A RETIRED vicar has been staging a one man protest in Chester against the festive consumption of turkeys.
The Rev James Thompson, Holywell, who calls himself 'the animal padre', picketed The Cross to make his feelings known about Cestrians tucking into turkeys and chickens for Christmas lunch.
The Cross is a well known gathering point for preachers but the veteran vicar was more concerned with sparing the birds from slaughter than preaching gospel.
A strict vegetarian, he explained that he believed eating the festive bird was cruel and inappropriate on Christmas Day and was appealing for people to boycott turkey eating and to enjoy a 'Veggie Merry Christmas' instead.
He said: 'I am horrified by the suffering we inflict upon the intensively reared fowl - they endure a lifetime's deprivation and dreadful suffering - all so that we can enjoy a carnivorous meal on Christ's birthday.
'It is something that every Christian worthy of the name should militantly oppose.
'It's what led me to protest in the streets of Rhyl, Mold and Chester.
'People need to be presented with the horrific facts concerning intensively reared chicken and turkey for once they about it they will need a swinging brick in place of a heart to ever eat another - 98% of UK turkeys are intensively bred
'They are fattened up so quickly that often their legs can't support them.'
'As Christians, it's our task to care for the truly helpless of species; and never to exploit them. ' So in all honesty I cannot with a clear conscience gorge myself on my saviour's birthday with the fruit of sweat
shop breeding units, Belsen like breeding farms.
'Dare I have the audacity to offer grace to the good shepherd while I tuck into a bird sacrificed after perpetual deprivation and mutilation?'
The Rev Thompson was distributing his own leaflets presenting his radical agenda for the festive season entitled A Cleric's Contempt Of A Carnivorous Christmas.