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September 26, 2008

Talk Back: In Your Words

Yesonprop2_pig_vid Yesterday, we released a new flash animation video, "Uncaged," and I emailed it to many of you. But it's so good, I wanted to remind you to watch it and be sure to pass it along to friends.

Today I also wanted to share some of your recent feedback. It's always a pleasure to read your comments and see what's on your mind—let's keep the discussion going.

My piece in The New York Times about the trials and tribulations of finding vegan fare while traveling inspired many of you to share your own stories. Among your comments:

AWESOME! I keep a blog which chronicles my adventures in finding vegan food here in Las Vegas. I'm not on a mission to find "vegetarian/vegan restaurants" but finding appropriate food in the most unlikely places. Feel free to check it out. —Lisa J.

Hi! I wanted to say that as a vegan who loves to travel, I found your story useful as well as fun—I hadn't thought of mixed nuts. I got through airport security last time I flew with two small baggies of homemade chocolate chip cookies. I think the smaller bags are more likely to be passed through security. —Cassandra

Hi Wayne, I am not a vegan, but I am a vegetarian. The first thing I gave up was pork after watching a PETA undercover video many years [ago] showing the horrible treatment pigs got just before they were slaughtered. I was so outraged that I gave up pork and eventually, I gave up other meats too. As a single woman, I find it difficult to find men who are vegetarians/vegans. When I tell them that I am a vegetarian, they all seem to look at me like I have a third eye or something. I would rather be alone than with someone who doesn't share my values. Thank you for being a wonderful role model for men. I feel that you will be the catalyst that will get more people (men and women) eating vegetarian or vegan. Like another person wrote, you're my hero too! —Janet Philippsen, Albuquerque, N.M.

It has only been the past two years that I started to feel guilty about my lack of respect for this planet. It happened when I became a first-time pet owner (my cat Buster) and saw the unconditional love that he gave. I started to see animals in a different light and when I found the Humane Society website my life was forever changed. I have not eaten meat in close to a year and while every now and then I do eat fish (it is very rare) I do feel that even though I am only one person I have made a difference. I never talk down to people or try and reprimand them but when asked about my choices I tell them why I have made the decision to stop eating meat, purchasing leather and other animal products and donate to the Humane Society. The Internet is such a powerful tool and just by forwarding the messages given to us on this site to everyone in your contact list is a way to help. It is not realistic to think every person on the planet will become vegetarian BUT it is possible for everyone to become humane and make better choices to stop the suffering of these animals. If they have to die, let it be humane. Let them be able to roam the pastures and breathe fresh air. They deserve that at the very least. Keep writing your local representatives and know what you are putting on your plate every night for your family. —Kimberly Ryan

And many of you were excited about Nigel Barker's new film, "A Sealed Fate?", which follows him and his team as they document the contrasting beauty of the harp seal nursery in Atlantic Canada and the tragedy of the commercial seal hunt that follows:

This spring, when I first heard that Nigel Barker would be involved in the seals, I was overjoyed. Truly, his eye for beauty would be an asset to the HSUS or any organization. I don't doubt that his imagery was heart wrenching in both its beauty and tragedy. Perhaps the right balance is the one that gets people involved without sickening them. After all, half of the people seeing this film will be the "choir" while the others will hopefully turn into new recruits to the cause. Bravo to all involved in this campaign. —Lisa J.

This film is so important! I wish we could make every pro-sealing person watch it. I met Nigel Barker and his lovely family at an event at which I was volunteering and thanked him for the wonderful work he does on behalf of animals. We then spent 10 minutes talking about the HSUS newsletter and all the important animal rights changes you help us make. Thank you! —Michelle Landes

Thanks Nigel for your hard work. I know this seal hunt will end soon. —Anna

Here I was thinking Nigel Barker was just another snooty high fashion photographer… boy was I wrong! After reading what Mr. Barker has done for seals I was left in tears at his compassion and his appeal to end this mass genocide of the seal population. I'm looking forward to seeing his moving film. —Donna

After my post about Question 3, the ballot initiative to end greyhound racing in Massachusetts, many of you pledged your support for the campaign:

As a former resident of MA, I'm saddened to know that greyhound racing still hasn't been banned there. I'll be calling back east and urging my friends and family to vote YES!!! —Lisa J.

While I don't live anywhere near the state of Massachusetts nor know anyone there, I felt I had to comment on this post and urge your readers who do live there to please, please get involved in this campaign and vote to put an end to this horrible "sport." Over the past 12 years my mom has opened her heart and home to two different rescued retired greyhounds, and if the general population only knew how sweet and affectionate the dogs are, the thought of them having to race for their lives would break their hearts. Both of her greyhounds came to us with numerous scars from the track. They were malnourished and with numerous health problems common among racers who live most of their day in cramped cages with little attention. The hair was completely rubbed off the hips of both of them from rubbing against the wires of the cage. Despite all this, they both settled into their new lives and have a great love of people and all things soft! Greyhound racing is not a "sport" but rather animal cruelty for entertainment purposes. Please vote to end it! —Monica

It amazes me how these businesses that make their living off the exploitation or victimization of animals suddenly "get religion" when challenged. At least that is what they want the public to think. It's the same with industries that try to look or act green, when all they are doing is business as usual. Doesn't that just reaffirm that a majority of citizens in this country want better treatment of animals and our environment? —Barbara

And reader Pamela Bertsch shared this in response to the new campaign from The HSUS's Animals & Religion program:

As a preacher's kid I couldn't be more excited to be attending the “All Creatures Great and Small” events at the National Cathedral with The HSUS this weekend! When I was a little girl I would take my weekly allowance and would send it in to The HSUS, then would pray for the animals each and every night that God would protect them from any suffering. It will be like a dream come true for me to meet other faith based advocates who make the welfare of God's creatures a high priority in their lives.

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