The Viva Vine: vol #3, no #3: May / June 1994
GRAPEVINE

The VivaVine welcomes letters, articles, manuscripts and graphics for publication or reference. Deadline for submissions for next issue is August 10, 1994. (No July/August issue.) "The VivaVine" always needs help at mailing time. Next issue mails at the end of August.

Dear VivaVegie Society:
I am a college student who ran across your pamphlet "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian." Many of the arguments appeal to me, and I have since become a vegetarian.

Right after reading the pamphlet, I began to refrain from eating any animal products, including milk, cheese, or eggs. The idea of being free from animal products (including foods animals produce) appeals to me in some ways.

However, I've found it hard to hold up this pattern of eating because of all the different foods that contain milk and egg. Doesn't bread from the supermarket contain these products? I consider bread to be a base of my diet.

All in all, I guess you will be happy in knowing that I've given up all meat.
-- Sincerely, David Steiner, Lancaster, PA

Dear David:
Welcome to the ranks of label readers. It can be a hard life, being a vegetarian, unfortunately -- a hard life because the people outside of it have made it that way. My salvation is the support I get from other vegetarians. I have surrounded myself with friends who are in this animal products-free world, too. On the one hand, these friends and the little world I've built around me, get me through the day; on the other hand, I live for a time when the issues of vegetarianism fill the airwaves and dominate the front pages of all the daily newspapers. I truly believe that vegetarians must become political because the lifestyle is not only one of a peculiar preference, but one of deep social consciousness

Happy that you are a vegetarian? Well, I'm not exactly marking notches on the wall. I might note that I am forever grateful to my friend Kim Rosenthal for exposing me to vegetarianism; but ultimately, I made the choice.

My "veg-evangelism" falls on deaf ears all the time. So, just thank yourself for having the strength of character to set aside a whole world of propaganda and brainwashing in order to see the common sense in a vegetarian diet. You made the choice and you, I guarantee, will reap invaluable benefits.

Finally, hang in there. And as Karen Davis (of United Poultry Concerns) told me recently: Never, ever apologize for caring about animals, the earth, your health, for hungry people, or in other words, for being a vegetarian. The next letter, here, offers some hope.
-- Sincerely, Pamela

Pamela:
The local Vegy Society is introducing a seal of approval for food companies that are concerned about their customer's health. I was getting eye strain reading ingredient labels, and this seal simplifies food choices. Here is a sample of it. What do you think?
-- Ralph Meyer, Santa Monica, CA

Dear Ralph:
I love it! And you just gave me an idea--a large-type edition of "The VivaVine."
--Pamela

Good Morning! Enclosed is one dollar and an SASE. Please send me your "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian." My biggest reason for being a vegetarian is it bothers my conscience to eat animal products.
-- Sincerely, J.M., Cameron Park, CA

To "The VivaVine":
My wife gave me a copy of your newsletter and your "101 Reasons..." as a stocking-stuffer this past Christmas. I'd love to start receiving "The VivaVine" regularly as I find it very inspiring to read about vegetarianism.
-- Scott Walker, East Hampton, CT

Dear Pam Teisler:
I just subscribed to Vegetarian Times. I became a vegetarian at the beginning of November of 1993 and I would love to receive your "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian." Where I live lots of people are telling me I'm not doing the right thing. I feel that I am. It's been in my heart a long time to do this. I would like to have your reasons to be a vegetarian so I have some more besides my own. I feel much healthier and happier. Thank you.
-- A.O., Bellingham, WA

Dear Ms. Teisler:
During last year's Easter Parade, my husband took a picture of you addressing a crowd. The picture turned out very well; it shows you -- dressed in your veggie outfit -- holding up a brochure. Passers by look at you as one records you on a camcorder.

I was interested in the picture because I am developing a text for use with a beginning level university public speaking class. I would like to use the photograph in the context of types of audiences. The caption under the picture would read something like this: "Speakers sometimes use unusual means to attract a pedestrian audience." Thank you.
-- Clella I. Jaffe, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

(Ed. Note: Permission was given to run the photo. The publisher is Wadsworth Publishing Company of Belmont, California.)

(Ed. Note: Look for more letters from those 540 congresspeople who were each sent a copy of the 101 Reasons... in the next issue of "The VivaVine.")

Dear Pam,
Thanks to your newsletter our local mountain store, here in the Catstkills, is "hormone free," that is BGH free.

Listen, I thought you would be interested in this poem about my neighbors. Here it goes ...
COWBOY DEER
Cowboy deer with big ears
like the pistol handles
of a pioneer
sticking out on each side
standing
in the middle of the road
staring -- daring
me to go for my gun
-- but I have none.
This one
and his kind
are the real cowboys
and cowgirls of this world.
Every year they face the guns
and hard winters,
sleep beneath stars
without shelter
armed with nothing but the glorious spirit
of a cowboy deer.
by Randy Fredrix, rock musician and cowboy deer lover, caretaker of one vegan cat Manx, and one vegan dog Hopi. Copyright © 1994 Randy Frederix. All Rights Reserved.

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