Magazine Articles by Rev. A. M. Mitchel M.A

What Shall We Eat?

Christmas Cruelties

The home at Christmastide may be little better than a dead house, for a surfeit of dead things is not always resented, though it is fair to say that in many instances it is voted a disgusting and an intolerable nuisance. There are people by the thousand who deem a dead bird of some kind the choicest of all Christmas gifts. Our meat markets, our butchers’ stalls, our poultry shops, might do honour to a race of vindictive savages and cannibals, to whom ruthless slaughter is a second nature, but are a blot, a blood-red stain on our Christian civilisation. All must be ready to admit that the Christmas orgie – preceded by the groans and agonies of a holocaust of victims, and streams of blood in which the executioners stand ankle deep – has no authority from primitive Christianity, and cannot claim to be Apostolic. Every thinking person, Christian and non-Christian, knows perfectly well what a painful, awful travesty of the nativity of Christ, the Christmas observance is – on its flesh-feasting and high-feeding side. Christmas slaughter, Christmas blood-shedding is a gross libel on the religion of Jesus. The more we eat the more we want to eat. The greed of appetite is cruel, cruel to the human and cruel to the sub-human. The crowded larder for one means the empty larder for another. Appetite has no conscience.

From the December 1909 edition of the Burton Wood Parish Magazine. Reprinted in The Vegetarian Messenger and Health Review of January 1910 with a footnote: “We are glad that this onslaught has been copied into many newspapers.”