Message of compassion at Christmas

SIR - I was interested to read about the “Save the Turkey” initiative organised by Ian Barlow’s daughter Charlie at the Sidmouth Garden Centre.

By saving the birds and raising money for Children’s Hospice South West at the same time, she is sending out a message of compassion to all our fellow creatures, both human and non-human. This is surely what Christmas should be about.

Over 90 per cent of turkeys bred for meat consumption are factory farmed, i.e. killed at only a few weeks old after being crammed into dirty, windowless sheds and fattened up so quickly that their legs cannot support them. Free-range turkeys may fare better, but will still have an unnaturally short life and suffer the same violent and unnecessary death, merely to satisfy a culinary whim.

So, why not opt out of the annual slaughter fest altogether this year and go for a delicious chestnut, port and thyme strudel instead? There are countless exciting and inspiring meat-free recipes at http://vegetarianrecipeclub.org.uk, for example. How much greater the pleasure of tucking into a celebratory feast when you know that no animal has suffered in the making of it! And why be cruel when you can be kind?

I wish Charlie Barlow, and all Sidmouth Herald readers, a happy, cruelty-free Christmas!

Sharon L Howe

Fortescue Road Sidmouth