Letter to the Editor

Dominion over creation is sacred responsibility

Friday, October 24, 2008

To the Editor:

I thank everyone who attended Paws on Parade on Saturday, Oct. 4.

I am grateful to the humane society for including my booth, the Victoria Day Spa for the generous gift certificate raffle, and those who visited the booth. I obtained 17 signatures requesting no hog wrestling at the Putnam County 4-H fair beginning in 2009.

About half who signed were surprised to know hog wrestling was an event at the fair this year. I also find few people truly aware of how badly most farmed animals are treated, or how significantly modern animal-based diets harm our health and environment.

The American Public Health Association has called for a moratorium on new factory farms because of the devastating effects these operations can have on surrounding communities. Opposing the cruelties of factory farming to heal the earth, the animals and ourselves does not have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. One can help prevent farmed animals, and those who raise them, from suffering without making sudden and drastic lifestyle changes. Simply acknowledging the cruelty, eating less meat, and being willing to try alternatives is a significant, sustainable contribution.

There are virtually no laws in the U.S. protecting farmed animals. But, right now, online, in just a few moments, one can urge Californians to vote "yes" for Proposition 2 on the state's November ballot. (yesonprop2.com). Proposition 2 is a modest measure that would end the practice of cramming farm animals into cages so small the animals can't even turn around, lie down or extend their limbs. Arizona , Colorado , Florida and Oregon have similar laws. We can make a difference by speaking up for change and encouraging others to do the same.

There is much suffering in this world that seems far beyond what one person can do.

But, choosing to promote cruelty-free living can be as easy as opting for bean burritos instead of beef tacos.

It can be as fun as starting a new Thanksgiving tradition by adopting a turkey through Farm Sanctuary's Adopt-a-Turkey project (adoptaturkey.org) instead of eating one of the 45 million warehouse birds destined for holiday tables.

Serve tofu-turkey and invite a local vegan to help prepare your meal. Request that your favorite restaurant provide cruelty-free alternatives.

Exposing factory farms and advocating ethical eating is the most readily accessible option we have for making a better world. Please call me for questions, literature, a vegan cooking class perhaps, or a space to set up my booth.

Our dominion over God's Creation is a sacred responsibility.

If we do not demonstrate mercy for God's creations by the choices we make, can we honestly expect God to protect us from the consequences of our own heartlessness?

It seems to me we have a lot of work to do. Thank you for your support.

Marian Patience Harvey