BEA Bradley asks the challenging question: “Why are religious leaders not railing against the blasphemy of bloodsports?” (Oxford Mail, January 22).

I suggest it is because many are insulated from harsh realities and are obsessed with an abstract theology which has no relevance.

For my part, I could not adhere to any faith which does not regard all creatures, however humble, as possessing a divine spark.

The great Indian religions – Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism revere nature and abhor cruelty of any kind.

Christians, in particular, should follow their example or that of St Francis of Assisi and Albert Schweitzer.

Our ethical conduct cannot be confined to our own species for every living being is, like ourselves, a manifestation of the universal ‘will to live’.

Only when the bounds of our compassion embrace not only humankind but birds and animals both wild and tame, can we achieve a true civilisation.

GRAHAM BUTLER, Banbury Road, Bicester