SIR – Jon Burgess (Letters, June 29) uses the excuse for eating cows, pigs and sheep that it is our “culture and belief” (it certainly isn’t mine!).

It was once our “culture and belief” to flog children for minor misdemeanours, flock to bear-baiting and cock-fighting events and publicly hang thieves.

Was this right because it was “part of our culture and belief”? Eating animals, even those slaughtered using “sound animal welfare” processes (the mind boggles) causes unimagined problems ecologically, economically, environmentally and spiritually – he’ll only find out by studying the subjects in some depth – the same applies to anyone who criticises a subject, of course.

Mr Burgess appears to prefer to eat his bacon sandwich with his head in the sand.

I, too, enjoy a bacon sandwich, even if it’s hard to find a veggie one when out. Naturally, a certain amount of sacrifice is involved, as it is with anything one does for altruistic type reasons.

I appreciate that probably one should not ram one’s ideas and preferences down others’ throats.

However, if Mr Burgess went to a country in which, say, child prostitution or wife beating was practised, would he accept it in silence or might he try to exert a little influence and education?

Simon Vaughan-Spencer