THE letter from L Wilson (SA, Thursday, July 23) defending the eating of meat (or the decomposing flesh of dead animals) would be funny if not very sad. The harmful effects of eating meat are well publicised and hardly a week goes past without another report linking the eating of meat with cancers and heart disease. If people do not care about their own health the tough, there are plenty of other ways to get ill without being involved in animal abuse.

L Wilson makes the absurd comments that farm animals would be culled if they were not bred for meat - what on earth does he think happens now? Cull, kill, murder is all the same to the poor animal. Calves lucky to reach four months old if not thrown into a skip at birth, lambs slaughtered at a few months.

The organic livestock farmers claim the moral high ground but when challenged have to admit there is no such thing as an organic abattoir. All animals destined for slaughter go through the same cruel, inhuman process. Slaughterhouses, like vivisection laboratories, attract the same sort of workers and I will leave it to the readers’ imagination as to what type of people they are. There is one local farmer who assures me he accompanies his few animals to the slaughterhouse and watches them die, but he is the exception.

PHILIP BEAVEN Merton Avenue Swindon