Let Live Coalition vs. Wild Abundance: Vegan activists rally against a local permaculture school

SACRED THINGS: Sustainability educator Natalie Bogwalker, pictured with her newborn baby, teaches a class on humane slaughter techniques, honoring the animal's life and wasting none of its body.
SACRED THINGS: Sustainability educator Natalie Bogwalker, pictured with her newborn baby, teaches a class on humane slaughter techniques, honoring the animal's life and wasting none of its body. Photo courtesy of Wild Abundance

On Nov. 14, local writer, butcher and farmer Meredith Leigh published an article titled “Vegan Bullying and the New World ” to her blog. It was a reaction to a week’s worth of emails and phone calls from vegan activists protesting her involvement with Barnardsville-based permaculture school Wild Abundance .

Run by Natalie Bogwalker and Emily Bell, Wild Abundance teaches everything from foraging and cooking to natural building and primitive skills, including the object of the activists’ concern — the weekend workshop on animal slaughter techniques, which took place Nov. 19-20. Cycles of Life: Humane Slaughter and Butchering, a course offered periodically by the school, is aimed at instructing homesteaders on the proper techniques for slaughtering and butchering their own animals for consumption.

“I have been avoiding the militant vegan rhetoric for a decade or more,” Leigh writes in her blog. “As of today, that has changed.” Her reaction stems from a campaign by the Let Live Coalition, an Asheville-based organization set on convincing Wild Abundance and Leigh, a former vegan and the author of the Ethical Meat Handbook, to stop educating homesteaders on slaughter techniques.

In a Nov. 19 press release distributed by Let Live, Adam Sugalski, executive director of One Protest — a national protest organization contracted by Let Live —  says, “We’re deeply disturbed by the DIY animal slaughter and butchering class at Wild Abundance and appalled by Wild Abundance’s effort to put an ethical and ‘sacred’ spin on for-profit, gruesome backyard slaughter for inexperienced hobbyists.”

Bogwalker takes issue with the rhetoric of Let Live, particularly the phrase “inexperienced hobbyists.” The Cycles of Life course, she says, is intended to educate small-scale farmers and homesteaders about the realities of producing meat. “What we are doing with this class is actually showing people how to expertly and confidently butcher animals themselves, so that they can do so on their own self-sufficient farmstead,” she says, “and so they can make an informed decision as to whether they do want to continue eating meat in the first place after seeing what goes into the process.”

Through email chains, social media and a series of updates to the Let Live webpage, Let Live and One Protest worked to organize a protest at the site of the Wild Abundance school, a small group of cabins in the hills of Barnardsville. Through a petition at change.org, Let Live acquired more than 9,000 signatures from around the world (that number has since risen to more than 11,400) in support of its request that the school cancel the class and release the two sheep intended for slaughter to a sanctuary. The planned protest was later canceled in favor of a candlelight vigil that was held Nov. 19 at the Vance Monument.

Bogwalker says the group also published both her and Leigh’s personal cellphone numbers and email addresses, which also function as their business contacts. The release of that information, says Bogwalker, resulted in dozens of emails and phone calls from people opposing the workshop to both women, many of which they claim were profanity-laden, some sexually suggestive and others threatening assault. “I just got a phone call this morning,” says Bogwalker holding, her 4-week-old baby. “They called me a whore and said that they couldn’t believe that I’d bring a child into this world.”

On Nov. 19, the first day of the class and the planned protest, Bogwalker gathered with a dozen or so friends, counterprotesters and supporters in the small cabin at her farm. “That’s what is disturbing to me with these protesters,” says Bogwalker, “is this mob mentality and outright fundamentalism. For folks who are supposedly environmentalists to be choosing to expend their efforts on us — who are really focused on doing good things in the world and bringing permaculture into the mainstream and focusing on how to create closed systems that are truly sustainable and reduce factory farming — it’s just really frustrating.”

The Let Live Coalition brought in Chapel Hill animal rights activist Justin Van Kleeck to offer a presentation on the “Myth of Ethical Meat” at a discussion the group scheduled at The BLOCK Off Biltmore following the candlelight vigil the night of the Cycles of Life class. “It’s hard when you do an online campaign like this,” says Van Kleeck of the harassment Bogwalker and Leigh say they experienced, “because it is nearly impossible to control what people do with the material. So whatever violent threats may have been made, that wasn’t anyone involved with the coalition at all.”

Van Kleeck says Let Live did not purposely publicize Leigh’s and Bogwalker’s personal contact information. “We published what was available online. It’s a public business, so it is no different than if you were not happy with your service at a restaurant,” he says. “We were reaching out to these places as businesses, asking them to change their mind about the class, and the online petition was just to show that there are other people out there that want them to change their minds. I don’t know who was threatening them, but that is not OK. That is not anything that I would ever support, nor would I support harassing someone at home.”

A Nov. 15 Facebook post from Let Live backs this up: “Wild Abundance, whose ‘sacred and humane’ do-it-yourself slaughter classes are the subject of our first campaign and protest, is telling their supporters that we have threatened them. We would like to clarify that we have done no such thing. Our posts have ALWAYS asked people to POLITELY and respectfully contact the PUBLICLY listed company phone numbers and emails.”

Let Live organizer Leanne Johnson says the group reprinted the fliers intended for distribution at the Nov. 19 vigil, removing direct references to Wild Abundance, Leigh and Bogwalker. The old batch, she says, was destroyed, but one card that was offered at the follow-up discussion and presentation at The BLOCK still featured both contacts. Johnson says it must have been one of the old fliers that slipped through.

“The owner of Wild Abundance is also exploiting her status as the mother of a newborn to deceptively harness sympathy and deflect attention from the actual victims in this situation: the (now 2) defenseless sheep who will have their throats sliced open this weekend,” the group’s Facebook post continues. “The animals are the real victims. The real bullies are the ones using deception, using their own newborn child as a weapon of deflection and now threatening to kill a second sheep. How ethical and honorable. While obviously we and others feel strongly about their actions, we regret that anyone has contacted them in inappropriate ways, and we condemn in the highest terms the use of abusive or threatening language.”

Leigh says one of the emails she received said, “I should slit your throat the way you do to the lambs.” Another one was “threatening to beat me with a ham. The bulk of it isn’t the threat of physical violence, but a lot of it saying, ‘You’re going to burn in hell. You are obviously a horrible person. There is no redemption for your pitiful soul,’ kind of stuff. And some of them just ask me to sit down and think about this. … As though I haven’t spent 15-20 years thinking about this day in and day out — it’s my job. Even the ones that aren’t violent or threatening, it’s still harassment.”

Leigh eventually bowed out of the slaughter, leaving it to an undisclosed expert to carry it out in her stead, but she still taught a class on the second day of the workshop. “I’m just not in the right head space to do it,” she said before the event of her decision not to lead the slaughter demonstration. “I’d be doing it for the wrong reasons.”

Leigh shifted her own eating habits and the focus of her work from veganism several years ago in hopes of fostering a culture that is no longer dependent on factory farming for its meat production. “All of my education is based on the fact that I used to be a vegan, and I understand that choice. And that it is an important choice, and we need people to make that choice in order to inform positive change,” Leigh says. “But I honestly don’t know anyone in the ethical meat community that is making more room for the vegan choice than me right now. So it is fascinating that me speaking my truth about ethical meat is more of a threat to them than factory farming.”

“Whether or not there is one pig dying or a thousand, it’s still about animals being killed, and that is what is wrong with it,” says Van Kleeck, who has been a vegan activist for 18 years. “It’s not wrong because we kill so many of them, it is wrong because we kill individuals. We’re not saying that factory farming is OK, and small-scale farming is terrible. We’re saying that we all know factory farming is terrible, but let us help you understand why small-scale farming is a problem too.”

North Carolina is home to the largest animal processing facility in the world. Smithfield Packing Co., based in Tarheel, processes nearly 27 million hogs annually and slaughters over 114,300 per day. A 2010 report by the Humane Society of the United States cites animal welfare concerns with the Chinese-owned company, which had also experienced a labor strike in 2006, according to the Associated Press. North Carolina produces 9.87 billion pounds of livestock per year according to USA Today, making up 7.5 percent of the more than 50 billion animals slaughtered annually in the United States. In the Old North State, the business of slaughter employs nearly 31,420 people.

Also according to USA Today, the average American eats 265 pounds of meat per year. Homesteaders who use whole animals will understandably consume less than the average. A major driver among much of the whole-animal movement is the fact that factory farming unnecessarily slaughters animals for luxury cuts. There is only one tenderloin in each pig, so when that cut becomes trendy, a lot of pork chops and trotters go to waste to supply the buzz cut.

“When one buys food from a restaurant or the store, even the health food store or local co-op, there is a massive amount waste that results,” notes Bogwalker. “I know this because I have worked in the food industry. This is a big part of why I am such a fan of close-looped, self-sufficient farming.”

“There is a difference, but it is mostly about aesthetics,” insists Van Kleeck, when asked about why he believes factory farming and homesteads are guilty of the same sins. He often uses the term “person” when describing a chicken, rooster or pig. “The conditions that they live in are different, but at the end of the day, that animal is still being killed and that they don’t want to die.”

He contends that the bulk of the money spent on animal activism is aimed at factory farming. “There’s a need for that conversation to happen. People don’t need a lot of talking to understand why factory farming is bad, but it’s a lot harder to understand why chickens out in the field are still bad,” says Van Kleeck. “If you can help someone understand why raising an animal on a small farm in order to kill it is bad, then you don’t even have to talk to them about factory farming because that is purely about conditions. Conditions are not the core of the problem, conditions are just a part of it. But that’s not what matters when it comes to the fact that we shouldn’t use animals for food.”

In the end, the Cycles of Life class continued uninterrupted in an alternate location. Two sheep were slaughtered, drained, quartered and separated by over a dozen students, some locals and some from far away. A host of friends of the school, including Cherokee community leader Yona FrenchHawk — there to contest Let Live’s insistence that the death of an animal could not be sacred — kept Bogwalker’s boyfriend and newborn baby company while she taught the course. At the Vance Monument downtown, about a dozen protesters waved signs and held candles at the vigil for the slaughtered animals, and Van Kleeck gave his speech to a room of 15 or 20 people.

Let Live plans to continue its work but in a broader sense. “As things wind up with this specific campaign, our plan is to turn the Let Live website into an education and advocacy resource that provides greater information on the harm of do-it-yourself, backyard slaughter more generally,” Johnson said in an emailed statement. However, the fact that the group has bought the domain name wildabundance.org and routed it to the Let Live webpage is an investment that suggests its fight with the small school is not finished.

“I applaud Wild Abundance on all the classes that they do on foraging and permaculture,” says Van Kleeck, who insists on a zero-tolerance policy for the killing of any animal. “I would love to take those classes. But animal slaughter doesn’t have to be a part of that. I am on the same wavelength with them except when it comes to that because I don’t believe that it is either ethical or sustainable.”

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About Jonathan Ammons
Native Asheville writer, eater, drinker, bartender and musician. Proprietor of www.dirty-spoon.com

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76 thoughts on “Let Live Coalition vs. Wild Abundance: Vegan activists rally against a local permaculture school

  1. boatrocker

    Publishing personal email addresses and phone #s online- claaaaaassssy. A recent article did that on the Mtn X site and the lady featured (i think the author of the piece? )did that with a poster’s ISP address- again- claaaaasssy. Apparently it’s ok on the Mtn X site too, eh? Not one Mtn X staffer has yet addressed that little ‘oopsy’.

    Death threats, rotten potty mouth insults on the part of vegan ‘activists’ against an educator? Why not just stone her to death and be done with it
    (kidding, obviously).

    For all the posts over the past week or so (3 or more articles or LTEs) for vegans demanding this and that (sorry, just cuz you get folks to sign a petition, they don’t have to do your bidding), only one poster addressed death threats against an educator as being a bad thing only after I brought it up in a post.

    I can’t take vegans seriously. Threatening violence in order to show compassion- and I don’t care to hear any whining about a few rotten apples.
    Even one rotten apple threatening any educator is not cool- own those rotten apples, the same as any other ‘movement’.

    • holly

      right on!! I don’t see them targeting all the grass fed beef and chicken farms in this area. Where do these people come from??

      • boatrocker

        They come from getting your news and ideology from social media and email lists, and they are a dark and dangerous force on both wacko sides of the political spectrum.

        And they come from places where it is ok to threaten violence upon educators, which is the lowest of low.

    • JD

      They were business phone numbers and emails. If they can’t take public criticism then perhaps they should keep their business contacts private.

      • boatrocker

        And guess what sort of messages were left? Yep- death threats- are you personally ok with that or are you willing to unconditionally condemn
        that?

        • Grace

          Thousands of constructive and thoughtful messages and comments were sent as well. You cannot blame a campaign that always requested polite and respectful messaging for the irresponsible behavior of a few. Furthermore, the only “death threats” that were actually carried out were those in which two innocent animals were held down and had their throats cut open, while folks stood around patting themselves on the back for “loving” and “honoring” the animals as they needlessly bled to death. Asheville needs to wake up.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            “Thousands of constructive and thoughtful messages and comments were sent as well”

            Which the recipient was clear to inform that it was all harassment.

          • Grace

            In response to Snowflake “social justice warrior” (hilarious) below: Yes, by defining harassment as “letting killers know that bullying animals to death is wrong,” they were able to frame all constructive criticism as “harassment.” Critical thinking for the win!

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            Harassment is not minding your own business and trying to impose your ideology on someone else. Elementary, except, of course, to a mindless zealot.

          • NFB

            “Furthermore, the only “death threats” that were actually carried out were those in which two innocent animals ”

            Ah, so 1) death threats are totally permissible if they aren’t carried out and 2) animals are the moral equivalent of human beings.

            So much false equivalency in this world.

          • boatrocker

            Yet death threats were indeed made against an educator. Whether the perpetrators were willing to carry them out- who knows.
            If they were not, then the are merely posers looking for attention. If they were, then they were some seriously messed up people.

            Let’s play what if- Say one of those who made a death threat against an educator actually followed through with it?
            Could vegans still hold their heads high or would they merely mumble something about a few rotten apples spoiling the bucn and we can’t control what all our cult following does?

            For making death threats, the vegan movement puts itself in the same category with the culty anti abortion types who make death threats against workers at Planned Parenthood clinics and sometimes carry them out. Look up for yourself the statistics for workers, nurses, doctors who have met their demise in order to squelch being able to do with your body what you will.

          • Grace

            So if some folks organized a campaign against dog fighting when it was still legal, and requested respectful communication to dog fight organizers only, and someone on the fringes sent aggressive messages to the dog fighters, would everybody be blaming the anti-dog fighting campaign? Doubtful. Because most people agree it’s wrong to harm animals for entertainment. But not for a class demonstrating how to slit an animal’s throat if you want to eat him because you like the taste of meat better than plant foods?

            Furthermore, do you know how many social justice causes have people on the fringe making threats on both sides? Those people are everywhere, including from WA supporters in this very comment thread. And they don’t invalidate social justice causes or campaigns.

      • DB Cooper

        No one has control over others on the internet. See above omission.

      • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

        Yeah, but this is called doxing – to search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.

        “Hey ya’ll here’s this persons contact info. Why don’t you give them a call “

      • boatrocker

        Wow- says the poster who named himself after the guy who hijacked and robbed a passenger airliner full of innocent people.
        How compassionate.

  2. Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

    Why doesn’t the Let Live Coalition get a life and learn to Live and Let Live?

  3. Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

    Check out the manipulative language used.

    “We’re deeply disturbed by the DIY animal slaughter and butchering class at Wild Abundance and appalled by Wild Abundance’s effort to put an ethical and ‘sacred’ spin on for-profit, gruesome backyard slaughter for inexperienced hobbyists.”

    • Natalie Bogwalker

      I am curious how the vegan extremists would feel about the “for profit” comment if they saw the profit and losses for Wild Abundance for the last 5 years. We teach sustainability skills because we care, not because we are in it for a quick profit.

      • JD

        There is nothing sustainable about raising animals for consumption. Please stop perpetuating this myth as well.

        • JRE

          Care to back this up with facts and/or reliable references? My operation is sustainable.

          • JD

            Well, you can start with the UN FAO. Or endless other sources if you simply google it. Try this, but knowing how these things go, you’ll debate the source. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/549 It’s widely agreed among the academic and scientific communities that animal agriculture is extremely inefficient, requiring tremendous water, feed, and land inputs and is responsible for deforestation, destruction of wildlife habitats, pollution, and methane gas emissions that contribute to global warming. It takes 1,000 gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk, and figures vary, although not far off on the water needed to produce a pound of beef. There is nothing sustainable about that.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            “responsible for deforestation, destruction of wildlife habitats, pollution”

            This is meaningless in the US. Any deforestation or destruction of wildlife habitats now is due to housing development. Very little occurs for agriculture. Pollution is regulated and minimized.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            “It takes 1,000 gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk”

            This sounds like horseshit. A cow that produces one gallon of milk per day does not drink 1000 gallons of water per day. I’m sure that there’s some type of averaging going on to get to this figure, but even so, in some parts of the world that is irrelevant.

    • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

      Repent thou vile and wicked sinners! Forsake thine abomination of savoring flesh in thy mouth lest thou be damned! Go vegan and be saved!

  4. Big Al

    Great way to make friends and influence people to your cause: threats, name calling and contempt, and all the while espousing “tolerance”.

    Don’t forget, many of those meat-eaters that you are threatening and insulting own guns and worship the Second Amendment. Trump’s election has emboldened them to more hateful acts, and your First Amendment right to provoke them will make for a very poor body armor.

    • Lulz

      These militants would gladly kill to further their cause. Same goes for the enviro whackos, race baiters, and muslim apologist. The left is great and fooling young useful idiots into being their brown shirts, their bullies, and death squads.

      My grandparents were murdered by these types. And even though many of you old fools think that this can’t happen in the USA, I have absolutely no doubt that the militant leftist can and will do evil whenever they deem it necessary to further their cause.

  5. Veganism is a perfectly acceptable lifestyle choice. But it’s depressing as heck that some zealots have adopted the tactics of militant theocrats to attack other choices. “Heart-based” repression is no less repugnant when Gaia told me so than when the orders come from Almighty God.

    • Lulz

      And this of course is merely evolving from what? PC doctrine and brainwashing and the ideological absolutism of the left. It’s as if opposing views and lifestyles are not accepted because others have minds and can think and believe in freedom. Oh no, it’s as if their rationale is based solely on some stupid “ism” instead and that they are neanderthals with IQ’s of 3. And they will either learn to comply via government force or be eradicated either through labels and social shaming, humiliation, and isolation or even worse.

      You’ve truly created a monster lefty loons. Unfortunately their actions will transcend from merely words into the actual physical of trying to hurt those that disagree with them. Everything from forcing them out of employment to using government agencies to boycotts to protests. Oh that’s right, it’s already begun.

  6. Creating villains out of those who come to the defense of oppressed groups is an age-old tactic by the perpetrators of violence and oppression to distract attention away from their own wrongdoing. Trump won an election using this strategy, creating straw men villains — minorities, women and other oppressed groups who are ruining this country — and the white man who is going to “make America great again” by putting those groups in their place again, where they belong. In the case of Wild Abundance, their defiance to those calling for justice for animals and their casting them as the villains has fired up that same sense of entitlement, but directed at other species rather than inferior human groups. But there is something even more insidious in the case of Wild Abundance in which they celebrate a violent tradition under the guise and rhetoric of “self-sufficiency,” creating “closed systems,” and mitigating “factory farming.” They pretend that they are doing the victims a favor by blessing them and “thinking” about how they will kill them. They invoke the ancient anthropomorphic belief the animal victim gives us their consent to be sacrificed for some greater human purpose. This is all a self-serving and transparent ploy, a plunge into self deception whereby the perpetrator seeks to absolve himself of wrongdoing.

    • Thank you for such a clear expression of heart-based zealotry, the presumption that one person has the right to impose their spiritual belief on others. The straw man in your argument is the raising of a rational smokescreen, the straw man fallacy itself, to distract attention from what is essentially the oldest of the old school power grabs; ” This is the way it is because I say so.” Beating the unconverted over the head with the righteousness of veganism makes exactly as much sense as doing it in the name of Jesus. Expect witnesses to be similarly revolted.

      • Ashley

        Hmm. I’m pretty sure that pinning a defenseless animal to the ground and cutting their throat open is the ultimate demonstration of “This is the way it is because I say so.” But thanks for showing us what a straw man really looks like!

        • You kill to eat, the same as anyone else. For that, I do not automatically consign you to some category of depravity, though I can’t for the life of me understand jerking a defenseless beet out of its home soil and consuming the bloody thing. Of course, that beet was already doomed by the fact of its birth, as are we all. Within the limit of the law, which deaths we choose to participate in, and for what reason, are matters of conscience. Any assertion that yours is superior because it identifies with lambs but not the premature demise of food plants seems a tad animal elitist to me. Maybe Native Americans had it right when they thanked the deer and the maize alike for their sacrifice.

          • Ashley

            Ah, the “plants feel pain too” argument. Always the last refuge of people trying to defend unnecessary violence toward animals. I am just wondering, with all the “plants, too!” folks crawling out of the ethical meat woodwork, where all the humane carrot slaughter workshops are? Captive Bolt Stunning for Cucumbers? No? Nobody?

            And: legality is not morality. Many violent institutions and practices now stigmatized and even criminalized were once legal and “normal.”

            Finally, good job trotting out “the Native Americans” to prop up needless modern day violence and domination. Wait, why is that move feeling so familiar right now?

          • think critically

            So, if the cops at the pipeline demo thanked the Native Americans before they abused them, would that make their violent actions more palatable?

          • Ashley

            Ah, this last is an especially persuasive and skillful argument. Onward, indeed.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            Yet it’s all that’s needed to expose the mentality of the Westboro Vegan Church.

        • JN

          Agreed. The animal doesn’t want to die any more than a human does. And in the natural chain of things, such as food, humans have many more choices. People evolve at different speeds.

  7. Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

    “The straw man in your argument is the raising of a rational smokescreen, the straw man fallacy itself, to distract attention from what is essentially the oldest of the old school power grabs”

    The “rational smokescreen” is a good example of identity politics. No surprise as the author lives in Chicago. What business or right does a person who is immersed in such an artificial, pampered environment have judging the folks of Wild Abundance who have the courage and fortitude to live in the midst of nature?

    • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

      “a person who is immersed in such an artificial, pampered environment”

      i.e., arm-chair ethicist… BORING!

      • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

        Sorry I didn’t make that clearer.

        You, btw, have very good, reasoned arguments.

        • Ashley

          It’s so goshdarn amusing when a person emblazons his or herself with the username “social justice warrior,” then spends a TON of their time regularly trolling newspaper articles, then calls someone else “an arm-chair ethicist” for making one comment. OMG.

          • The Real World

            Now the second person on this thread with faulty reading comprehension. Read Snowflake’s name again.

            Truly imagine how many issues could be resolved or understandings reached between people if better reading and listening comprehension were common. But, I ask too much, it seems.

  8. treelady

    I’ve seen presentations by both Meredith and Natalie. They are excellent at what they do. I’ve kept and slaughtered chickens in the past and I am and will likely always be a meat eater. I neither want or need the approval of some vegan organization to live as I choose. I am of the live and let live philosophy when it comes to fellow human beings, which we need much more of in the world right now. Isn’t the Asheville spirit all about acceptance of all? Or is it only about accepting those who think like you do? Self-righteousness in whatever form is, in my opinion, just a form of narcissism.

    • The Real World

      treelady states, “Isn’t the Asheville spirit all about acceptance of all? Or is it only about accepting those who think like you do? ”

      You do actually know the answer to that, right? For much of the city the answer is affirmative to your second question. And, of course, the ultimate irony is that they fancy themselves “open-minded”. Not. Even. Close.

    • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

      I suspect that most of the militant vegans who comment here are not from Asheville or even the mountains. They apparently have some kind of country-wide vegan activist network through which the coordinate this kind of intolerant, heavy-handed proselytizing. So IMO they really have no clue what this area is about.

  9. Joan Richardson

    i am so sadden by the unnecessary killing of the two precious sheep. Unnecessary is an important word. In today’s world no one can truly and intelligently question that killing animals for fun or pleasure is wrong. We have become more aware that killing animals for food is totally unnecessary and that actually a plant based diet is better for our health, the environment and even the economy of a nation. These sheep were killed not in the name of education but in the name of a practice that feels it is O.K. to kill animals for pleasure, simply because they taste good. So very sad

  10. Joan Richardson

    I am so sadden by the unnecessary killing of your two precious sheep. There are few people in our world today that are not questioning that killing animals for fun or pleasure is wrong. Hopefully as we become more aware, we become more compassionate. Killing the sheep was not in the name of education, but in the name of practice that promotes killing of animals for food, for pleasure, simply because they like the taste. So sad for the animals and you who participated or support this practice. A plant based diet is a healthy diet, better for the environment and the economy. While taking the lives of these animals, you actually were harming yourself. I call this Karma Please have the courage to rethink.

  11. Elisabeth

    Stop killing sentient beings!
    Blood is blood!
    There’s no “humane” slaughter.
    There is no “humane” way to kill.
    That’s murder.

    • boatrocker

      Isn’t that what lone gunmen scream at doctors who perform abortions before they gun them down in the parking lot?
      I think you want the other ‘No more animals parts!’ thread.

    • NFB

      Murder? Please.

      mur·der
      ˈmərdər/
      noun
      noun: murder; plural noun: murders

      the unlawful premeditated killing of one HUMAN BEING by another.

      • boatrocker

        Well duh, Webster was an oppressive murdering carnivore, so what do you expect?

      • Elisabeth Rabourn

        anthropocentric, adj., 1. ‘Regarding humankind as central or most important element of existence, especially as opposed to God or animals.’ 2. ‘Viewing or considering an issue from a narrowly human perspective especially when disregarding or disdaining other animals […].

        anthropocentrism, n., 1. ‘The habit of viewing the world exclusively in terms of human needs, wants and aspirations.’ 2. ‘Human-centred. Based on the belief that only humans have value and thus they have a privileged position in nature […].

      • JN

        If you’re going to go dictionary, then a synonyms are butcher and slaughter.

    • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

      All sentient means is to be conscious of sense impressions . Virtually all life is sentient. Bugs perceive things and respond accordingly. We can’t know what plants feel, but they do perceive and respond to sunlight and some think they perceive positive vibes and music

  12. You are what you eat

    I would like to suggest that the people who launched this campaign visit any major grocery store in this area and look at the meat section. Perhaps a campaign to educate the public and posting phone numbers for the owners of major grocery stores would be a bit more rational than picking on this woman. Your campaign seems like bullying when you single out and pick on her while ignoring the tons of meat sold in the area by large corporations.

  13. Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

    I had Trader Joes Turkey-Less Stuffed Roast for Thanksgiving. It was pretty good.

    • You are what you eat

      I don’t celebrate Thankstaking. In fact the Indians should have shot the Pilgrams and all the other invaders and celebrated that.

  14. think critically

    And now, some words from one of the greatest living philosophers:

    “All the arguments to prove man’s superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering the animals are our equals.”

    “It is easy for us to criticize the prejudices of our grandfathers, from which our fathers freed themselves. It is more difficult to distance ourselves from our own views, so that we can dispassionately search for prejudices among the beliefs and values we hold.”

    Dr. Peter Singer

    • boatrocker

      Dr. Peter Singer, on describing himself as a flexible vegan-

      “That is, I describe myself as being a vegan, when it’s not
      too difficult to be a vegan, but I’m not rigid about this,
      if I’m traveling for example.”

      huh- sounds like an omnivore to me. Either 100% or hand over the vegan card.

      Singer’s views are quite interesting indeed. For example, when supporting performance enhancing drugs given to athletes, he believes they should be free to take whichever drugs they see fit, but somehow using the same drugs on a factory farm fir animals is wrong.

      “Killing a newborn baby (who he believes lacks personhood aka rationality, autonomy and self consciousness) is never
      the same as killing a person, as in a being who wants to go on living.”

      He also advocates for infantcide in certain situations as well as other forms of non voluntary euthanasia, yet opposes the death penalty.

      His beliefs have been criticized by researchers from both the Disability Rights and Disability Studies as having beliefs which promote ableism in terms of the concepts of disability.

      His beliefs on beastiality? Oh boy
      While he does not condone sexual relations between a human and an animal where the animal is harmed, he says
      “sex with animals does not always involve cruelty” and that “mutually satisfying activities” can occur between humans and animals.

      His beliefs have been called reminiscent of Nazi eugenics programs and renown Nazi hunter Simon Weisenthal objected to Singer being invited to a Swedish book fair promoting scientific morality.

      Der Spiegel has compared Singer’s positions to Nazism and he has faced criticism for his views from renown philosopher roger Scruton.
      Disability rights advocate Harriet McBryde Johnson debated Singer in 2002 and challenged his belief that parents should be able to euthanize their own children.

      I guess there’s a reason you cherry pick only one Singer quote over and over and over and over again.

  15. think critically

    Nice cut and paste, and great oversimplification. But let’s stick to the issue. RE: “It is easy for us to criticize the prejudices of our grandfathers, from which our fathers freed themselves. It is more difficult to distance ourselves from our own views, so that we can dispassionately search for prejudices among the beliefs and values we hold.”
    Speciesism is the same as racism and sexism and the other isms. You just can’t see it, just like people who were racists or sexists couldn’t see it. Maybe this will help:
    “If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the Civil War, don’t look at where you stand on slavery today. Look at where you stand on animal rights.” Captain Paul Watson, founder, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

    • boatrocker

      No cut n paste, I call it reading up on a man with beliefs – never mind
      your philosophical mentor is an opportunist.

      Let’s stick to who is making that quote.

      How’s that sometimes vegan, sometimes not/proponent of performance enhancing drugs/pro-eugencis/pro-infantcide/oro-beastiality/anti-disabilities
      role model of yours working out or you?

      Even if I made everything from my last post about singer up (which I did not)-reconcile all his beliefs as the sum of the parts equaling the whole.

      For real- you consider that hack one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th c?

      Way o set the bar high, buddy.

    • Jim Dandy

      I can justify the eating of meat with one word…bacon! Or to get all dictionary the synonym of bacon is meat candy. And to quote one of the greatest philosophers of our time, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”.

  16. Mark

    Maybe vegans should go protest to the sharks, wolves or snakes about their carnivore behavior.

  17. Katie

    It takes a lot of chutzpah to put “Wild” in your name when you teach and advocate for animal agriculture — an animal bred and “raised” for slaughter is the opposite of wild. The slaughter of these two innocent, sentient creatures is one more tragedy in a society filled with cruelty and violence. We have no need to eat animal flesh — in fact, animal protein is bad for us — and no way to justify killing animals. I encourage people who insist there is something humane or sacred about needless violence and death to ask themselves if they’d be okay with it happening to them. Nonhuman animals do not exist for us. No matter how spiritual or earth-goddess-y you try to make slaughter sound, it’s still simply needless violence. I hope activists continue to challenge the people who run Wild Abundance. Animal exploitation and cruelty at any scale, from the homestead to the feedlot, is a travesty.

    • The Real World

      “We have no need to eat animal flesh” — speak for yourself Katie, you cannot speak for others. That statement is very definitive and small-minded.

      There are numerous other Letter to the Editor about this topic and many, many comments on each. Take a read for a more rounded perspective.

      • It’s a scientific fact: we have no need for animal products. There are no nutrients found in animal products that cannot easily be obtained from nonanimal sources. If there were, mainstream health organizations would be broadcasting them.

        Further, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the largest mainstream, science-based dietetics organization in the US and probably the world, states in its position paper on vegan diets that well-planned vegan diets are healthful for all life stages, including infancy, pregnancy, and for athletes. Indeed, some athletes avoid animal products for improved performance. As a mountain climber and long distance runner, I noticed an improvement in my recovery times from long runs and difficult climbs when I went vegan over 13 years ago.

        So, your statement is ignorant and small-minded. Maybe you should spend more time researching veganism than trying to dispute it.

  18. The Real World

    Perhaps your diet needs some tweaking, Dan, because your memory is not serving you.

    You and I had an extensive dialog on this website a couple of weeks back and what you’re saying here is contradictory to what you ultimately articulated then once I described some things about the nuance of people’s lives that you and others could not know. I’m not going to repeat it all. But, you appear to be back to the knee-jerk dogma. Reason be damned. Whatever, no surprise.

    • No need to repeat it all, but please do quote whatever I wrote there that contradicts what I wrote here.

      What I believe you either don’t remember or don’t understand is that I was taking your perspective for argument’s sake, presuming you find it difficult to be completely vegan and asking you if you would be for abolition if you believed that everyone could be healthy on a diet without animal products. (You didn’t give a good answer to that.)

      For the record, and perfectly consistent with what I wrote in the other comments section, I know, with a high degree of certainty, that all humans can find a diet without animal products that is just as healthful as any diet they can find with animal products.

      Now, there are people, one in tens or hundreds of millions, who are apparently allergic to so many different foods that they may have difficulty no matter what they do. But this doesn’t count any more against vegan diets than non-vegan diets.

      Again, there are no nutrients found in animal products that cannot easily be obtained from nonanimal sources. No one has ever provided an exception.

      If there were an exception, and someone had a good case for consuming a certain nutrient that could only be obtained from an animal product, I would defend that particular case in that particular circumstance. But I’ve never encountered such a case, and am almost certain I never will. That’s no more dogmatic than saying I’m almost certain I will never see a pig fly.

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