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Letters: Compassion is needed in animal slaughtering

John Eoin Douglas' assertion (Write Back, May 12) that campaigning against the slaughtering of animals by halal and shechita means "is a transparent excuse to get away with showing the sort of prejudice against Muslims and Jews" is just lethargic rhetorical nonsense used to justify his own bias on the subject.

Were we in any doubt of this, his rambling, self-indulgent inquiries to source pig meat butchered through these methods confirms this conclusively.

There is no doubt that an over-dependence on a meat-filled diet, together with a public malaise regarding humane practices in slaughtering animals, has allowed great suffering of animals to take place.

Personally, I don't eat meat and it relates solely to my concerns regarding animal welfare. I don't suggest, as Mr Douglas would, that those who do voice concern should all become vegans.

Rather, a more considered and compassionate approach to the slaughter of animals should be pursued.

As this cannot be secured through discretionary practices, it should be made a mandatory requirement.

I am not naive enough to believe this will come any time soon. I think the adage 'pigs will fly' is more likely to occur.

In which case, Mr Douglas may well be able to source his own pork independent of any assistance from your readers.

ADRIENNE GARVEY

By email

Truth of matter is God's as real as Santa Claus

I read with interest the many letters on this page in recent weeks arguing for the existence of God. It strikes me a thread of wishful thinking runs through them all.

A prime example of this is the argument that the beauty and magnificence of the universe is enough to prove that God exists.

Western civilisation is at a stage now where it can be compared to a child who is on the cusp of realising that Santa Claus is not real.

He/she knows that something doesn't make any sense, but is reluctant to let go of the magic and is afraid that the gifts might not be quite as good.

SEAN SMITH

By email

Farage protests Ukip not racist a lot of hot air

An observation on the recent noise coming from Nigel Farage and Ukip, angrily declaring that Ukip is not a racist party.

Farage will say that all parties, among their hundreds of members, can have the odd individual go a bit off-message. This is true.

But Ukip seem to have been particularly unlucky, as a steady stream of candidates have come out with unfortunate remarks about every conceivable minority, from Muslims to unborn Down's syndrome babies.

Farage can argue until he's red in the face, but methinks Ukip doth protest too much.

GEORGE SMITH

Belfast

Churches stopped Sunday marathon

I see that your correspondent, 'Road User' (Write Back, May 6) believes that it would be a worthy idea to hold the Belfast Marathon on a Sunday, rather than bank holiday Monday.

If 'Road User' had done a bit of research he/she might have realised this plan had been proposed in 2010 (supported by Translink, DRD, PSNI, and Athletics NI) in a bid to reduce police overtime and traffic problems, but the proposal was blocked by the churches. An article on that appeared in the Belfast Telegraph.

MARATHON RUNNER

Belfast

Charity collection totals and thanks

HOPE (Help On Pensioners' Entitlements): Carrickfergus (Mar 14) £184.36; Coleraine (Mar 15) £301.52; Magherafelt (Mar 22) £35.52; Portadown (April 4) £214.84; Maghera (April 5) £179.79; Omagh (April 18) £212.38; Larne (April 19) £265.38.

R THOMPSON

PARKINSON'S SUPPORT: Holywood (May Day) £372.

J McKELVEY

NI DEAF YOUTH ASSOCIATION: Belfast (April 21) £278.99.

M JOHNSTON

ACTION CANCER: Holywood (Sept 20) £27.32; Enniskillen (Oct 31) £147.45; Poyntzpass (Nov 9) £323.73; Laurelvale (Nov 16) £396.00; Scarva (Nov 23) £192.47; Belfast (Dec 13) £417.44.

E McARDLE

MARIE CURIE GREAT DAFFODIL APPEAL: Ballymoney (Mar 1) £1,177.09; Magherafelt (Mar 1) £1,526.63; Coleraine (Mar 1) £1,384.77; Larne (Mar 1) £968.19; Cookstown (Mar 1) £1,922.13; Antrim (Mar 15) £943.55; Crumlin (Mar 15) £928.10; Ballymena (Mar 15) £3,009.13; Portstewart (Mar 29) £338.32; Carrickfergus (Mar 29) £2,374.98.

G SMYTH

Giro economic building-block

In recent years Northern Ireland has secured many high-profile events, not least the Giro d'Italia. As a small country we are punching well above our weight in attracting high-status events.

The Giro has been a huge success. All sections of our people embraced the occasion, making it a great experience.

The Giro can be an economic building-block. All of us need to play our part in partnership with Government, councils and statutory bodies. Economic success will be achieved by all our efforts in building the strong foundations for future prosperity.

CLLR ADAM NEWTON (DUP)

Belfast City Council

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