Humane Religion Magazine
March - April 1998 Issue
A LETTER FROM THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
We have excerpted portions of the following letter, which was written to us by someone who recently came into possession of The Slaughter of Terrified Beasts, a book that was written by Rev. J.R. Hyland, the editor of Humane Religion.
Dear Rev. Hyland,
I have a copy of your book The Slaughter of Terrified Beasts, which I bought when I saw it listed in the PETA catalog...I am a Christian. I made my vows of Confirmation at age 13 in the Lutheran Church. I am now 76 years old. It wasn't until about 1974 that I became a vegetarian. At that time we moved to a farm community outside of Omaha, Nebraska. Since our daughter was lactose intolerant and a farmer neighbor of ours had goats, I asked if I could buy goats milk for her. That was when I got an insight as to what goes on in "factory" farming. As I went each week to buy the goats milk, I saw how veal is made. I also saw the baby calf born and that it was (almost) immediately taken from the mother cow and placed in a narrow stall (crate) to spend the six months of its life in semi-darkness. The mother cow bawled continuously for five days and five nights after the calf was taken from her. It was Spring and our windows were open. Such a pitiful sound. I finally went to the farmer and said, "I feel so sorry for that baby calf crying for its mother." He said, "It's the mother bawling for her baby." I [also] saw a mother pig chained by one leg on a concrete slab. This is where she spent her entire life, artificially inseminated, and pumping out piglets. She could not turn or stand anymore. It was after all this that I decided I would not eat animals anymore.....
Your sister in Christ, Dorothy Ruge.
In her letter, Mrs. Ruge went on to describe the lack of interest, or even comment, on the part of those with whom she tried to share the message of God's concern and love for animals, that is found in Slaughter/Beasts. But whether they were part of church community, or outside it, people did not want to discuss this subject with her.
When HR wrote Mrs. Ruge, asking for permission to print excerpts from her letter, we also asked if she would be more comfortable having it printed anonymously. We loved her reply:
"You may use my name if you wish. It takes courage to stand up for animal rights, especially when surrounded by carnivores, just as it takes courage to stand up for Jesus Christ, when surrounded by non-believers." #