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OXFORD SAVE

On 3rd March, I joined the newly formed Oxfordshire Animal Save on their first vigil.

The animal save movement consists of grassroots groups throughout the UK and abroad.

Their intention is to shine a light on the meat industries which are hidden from public view, by witnessing the arrival of trucks of farmed animals at slaughterhouses.

Quaker Concern for Animals (QCA) was contacted by one of the organisers as she has been an occasional attender at local Quaker meetings for some years and felt the approach of the save movement was in line with Quaker values of love, non aggression and opening up to the truth.

There were 9 of us there, though I was the only QCA member (behind the camera so not in photo). Despite the incessant rain, we stayed for just under 3 hours. It was a quiet vigil rather than a protest or demonstration, which for me made it all the more poignant.

The group was full of care and support for each other and embodied the policy of non hatred whether towards truck drivers, slaughtermen or farmers.

Sometimes trucks agree to stop and let some of the group do the only thing they can for the animals, which is give them water as an act of kindness. Sadly the truck we saw refused to stop.

Nothing can compare with seeing, smelling and hearing these animals. The trucks are very high, but their eyes and noses could be seen searching out, and I felt saddened that I could not help these beautiful creatures, who wanted to live and who to me are an expression of the life energy we all share. All I could do was move away and hold my own time of worship. Yet, as Oxfordshire Animal Save states “As painful as it may seem to initiate a campaign to bear witness, it is actually empowering when done as a group”.

Absorbing all this has left me motivated to continue to challenge the accepted norm that labels these beautiful souls as food products rather than living individuals.

If you wish to learn more please go to website www.thesavemovement.org Or the Oxfordshire Animal Save facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oxfordshireanimalsave/

Julie Hinman
QCA Committee Member
Littlehampton Meeting

QCA welcomes our new patron, Jon Wynne-Tyson

Richard D. Ryder

I am delighted to hear that Jon Wynne-Tyson has become a patron of Quaker Concern for Animals. He is one of the great humanitarian campaigners of the century.

 

I have known Jon since 1975 and he has never ceased to labour valiantly for animal issues over the years. In the 1960’s he fought a difficult but eventually successful campaign to promote vegetarianism – an unpopular cause at the time and one almost universally ridiculed. Vegetarians had become stock objects of fun during World War II and were seen as weedy odd-balls. As always, during wars, the cult of machismo was booming and all males were supposed to eat meat in order to make themselves strong. It was completely untrue of course, but everyone, under strict food rationing, actually became more diet-conscious in those years. The ‘experts’ still had the idea that protein was of prime importance and children were forced to eat dripping, lard and bully beef.

Even during the 1970’s Jon was almost alone in publicly speaking and writing to promote a vegetarian diet on moral as well as health grounds. (The other great vegetarian pioneer at the time was the scientist Dr Alan Long).

I first met Jon during the huge tsunami of interest in Animal Rights that swept the country in the 1970’s following the anti-hunt demonstrations and the publications of the Oxford Group, (chiefly Brigid Brophy, Stan and Ros Godlovitch, Andrew Linzey and myself) followed by those of Peter Singer. Andrew and I managed to persuade the RSPCA to hold the world’s first Conference on Animal Rights at Trinity College, Cambridge on 18th August 1977 and Jon offered to publish the proceedings. These duly appeared in 1979 called Animals’ Rights – A Symposium which was beautifully produced by Jon’s publishing house – the Centaur Press. He was that rare phenomenon – a publisher who was easy to work with!

Jon was born in 1924 and has two children. He wrote The Civilised Alternative (1972) and Food for a Future (1975) which presents the background and main arguments for vegetarianism and veganism. Jon was a conscientious objector during the War and tells the tragic story of trying to comfort a young German pilot in the wreckage of his plane in Kent, while the dying man called pathetically for his mother. In 1954 Jon founded his publishing company which produced editions of Porphyry’s On the Abstinence from Animal Food, Catherine Robert’s The Scientific Conscience and his mother, Esmé Wynne-Tyson’s The Philosophy of Compassion, as well as Janet Walker’s Vegetarian Cookery, Henry Salt’s classic Animals’ Rights and my own Victims of Science (1975).

Wynne-Tyson Ex CircJon is possibly best known for his wonderful collection of humane and pro-animal sayings and writings, The Extended Circle: a Dictionary of Humane Thought (published by Centaur Press in 1985 and since extended) which was warmly received by both Tom Regan and Peter Singer. Jan Morris wrote, ‘I believe all living things to be of equal value…the rights of animals should be precisely the same as the rights of man’, and acclaimed the book saying, ‘for me the chief splendour of The Extended Circle is its absoluteness’. The book is dedicated to Jon’s mother, contains wonderful quotations from over three hundred writers, philosophers, scientists, statesmen and poets, from Joseph Addison to Emile Zola. It has inspired, armed and fortified animal rights campaigners for over thirty years and will continue to do so. Let Jon have the last word:

Western man is schooled in violence and greed from the moment he is born. The society into which he arrives is incessantly concerned to persuade him of the merits of violence. From the moment that his scarcely co-ordinated fingers try to push away the ‘nice beef stew’ and the small gobbets of flesh that most anxious and deluded mothers try to push into his system (all those battles of the high-chair would hardly be necessary if man was naturally the carnivore that some still claim), the Western baby is learning that his society rests squarely on the credo of ‘I kill, therefore I am’

The Civilised Alternative: a Pattern for Protest

Richard Ryder -14 e.m. Dr Richard D. Ryder became a key figure in animal rights in the 1970s, coining the word ‘speciesism‘ and playing a leading role in its rise to international and political recognition and was a director of the Political Animal Lobby (PAL).  He is a past Chairman of the RSPCA Council and an ethicist.  His books include Victims of Science (Davis-Poynter 1975), Animal Revolution (Blackwell 1989), The Political Animal (McFarland 1998) and Speciesism, Painism and Happiness (Imprint Academic 2011).