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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. ” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
By Racine Hiet

Part One:

I have a riddle for you.  What do Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin, Mark Twain, Leonardo da Vinci, Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King–and many other free thinkers from our history, her story now forgotten, such as Anna Kingsford, Margaret Damer Dawson–all have in common?

They were all vegan/vegetarians!

With the Union of Concerned Scientists now urgently letting us know that the future for all life on Earth depends on human beings finding a way to stop destroying and live in harmony with all life, few subjects address so directly the heart of our challenge as that of veganism.  For veganism is more than a diet; it is an ethic by which to live.

Vegans aim to do the least harm possible by not eating or wearing animals and not supporting companies that exploit them in laboratories, entertainment, factory farms, and the leather, fur, silk, and many other industries.  This attitude of kindness extends to human beings as well and does not support sweatshops and the many other forms of human exploitation.  Astrology, Native and other religious prophecies, and many futurists say that we are being given an unprecedented opportunity to evolve as a species to become a peaceful, nurturing, creative presence on the planet.  Veganism, as an ideal, encompasses all creation with its awareness of the interconnected and Oneness of all.

Judy Carman, author of Peace To All Beings: Veggie Soup for the Chicken’s Soul and of the article, “Peaceful Eating For A More Peaceful Planet,” is co-founder of the Circle of Compassion Initiative with Dr. Will Tuttle–a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting kindness to all living beings.  Worldwide animal cruelty and exploitation, they say, are symptoms of a deeply embedded, speciesist worldview that maintains that human beings have the right to commodify, exploit, enslave, and kill whomever they deem ‘less than human.’

And they are working to create a paradigm shift on our planet by envisioning an entirely new humanity–one that finally and truly understands that all life is sacred and interconnected.  Albert Einstein explained it this way.  “A human being is part of the whole called by us universe… We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest.  A kind of optical delusion of consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires…

“And, so, our task,” he said, “must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.  And that requires a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive, for any society which does not insist upon respect for all life must necessarily decay.  Nothing,” Einstein concluded, “will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

But as Dr. Will Tuttle explains in his article, “Creating a Peaceful World: How Much Does Food Matter?” this evolution “requires our spirits to be loving and alive enough to hear and recognize the pain we are causing through our obsolete food orientation.  We are called to allow our innate mercy and kindness to shine forth and to confront the indoctrinated assumptions that promote cruelty.”

And he reveals in The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony, how our routine exploitation of animals for food and other products boomerangs in countless ways, affecting both our outer world and the inner landscape of our daily experience, so that “our inner desensitization–the numbness that keeps us from screaming or weeping when we bite into a hot dog or cheeseburger–is hindering our progress toward World Peace.”

Some of you will remember the story of Queenie, the cow who escaped the Queens neighborhood slaughterhouse in New York City.  Tina Volpe, in her book, Fast Food Craze, describes Queenie’s dramatic escape and the nationwide outcry to save her life that was covered on TV and in newspapers all over the country. Thanks to that massive public outcry of compassion, she now lives at Farm Sanctuary in New York where she is safe and can live out the rest of her life happily with the other animals living there.

To me, this story reveals something hopeful about human beings.  Deep down we do sense our kinship with nonhuman animals.  We all know that children naturally do.  When babies are first introduced to solid food, they love the fruit and reject the meat.  From birth, we love animals and want to relate to them as our friends, but somewhere along the way, our culture works to harden our hearts to them.

Beyond Carnism, Dr. Melanie Joy’s international organization, is dedicated to exposing and transforming carnism, the invisible belief system that conditions people to eat certain animals.  And it is this invisible belief system that causes such extensive suffering.  Animal agriculture, she writes, is responsible for the unnecessary slaughter of 77 billion land animals worldwide per year, while a major contributor to environmental degradation, human disease, and human rights violations, all of which the majority of people who eat animals remain unaware.

But that is no longer acceptable to adopted Korean-American, Sarah K. Woodcock, the founder and executive director (volunteer) of TAVS–The Advocacy of Veganism Society–that focuses on pro-intersectional vegan education and advocacy.  Their core value is nonviolence–the rejection of ALL oppression which is inherently violent, unjust, and interrelated, and that necessitates veganism, which is, she writes, “a moral obligation for humans… because nonhuman animals are full members of the moral community based on sentience alone.”

“But I could never be a vegan!” I can hear you exclaim, as so many others have done before they become vegans.  However, it was at that precise and poignant moment when Queenie, the cow, was recognized as an individual, a living being who desperately needed us to free her from her agony, that a brief awakening took place in the human heart.

Part Two:

In Carol J. Adams’ 1990 groundbreaking ecofeminist text, The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory, she explains the concept of “absent referent” in meat eating and dairy production.  Behind every meal of meat is an absence that serves to cloak the violence in meat-eating, the death of the animal whose place the meat takes, and keeps “meat” separate from any idea that she or he was an individual, allowing us the moral abandonment of another being.

And she compares the ongoing oppression of women and consumption of animals–and I include here child abuse, physical and/or sexual, and fatalities, 90% perpetrated by the human beings they know, love and trust–as influenced by this “absent referent” which objectifies the consumable object, (figuratively as the female body and literally as the animal body), from the individual.

She says early Feminists for Animal Rights placed a special emphasis on understanding both the present human predicament and mass animal suffering (vivisection and factory farming, etc.) from the perspective of all those who suffer from the societal ethic of objectification.  How animals live and die through industrial farming has been known since 1964, with the publication of Ruth Harrison’s Animal Machines.  Her book could have joined Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in also influencing environmental activists to include industrial agriculture.  Sadly, they didn’t.

Carol J. Adams argues that those who are working to improve the lives of disenfranchised and suffering people, under the wide umbrella of compassionate activism, should also support the fight for animal rights and veganism.  Interestingly, it was the early vegetarian restaurants which served as meeting spaces for suffragettes who used their own silenced voices to speak out for animals with no voice, refusing to ignore their cries and consume them.

Women’s rights activist, Anna Kingsford, (1846-1888), was one of the first English women to obtain a degree in medicine to gain credibility in her activism against vivisection, and the only one of the time to graduate without having experimented on an animal.  Founder of the Food Reform Society, she advocated for vegetarianism in the animal rights movement, insisting that animal advocacy must include food animals.  She condemned the consumption of other animals using arguments of animal ethics, human rights, human health, and science, while sharing a bitter rivalry with Frances Power Cobbe, an anti-vivisectionist who insisted that eating animals was a divine right, (a belief system remaining to this day.)

Margaret Damer Dawson, (1873-1920), an activist in the Animal Defense and Anti-Vivisection Society, who founded a home for abandoned babies, campaigned against sex-trafficking, assisted refugees escaping the Germans at the outbreak of World War I, and co-founded the Women’s Police Volunteers (at a time when women’s police work was still disapproved of), was a vegan.  As was Rosa Parks, (1913-2005), the Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement, who was a criminal justice warrior, women’s advocate, youth empowerment champion, Planned Parenthood supporter, and a vegetarian.

Another prominent figure in the Civil Rights movement, who survived multiple attempts on her life, Coretta Scott King, (1927-2006), was active in the movements for women’s rights, gay rights, and peace.  A vegan for the last 10 years of her life, she founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta.  Dolores Huerta, (1930-), who tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice as an equal partner with Cesar Chavez–the best-known Latino American civil rights activist–is also a vegetarian and continues her fight to this day at 87.  In 2017, Director Peter Bratt’s documentary finally tells the story of Dolores Huerta, among the most important, yet least-known, activists in American history.

Feminist, Angela Davis, (1944-), who was an outspoken leader within the Black Power Movement, and sentenced to jail for her fight for equality, also connects human and animal liberation as a vegan, along with today’s inspiring women such Dr. A Breeze Harper, Aph & Syl Ko, and many other powerful voices.  Pattrice Jones, an ecofeminist activist for gay rights and animal rights who states that “green means vegan” and “vegan means all animals,” is the cofounder of VINE Sanctuary, a refuge for Nonhuman Animals run entirely by lesbian women, transgender persons and genderqueer.

In her Keynote Speech at “Human Rights are Animal Rights,” Pattrice Jones discusses the intersectional nature of oppression, and how those who are concerned for oppression of any group must understand that in order to cause change, they must also understand and oppose oppression against ALL groups.

Gandhi said there cannot be positive social change without positive personal change.  And for this great awakening to begin to take place in the human heart, a cruelty-free diet is essential to open the heart to Universal Love.  As singer/songwriter, Erykah Badu, a vegan for over 20 years, says, “Vegan food is soul food in its truest form.  Soul food means to feed the soul.  And to me, your soul is your intent.  If your intent is pure, you are pure.”

And it was Annie Besant (1847-1933), who, in addition to her extensive human rights activism, promoted vegetarianism and said, “…all the starvation and the thirst, and the prolonged misery of fear which these unhappy creatures have to pass through for the gratification of the appetite of man…the misery that you cause is…mire that clings round your feet when you would ascend; for we have to rise together or to fall together, and all the misery we inflict on sentient beings slackens our human evolution.”

For it is our physical and moral violation of the birthright of nonhuman sentient animals to exist as free beings of equal value, in the interconnected whole that makes up our Universal family, which keeps us from awakening to the overwhelming truth of the endless suffering of others.  When our unmindful consumption of other living, breathing animals blinds us to their true essence, we lose our innocence and awareness of Universal Love and JUSTICE.  It removes the humane from humanity.  It stops World Peace in its tracks.

Part Three:

Polish-born Nobel Prize-winning author, Isaac Bashevis Singer, (1902-1991), became a powerful pro-animal rights voice and prominent vegetarian the last thirty-five years of his life.  “People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice.  According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times.”  When asked if he had become a vegetarian for health reasons, he replied, “I did it for the health of the chickens. How can we speak of right and justice if we take an innocent creature and shed its blood?”

And when he wrote in relation to animals that “All people are Nazis; for the animals, it is an eternal Treblinka,” it became part of the controversial discussions about the legitimacy of the comparison of animal exploitation with the Holocaust.

Toronto blogger, Nicola Sark, offers us her insight on this subject by applying Carol J. Adams’ concept of the “absent referent” in The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory.  (I recently became a fan of Nicola’s articles about her vegan journey, and she writes in this first issue about her relationship with her adopted dog, Swimmer.  Upon learning in her childhood home that “owning” a pet meant treating them as disposable property, she feels a deeply heartfelt bond with Swimmer that she can now fully experience, she says, after her heart opened to all other animals, following her decision to find out how they became “food” which turned her vegan.)

Nicola explains that, “when we refer to a baby male cow as ‘veal’, the animal is the absent referent.  When we refer to what happens to animals at slaughterhouses as ‘processing’, their suffering and death becomes the absent referent.  When the word ‘meat’ is used, all the animals whose flesh that ‘meat’ is comprised of become the absent referent.”  Nicola notes how many survivors of physical and sexual abuse often describe their perpetrator as making them “feel like a piece of meat” and when they describe themselves as feeling like mere pieces of flesh, according to Carol J. Adams, “the animal–the piece of meat–also becomes the absent referent.”

Similarly, when the language of sexual violence is used metaphorically in other acts of violent devastation, such as the ‘rape’ of the earth, “Women,” Adams writes,” upon whose bodies actual rape is most often committed, become the absent referent.  These terms recall women’s experiences but not women.”  And it is for this same reason, Nicola states, “If I, a non-Jewish person, use the word Holocaust to bring attention to the oppression of animals, I risk making Jewish people the absent referent, something that is counterproductive since any rights movement is about re-naming and re-claiming the absent referent.”

There was, however, one Holocaust survivor, Alex Hershaft, who, as part of his job at an environmental consulting firm, was told to inspect a Midwestern slaughterhouse in 1972.  There he came across piles of discarded animal body parts–reminding him of memories from the Holocaust.  “I noted with horror the striking similarities between what the Nazis did to my family and my people, and what we do to animals we raise for food: the branding or tattooing of serial numbers to identify victims, the use of cattle cars to transport victims to their death, the crowded housing of victims in wood crates, the arbitrary designation of who lives and who dies–the Christian lives, the Jew dies; the dog lives, the pig dies.”

The incident spurred him to take action.  In 1976, Hershaft founded the world’s first organization dedicated to championing the rights of farm animals, a cause that would become his life’s mission.  The group, which is known today as the Farm Animal Rights Movement, or FARM, raises awareness about abuse of livestock and advocates for veganism.

This year let us be the candle that lights a path to a new kind of world consciousness.  Along with the free thinkers through the ages who have implored humanity to evolve, let us now take Isaac Bashevis Singer’s statement to our hearts when he said, “As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures, there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people.”

For the evolution to a more conscious society must begin with each of us.  When we choose with our hearts to live in the spirit of peace, love, and goodwill toward all, all human and all nonhuman animals alike, who share this planet, only then will our chaotic, violent world slowly begin to change.  As John F. Kennedy said, “Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.”

Let us speak out loud and clear that the time is NOW to raise our consciousness to honor ALL living beings, no matter the body we live in, no matter the skin color, the age, the race, the nation, the culture, the economic class, no matter the sexual orientation, the gender, the physical or mental disability, the spiritual or religious belief.  And no matter the species.  For here is the beauty of our interconnectedness.  And when we join our hearts across the globe, we will evolve as One to a higher consciousness where a New World is possible.

Leading hospitality consulting firm, Baum + Whiteman, published its 2018 Food & Beverage Forecast, which stated that vegan food would be a megatrend of 2018.  This great news has already been proven to heal our bodies. But even more, how incredibly powerful this movement can be for the healing of our souls.  An offering of pure love reaching from the depths of our human hearts to Mother Earth herself, and all her inhabitants.

“All beings tremble before violence
All fear death
All love life
See yourself in others
Then whom can you hurt
What harm can you do?”
~ Buddha

Racine Hiet Bio:

I grew up in Montreal but have lived in British Columbia, Canada, for a long time. I’ve been married for several decades to Ivor Block, who grew up in South Africa. We met and married on a kibbutz in Israel. We were vegetarians when we met, and then became vegans, passionate about all animals. Our lovely grown kids and grandchildren, including the furry ones, are vegan.

Ivor has encouraged me to come out as a visually impaired person, and so I have.  I don’t define myself that way, although I’ll admit it can be challenging.  It is somewhat ironic that I’m a Publisher/Editor/Writer but I’m able to live BIG on the computer.  I’ve written novels, screenplays, articles and short stories. I launched Thrive In Life E-Magazine in 2010 that featured stories of transformation, inspiration, hope and courage, and reached 136 countries.  Following that, I created and hosted a live global radio show, “Sexy Vegan” on Party 934, supporting and encouraging a vegan lifestyle with independent music.

At 69, after living the veggie lifestyle for over fifty years on behalf of the suffering, innocent nonhuman animals who have been waiting for centuries for humans to evolve–and yes, there’s also that matter of saving our health, the environment, and the very life of our planet–I’m truly grateful that this vegan miracle is now manifesting across the globe.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. ” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Veganism is the necessary first step that will begin the journey to Compassion for All.

JOIN THE EVOLUTION and send your LUV4All into the Universe.  Please subscribe to be part of  LUV4All: Mother Earth Warns! Wake Up Your Compassion. A show of strength in numbers across the globe can change our World.

For support on your Vegan Journey:

See “The Vegan Society” for a 30 day Vegan Pledge with free daily emails, recipes and tips to help you along your journey.
Read the pledge testimonials.

See Vegan Outreach “Go Vegan”, where you can Join 10 Weeks to Vegan (available in a few languages), Get a Vegan Mentor, Get Nutrition Tips for new Vegans, Get Tips for Students, and more.

Thank you so much! Racine

Back to Issue 1

COMMENTS (11) | animal consiousness, Issue 1, peace, Sprituality


11 Responses to ““Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. ” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr”

  1. Kim Gaalaas
    June 2nd, 2018 @ 9:48 am

    I want to read it all, just getting prepared for the Cube of Truth this afternoon.

  2. Jim & Les
    June 2nd, 2018 @ 10:56 am

    Incredible debut issue! Thank you!
    An inspiring, in-depth collection of articles filled with passionate views, informed advice and critical information from broadly diverse sources. Both empowering and uniting!

  3. Marcela Sabata
    June 3rd, 2018 @ 12:58 pm

    thank u so much!!!!! i have suscribed.
    hugs from Buenos Aires!!!!!!

  4. Carole
    June 4th, 2018 @ 7:27 am

    Beautiful, beautiful work and very inspiring. Thank you! The world needs this!

  5. Franceska & Warren
    June 5th, 2018 @ 8:17 pm

    We just love the first issue! The article looks beautiful and you have done an amazing job! I can’t wait to read more!!

  6. Emma Porsz
    June 6th, 2018 @ 12:14 pm

    I think you are amazing doing what you have set up, such an inspiration, and so I have subscribed to your site. I think we need more people in our world like you to bring a change and raise awareness.

  7. Gloria Clay
    June 16th, 2018 @ 1:34 pm

    Beautiful Article.

  8. Nicola
    June 16th, 2018 @ 7:57 pm

    I really loved the first issue of LUV4All. There was such a mix of perspectives which is so important and I think you embodied that perfectly. I look forward to the next one and all your endeavours!

  9. Geoff
    June 19th, 2018 @ 12:07 pm

    WOW, what a great magazine!!
    More and more stories, that build a weight of evidence for a plant based diet.

  10. Tracey West
    June 20th, 2018 @ 1:52 am

    Hi Racine – there’s a lot to digest in your primary issue and it all looks very interesting!

    I’ve sent the trans piece to my trans stepson and posted the anorexic piece on my timeline. Excellent diversity and I’m looking forward to the next issue.

    Tracey x

  11. Corinne
    August 14th, 2018 @ 1:12 pm

    I love your magazine and will share it with others! Amazing!!

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