SIR - If you’re leaving meat off your plate during Lent, please extend your compassion to fish, too.

People of all faiths surely agree that cruelty to animals violates their religious principles, yet fish suffer horribly before they reach our dinner tables. When fish are dragged out of their ocean homes in huge nets - along with “non-target” victims such as dolphins and turtles - their gills often collapse, their eyes bulge out of their heads, and their swim bladders burst because of the sudden change in pressure. Farmed fish suffer from stress, infections, and parasites as a result of crowded, filthy, and unnatural living conditions.

Fish are intelligent animals with impressive long-term memories and complex social relationships. They 'talk' to one another underwater, use tools, and learn by watching what other fish do.

Christians are taught not only to give something up during Lent but also to give something back to the world. Leaving fish and other animal-derived foods off our plates during Lent and beyond is a simple way to honour all of God’s creation.

Sascha Camilli, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), All Saints Street, London