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conserVegan seems a bit of an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Actually, it is my hope to show how conservatism and veganism share essential core principles and values. In fact, as a Christian conservative it was not until I embraced veganism that my life was fundamentally transformed both spiritually and outwardly.
Before anything I am Roman Catholic. Not a Newchurch Catholic, but a pre-Vatican II Traditional Catholic who attends Tridentine Latin Mass every Sunday. Well, nearly every Sunday. Nobody’s perfect. 😉 From my faith flows all that I hold sacred: Faith in God’s Presence and Love; the Word and the Will of God; His restoring grace and redeeming love; right and wrong; charity; free will; family; God’s living creations; and living in The Imitation of Christ. Bound by this system of interwoven beliefs and values, my faith, conservatism and veganism integrate seamlessly into my daily life.
As a Reagan conservative I believe in upholding all the laws of our Constitution, limited government, a free market economy, limiting taxes, a sovereign nation with a strong national defense, and freedom of religion and expression. I support the second amendment, and as a responsible gun owner I am prepared to protect my life, my loved ones, my home and country with my S&W 686+ .357 Magnum, for which I am NRA certified in Basic Pistol/Revolver Shooting, and Home Firearm Safety. I am against hunting for sport but I will defend your right to do so with the hope that you will someday see the light.
Basically, there are health vegans and ethical vegans. Many vegans are both, which would be me. Health-wise, I believe that a diet high in animal fat and casein from dairy products is a trigger for many of our Western diseases, specifically heart disease and cancer. And from an ethical standpoint, I believe that God’s instruction for mankind to behave as benevolent stewards of His kingdom on earth has been basically ignored through mankind’s selfish choices. Mankind must cease to be motivated by the desire for oppressive power, and instead work to eliminate the shameful, gruesome and inhumane practices of factory farming for food and fur, indiscriminate hunting, poaching and other animal cruelties that threaten the very definition of humanity.
Each of us is responsible for preserving this beautiful Earth that God created for us and all His creations. However, unless we protect our liberty and security our children will not have a healthy environment to enjoy. Therefore, we cannot preserve our environment at the risk of losing our security. To begin with, we must protect our borders while enforcing immigration laws, and must responsibly extract fossil fuels in our own country while we develop reasonable alternatives resources. As well, the man-made global warming hoax should be ended before there is any further consideration of instituting the financially disastrous Cap and Trade bill. These are just two of many politically charged issues propped up by the Progressive ideology of the Far Left that threaten to irrevocably harm the security of our country.
Most importantly, preserving our environment begins at home. If we all choose to live simply, eat healthfully, consume minimally, acquire in moderation, and treat others, animals and our surrounding environment with respect and kindness we would not be facing most of our impending financial, environmental and social calamities.
This also explains why I am Pro-Life, why I believe that human life is God-given and precious, that it begins at conception, that to willfully kill innocent life is murder. Conversely, I believe Capital Punishment is warranted in certain complicated cases. Even Christ believed in it.
I can assure you that I have not come by my views lightly. Youthful boneheaded decisions, misguided beliefs and abdicated values were followed by years of soul searching, Bible study, prayer and meditation, reading, examining relationships, thoughtful observation – and just plain ol’ thinking. From all of this I can attribute the present clarity of my humbled and resolute heart, mind and soul to the unbending strength of my faith in my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
In the mid 1980s America’s first farm animal sanctuary was established. Today, Farm Sanctuary, located in upstate New York and in California, serves as a model for sanctuarys like Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville MD. Located on 400 acres of pristine up-county Maryland farmland, Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary serves as a beacon of comfort, care, rehabilitation and permanent sanctuary for our nation’s neglected, abandoned or unwanted factory-farmed animals, victims of inhumane confinement and cruelty.
It is here at the sanctuary that each rescued animal is transformed from a commodity into being recognized as the cogent being that they are, respected and cherished for their individuality. And it is this very transformation that serves to caution us not to abuse the gift of dominion that God gave to us. Instead of choosing to rule God’s gifts through tyranny, we should instead choose to rule in the image of God’s loving dominion over us, his children, by exercising benevolent stewardship over the the fruits of our earth.
For their part each year, and along with other farm sanctuarys across the country, Poplar Spring’s Thanksgiving with the Turkeys event shines a light on the cruel and needless annual slaughter of millions of factory farmed turkeys by hosting a vegan potluck dinner for hundreds of their friends and supporters.
Preparations are well under way for dining with the turkeys!
Sprital and Irene are chickens rescued from Hurricane Katrina.
Gobbles is how we picture what a traditional Thanksgiving turkey looks like. However, years ago consumers were turned off by the dots of color from the black feathers that sometimes remained on the skin of packaged turkeys. So factory farmed turkeys were bred to have only white feathers. As a result of consumer’s demands for bigger, plumper breast meat, further genetic manipulation has produced freakishly overweight turkeys who suffer from devastating chronic organ disease and painful, crippling bone disfigurements. Their life of torture and misery begins shortly after hatching, when turkeys (as well as chickens) have the ends of their beaks and toes clipped off. These mutilations are performed without anesthesia, ostensibly to reduce injuries that result when birds stressed by confinement and pain are driven to fighting.
You can learn many more documented facts of animal cruelty practices as it relates to turkeys and other poultry here.
Edward Peacock is the first to arrive!
Wilbur is a pig who was rescued from a Virginia farm where he had been left to starve.
Harry is a pig who was used in university medical research, his entire miserable existence spent alone in a small cage. When his research was done he was brought to Poplar Spring.
Jake was a 4-H project calf who was sold by the girl who raised him at a 4-H auction. Thankfully, a neighbor who had fallen in love with him was the winning bid against a slaughterhouse.
Jacob fell off a veal auction-bound truck at one-day old, with his umbilical cord still intact. He was rescued from the side of the road.
Hearing the heartwarming tales of rescue
Everyone partakes in Thanksgiving!
” That’s where the goats and sheep are hiding! ”
Lenny is a goat who was born on a dairy farm and the same day discarded on a pile of dead and dying babies by the farmer.
As a newborn lamb Hickory was rejected by his mother and subsequently abandoned and left to die by the farmer who owned him.
Bought at auction Dorothy and another sheep were destined for slaughter for a family’s religious holiday. The family was so traumatized after killing the first sheep that they brought Dorothy to Poplar Spring.
Hannah the goat was found wandering in a park in SE Washington DC.
Living outdoors in the fresh air in a natural setting at last!
No more fear of being tortured by mass confinement, force feeding and chronic, painful organ disease for Foie Gras!
The rescued animals of Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary are now living the balance of their lives in a beautiful sylvan setting, freed from a life of misery and a gruesome death. However, even with the loving care and rehabilitation administered by the sanctuary’s loving and dedicated staff, the grim reality is that many of the sanctuary’s animals retain permanent emotional, psychological and physical disabilities. Here at the sanctuary you can see up close the devastating results of animal engineering, hybridized animals bred to meet the demands of mass consumption. The super-sized cows and pigs struggle painfully to support their out-sized frames, and many of the chickens and turkeys fail to eat in a normal manner, having to compensate for the results of factory farming’s painful de-beaking process.
Yet, despite their tragic histories, it is inspiring and uplifting to witness the profound results that loving patience and care has on healing the inner spirit of these survivors, encouraging them to courageously and joyfully go on with their daily lives. We have much to learn about the power of persistence, determination and forgiveness from these ‘other nations’ who would have every reason to want to continue to live in terror of us.
For those of you who choose to eat meat I would at least ask you to please consider compassionate choices. Become a conscious thinker and learn the real truth behind many of the labels such as ‘cage free’, ‘free range’ and ‘grass fed’. You can start by visiting reliable organizations’ websites like Mercy for Animals, Humane Myth, and Farm Sanctuary to find out how you can make more informed, cruelty-free choices.
“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves.
And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”
Henry Beston American writer and naturalist