Animal Writes
6 January 1999 Issue

Open Letter To EnglandGal

Thank you so much for your recent kind words about our situation here in Korea.
I am glad that what I told you made you feel good--you deserve it because you
have just had a family tragedy that you may use in your next newsletter if you see
fit... Because of YOU, we will never face this situation in our own family -- our
cholesterol is very low due to our vegetarian diet.

My husband is flying from Korea to Boston tomorrow to attend the funeral of his
sister Eileen. On Dec. 9, 1998, she left her home to drive her eight year old son to
school, and felt a twinge in her chest that she attributed to "gas." She dropped
him off, and the feeling became worse. She drove to Quincy Hospital where she
collapsed and died at 8:25 am. The autopsy revealed that her arteries were
clogged with cholesterol due to her diet, which was the "average American diet."
Her family in the Boston area is in total shock, as are we. They are trying to figure
out how to get her buried, but not on Monday, Dec. 14th. That is just too hard on
everyone because it would have been her 37th birthday. She had no other health
problems, aside from elevated cholesterol.

PLEASE, IF YOU STILL EAT MEAT, STOP!!! If you are on this list, you have
people who will support you and give you the information you need to make the
change. It is not as hard as you think! I grew up in the Midwest and ate meat
EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE, but once I quit, I NEVER missed it! I have struggled
with tobacco addiction for many years now, even quitting for over a year at a time.
Although meat was a huge part of my life, I WISH tobacco was as easy to give up!!

Susan, we gave up meat because of what you showed us about the cruelty to
animals and devastation it causes to the earth. The health benefits were a happy
side-effect to us, nothing more. I still give out the "101 Reasons to be a
Vegetarian" to everyone who will listen, and reread it myself often. When we
settle down, we plan to become Vegan, rather than just vegetarian. Our daughter
will live a long and healthy life because of your work, and we should live long and
healthy lives too. I am sure that my eight year old nephew, Johnny, would rather
have his mom alive and with him than have her eat another "Italian Sausage Sub."
His Christmas will be one of utter despair -- and it was totally preventable.

I admire you SO MUCH for your ability to persevere in the face of animosity and
indifference. We struggle EVERY DAY to get vegetarian options here, and I must
confess I am easily beaten down and get depressed by the whole process, though
I would NEVER eat meat again. You are far stronger than I to keep trying to
change people's perceptions in the face of overwhelming odds. When I get totally
depressed, I think of Edward Lister (or was it John Lister?). He is the one that
showed what antisepsis could accomplish. When I was a teenager, I read a book
called, "The Great Doctors" and it talked about how he decided to try washing his
hands before and between treating patients. He cut the mortality rate from
infection in a maternity hospital by 85% by this simple procedure, yet he was
made a laughing stock and his findings were ridiculed during his lifetime. It was
only DECADES later that the medical establishment implemented what he proved
into accepted medical procedure. The millions of lives lost in the interim were due
only to stubbornness and intransigence. My nephew is motherless because of the
same attitudes... MEAT KILLS!!!

You are doing an incredibly valuable service. I am happy to tell you about the
impact you have, and provide you with a cautionary tale to possibly convert the
people on the edge of awareness.

I hope you have a warm and lovely holiday season -- you, more than virtually
everyone, deserve it!!


Deb Wolusky
Osan Air Base, Korea

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