Happy World Vegan Day! I was happy to read on the In
Defense of Animals website that today - November first is
WORLD VEGAN DAY. I am pleased that a day has been
designated to bring attention to those who have taken the big
step to improve their health and the environment, and help
suffering farm animals.
Re the latter, I remember George Bernard Shaw saying at
one time that he envisioned seeing all the animals he DID
NOT EAT, at death coming en masse to his bier to pay homage.
I love the thought and wish the same for myself.
Today is All Saints Day for Catholics - and so I now have
reasons to celebrate this day. As Catholics, we are
that we are all saints with a small "s"- so long as we try
live by the principles of Jesus Christ and His church.
big "S" saints are those like St. Francis of Assisi who
over and beyond just trying to be good. Their everyday
reflected a very special love for God. I find the
so many of them each day at liturgy where I read their
abreviated lives in my little Magnificat missal. But
St. Francis is and will always be my favorite saint.
THOUGHTS ON VEGANISM
This week I got into an e-mail exchange with someone who I
come to appreciate in his concern for people, the
and animals. But I was surprised to find out that
he is not
vegan or even vegetarian. A two way conversation
He said that he ate meat, and he didn't think animals had
suffer because of that- in reference to my opposition to
Heifer International which sends animals to impoverished
countries as gifts from us.
My response: I forgot to mention that we, as a
civilized people, don't even treat our own animals with
In one country which received goat gifts, I remember
one who was slaughtered in sacrifice in expiation for a
a young man had committed.
As for compassionate treatment generally re our food
the only way one can be sure that the animal you eat has
treated compassionately is if you raise and kill it
I was surprised to hear that he read Mercy for Animal
and still kept on eating meat.
He then reminded me that every being lives and dies. Of
I could not help thinking -but isn't it important to know
they live and die? Most of our farm animals live
confined to cages, crates, or stifling factory farm
slaughtering practices often leave much to be desired.
And then he reminded me that some animals eat others and
seems to be "natural." Of course it is, and it is
balance of nature. It is something that I personally
coming to terms with myself, but it is beyond my scope to
However, what I put into my mouth is within my power to
compassionate choices. Being vegan for many years is a
lifest yle for those of us who have embraced it for the
reasons. How could it not be? We are not responsible for
suffering in the cafos or the frightening deaths of food
His next comment I often hear from other meat-eaters. If
eating would be abolished, what would happen to the cattle.
chickens, etc. if we didn't eat them?
Well, I think it would be a much easier problem to address
than the problem of animal suffering in cafos and
But then I told him he should rest assured -that this would
happen. I wou ld be supremely happy if only HALF of the
Some people will never change their eating habits and will
to eat meat. However, if half of the world would become
I see the cafos from hell being dismantled first of all
would be no need for them anymore, and the small farms of
could now return. T he fewer animals could now enjoy the
fresh air once more. They could intermingle with their
own and be
able to move around- no longer being restricted to life
gestation crates, or milking lines.
And some of us living in rural areas could even enjoy
calves, cows, lambs, etc. as companion aimals if we
people already do use them this way. I would love to
have a lamb,
calf, or piglet as a companion animal and yes, of course they
mature and become sheep, cows, and pigs. But if I
had the wherewithall,
I would love to make them a part of my animal
While I have to admit, I don't love all God's creatures
do have a special love for those who do no harm, and
animals belong in this category.