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Gandhi Remembered

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Message Suzana Megles

Who are your heroes?  I think that information will reveal a lot about you.
But then so will what you eat, what you believe, and even where you live.

Re people we admire - I find Oprah's shows often inspirational.  Some years
ago I saw one of them showing a Muslim woman caught in adultery about to be stoned to death.  She was buried with only her head visible.  And then these men threw huge stones at her head until she expired.  What kind of religion allows such brutality?  Can you try to visualize and even feel the stones coming at your head?  If so, you will probably feel as incensed as those of us who watched this horror on TV.  And what kind of religion lets the man who was complicit go scot free?

Another very worthwhile segment of hers exposed the horrors of puppy mills.  God bless Oprah for this show.  Hopefully, people will now not buy puppies from pet stores because most of them get their puppies from these mills where the poor mother b*tch has been impregnated ad infinatum under horrible conditions until she is literally spent.  Then she is sadly often just dumped and left to her own devices.  It is alledged that many  of these puppies are the product of Amish puppy mills. If so, I don't believe the Amish people deserve our respect.  Please go to the shelters for a puppy or dog and you may even find many of them to be pure bred.  There are also rescue sites on the internet who take in a specific breed they are hoping to rehome. But if you don't find what you want - go to a licensed and responsible breeder with a good reputation.  And, hopefully, all of us will be responsible owners and will alter our dogs or cats.  Millions are put to death each year because of our irresponsibility in this regard.

All the 7 dogs I took in --needing a home for various reasons were mixed breed and I loved every one of them.  They and the 30+ cats I took in during the years were all altered.  I never had much money, but there was always money for that.  My mixed breed dogs were part sheltie, chow, chihuahua, shepherd, and samoyed.  I found them all attractive, gentle, and friendly.  I only feel bad that I once rejected a hairless chihuahua because I found her or him unattractive.  Roll back the camera of life.  I now would accept that dear dog needing a home with open arms.  There are no ugly dogs - just our narrow perception of what constitutes "beauty."
Another show I enjoyed on Oprah was when she accepted the challenge to eat a cleansing vegan diet for 21 days.  I laughed reading her blog when she was finished.  She felt so deprived!  We who have been vegans for years don't feel that way at all.  However, I am glad that she at least brought the concept of veganism to the fore for those people who
have not heard of it before. By the way, the man who coined the word "vegan" recently died. 

I do admire Oprah in many ways but she is not my hero.  I'm more of a Mother Teresa admirer and then there is Gandhi.  Isn't it strange that both of them are connected with India?

I think anyone who saw the movie about Gandhi can't but help to love
and admire this man.  Two memories come to mind immediately recalling
the movie and though perhaps not entirely accurate --I see him pushing
his wife to clean toilets and she is resisting when he suddenly realizes
that he has been ascribing subservient roles to her and this was wrong.  He would later on even take on the role of weaver to demonstrate that there are no unimportant tasks and none beneath man.

The other scene which comes to me is his march toward the sea to
harvest its salt because England had placed a prohibitive tax on it for
the people of India to absorb.  To me at first it seemed like such an absurd
march until I realized that he was making a statement and the people of India understood it.  A peaceful demonstration will always benefit and produce better results than killing and murderous uprisings. At least that is my take on this happening.

I loved him also for his wonderous reflection on animals.  He said that
a nation can always be judged by the way it treats its animals.  Sadly,
I don't know of any nation that is treating its animals well.  Maybe Sweden
comes closer than an other nation because of its laws re the treatment
of farm animals inspired by that wonderful compassionate writer -Astrid Lundgren.  She wrote the beloved story of Pippi Longstocking and also wrote "I Had a Dream" where she takes God through the horrors of the
pig factories of Sweden.  It is said that her writings were instrumental
in bringing compassionate changes to the condition of the farm animals.

And I was so happy to find a now faded Ann Lander's article I had cut out
of the newspaper - God knows when.  The caption read "Listen to Gandhi's
wisdom."  The writer asked Ann to find the list of the seven most grievous
sins which he said President Carter had mentioned in the eulogy to Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey. 

In her column she wrote;  "I was among those present at the services in St.
Paul, and was also deeply moved by the eulogies.  I, too, wanted a copy of the quotation from Mahatma Gandhi.  I manged to get it.  Here it is:

    "Mahatma Gandhi once wrote that there were seven sins in the world:
               WEALTH without work,
               PLEASURE without conscience,
               KNOWLEDGE without character,
               COMMERCE without morality,
               SCIENCE without humanity,
               WORSHIP without sacrifice and
               POLITICS without principle."

What a wonderful measuring stick for all of us to use.  As a country and as a people I'm sorry to say that we probably fall short.


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I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)
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