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"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Michael Klaper, M.D. – 13 March 2009
By Mary T. Hoffman

“Visions of a Farming Past – and a Vegetarian Future” by Michael Klaper, M.D. is a must read article in the winter 2009 issue of “Health Science,” the membership journal of the National Health Association.

Based on a speech given by Dr. Klaper to the New Zealand Vegetarian Society on World Vegetarian Day, September 28, 2008 in Auckland, New Zealand, this article takes the reader on a fascinating, autobiographical journey from a childhood on an uncle’s dairy farm in northern Wisconsin to a vegan lifestyle.

“On the farm I saw that no dairy cow dies of old age. My uncle would keep each cow for a few years, getting as much milk and as many calves from her as he could, and when their milk production began to fall off, he called the knacker’s truck, and off they would go to be killed and made into hamburger. In reality, the dairy barn was a short stopping off place on the way to the slaughterhouse. Milk and meat – it was all the same, blood-stained industry.”

After receiving his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago in 1972, his experience working at Cook County Hospital, where victims of violence were brought to be treated, “made an indelible impression” on him. The effects of violence were not limited to the physical – there was “damage inflicted by mental, emotional, and sexual trauma upon body, mind and spirit.”

His transformation was accomplished through facing the truth. In Dr. Klaper’s words, after describing his awakening to the fact of fish on lines fighting for their lives, “…if I wanted to stop lying to myself, I found myself a vegan. Thankfully, I also found a world of delicious vegan cuisine and soon began feeling lighter, happier, more in truth with my inner knowing – and less complicit in something deeply hurtful to the life that I had come to love.”

There is much more to the article, such as the deleterious effects of industrial production of animals on soil and water. But Dr. Klaper is hopeful that “…by becoming the change we want to see in the world – we can help create a brighter future for us all.”

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