The Fellowship of Life
a Christian-based vegetarian group founded in 1973



I did not see the issue Christian Hibbert writes about so I can't judge accurately whether vegetarians were really hateful to meateaters - I know that I, as a vegan, have none of the difficulties mentioned by Mr. Hibbert concerning cheese as we vegans use none. I do have some thoughts about hate and love though, as I view myself as at least a partial disciple of Gandhi, who counselled people to love the actor regardless of the action.

The best way to change an action is with loving counsel to the actor towards better action and away from bad action. As to hate, Eric Blair (George Orwell) seems to have said it right when he said that the state required a daily portion of two minutes of it in order to hold sway over its citizens - perhaps without it a dictatorship like Blair's feared 1984 could never be. There has to be a bit of hate, however, in anyone responsible for the killing of animals - or at least callousness concerning their plight so I would think that any "meat-eater" might be able to examine this attitude within towards animals if their own guilt feelings about it would let them.

These days there is an additional callousness which goes along with "meat-eating" too and that's the callousness towards one's companion humans who starve because of the waste involved in feeding foods to animals fattened for slaughter, when the land growing these foods could be used by growing crops for people. If "meat-eaters" really cared for people they would realise that in the hour it takes them to dine 2,000 humans have starved to death. This might make them want to eat directly thus using a fraction of the land and food required by their secondary diets now. As to Mr. Hibbert's proposal that vegetarians countenance slaughter, it hardly seems worth mentioning save for the fact that some people really believe that so-called "humane slaughter" really is the issue when, in fact, it is merely a justification for flesh eaters to carry on their activities once the "humane slaughter" conditions are observed. The fact is that no matter how suavely or sadistically an animal - or a person - is killed that murder is unjustifiable.

Jews like myself are particularly conscious of this because the Nazis had a habit of telling us that a "shower bath" awaited us when, in fact, a gas chamber did. The fact that our people were transported in "cattle-cars" to the concentration camps is another striking parallel which would make any thinking human, Jew or otherwise, reflect upon the very real need for the abolition of all killing of humans by humans and of animals by humans.

What better way to begin upon such a pacifist journey than with the day to day decision of the average person to kill - or countenance killing - for food. No, it doesn't make sense for vegetarians to work for "humane slaughter" nor would it have made sense for Jews to work for humane gas chambers. The only way to stop killing is to stop killing. Anything else is illogical.

Bob Pinkus
New Jersey

The Vegetarian

(January 1976).   

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