Ramblings From a Compassionate Heart
A Series of Commentaries
by Mary T. Hoffman
prayer, compassion, love, fear, hate, cruelty, abuse, cowardice, self-indulgence, sadism, truth, lies, pain, suffering, peace, emotions, comfort, creatures, humans, people, animals, God, Jesus, Christ, Holy Spirit, church, religion, politics
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29 January 2002
I just finished writing a letter to the editor of the Vegetarian Journal in Baltimore, Maryland, about a disturbing trend that appears to be increasing in some circles, including their organization.
Lately, some who are spokespersons in the vegetarian/vegan movement appear to be backpedaling, becoming wishy-washy in their message. They talk about "tolerance", but it takes very little effort for a listener to detect guilt coming through. For example, in Michele Simonís diatribe against vegans in the latest issue of The Animalsí Agenda magazine, she mentions that she wears leather shoes.
In the vegetarian/vegan movement, we have often found that guilt for personal self-indulgence often lies at the bottom of "tolerance" rhetoric. In my opinion, using The Animalsí Agenda as a forum for venting against others because of her own obvious shortcomings is irresponsible, and further calls into question the integrity of the magazine for printing a personal "agenda" in a magazine purporting to be in the interest of the animals.
In my opinion, for someone who is aware of the present increasing holocaust of animals to refuse to curtail any activity that perpetuates such abuse and to publicly defend it is insensitive as well as arrogant and selfish.
As long-time vegans, who came from the ranks of meat eaters and gradually through vegetarianism, we have had years to observe and interact with a wide spectrum of people.
Early on in our journey, when there was a heated debate going on in the local newspaper between hunters and non-hunters, a hunter admitted that he respected only those who lived their professed ideals, and named one individual who was a practicing vegan as being worthy of respect.
The public scrutinizes those who would be leaders and is quick to spot lapses in those who proclaim the rights of animals and veganism. Such lapses are seen as dishonest and cowardly. Generally, people seem to admire those who live up to high standards.
For "leaders" to betray that trust by watering down the message, is doing violence to humans as well as to animals and the environment.
Watercolor Painting by Mary T. Hoffman
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