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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 From the Winter 1997 Newsletter

Birds, People and Learning

The oven bird is among the many birds that build their nests on the ground.   The bald eagle is among other birds that build their nests in the top of trees.  Both ways can be dangerous to the young from predators or high winds. Why do birds build their nests the way they do.  Simple, they do so because that's the way their parents taught them.  Others in the animal world are the same, kittens, calves, foals, etc., all learn behavior from their parents. The human animal is no different (although I think we could learn much about child rearing by watching other animals). We learn behavior from our early upbringing. Behavioral experts say that habits and our direction in life is formed before the age of seven. Many abused children become adult child abusers.   Children that torture and kill animals often become murderers as adults. 

Eating habits are begun at an early age. The child that is brought up on fast food, will continue to do so as an adult. The brainwashing we receive about the importance of animal protein stays with us and is difficult to break.  Traditions of holiday eating goes from generation to generation. For those of us who have changed to a vegan lifestyle, holidays can be very difficult. We gave up eating animals, we didn't give up our families and friends and living in the world.

Paul Obis (founder of Vegetarian Times) went back to eating meat after years of being a vegetarian. This is sad. I think those who go back to their original lifestyle never really understood what vegetarianism is all about.  It's more than just changing eating habits because it's healthier.  They're missing the ethical reasons for not eating flesh. There is also the toll of raising animals for food on the environment and the diseases caused by eating and handling of animal flesh and blood.  Animals go through horrible abuse and violence before they land on the plate.  To eat an animal that was once alive and had feelings, I could never do again.

I think Mr. Obis's reasons for eating meat again are frivolous. (see Dec. issue: Self Mag-Prodigal Son). I will continue to be uncomfortable sitting at a table with meat eaters (though I'll keep it to myself).  And I will continue living in this world as it is while trying to change it in my own little way,  because I have found that to endure being a complete vegetarian one's mind, body and soul must be consumed by it.

Rae Schlecht

Return to Winter 1997 Newsletter

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