The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Letters and Responses
Letter from Sandy Zelazny About Condoning Hatred - 5 Jun 2005
I am a vegetarian, because of the sickening ways that animals are prepared for sale. I believe that all beings ought to be treated with respect. This is why I find it quite disturbing that you use such violent language to refer to the people involved in this trade.
I agree that the actions performed by these people are evil. However, I do not believe that the people themselves are evil. They are ignorant, and blinded to the cruelty of their actions because they have never understood any other way. They have cut themselves off from empathy in the face of other forces, such as greed, pride, or financial necessity. Evil and Good are not black and white. I find your use of these words disturbing as it seems to condone hate, saying that it is all right to hate these people. It perpetuates the evil lack of empathy that your page so strongly cries out against.
You often quote the bible in your arguments. However, the bible also teaches forgiveness. I believe that there needs to be more respect and understanding all round in order to make progress toward the ideal that we strive for. I do not believe that it is wrong, in essence, to eat meat; that is nature. Look, for example, to the ways of the Native Americans; they would hunt animals in the wild, when they truly needed to eat, and always thank the animal for their life, treating it with respect. This example continues to show that things are not black and white. Things are never either good or evil, and it is never right to hate.
New Brunswick, Canada
Reply from Frank and Mary Hoffman
Thank you for your letter.
We agree with you in most cases, and we can't recall any place that we condone hatred. We promote compassion and love and respect for the whole of creation.
But there are those who deliberately and knowingly cause pain and suffering to others, such as the men who deliberately skin raccoon dogs alive for the fir trade, and for the approval of the cheering crowd that watches them. How would you describe these people, other than being evil?
In the Love of the Lord,
Frank and Mary
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