Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
10 November 1999 Interview


This is an edited version of the Animal Rights Online chat room of last Sunday which featured our guest Howard Lyman. The chat was edited for readability.

PrkStRangr: Hello, I am PrkStRangr of Animal Rights Online, this evening's host. Welcome to the Animal Rights Online Chat with tonight's guest Howard Lyman. Allow me to introduce Howard and then please join in this discussion of the dangers of a meat based diet.

In 1996, former cattle rancher Howard Lyman was the guest on an Oprah Winfrey show which dealt with the possibility of an outbreak of mad cow disease in the US. This led to Howard being a codefendant with Oprah in the lawsuit brought by a group of Texas cattle ranchers under Texas' food disparagement law. He authored the book Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat, a personal account of his transformation from owning and operating a multi-million dollar cattle ranch to being a major spokesman for the vegetarian movement. Howard has been a lobbyist in Washington for the National Farmers Union, and ran for US Congress from Montana in 1982. He is the former Director of the Beyond Beef Campaign & the Humane Society of the United States' "Eating With Conscience" Campaign, past President of the International Vegetarian Union and was recently elected President of the EarthSave International. Thanks for joining us, Howard.

Hlyman: Its a great pleasure to be with you all tonight.
PrkStRangr: Would you like to start with a statement or questions from us?
Hlyman: send the questions
Electric Moon: It's an honor to have you here, Mr. Lyman
C4Animals: How do you view small farmers?
Hlyman: I think small family farmers are the foundation of our democracy
C4Animals: How do you think the family farmer fits in with your beliefs?
Hlyman: They are still using animals for people food but those animals are treated much better
PrkStRangr: although you and Oprah won the food disparagement lawsuit, the cattlemen have appealed it, when do you expect a final decision?
Hlyman: I believe the 5th circuit court of appeals will render a decision late Nov or Dec
Electric Moon: Mr. Lyman, what do you think about the possible connection between milk and colitis?
Hlyman: I believe most animal products have an adverse affect on human health. Colitis could be a direct result of consumption of animal products
PrkStRangr: could you tell us about the other suits? And do you have help with the legal bills?
Hlyman: 137 other cattlemen have also filed suit in State Court. We have moved it to Federal Court. HSUS has stood behind my legal costs and I expect they will continue
PrkStRangr: The thing about food disparagement, I thought you had to knowingly make false statements to be guilty of this "crime". Surely it is obvious we don't have anything to gain (money wise)
Hlyman: That is true but this is about the "golden rule". Them that got the gold want to
make the rules. This is about the defense of the right of free speech. Every American has a dog in this fight.
PrkStRangr: and two in this room
DogAdvocat: LOL
HugaDog36: owls too!
Hlyman: If we fail here, every activist in the US will be hard-pressed to continue
Electric Moon: Have you worked with Gary Francione on this? (I'm a law student)
Hlyman: I know Gary. He has not been involved.
C4Animals: Either way we'll be inspired to continue because of you
Montoya22: I am sure rooting for you
PrkStRangr: we all are
Hlyman: The entire movement has been supportive and helpful in this effort
Electric Moon: Heard you on Shelton Walden's show! :) What do you think of animal sacrifice? Supreme Ct ruled in favor of animal sacrifice in 93
Hlyman: Nothing could be worse than animal sacrifice. The Supreme Court at one time also supported slavery
SwitiPai: good point
Hlyman: They are not always right.
Electric Moon: It's very depressing , though
Hlyman: Yes
EnglandGal: Howard, do you get discouraged or are you optimistic that vegetarianism/ veganism will become mainstream soon?
Corrynthia: I was wondering how far you have seen veganism progress since going vegan?
Hlyman: There is no one that is more optimistic in the world than I am. The only question
I have is whether we win in time
RADICALVEG: Howard, I have a concern that the tremendous proliferation of vegan "fake" meats and dairy
Hlyman: The majority of Americans will be vegetarian in our life time. The fake meat products are great transitions for some people
C4Animals: I enjoy fake meat products, they are especially good for family cooking
Montoya22: How close are you to convincing Oprah to be veggie?
EnglandGal: Someone told me that Oprah is now promoting a meat based diet. Is this so?
Hlyman: Mad Cow focused attention genetic engineering will be the key to change
Montoya22: Yes she is! she into that no carb crap!
Hlyman: Oprah is going through a great learning process right now.
HugaDog36: Oprah is deperate about her weight
Hlyman: I believe she will be the key to the change in the paradigm
Montoya22: I agree we need her on our side
PrkStRangr: especially when we get sued
Hlyman: Every bite of meat that is not eaten is a step in the right direction
Electric Moon: Howard, health concerns aside, how can people in meat industry stand the cruelty?
Hlyman: We need to remember at one time we were all meat eaters
C4Animals: Oprah needs to change from the standard American diet, exercise will not do it alone
Hlyman: Its when someone asks us if we are a "v" person, they are ready to learn
Hlyman: Oprah's weight problems are not much different than what I went through
EnglandGal: Howard, I once heard someone refer to drinking milk as drinking a slice of veal calf. It really hits home when we look at it in that perspective don't you agree?
Hlyman: Using dairy products contributes as much to the problem as eating meat
PAD4PAWS21: Hlyman what made you change? Animal cruelty or health benefits?
Hlyman: I started with health but today the moral issue is the driving force. All products labels should be read very carefully and vegan are those that are acceptable
BBunch1109: Dairy is worse than all other meats combined.
PrkStRangr: will the lawsuits cut down on your speeches Howard? And do you plan another book?
Hlyman: I will continue to speak out as long as the problem exists. I will write another book in the future about my travels
PrkStRangr: great on the book, I so enjoyed Mad Cowboy. Learn more about Howard's book at
Montoya22: Are you a "strict" vegan Howard?
Hlyman: I'm hard-core VEGAN
Electric Moon: Howard, do you speak at schools? :)
Hlyman: Yes I speak at schools
RADICALVEG: Howard, would it be fair to say that one can construct a vegan diet that is not a healthy one
Electric Moon: If you just eat pasta and call yourself vegan, that's unhealthy - makes us look bad!
Hlyman: There can be many bad vegan diets. The closer to raw and organic your diet, the better
Corrynthia: Howard, since going vegan, which change has been more profound -- physical (how you feel), mental or spiritual
Hlyman: Any animal losing its life to feed humans to shorten theirs is intolerable
AnimalSav: Hlyman, it isnt a lot different than animals eating each other, the wild is no picnic either
Hlyman: Since becoming vegan I have more energy. I need less sleep and my mind is clearer
Electric Moon: That doesn't excuse our behavior, though
KarenDawn1: I've never seen a factory farm in the wild Ansav
PrkStRangr: good point
Hlyman: I believe the spiritual learning I am practicing is one of the best things that has happened
Electric Moon: That's the problem of Welfare vs. Rights philosophy
PAD4PAWS21: Did you find the transition hard from meat to vegan Hlyman?
LuanneNY: I agree with you, Howard that being a vegan gives more energy!
AnimalSav: but you HAVE seen documetaries of lions etc killing baby deer no? (They cut the graphics out of course)
Corrynthia: The spiritual side of veganism is a nice surprise -- I wasn't expecting it
BBunch1109: The wild is no picnic? I can't believe I'm hearing this!
PrkStRangr: LOL
SavingLife: hlyman, what spiritual learning is it that u r practicing?
KarenDawn1: ilke to think of myself as having more choices than a lion
Hlyman: Only about 10% of wild animals eat other animals
BBunch1109: Lions killing deer is not quite the same as factory farming.
Hlyman: The hell with philosophy, lets save animals lives
SwitiPai: Howard - would you care to share anything about the hunger strike? I see you will be joining it on 1/1.
Hlyman: I plan on participating in the hunger strike when my schedule permits in Feb
SwitiPai: that's great!
EnglandGal: Howard, what will you contribute your strike to?
Hlyman: I will support Robert Cohen in his attempt to remove posilic
C4Animals: how do I find out about the hunger strike?
PrkStRangr: great on posilic,
C4Animals: Posilic?
PrkStRangr: Posilic, bovine growth hormone
Hlyman: The American people are ripe for information on GE
PrkStRangr: yes and on Monsanto
SwitiPai: I agree. People will listen to info about GE who won't listen to other reasons for going vegan
LuanneNY: GE?
SwitiPai: (genetic engineering)
PrkStRangr: How did the producers of Agent Orange ever get to be in charge of our food supply?
Montoya22: monsanto =WAY EVIL
SavingLife: Hlyman, do u feel that the accusations that the meat industry has the government in its back pocket r true?
Hlyman: We Have the best government money can buy
Montoya22: lol howard
PrkStRangr: What advice would you give as the best means of us spreading the word?
Hlyman: Our task is to educate the thinking people on all animal issues
BBunch1109: Exactly, HL. the health issues open the door.
Hlyman: They own the govt today but we can control the future
PrkStRangr: I sure hope
C4Animals: What do you think will bring the AR movement together?
KarenDawn1: How can we change who owns the govt?
Hlyman: The loudest voice you have is walking your talk. When people ask you must have the answer for the 35 seconds they are willing to listen
Corrynthia: what is your 35 second anwer?
Hlyman: ask the question, who produced my food, what did they use on it, what's it doing to me, the environment and the animals
PAD4PAWS21: has your family gone vegan?
Hlyman: Remember, 80% of the people are brain-dead. Only try to educate those that are still thinking
Montoya22: I would say 95%
BBunch1109: lol and I meet 95% of those everyday
Hlyman: The 80% will follow when the thinkers set out a path
Montoya22: If the people will lead then the leaders will follow
HugaDog36: I went vegan about 4 years ago just by watching another vegan's example
Hlyman: If there are 95% brain-dead then we only have to educate 3%
PrkStRangr: LOL
C4Animals: I thought I was the only one meeting 80% brain dead people
EnglandGal: Howard, do you share your life with companion animals, and if so are they vegan?
Hlyman: My family has not gone vegan, my wife has - some are vegies and I'm working on the rest. The emperor of the world allows my wife and I to live with him. His favorite food is cantelope, peas, corn, brussel sprouts
PrkStRangr: and he is what species Howard?
Hlyman: Benny is THE CAT
AnimalSav: I did some fairly extensive looking into the redered pets in animal feed issue. Someone claimed euth. animals from shelters were taken to rendering plants. I found the plant mentioned in the paper and contacted the owner, he never replied!
SwitiPai: Wasn't rendering made illegal????
C4Animals: rendering goes on:
Hlyman: Rendering is proceeding as usual
AnimalSav: the owner admitted to a newspaper reporter that some of the "protein meal" from that line did wind up in pet food along with flea collars, plastic bags from supermarket spoiled meat returns... the euthanasia drugs, metal tags and collars etc
Hlyman: Enthanized pets are routinely rendered and placed in pet and animal food
Electric Moon: Are there any animal-friendly politicians/candidates?
Hlyman: Animal friendly politicians are as scarce as hen's teeth
PrkStRangr: I heard hen have teeth now, they have evolved since we started feeding them cows.
BBunch1109: LOL
KarenDawn1: lol prk
KarenDawn1: How's Bradley on Animals?
Hlyman: I hve no idea about Bradley's animal position
Electric Moon: there seems to be no differences in Dems and Reps with regards to animals
Hlyman: We have one party with 2 designations
Electric Moon: Howard, lol
Zindarella: Do you know of anyone running for president thats supportive of animals?
Hlyman: The Natural Law Party
PAD4PAWS21: have they stopped putting animals in farm feeds?
Hlyman: We are still feeding animals to all animals. We have just quit feeding cows sheep and goats to themselves
SwitiPai: so it's selective rendering?
PAD4PAWS21: so chicken feed and pig feed is still got animals in it?
BBunch1109: HL, like they think that makes a difference? :(
SwitiPai: I suppose it keeps animals from being cannibals, but that's about it.
AnimalSav: your "resume" says you have been on the radio many times
Hlyman: I have appeared on as many as 1000 radio stations a month
AnimalSav: can you share info on the stations and how to interest them in a piece on other issues?
Hlyman: I believe radio to be the greatest tool for change
Electric Moon: Howard, you were great on Walden's Pond a couple of yrs ago!
AnimalSav: I have an issue that needs radio time but I only went on two shows Was on animal forum and another show in Orange cty CA. The latter i went on with Kim Roberts of the HSUS
Hlyman: To get time on radio you must develop a personal relationship with the talk show hosts and you must have the ability to cause the phone to ring. To do 1000 stations you must start with a show that is syndicated
PrkStRangr: We are nearing the end and I wanted to tell people that they can learn more by going to and the websites of EarthSave International and Voice for a Viable Future. And buy Mad Cowboy and give it as gifts this Christmas
Electric Moon: I'm buying it for my mom -she just went veg! :)
BBunch1109: A good vegan gift if ever there was one!
EnglandGal: Howard, we will be advertising your book in a few weeks here on Animal Rights Online so the subscribers (currently over 2500) will be able to purchase your book for themselves and holiday gifts
PrkStRangr: and we all look forward to your next book about your travels
C4Animals: How did you develop your wonderful charisma?
Hlyman: My charisma came from my wife!
Electric Moon: Howard, lol - don't forget your cat!
C4Animals: God bless her
Hlyman: Benny is in charge of all things good
SoldbyBob: Mr. Lyman, what are the diferences between wild game & domestic meat? Health wise
Hlyman: Wild game has less fat and a better life
SoldbyBob: Why does it have less fat?
Hlyman: Wild game has less fat because they consume the diet that was intended for them and not concentrated grain like factory feedlots
SoldbyBob: So wild game would then be better for us instead of domestic meats?
Electric Moon: Sold, the point is NO MEAT
Hlyman: Wild game should be seen and not eaten
Electric Moon: Well said, Howard!
SoldbyBob: Mr. Lyman, that's not an answer to my question.
PrkStRangr: Folks we are out of time....but feel free to stay and chat if you wish and Howard....Thank you so much for being our guest tonight
Electric Moon: Thank you, Howard!!
DogAdvocat: Thank you all for coming tonight, and special thanks to Howard Lyman for all the great information.
BBunch1109: Thanks for your time!
DogAdvocat: Anyone wanting a log of this chat, please e-mail me.
Montoya22: God bless you Howard Lyman and thank you
GrtHrnedOwl: thank you Mr. Lyman
Corrynthia: Thanks for spending some time with us!!
Hlyman: Its been a great joy to be with all of you. Work for the Animals

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