Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
From  Issue
24 February 2002
The Great American Protest

By Robert Cohen - [email protected]

Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is dead, and his gruesome murder was recorded on videotape.

Pearl's grisly death was carefully planned. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is analyzing the actual tape of his murder.

Pearl's last words were:

"I am a Jew, my mother is a Jew."

Pearl was then killed by a man holding a large knife. The man slashed Pearl's throat, and the expression on Pearl's face and the pleading look in his eyes will be forever replayed in the nightmares of the horrified investigators who have reviewed the taped evidence.

Pearls last thoughts must have included a very confused "Why are you doing this to me?"

As Pearl was bleeding to death, his executioner completely decapitated him. The final slash of the knife severed a spinal cord that delivered no further signals of pain. Fifteen to thirty seconds later, all of the oxygen-sustaining blood had dripped from Pearl's brain, and the final thought processes delivered Pearl into his gentle oblivion.

I have seen that same look many times before. I turned away from the animals I killed. Some lives were ended in the name of science. As a researcher, I once recognized that brain chemistry changes with anesthesia, so I decapitated animals while holding them in my hands without administering pain killers.

As a fisherman, I cut off the heads of living breathing creatures. As a hunter, I saw that "look" as animals took their last breath, then exhaled what I believed was their soul. As one who once raised ducks and geese for food, I felt the struggle for life, as I brought about death.

Twenty-seven million, four hundred thousand animals die every single day in America so that people can be fed. Each one of these gentle creatures experiences final thoughts. Each cow or sheep or pig or bird feels the pain of a knife. In other nations, the cat or dog that would be a family companion in the United States experiences that same pain. Each head is severed from a protesting body.

Every human pet owner who has ever lived with companion animals knows that these creatures have emotions, give and receive love, and have the ability to feel pain. There can be no denying these truths.

Each creature lived a gentler life before man's final solution, a plan that brought a moment or two of extreme terror to a living life force. Every animal killed for food in America shares one undeniable common element: Every living creature possesses the innate abilities to feel pain and confusion.

There is one man more than any other who attempts to negate the insanity by becomming the savior. One man, who for eighteen years has tried to communicate their pain to his often clueless fellow humans. His name is Alex Hershaft, and each year, just for a few moments, Alex asks all citizens of the world to join in the Great American Meat-Out. For one day, Hershaft asks meat eaters to take pity on the animals who suffer the violent acts of life-ending cruelty of the slaughterhouse.


On the first day of spring, celebrate the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, beans, and nuts. Do not eat animals on that day, for in doing so, you must take responsibility for the knife, and the fear, and the pain, and the death. Alex lives this life of his 365 days per year, and hopes that you will join him.

Governors from 37 states have issued statements supporting Alex Hershaft's Great American Meat-Out. Celebrities have participated in publicizing and attending this event. They include:

Ed Asner, Bob Barker, Dirk Benedict, James Cromwell, Doris Day, Peter Falk, Frances Fisher, Jennie Garth, Sara Gilbert, Chrissie Hynde, Casey Kasem, Rue McClanahan, Bill Maher, Hayley Mills, Mary Tyler Moore, Kevin Nealon, Cassandra 'Elvira' Peterson, Joaquin Phoenix, and Ally Sheedy.

Also sports figures Tony LaRussa, Mark Levy, and Al Oerter, and authors and educators Berke Breathed, Michael Jacobson, Frances Moore Lappe, John McDougall and Jeremy Rifkin.

Alex's program has become more than just an American event. You can join the protest by accessing a list of American states and nations of the world participating in this enormously successul grassroots movement: 

Visit Alex Hershaft's website: 

This summer, there will be 1,000 people attending Alex Hershaft's annual animal
rights conference. I will be there, and so will my three children, for our future
health and happiness includes a world in which there is no more abuse for any living creature. Should you wish to attend the June 28-July 3 conference, visit:

Go on to A Tip From EnglandGal
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