On April 16, 2016, I read one of his latest posts entitled "Animal Cruelty
or the Price of Dinner?" He wrote: "....almost nine billion chickens will be dangled
upside down on conveyor belts and slaughtered; when the process doesn't work properly,
the birds are scalded alive."
This topic made him recall his own family's experience: "Poultry farming
now is entirely different from what it was when I was a farm kid in Oregon with our
family's flock of chickens. Today's business model is infinitely more efficient, but it also raises
environmental concerns such as antibiotic overuse and is FUNDAMENTALLY OPPRESSIVE for animals and
Classic Kristof in my opinion. I also remember seeing him years ago on an
Oprah Winfrey show where the topic dealt with animal factory farms. Kristof's views and
statements did not disappoint. Sadly, I cannot recall them now but I remember knowing
them to be compassionate, and he certainly was not a proponent of factory farming.
The real irony of my being taken up with his thoughts and views is that for
a long time I was somewhat angry with people of Hungarian descent of which he is. Of
course, I was wrong to discriminate even though at the time I felt my reasons were
In brief--in the 80s I was doing research work for a Slovak Monograph--one of 18 ethnic communities in Cleveland. The brainchild of Dr. Karl Bonutti of Cleveland
State University, he found people from each ethnic group to accomplish this task, which
certainly had much merit. We would all be happy to learn more about our ethnicity.
However, history can be painful as I soon found out. I was very saddened
to read about how my people suffered under the Austro-Hungarian Empire reign. The "lucky"
Czechs were governed by Austria and many of them I believe were able to receive an
education and even job opportunities. Sadly, my people under Hungarian rule were not as
fortunate. I believe
most of them had to work long hours on the farms owned by Hungarian barons.
They also probably received little in monetary compensation if at all, and there was
probably virtually very little educational opportunities for their children.
But, thank God, I have finally come to realize how wrong it was for me to
blame present-day persons of Hungarian ancestry for what happened in the past.
As for Mr. Kristof, I look forward to all of his writings and any of his TV
appearances. On one of them he and his crew visited one of the African villages where the
horrible genital mutilations were being carried on. I am sure that this was an effort on
his part to make the viewing audience aware of an archaic procedure which needed to be stopped.
Sadly, I believe it still continues. But hopefully, with efforts such as his, one
day the people who
believe in this cruelty will recognize it as such and it will stop. How wonderful if the new generations of young girls reaching this age will not have this horribly
cruel procedure done to them.
As a writer, Mr. Kristof has written countless articles and anyone who has
read them will probably vouch for his twin gifts of caring and compassion. I was sorry to
read his recent acknowledgement of losing a writing Pulitzer Prize to Farah Stockman. He
graciously wrote that she had written terrific columns in the Boston Globe about race. One
day I hope that he too will receive this honor. Thank you again, Mr. Kristof, for your
inspired and caring articles. Tributes and honors are great, but in the scheme of things-- just how
important are they really?