Persecuting Men of Vision
School Issues from Tell Youth The Truth

Persecuting Men of Vision

by Robert Cohen 

A book burning was held recently. Welcome to the new United States of Amerika, a nation in which Homeland Security means protecting children against subversive ideas such as the promotion of compassion to animals. Such as the vegetarian lifestyle.

A vegan art teacher dared to distribute books by John Robbins to his students. Those books were joyously burned at a barbecue in which cow parts were also roasted by members of a suburban community. What was the teacher's crime?

Let me quote Mrs. Lovett in the new Johnny Depp movie, Sweeney Todd, brilliantly directed by Tim Burton. When asked what crime a barber was prosecuted for and transported away for a life of hard labor in a ship's galley, she responds:

"His crime? Foolishness."

In real-life 21st century terms, Dave Warwak's middle school crime was to inspire his art students (just as Peter Max once did) that compassion to animals and people is a blessing and not a crime.

Dave's website tells the story of his tormenting experience and firing by the school board: 

Vegan radio has an interesting perspective on Dave's experiences. You can hear his archived show (#47): 

Dave Warwak took the burdens of the world upon his own shoulders. Like many men of wisdom and courage throughout history who have been honored by those who are touched by greatness, Dave has been persecuted for society's sins.

I cannot do anything better than to compare Dave's continuing struggle to Galileo's.

In 1632, Galileo turned his attention to a new frontier, and in doing so, angered religious leaders. By placing lenses inside of a long tube, Galileo's primitive telescope allowed him to discover four moons revolving around the planet Jupiter. His invention was destroyed and Galileo tortured and imprisoned. Man's laws gave this fanatic and visionary two choices: recant his previous discovery or die. Galileo had no choice but to exist in a world in which his truth became a threat to the men of his time. Dispelling myths has always been dangerous to one's health. Sixty years after Galileo's trial, Salem Massachusetts persecuted, tortured, and burned women to death after accusing them of witchcraft. Three hundred and fifteen years later, Dave faces similar condemnation by his meat-eating peers.

Dave refuses to betray his values or his mission. Welcome this new vegan visionary into a movement badly in need of heroes.

Return to School Issues