, it is a luxury, and it has been an occasional thing for millions during history. As many of our development agencies point out, meat-rearing has a big eco­logical footprint, and we could not feed the whole world at the level of consumption in the West.

As an act of solidarity with the Two-thirds World, Mrs Williams’s daughter is to be commended for considering eating less meat.

19 Willow Court, Ryton
Tyne and Wear
NE40 3PE

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