Monday, 4 April 2011
'The Last Wesleyan: A life of Donald Soper' by Mark Peel
Published in partnership with Scotforth Books (2008)
The author reveals:
"In 1947 he was so repelled by the smell at an Australian slaughterhouse at which he was preaching, and the chilling sight of the animals awaiting their fate, that he vowed to become a vegetarian, a pledge he kept till 1963 when, on doctors' advice, he began eating some white meat to increase his protein levels. As more literature came to light exposing the cruelty animals were subjected to, Donald became more uncompromising in their defence. He opposed the staging of the Grand National, Britain's premier steeplechase, because of the grievous - sometimes mortal - injuries sustained by some of the horses due to the challenging nature of the jumps. Then at Christmas 1955, he incurred unpopularity with his children by denying them their annual trip to the circus because of his contention that performing animals were made to suffer unnecessary pain. He even began to wear plastic shoes, after being criticised at Tower Hill for wearing leather ones, at variance with his vegetarianism." (p262)
See also: 'Quotation'