Pity the poor turkey

Christmas is traditionally seen as a season of peace and goodwill to all men but, sadly, this does not extend to animals.

It is obvious that animals suffer at this time of year more than any other. Millions of turkeys, cows, pigs, sheep, ducks, geese, chickens, fish etc are slaughtered to provide fare for the Christmas table.

Few people give a thought to the wretched animal reared in a stinking factory farm or the manner of its death.

This shedding of blood contradicts the very spirit of Christmas and the church has chosen to ignore this. It is so unnecessary when there are many delicious, festive, vegetarian alternatives.

Please also spare a thought for the numerous cats, dogs and other pets purchased from pet shops and disreputable breeders as presents.

After Christmas, when the cute and cuddly animal becomes a nuisance, it is often simply abandoned or handed over to the RSPCA and other hard-pressed animal rescue organisations.

The majority do not find new homes and are put to sleep. The situation at the shelters is desperate because donations are dropping and the number of unwanted animals is increasing.

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The vast majority of the dogs which find a space in a shelter are Staffordshire Bull Terriers, victims of the current and wide spread trend to own a tough-looking dog.

Many people do not take into account that there will be mess to clear up, that dogs bark, sometimes chew up clothes and sofas, need to be walked every day and that food and veterinary fees are high.

A dog and any other pet is not a toy for Christmas but needs love and care for the whole of its life. In any case, the noise, hustle and bustle are not a good time to bring home a tiny frightened puppy or kitten.

If you do want to give a home to a cat or dog, wait until Christmas is over and visit a shelter.

Let Christmas be a time of peace and goodwill to all creatures. – David Fletcher, St Thomas’s Road, N4.