Animal Rights:

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Saint Richard of Chichester

The Deeper Minds Of All Ages Have Had Pity For Animals
Friedrich Nietzsche

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This page is part of the section: Animal Rights:A History

Richard of Chichester, also known as Richard of Wyche lived from 1197 until 1253. He was also a scholar having been educated at Oxford and was the Bishop of Chichester for eight years, in 1262 he was canonised a Saint .  He is however perhaps most noted for his famous prayer:

Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits which you have given us,for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us.

Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day.


A medieval era wall painting of Saint Richard of Chichester


Most importantly for our purposes Richard of Chichester abstained from eating meat viewing such culinary tastes with a sense of horror, openly voicing his feelings in this regard:

But the strict abstinence of his youth was still rigorously observed, and, whilst his guests were free to enjoy the well-spread table, the cheerful host ate scarcely anything, contenting himself generally with bread and a little wine, and merely playing, for courtesy's sake, with the delicacies set before him. Meat he seems to have entirely forsworn, and grew in time to regard it with a sort of horror. When he saw a lamb or kid, or birds of any kind being brought to his kitchen he would cry out with pity and shame: "Ah, poor little creatures! If you were rational beings and could speak, how you would curse us. For we are the cause of your death; you who are so innocent, what have you done worthy of death?" and he would never touch any of such food when offered him.

Richard of Wyche, labourer, scholar, Bishop and Saint by Sister Mary Reginald Capes


Graphic: A medieval era wall painting of Saint Richard of Chichester in the nave of Black Bourton church, Oxfordshire, depicted not long after his canonisation.

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