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From: Leslie ( -
Subject: Re: Activism
Date: December 13, 2005 at 8:50 am PST

In Reply to: Activism posted by Keith on December 11, 2005 at 7:24 pm:

Agreed. One thing that I have struggled with is that question, is it better to work slowly toward the goal by working for animal welfare, or is that merely making the problem worse because it ultimately assumes that humans still use and exploit animals, just do it nicely.

I can't go along with that point of view, but neither do I think anything will really change from the perspective of animal rights. Maybe very very slowly but you have to wait for people to become more civilized, that could take centuries. Instead, I think I found the answer.

Was browsing around Border's yesterday and wanted to see how many veg/activist books they had, they only had two, the two by Howard Lyman. I almost didn't buy them, thinking, well, I don't eat that stuff anyway, what more could he have to say to me? Instead I did buy them and read them yesterday, what they did for me was answer the question of how it will become viable and possible to make a difference to stop factory farming. He says almost nothing about animal rights, maybe two or three paragraphs total, the focus is on the environmental and health impacts of our current meat-based culture. Not only that, but he is a symbol of the kind of person that believes that eating meat is manly and masculine, the big cowboy guy, a complete opposite to what we generally think of when we think "environmentalist, vegan." Of course reading about the filth of that industry and its products should make people sick enough to give up meat, but even if it doesn't do the trick, he writes in such a straightforward "no nonsense" way that you can't help but understand that this is the pathway by which change can be made. Because we are destroying our planet in a profound way that even I did not realize.

I think he founded Earthsave, is that correct? I wrote letter to him and believe I will join that organization, maybe create a presence here in one of the big voids of vegetarianism, North Idaho and Eastern Washington. I have energy, I have always had energy, and directing it to this cause is the only reasonable thing to do.

Although I will always feel this sensitivity to animals, I understand that the best way to make change is not through emotion but through fact and education. I can think of myriads of ways to create awareness through education but cannot do it as a single person. Numbers count.

Thanks for your thoughts, everybody, and if you haven't read these books, do read them. I am making my husband read them although I don't expect him to change, this may be an issue that will divide us someday, I fully expect that, because I am having difficulty understanding how someone can read books like this, and know pretty much what I know about the industry and still go out there and eat meat several times a day. That's another issue for another day, but I know where my heart lies and I want to be part of the movement that someday brings an end to this blight on the planet and to our spirits. I know I am on the right track and through all my sadness, and frustration, and emotional struggle, believe I have found a small opening through which there is hope.

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