The Viva Vine: vol #6, no #2: March / April 1997

cluster of grapes

G . R . A . P . E . V . I . N . E



The VivaVine welcomes your letters. 
Send them to our post office box address . . .or:

"101 Reasons"--no fit for Hitler

While other myths about Hitler--that he was peace loving, etc.-have long been discredited, the myth that he was a vegetarian seems to carry with it a life of its own.

Of course Hitler was carnivorous. None of your 101 reasons for being a vegetarian fit him.

He could not have been a vegetarian for health reasons, as he was a drug addict, taking as many as 28 kinds of drugs, including various injections (one a preparation of pulverized bull testicles).

He could not have been a vegetarian for ecological reasons, having devastated much of Europe.

And does anyone believe he was a vegetarian because he had compassion for animals? There is no greater mistreatment of animals than in war. To understand this, you need only see newsreels of horses being used by the German army on battlefields.

Ralph Meyer, Santa Monica, California

Consciousness that cannot be shared

I have been a vegetarian for 30 years and feel great. For me, it's an uphill battle because I've had two marriages to nonvegetarians, not realizing that it was important to marry a vegetarian for true harmony in a marriage.

The level of spiritual consciousness and enlightenment attained by a vegetarian cannot be shared with a meat-eating spouse.

Harold Altman, New York, New York

Bacon in everything they make

E-mail from a wanna-be vegan

I have been been a vegetarian for about two and a half years, with plans of going vegan in the near future. I'd have done it sooner but for the fact that I'm in the military and the chow hall is where I must eat.

You know, they just love putting bacon in everything they make here. Luckily, in seven months I'll be out and able to shop for myself.

Mike, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia

More than a two-minute effluvium

The following letter was sent to The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina, in response to a story about odor from industrial hog production.

I grew up in England. My parents were avid hikers. Many weekends were spent rambling through the countryside of Yorkshire and Derbyshire. It is good farmland, with goodly herds of cows, flocks of sheep, plenty of chickens, geese, pigs, etc. They didn't cause horrendous smells or pollution problems because they were in fields-droppings were widely scattered and degradable. Now we have all this uproar and outrage about nasty, smelly hog farms and stinky chickens and the resultant pollution.

We, the people, have created this mess by crowding animals into small, miserable pens. Pity the woman who has to whip out a fresh deodorizer when she drives by-surely a good two minutes of effluvium to assail her senses.

What about the animals? They have noses, too, and have to live day in and day out in malodorous conditions. We have done this to them, depriving them of their natural-born right to fresh air, sunlight and greenery.

Patricia Fahmy, Raleigh, North Carolina

Getting past the gulag librarian

The following letter was sent to Charles Patterson, author of eight books, including Animal Rights.

In this oppressive environment, where I am incarcerated, there is very little educational material available for prisoners to learn about animal liberation and/or vegetarianism. I will attempt to persuade the "gulag librarian" to order a copy of your book Animal Rights, but I doubt if the prison administration will order it for me. If I possessed adequate funds, I would purchase a copy of it myself.

Yes, I am a vegetarian and have been for over 30 years. Being vegetarian in a penal setting is not the easiest way to exist, as you can imagine.

I will close by saying that it felt good to receive even a Post-It note from a man who has written such a valuable book, which will no doubt save many animal lives and inspire genuine change.

Harold H. Thompson, Turney Center Industrial Prison, Only, Tennessee

According to Charles, he sent Mr. Thompson a copy of Animal Rights, as well as a copy of "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian."

What timing!

Thanks for posting "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian" on the Net. We first saw the list posted on a restaurant window in Berkeley--moments after our niece and nephew had asked why we were vegetarians. Talk about timing.

Jacaronda, Arcata, California

Ours, if you're only having one

The Vine arrived today, and all I can say is "Wow!" There's a brewery that says that theirs is "the beer to have if you're only having one."

All I can say about vegetarian societies is "VivaVegie is the society to support if you're only supporting one!"

Stan and Rhoda Sapon, Rochester Area Vegetarian Society, Rochester, New York

Reams of rebuttals we could write

I am writing on behalf of the Vegetarian Society of Indiana, which has been in existence for less than two years.

Someone handed me your "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian" recently, and I found it to be very well done.

I shouldn't say this, but I had considered writing my own until I found yours.

Monika K., Indianapolis, Indiana

Dear Monika:
That's right, you shouldn't say that. Please, Monika, do not think by any means that all the writing that ever needed to be done on this subject has already been published! The meat-and-dairy industrial complex is cranking out their point of view by the ream.

Indeed, every time I go through the stacks of reference material I use to produce The VivaVine, I say to myself that I

could surely fill a tabloid newspaper every day with rebuttals to the meat-eating world.

Join me in cranking out our own reams with our own vegetarian slant. There is much, much more to explain. -Peas, Pamela

Backyard throat-slitting, anyone? [Want to eat an animal? Kill it yourself...]

The following letter was published in the August 29, 1996, edition of The New York Times in response to a story about street-level live-food markets, like the live-poultry market that was the target of a protest late last year by New York City's VegOut (see below).

Regarding your Aug. 26 front-page article on the sale of live animals in SanFrancisco's Chinese markets, I have a suggestion that may surprise my fellow vegetarians and animal-rights advocates.

Rather than outlaw the sale of live animals, we should require that all stores-from the neighborhood grocery to Grand Union-sell only live animals. I wonder how many American fathers would serve their families steak for dinner if they had to string a cow up by its feet and slit its throat in their own backyards.

I wonder how many American women would be willing to chase a headless chicken around the kitchen before plucking out its feathers.

I am far more troubled by the hypocrisy of those Americans who find it more convenient to purchase meat only after it has been cleaned and packaged in shiny plastic wrap.

Erica Shulman, Chicago, Illinois

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