ChichesterHumanists

Chichester Humanists is a local branch of West Sussex Humanists and represents the interests of the non-religious residents in and around Chichester.

Each month we discuss issues concerning religion and belief, ethics, equality, human rights and science, including current events.

We liase with Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council on matters concerning equality of religion and belief, and monitor Council activities, including proposals for new "faith" schools.

We are keen to campaign on behalf of non-religious residents who feel disadvantaged because of their beliefs, e.g. access to a community school, discrimination at work or through the delivery of local services.

We organise events and displays, invite prominent speakers, and give talks to local organisations, including schools and colleges.

We meet once a month in Chichester Inn, 38 West Street, West Sussex, PO19 1RP (tel: ChichesterInn01243 783185)

Click on the photo for their website.

Meetings are from 7.30pm on the third Monday of the month (third Tuesday when there is a bank holiday). Instead of membership subscriptions, there is a £2 entrance charge for each meeting (£3 for visitors).

If you would like to meet some local freethinkers and have a chat, please come along and join us at the next meeting. Look out for the poster above.

For more details, email Andrew.

NOTE:
Being freethinkers there are many things secular humanists will not agree on, but there are some matters on which we do take a firm and unanimous stand. We do not condone prejudice of any sort. Nor do we hate religious people. Such views are entirely contrary to any humanist philosophy and we reserve the right to exclude any person promoting them.

Click on the poster for a larger version to display in your area.

Compassion in World Farming talk at Chichester 20th May 2013

ChichesterHumanistsTalkCIWF20thMay2013debate

Phil Brooke of Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) gave a fascinating talk on animal welfare in farming and the role played by CIWF in reducing animal suffering.

Phil used a well prepared PowerPoint presentation to give an overview of the current way farms raise pigs, chickens and cows. In between video clips and photos of the suffering of farm animals he showed us other footage of how animals are kept on humane farms.

Several videos and photos showed the natural behaviour of these animals in the wild. Hens nested in trees and sows built nests to give birth.

Phil ended the talk with some surprising facts about the most environmentally friendly way we can raise animals. Chickens and pigs require grain products to feed on, which is expensive in environmental terms. Grass fed dual purpose cows (for milk and meat) are environmentally friendly, as there is no fertiliser involved.

However, he also went on to talk about what we eat, again with surprising facts. Carbohydrates are our most important source of food, yet in the West we consume great quantities of meat. Red meat is bad for our health, which is unfortunate because grass feed beef is environmentally friendly to produce. Worst of all are cured meats, such as bacon, ham and salami; the World Health Organisation recommends we eat none of it.

Phil happens to be a vegan but he hastened to add that this is not a requirement of CIWF. This prompted more questions from members. I was vegan for 3.5 years but had to stop due to B12 deficiency. Although B12 is now available in a wide range of non-animal foods, it brought home to me that we are designed to eat animals.

We raised the issue of Halal and Kosher slaughter, which the UK government have recently decided to continue to allow. Phil described the normal slaughtering process (stunning first) and the religious methods (throat cutting). Many Kosher slaughterhouses now stun just before throat cutting, as it is not prohibited by religious edict. But others do not, with animals remaining conscious for several minutes in great pain. The government has no requirement for the labelling of Kosher and Halal meat, with 50% of it entering the normal food chain, often consumed by children who are not from Muslim or Jewish families.

Another matter raised was pet food. Phil told us that this was mainly factory farmed rabbits.

We all agreed that, vegan or carnivore, our efforts should be to reduce animal suffering on farms. Many people are unaware of what goes on in remote farms behind closed doors. CIWF work tirelessly to raise awareness and have already made significant progress. But there is such a long way to go.

Phil remains upbeat and realises that progress may be slow but that things are gradually improving in the UK and Europe.

You can sign up to regular CIWF emails by visiting http://www.ciwf.org.uk/ And of course you can make a donation.

Despite the disturbing topic, this was a most enjoyable talk. We learned a lot and thanked Phil for his sensitive and professional presentation.

 

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