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Life Arts    H4'ed 6/30/14

Two Very Different Women

Message Suzana Megles
Of course, we are all individuals. We are all unique and very different in the obvious ways- temperament, appearance, inclinations and gifts. But basically most of us don't stand out so as to be noticed by the world at large. But these two women are being noticed in their respective ambitions. One of them leaves me aghast and even saddened at her chosen profession, and the other has me grateful that people like her exist.

NAOMI POMEROY has a dedicated following in her restaurant "Beast" in Oregon. In part, one reviewer described her restaurant:
"Beast is gutsy, staking its reputation on a fixed-price French bistro menu boldly punctuated by MEAT and often the sounds of the Rolling Stones--with no choices or substitutions in the multi-course meal."
He does mention also that meals are costly. The price range: a five course
dinner -- $45, a six course dinner -- $52, and a four course brunch -- $28.
Obviously, people like me who are either vegetarian or vegan would not even go near such a place with a name like "Beast." Not only does this restaurant center its cuisine around slaughtered animals but Naomi herself butchers the lambs, pigs, or calves she serves -- offering their various parts throughout the week.
Why should I be shocked? Well seeing a picture of her carrying a young pig on the way to killing him (her) for that week's menu offerings, I wondered what kind of woman could do this? Obviously though, she is not a hypocrite. We always tell people that if they want to eat meat -then they should do their own butchering-or at least watch someone else do it. I think many people would soon turn to vegetarianism. However, the clientele who frequent the Beast are clearly not concerned about the horrors and suffering of seeing an animal slaughtered.
Re killing animals, I often recall what St. Pope John XXIII once wrote about his concern for them. He said that he wouldn't even kill a fly if he didn't have to. I always remembered that statement, and when this past winter one fly survived living in my house and daily visited me at the computer, I made no effort to kill him (her).
Of course, If my home was besieged by too many flies I would try to usher them outside or barring that, I would have to kill them- though I am always happy when I don't have to kill any living creature. Some of you may be thinking -- how foolish. Well, it's not foolish to the fly I let live, and I do agree with the pope who believed that life is precious to even a small fly.
So no, I am not impressed with Naomi Pomeroy or her restaurant -- "Beast." But she does have a dedicated following and has received cooking accolades. Obviously though, you will not find people of compassion singing her praises or even stepping a foot into her restaurant.
ALLISON BURGESS is the lady who I admire. I found her story in the HSUS All Animals quarterly magazine. She obviously is the antithesis of Naomi Pomeroy. She has always cared for animals, and even as a child, she and her family took in stray dogs and befriended barnyard cats. I loved what she had to say about animals in general:
"When I look at an animal I see someone, not something....They are emotional (and) sensitive and just want to live their lives in some comfort, just like us."
When she recently retired to her Missouri farm at 48 -after being a successful St. Louis business woman and selling her video production company -- she envisioned relaxing while still being involved in some type of community work.
It would soon find her as her home state of Missouri ranks in the bottom 10 for animal protection laws. And no wonder- since it has been dubbed the puppy mill capital of the nation. And were it not for an HSUS-backed measure in Congress to block horse slaughter inspections, a horse slaughter plant might have been opened there in 2013.
Burgess would soon find her calling out of retirement after reading a Washington Post article about factory farming. She said that after reading it she couldn't sleep for days. She knew she had to do something.
This concern led to the creation of MATCH MEATS -- a unique blend of soy and wheat proteins and natural flavorings that can replace meat in almost any recipe. I hope our local health food store -- The Bin carries it. If not, I certainly will let them know about this new vegetarian product. I am sorry it is not vegan as well.
Already in a Detroit restaurant, it is being used as a vegetarian alternative for its entire burger menu. Grateful customers are pleased and one woman has happily re-created a favorite recipe from her grandmother's meat-based recipe that she could now enjoy as a vegetarian.
Burgess has invested her retirement money in the company and even though Match Meats is now profitable, she's never taken a salary. What a lady!
She now also serves on the HSUS Missouri state council farm animal protection council and EQUINE leadership council. There is a picture of her at this post cradling the head of a horse. Such a very, very different picture of one woman showing affection for an animal and the other above carrying a pig to be slaughtered.
She has adopted horses through Saddlebred Rescue- a non-profit that buys horses being sold for slaughter. And she has a dream to one day get a studio apartment in D.C. and lobby for animals. I hope she succeeds in this very needed and important endeavor. I also hope she is able to attract both men and women to lobby for the animals. For too long their needs have been and are still neglected. I don't know of any compassionate and caring DC animal lobbyists --do you?
But in the meantime, she wants to fight for better animal protection laws in her own state. As she notes: "It's dark for animals here in Missouri...We have to get active." One woman who cares deeply and does so much. We need many more like her.
ARI NESTLE. I'm sneaking in this very kind and caring man who I saw profiled on CBS Sunday Morning today. It started out with his showing a young Cleveland girl trying to make a difference with the homeless dogs and cats she tries to help. He sent her $1,000 dollars to help her in this endeavor.
In total he has found 524 worthy causes and sent each a $1,000 grant. That equals --$524,000. What a guy! God bless all those who are caring and compassionate.

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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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