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Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc.
38 East Market Street, Rhinebeck, New York 12572 USA -  845-876-2626
Vegetarian - Vegan - Animal Rights - Health - Nutrition - Environment

The mission of the Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc. is to promote the vegetarian ethic in the Mid-Hudson (New York) region, educate the community and aid anyone in the pursuit of a totally vegetarian (vegan) cruelty-free and healthful lifestyle.

Articles - Letters - and More

Letter to Dutchess County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

To the Board of Directors and Anna Waz, Development Director Dutchess County Society for the Prevention of Animals

I read in the January 25 edition of the Gazette Advertiser that you will be having a "Super Bowl" gathering as a fund raiser. "The event includes a sumptuous feast"; the paper said. I know you do excellent work in caring for and finding homes for companion animals.

Why then do you serve meat at your fund raiser? When I called to ask about the menu, I was told that it would include; Buffalo Wings, Cheese Platter, Meatballs, and Sausage. When I then asked why you would devote your efforts to saving some animals while eating some others, the answer you gave me was that you only provide for companion animals. I don't expect you to include all species in your shelter work, you are not set up for that. But, by serving the flesh of slaughtered animals you are sending the message that some animals (cats and dogs) are worthy of our concern and care while others, beef and dairy cattle, poultry and pigs are disposable.

I am sure you must be aware of the cruelty that our "modern" system of factory farming inflicts each year on billions, yes billions, of animals. Ten billion is the number that are slaughtered, one million each hour. And that is just in the USA. When you hear about people in other cultures who raise dogs and cats for food, you are surely horrified.

Yet cows, chickens and pigs love and care for their offspring, they feel pain, they suffer when confined indoors and fed unnatural diets. A day old calf cries piteously when taken from his or her mother and the cow bellows in frustration and loss. The horrors of the slaughterhouse are well documented (Cows being skinned while still alive, chickens put in a scalding tank and emerging alive.) This you, and most people are willing to live with. Yet when you learn about cats and dogs who are mistreated, you want to rescue them immediately.

Both the Catskill and Woodstock Animal Sanctuaries take care of rescued farm animals. All their event feature only vegan (no animal ingredients) food. What would people think if they served kitten stew and puppy pie because they don't take in dogs and cats?

We do not need to eat animals' flesh to survive, in fact, it is not even healthful. Meat and dairy consumption is linked to cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Factory farming causes pain and suffering and is responsible for much environmental damage. A report put out by the Food and Agricultural Organization in December states that the world's cattle contribute to 18 percent of global warming.

I hope when you look at the platters of food you put out next Sunday, you will consider that this meat was once the muscle tissue of living, breathing animals, who had a sense of self and an inborn knowledge of their place in the world and were prevented from taking it. Instead they were manipulated to grow to the specifications that humans decide are best for food and killed as soon as they reached them. None of them knew love or kindness.

I know of another humane society where, after becoming aware of the hypocrisy of serving meat at their events, now offers only vegan dishes. I serve as president of the Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society. If you have a change of heart and decide to serve vegan food in the future we are able to help you with menu planning. There are so many good alternatives to meat that totally cruelty free selections are possible. We always get rave reviews of the food at our events.

The Dutchess County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals could become an example in our community of not only care for some animals, but concern for all animals.

If you have no interest in changing your philosophy and practices, then I suggest that you consider changing your name to the Dutchess County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Only Dogs and Cats.

You are charging $50 to attend your event. Some of this money goes to support your canine and feline rescue and care work. A portion of it also supports the suffering of several other species.

I look forward to your reply.

Roberta Schiff - robbie@mhvs.org 845.876.5598

We look forward to hearing from you

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